What is Disability Confident
Previously known as the ‘Two Ticks Positive About Disabled People Scheme’, Disability Confident is a government scheme that aims to encourage employers to recruit and retain disabled people and those with debilitating health conditions.
It is a voluntary scheme that has three levels of membership which are:
- Level 1 – Disability Confident Committed
- Level 2 – Disability Confident Employer
- Level 3 – Disability Confident Leader
There are various positive actions that an employer can take to sign up to this and progress through the various levels of recognition and by taking these actions this will widen the talent pool available to employers and retain current staff through demonstrating that they are leading the way in positively changing attitudes, behaviours and cultures towards disability.
Case study examples
Citizens Advice is a Disability Confident Employer. One of their actions is that they have a guaranteed interview scheme for disabled applicants that they will commit to interviewing an applicant provided that the meet the minimum criteria for the role which is that they meet around 60% of the total possible marks across the essential criteria of the post. To ensure that they are achieving their commitments they assess themselves around the themes of ‘Getting the right people for your business’ and ‘Keeping and developing your people’. The organisation also takes action to ensure that all employees develop an appropriate level of disability awareness to make sure that these commitments work.
Coca-Cola Europacific Partners is a Disability Confident Leader who actively supports their workforce to expand the talent pool available to them and have a diverse workforce which reflects the communities we live in. One example is Mo, who is a merchandiser who struggled to find work after 18 years of unemployment. Employment with the company has changed Mo’s life for the better and they are thankful that the company could see past their disability. Another example was an employee called Christine who was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis where reasonable adjustments were put in place to aid them in their day to day working lives. This alleviated Christine’s concerns around remaining in employment and has allowed the company to retain a skilled member of their workforce.
Network Rail is another Disability Confident Leader who review their funding to support disabled people in jobs and have appointed disabled employees into senior roles within the organisation. One senior disabled employee at the company has been appointed as a Disability Champion by the Cabinet Office. Stephen, who is a Non-executive Director in Network Rail was in a life changing accident in 1981 which left him paralysed from the neck down. After joining Network Rail Stephen has been able to champion the benefits of the Disability Confident scheme and is an advocate of the disability staff network, Cando.
As an employer, if you already have established practices in place to attract and retain disabled staff then this will provide recognition of your efforts and further improve the practices that you have in place. For employers who want to sign up to Disability Confident and emphasise to applicants and current staff that you are a diverse and inclusive employer of choice. Details of the various levels and how to sign up can be found on the gov.uk website.