EMPLOYERS and policymakers need to work together to develop the talents of disabled people if inequalities are to be tackled, says Susan Scott-Parker, boss of the Employers’ Forum on Disability.
Their comments come following this week’s National Equality Panel report that revealed the richest 10% of society are 100 times better off than the poorest.
Susan Scott-Parker said: “The findings of this report are a stark reminder of the barriers individuals, and disabled people in particular, face in achieving their potential.”
One in three people are either disabled or close to someone who is, and 80% of recruitment processes are inaccessible to disabled people.
Susan Scott-Parker continued: “Outdated misconceptions about what disabled people can achieve can prevent some employers reaping the commercial benefits of getting it right on disability.
“Disability confident organisations are better employers for everyone, and make significant cost savings and productivity gains through developing more efficient recruitment, employment and customer service processes.
“According to the report, disabled people have a net income of 30% less than for other working age adults, which shows that employers need to ensure that their appraisal and promotion processes do not discriminate.
“The report also recommends better Government policy focussing on the employment of disabled people, particularly people with mental health conditions.
“Any work to tackle inequality through employment policies needs to position employers as part of the solution, not the problem.”
Employers’ Forum on Disability is the employers’ organisation focused on disability as it affects employers and service providers.
With nearly 400 members, EFD represents organisations that employ around 20 per cent of the UK workforce.
Since its establishment in 1991, EFD has worked closely with government and other stakeholders, sharing best practice to make it easier to employ disabled people and serve disabled customers.