Councils championing the needs of disabled people at work

Published: 9 August 2018

Wandsworth and Richmond Councils have been jointly awarded ‘Disability Confident Employer’ status under the Disability Confident Scheme.

The scheme, run by the Government’s Department for Work and Pensions (DWP), recognises organisations that are committed to ensuring disabled people and those with long-term health conditions have the opportunities to fulfil their potential and realise their aspirations.

Employer Status is the second level of the scheme, requiring employers to demonstrate that they:

• Actively look to attract and recruit disabled people
• Provide a fully inclusive and accessible recruitment process
• Offer interviews to disabled people who meet the minimum criteria for the job
• Ensure that disabled job applicants have the best opportunity to demonstrate that they do the job
• Proactively offer and make reasonable adjustments to ensure that disabled workers are not disadvantaged
• Encourage suppliers and partner firms to be Disability Confident
• Ensure employees have appropriate disability equality awareness training

Both councils, which share a single, shared workforce, will now strive for ‘Leadership’ status, the highest level in the scheme.

Wandsworth’s cabinet member for adult care and health Cllr Paul Ellis said: “This award is welcome recognition of our efforts as an employer in making sure we create an absolutely level playing field when it comes to our recruitment. It is vitally important that people with disabilities or long-term health issues are able to fulfil their potential in the workplace.”

Cllr Michael Wilson, Richmond Council’s cabinet member for equalities, communities and the voluntary sector, said: “Achieving Employer level reflects our role in championing the needs of disabled people as well as how we support and recruit our own staff. I would like to thank the work of the Diversity and Inclusion Forum and Disability Staff Support Group in helping us achieve this status.

“We believe that everyone should be able to achieve the same life aspirations, opportunities and outcomes. I’d urge businesses everywhere to remove the barriers disabled people face in the workplace in order to recruit, retain and fulfil an often unused potential".

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