Government launches new disability guide with CIPD

disability guideThe Department for Work and Pensions has published new guidance to help employers better support disabled people.

The new Disability Confident guide was produced in conjunction with the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD). The DWP said it forms part of its £2.5 billion Back to Work plan, which is a broader push to get more people back into the workplace.

The guide offers practical tips for managers on recruiting, managing and developing people with a disability or health condition. It covers areas such as employers’ legal responsibilities, the language they should use, reasonable adjustment and how to discuss performance and progression.

There is also specific advice on dealing with Long Covid, neurodiversity, mental health, learning difficulties, and visual or sensory impairments. Other guidance looks at where to advertise jobs and how to implement reasonable adjustments in the workplace.

DWP said it had already met its target of getting one million more disabled people into employment by 2027.

Its Disability Confident scheme encourages employers to sign up and gain ‘disability confident’ status by benchmarking their workplace against a checklist of inclusion factors.

To gain Disability Confident status, members must commit to changing behaviour and cultures in their own businesses, networks, and communities, and taking the lead on inclusive recruitment practices.

In January 2024, the scheme had more than 19,000 members, employing around 11.5 million staff.

Mims Davies, minister for disabled people, health and work, said: “This new guidance is a really useful tool for managers that will support even more people to progress – whatever their condition and whatever their profession. It’s just the latest step in our mission to ensure the UK is the most accessible place in the world for disabled people to live, work and thrive.”

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Peter Cheese, chief executive at CIPD, added: “Too often, people with disabilities or long-term health conditions face prejudice or cannot access the support they need to help them reach their potential or remain in work. That is a loss of significant workforce capacity and skills.

“That’s why Disability Confident and the CIPD have worked in partnership to update this guide, which aims to support managers and anyone who leads another individual or team, in the recruitment, management and development of people with disabilities and long-term health conditions.”