As part of his ongoing CIPD studies, Bevan has recently had to undertake a research project on how companies might better embrace disability in the workplace and given the apparent shortage of quality applicants on the job-market, now seems like an ideal time to do some myth-busting around employing disabled people.
A 2016 Department of Work and Pensions/Department of Health green paper cites the employment rate for disabled people of working age at only 48% compared to 80% in the non-disabled community.
The same report states that almost one in three working age people in the UK have a long-term health condition serious enough to place their participation at work at risk and that as many as 150,000 disabled people who employed in one quarter, will be unemployed in the next.
An article entitled 'Top Five Reasons Why You Should Not Hire a Disabled Person' published by Evenbreak (www.evenbreak.co.uk) in 2014 provides compelling evidence that the following typical employer objections to employing disabled people are merely myth and not based on fact:
- Disabled please are less productive than non-disabled people
- Disabled people are more likely to leave
- Disabled people take more sick leave
- Employing disabled people (especially in customer facing roles) won't do out image any good
- We won't find disabled people with the skills we need
In addition we've put together our own Top Ten Myths About Disability in the Workplace too and hope that this along with the following case studies (courtesy of Remploy) will encourage all employers to embrace disability.
Andrew is an ex-drug addict who had been homeless following a relationship breakdown in his early twenties. He had been out of work for twenty-two years but following help for his drug issues and a four week trial period to prove himself, he was supported back into work as a night warehouse operative with a leading UK supermarket. Andrew is still working there after two years.
Colin had a back back following an industrial accident. He was out of work for nineteen years and felt he would never work again. He was supported into a part-time checkout role with a leading UK supermarket.
Christine has partial hearing and is now employed in a customer service role with her local council. A special headset and telephone was provided through funding from the Access to Work scheme.
If you're in any doubt about what disabled people are capable of, take five minutes to watch the following montage from the London 2012 Paralympic Games.
For more information on embracing or managing disability in workplace, give us a call.