Disability in the Workplace and Access to Work

The UK government has announced plans to develop a new ‘Disability Action Plan’ with an aim to improve accessibility in the workplace. The government’s goal is to reduce the barriers to participating in society and improve the lives of disabled people. The government is open to consultation responses which will close on 6th October 2023, after which the disability plan will be finalised. 

Examples of proposed changes include expanding the choice of account authentication for government digital services, funding and supporting research into rehabilitation, prosthetics and mobility equipment for veterans. The government is also making a concerted effort to improve the work experiences for disabled workers in the civil service as well as the support they receive. Further plans are aimed at helping keep people in work when they have long term illnesses. Employers are being urged to do more in terms of looking after employee health and reducing the number of workers on long term sickness as a result.

In the plan, the government has identified a few key steps that can be taken now to improve the lives of disabled people including reviewing government policies and finding gaps where change needs to be made and engaging with diabled people’s organisations and officials with disability stakeholders. 

The Health Adjustment Passport and Improving Access to Work

One example of the government’s efforts to improve the access and experience of disabled people at work is the Health Adjustment Passport (HAP) initiative. HAP was launched in 2021 and is designed to provide support to people with a disability or health condition. The document provides resources on how to talk to employers about making reasonable adjustments that employees may need in order to carry out their work duties. There is also information on finding help with getting to and from work, support such as job coaching and how to apply for funding for specialist equipment.

Employers have a duty of care to read and understand the information and guidance contained in the passport. Key takeaways include being prepared to provide timely conversations with disabled employees about their personal needs. Management teams also have to be educated on their role in providing support by allowing reasonable adjustments.

Consequently, companies that are also proactive in identifying instances where more support or guidance is required inspire a sense of belonging and loyalty. Another key lesson is that organisations that show a willingness to make reasonable adjustments in order to suit different needs present themselves as accessible and inclusive of all abilities. An obvious result of this is that companies will then benefit from a diverse pool of talent that can draw from different experiences to support the business.

Contact us to schedule your complimentary consultation.

West Wing, Greenhill House, Thorpe Road, Peterborough, PE3 6RU

01733 217 690