Half of employers are not reporting the number of disabled workers they employ despite figures from the Office of National Statistics showing that there are over 5 million people with disabilities in the workplace.
According to Grid, more than two-thirds of companies think that being open and honest about disability reporting will close the employment gap by encouraging inclusive practices, even though half of employers do not report on employees with impairments.
Grid advises all organisations to think about reporting the figures, particularly considering the possibility of mandated reporting for larger corporations.
Grid warns that employees don’t need to tell their employer about any disability, so organisations wanting to collect data need to tread carefully. With many disabilities being ‘non-visible’ such as diabetes, mental health issues, visual and hearing impairments, and cancer, and some employees preferring to be discreet about their disability, under-reporting is common in this area which represents another gap that employers need to be aware of.
Out of the companies that currently collect data on the number of disabled workers, 45 per cent use it to guide their diversity and inclusion (D&I) initiatives, while another 45 per cent use it to monitor the success of their D&I efforts. Around 41 per cent use it to guide their hiring decisions, while 34 per cent use it to guide their personnel management decisions.
Grid says these statistics reinforce the fact that collecting data is not simply an exercise to satisfy a future potential mandate, but it can be beneficial to businesses themselves.
Grid spokesperson Katharine Moxham says: “It’s good to see a growing number of employers being transparent and getting a better grasp of the number of people in their organisation with a disability. This will undoubtedly enable them to support this group of employees better and ensure they have relevant employee benefits and workplace initiatives in place.
“We would encourage employers to make an informed decision now that it is in the best interests of their employees. Without reporting, they are less likely to have the evidence that shows what their needs are and how they can really make a difference in the lives of their employees who live with a disability day-in, day-out.”
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