UK leading employers home in on disability and inclusion

UK leading employers home in on disability and inclusion

Press release from The Clear Company

150 of the UK’s leading recruiters will join Minister for Disabled People, Maria Miller, for an event on 13 September to encourage greater awareness and confidence in Britain’s workforce around inclusion and disability.

Please note: When referencing disability this, of course, includes both mental and physical disability.

BT PLC and E.ON Energy are leading on the UK’s first combined recruitment industry initiative in partnership with the DWP.

The project will see the introduction of a framework for recruitment practice, from role creation and attraction through to assessment and beyond.

The September event at BT Centre, London, will be hosted by Director of People and Policy at BT, Caroline Waters OBE, and supported by E.ON energy solutions HR Director, Sue LaVerne. Guest speaker Maria Miller will also be joined by Dan Biddle, a former construction professional who was injured in the 7/7 London bombings and now works in accessibility.

The event will celebrate positive change in recruitment practice.  Other lead speakers on the subject include Director General UK Business Tax Melanie Dawes from HMRC and Development Director at The Clear Company, Kate Headley.

18 per cent of working age people are disabled, yet only 48 per cent of disabled people are employed, as opposed to 78 per cent of non-disabled people. Closing the loop represents a key financial factor in addition to driving the agenda for equality.

The Minister for Disabled People, Maria Miller, said:

“Just under half of all disabled people are in work but we know around 2 in 5 disabled people of working age who are not in employment would like to work.  And for many disabled people, true equality and independence in their lives is achieved through finding work and staying in those jobs. 

"That is why bringing all these big companies together is an ideal opportunity to highlight the benefits of employing disabled people and get more disabled people into mainstream jobs, in every sector like everyone else."

Caroline Waters, Director of People and Policy at BT Plc said:

“Going through the ClearAssured process has been tremendously valuable to BT.  The programme includes all the expert advice and guidance required to develop best practice, identify areas for improvement and to implement practical, effective change. 

“Having these resources available online has made it easy for us to embed the assessment and development process right across our people supply chain, ensuring that candidates get the best experience wherever they enter our attraction process.  Becoming ‘proud to be’ undoubtedly gives us the edge as an inclusive employer, but the ethos of continuous assessment and development engineered into the process means that we will keep on getting better.”

Sue LaVerne, HR Director at E.ON Energy Solutions said:

 "Becoming 'Proud To Be' is an important milestone in our diversity journey, and one that reflects the hard work our teams have put in to adopting best practice in inclusive recruitment.  The built-in 'feedback loop' allows us to continuously check our performance against candidates’ own experiences, making sure that deeds match words and giving us every opportunity to embrace continuous improvement in all aspects of our recruitment strategies."

Kate Headley, development director at The Clear Company added: “It is vital we work with the government, employers and leaders in the recruitment sector to set the agenda around inclusion and disability.

“More than simply a legal requirement, recruiters need to be empowered with knowledge and confidence which reflects their client employer brands and ensures sustainable employment opportunities are open to more disabled people in the UK.”

Dan Biddle, head of inclusive services at Contacta Systems Ltd said: “People may be familiar with me following publicity around my experience in the 7/7 London bombings. Getting my professional life back on track has been a real challenge for me and now I’m keen to work with recruiters, the government and opinion formers to ensure a more consistent and inclusive code of practice is adopted right across the recruitment process.

“This is a massive opportunity to educate and inform employers and their resource suppliers to make a significant impact on the UK’s recruitment culture and the British economy.”




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