December 3rd marks the International Day of People with Disabilities (IDPWD), led, and recognised by the United Nations. This year’s theme is ‘Fighting for rights in the post-COVID era’.
As mentioned by the Managing Director of IDPWD, this day is ‘a special time to celebrate the achievements and contributions of people with disability and increase public awareness, understanding and acceptance’.
The pandemic has undoubtedly impacted people’s lives in a drastic and immeasurable way. In addition, for people with disabilities, a lack of services due to the pandemic has increased the risk of poor outcomes. It has highlighted that exclusion due to disability is still a prevalent issue. One billion people worldwide are living with a disability and face unequal access to the rest of the population in areas such as employment.
There are 7 million working-aged people with a disability or long-term health condition in the UK, but only a little over half are in work. 56% of disabled people who are not employed who responded to the UK Disability Survey ‘agree’ or ‘strongly agree’ that they would like more support in finding a job. It’s important to remember the contributions of people with disabilities and that’s what this year’s theme is about.
At Osborne Thomas we give advice and guidance to our clients based on our knowledge of equity, diversity, and inclusion. Working conditions which are inclusive to all ensure that no candidate or group of people is disadvantaged for something beyond their control.
We would therefore recommend the following:
- The Government ‘Access to Work’ scheme has valuable information for both employers and employees on getting support for work
- Reasonable Adjustments for interviewees and employees adhered to as requested such as utilising computers for written tests or wheelchair access to interview spaces
- Communication support if needed for job interviews
- Mental Health support to be readily accessible (this can also be found through the ‘Access to Work’ scheme)
- Allowing for phased returns to work if needed, as well as flexible working options
Reach out to us if you think we can advise and help.