A new independent body is set to establish business-wide standards aimed at helping employers cope with disability discrimination laws, according to newspaper reports.
Employers meeting the new standards could be eligible for lower insurance premiums, according to the UK Council for Access and Equality, the Financial Times reports.
Founder members of the scheme, which include the Association of British Insurers, Co-operative Financial Services and the British Retail Consortium, represent more than 600,000 organisations.
As part of government reforms of incapacity benefit, private sector companies and public sector bodies will be expected to introduce more inclusive employment policies for disabled workers.
Council chairman Peter Carr said the council would offer training packages to employers as well as setting independently audited standards to certify that organisations were complying with the requirements of the Disability Discrimination Act.
“Disabled people no longer have to put up with second-class service,” he said. “If they can prove they have been discriminated against they can start civil proceedings and serve an injunction and, from December, this will apply if they can prove inclusion is not a policy.”
Carr said the council was working with the UK Accreditation Service – the body appointed by the government to assess organisations providing certification, testing and inspection services – in developing the new standards.