Government introduces online service to support disabled employees

The government has launched a £6.4 million online service giving employers tools to better support disabled people and those with long-term health conditions in the workplace.

The Support with Employee Health and Disability service, which is currently in test mode, was developed in order to help smaller businesses which do not have in-house HR support or access to an occupational health service. It provides essential information about supporting and managing employees with disabilities or health conditions at work.

Employers that access the government service can also find free advice on how to manage staff who may be in or out of work with a disability or long-term health condition in an online question and answer format. It also covers potential changes to help employees return to and stay in work.

Businesses and disability groups have been invited to offer feedback through a short online survey throughout the trial, and the service will be updated and improved over the next three years as a result.

Once the government service is fully developed, it will also help employers understand their legal obligations to disabled employees, including how to make workplace adjustments for people who need it.

According to the government, the service is part of its drive to boost the number of people in employment, ensuring everyone has the opportunity to benefit from being in work.

Claire Coutinho, minister for disabled people, health and work, said: “Since 2017 we have seen one million more disabled people in work, beating our target by five years. Now we want to go even further by giving more employers the tools and information they need to ensure disabled people and those with health conditions can succeed in the workplace.

“As the new minister for disabled people, health and work, there is no end to my ambition to build on the success of the department by making sure disabled people have the same opportunities as everyone else to start, stay and succeed in work.”