Regulation & Government

Gov issues consultation on disability workforce reporting

The Disability Unit has found that whilst the employment gap for disabled people is reducing, it has remained ‘frustratingly high and enduring’.

The Disability Unit of the UK government has opened a consultation on disability workforce reporting to understand what information is currently collected by employers on disability in the workforce, the impact to business, and the behaviours it causes.

Additionally, the consultation is aimed at assessing whether there is a case to require large employers, such as those with more than 250 employees, to report information about people with disabilities in their workforce, in line with stipulated standards. 

In its consultation, the government has asked employers whether they currently collect information on the proportion of disabled people in their workforce and how they collect it. 

It is also seeking to understand what the cost to businesses is of their data gathering, how they use the data in their organisation and whether they publish the data externally. Additionally, for businesses that do not currently conduct a disability report, the government has announced it wants to know why that is the case.

Chloe Smith, minister for Disability, Health and Work, said: “Supportive workplaces, where disabled people feel actively valued and able to be open if they wish about additional needs and any issues they may face, are vital to progress. It is also important that employers have the information required to create inclusive workplaces.” 

Amy Hextell, senior associate at Pinsent Masons, added: “Data suggests that of around the seven million disabled people of working age in the UK, only around half are in employment, and research and feedback suggests employers are missing out on the talent and experience of disabled people because of prejudice and barriers.

“Before being able to report, however, I think employers need to be taking practical action towards improving disability inclusion at work and demonstrating to a disabled workforce that this is about more than simply meeting legal obligations. Otherwise, the data simply isn’t going to be there to make the reporting requirement meaningful.”

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