Employers urged to help disabled workers

Employers have been urged to do more to help people with disabilities into the workplace.

It follows a major study published by the Office for National Statistics yesterday, which revealed that more than half of disabled people would like to work more.

The survey of 18,000 people found that 56% of adults with disabilities faced restrictions in the type of paid work they did or the salary they were paid, compared with just a quarter (26%) of the general population.

Other barriers to gaining employment included a lack of job opportunities for disabled people – 18% cited this – while 19% described anxiety and a lack of confidence as a stumbling block, compared with just 4% of adults without disabilities.

Transport difficulties also proved a problem for nearly one-third of (31%) of disabled respondents.

Flexible working time or reduced working hours were highlighted as the best way to improve employment opportunities for disabled adults – suggested by 22% of disabled respondents.

Dianah Worman, diversity adviser for the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development told Personnel Today that the results were “unsurprising”.

“Employers need to be much more mindful of the diversity of the talent that exists than they currently are,” she said. “Work we’ve done suggests a lot of employers don’t relate the issues together but see them as exclusive.

“There can be a perception of difficulty and hassle in employing an impaired person when in actual fact there isn’t the hassle that’s perceived. There are all sorts of ways of doing work. A lot of creative thinking is needed.”

Read our case study about how Middlesex University recruits people with disabilities on XpertHR (subscription required).

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