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Supporting disabled people in employment

With a unique role to play in making employment accessible and equitable for all, Tate is sharing knowledge of steps employers can take towards creating a more inclusive workplace.

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  • We are seeing a realisation that there is more we can do to adapt jobs and workplaces to welcome untapped talent communities. 

  • Over 7.7 million people in the UK of working age are disabled or living with a health condition.1

  • As of September 2022, there were 4.9m disabled people in employment.

Click on each option below to read more:
Health Adjustment Passport

The Government’s Health Adjustment Passport (HAP)1, launched in 2021, supports people with a disability or health condition.

As an employer by reading and understanding the type of information captured and  guidance given by the passport, you can:

  • Prepare to offer timely conversations with disabled staff about their personal needs. 
  • Be proactive in identifying opportunities where greater support and guidance  can be given without waiting to be asked. Consider just how powerful this can be in creating a sense of belonging and loyalty  to you and your organisation. 
  • Educate your management community  to understand their role in supporting through reasonable adjustments that  may be required. 
  • Appeal to a broader talent community  by sharing the kinds of reasonable adjustments you can make to suit a wide range of specific needs. When was the last time you saw a job advert that took the time and care to appeal to disabled jobseekers by listing the adjustments that can be  made to the role or work environment? 

Access to Work Grants

The Government’s Access to Work grants can help an  employee gain employment or stay in work if they have  a physical or mental health condition or disability. 

It does this by funding one or more practical support needs depending on the individual. Applications are made via the Gov.uk website1 and for April 2023 to March 2024 funding can  be up to a maximum value of £66,000.

The support needs that can  be funded include: 

  • Special aids and equipment requirements such as assistive technology and software  or coloured overlays for dyslexic workers. 
  • Travel to and from work such as taxi fares  or adaptations to your vehicle.
  • Communication support at interview such  as a sign language interpreter or note taker. 
  • Access to a variety of support workers helping with British Sign Language, professional coaching or dyslexia  coping strategies.
  • Support with managing mental health  at work including one-to-one sessions  with a mental health professional or  a tailored plan to help individuals attain employment or stay in their job.

Employers should incorporate awareness  and understanding of this support in managers’ annual training or induction programmes,  so that everyone has knowledge  of the support available. 

Employer guidance portal

The Government has built a new online portal, which is in live testing and offers employers advice and guidance on managing health and disability in the workplace.

The guidance supports employers to manage health-related absences and establish supportive keep-in-touch arrangements, have conversations about challenges in the workplace or with the role, that if supported differently, may retain staff or support them back into work.

By taking part in the testing of this new service,  you willl receive free information on disability  and health-related employment matters and support the development of what can become an excellent staff management tool.

Visit the site  ‘Support with Employee Health and Disability’to find out more and make your contribution to its development. 

Disability Confident employer scheme

This Government accreditation scheme encourages organisations to think differently about disability and take action  to improve how they recruit, train and develop disabled people.

Being a Disability Confident business means you can draw from wider talent communities, secure and retain quality staff and lead the way in your sector on tackling the disability employment gap. Disability Confident businesses are recognised as going the extra mile to make sure disabled people get a fair chance such as: 

  • Advertising your commitment to recruiting and retaining disabled people in job adverts. 
  • Offering other routes to employment such  as apprenticeships or internships. 
  • Identifying and addressing barriers that  may prevent or deter disabled people from applying to your vacancies.

There are three levels of Disability Confidence that an employer can attain to reflect entry level through to leadership status. These are:

  • Level 1: Disability Confident Committed 
  • Level 2: Disability Confident Employer 
  • Level 3: Disability Confident Leader

To sign-up visit the Gov.uk website.

Once signed up you can use your Disability Confident badge in your job adverts to help people identify you as an inclusive employer  and determine the level of disability confidence you have in your organisation. All scheme employers have their jobs advertised on the Government’s Find a Job website which is promoted by JobCentre Plus as a valuable resource for people seeking employment.


1. www.gov.uk

2. Department for Work and Pensions

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