Disability made top priority by UK employees over age and gender, new survey finds
Over 50 percent of UK employees surveyed feel disability inclusion is most important in the workplace, a new Wildgoose workplace survey reveals.
Disability in the workplace has been making headlines recently, with broadcasters such as BBC, ITV, Channel 4 and Sky, along with government ministers, committed to doubling the number of disabled people involved in television by 2020 to make the industry more inclusive. However, it is not just the broadcasters who need to implement a culture of change.
With 70 percent of discriminatory queries at The Equality Advisory Support Service (EASS) regarding disability, Wildgoose emphasises that employers are not doing enough to be inclusive to those with a disability.
According to the Office for National Statistics, the employment rate for those with disabilities was 50.7 percent from April – June 2018, compared with over 80 percent for people without disabilities. Thus, if workplaces make changes so that they are more inclusive, the whole economy would benefit.
In addition, research by the Independent Living Strategy Group has recently found that charging for social care or effectively a ‘disability tax’ has increased substantially over the last two years – sometimes by half.
With workplaces not catering for staff with disabilities, there are fewer jobs available for the disabled, resulting in financial hardship. The Office for National Statistics found people with disabilities have unemployment rate of 8.7 percent, whereas the unemployment rate for people without disabilities is 3.4 percent.
The Wildgoose survey also found that ‘age’ was the second biggest area of concern regarding inclusion in the workplace at 46.42 percent, potentially leading to dual discrimination for the older generation of disabled people.
The recommendations accepted by the BBC’s Executive Board include: Increasing disability in its workforce; including disabled employees in all development and leadership programmes; ensuring recruitment processes and trainee and apprenticeship schemes provide specific support for disabled applicants; and mandate disability awareness training for all team managers.
Upon the publication of the Wildgoose survey results, MENCAP’s Michelle Hamilton said: “As a charity that works with people who have a learning disability, Watford Mencap are familiar with the findings of this survey. The UK is currently enjoying a low unemployment rate, but a disproportionate number of people with disabilities are unsuccessfully seeking work.
“Simple adaptations, robust induction and ongoing access to mentoring and training programmes can provide good pathways for people with disabilities to access the workplace and to become valuable team members.
“Businesses must welcome people with disabilities into their workforce to provide a more equal and inclusive employment landscape.”
Wildgoose is a provider of employee engagement and team events worldwide.