Small business owners recognise benefits of investing in disabled staff
An increasing number of SME owners are recognising the benefits of working with people with disabilities.
Whilst some employers may think that employing disabled people would be too expensive and too challenging for the business, others have discovered that investing just a little time and money can go a long way in creating a diverse and talented workforce.
Only 46.7% of people with disabilities were in employment at the end of last year, compared to 80.3% of non-disabled people. As there are around 7million people of working age in the UK who have a disability or health condition, it means that there is a huge amount of talent across the country that small business owners are missing out on.
The law requires employers to make adjustments to accommodate workers with a disability. But some business owners are put off by the potential added cost that might incur.
But there are a number of services available that offer support to disabled people looking for work and the businesses who employ them:
- The Government’s Disability Champions Small Employer Offer has been designed to support small businesses who hire people with disabilities. It provides a job matching service and the opportunity to fast-track through the Access to Work grant application.
- Pluss is a social enterprise that supports thousands of people across the country each year who have disabilities or disadvantages to be able to find employment.
- Crumbs is an organisation which helps people who have learning disabilities and mental health problems to be independent.
Businesses need to be less worried about hiring people with disabilities and be more open-minded and look at what skills the individual has and what they can bring to the company.
In reality, often the only significant cost to employers is their time. Quite often employers just need to take some extra time to get to know an employee with disabilities. And sometimes it’s simply about gaining their confidence, especially those individuals who have not been in a working environment before.
Instead of small businesses feeling daunted about taking on someone with disabilities, they should embrace the opportunity as they will get back as much as they put in.
Business owners can find out more about disabilities, employing disabled people, disability law and the support available to employers on the Government’s Work and Pensions website.
Having a job is a key way for a disabled person to have independence. So to be able to get to and from work, or even just get out and about, the right transport can be essential. When you hire a wheelchair accessible vehicle from Gowrings Motability, you can keep your independence and never have to worry about getting from A to B comfortably and safely. For more information contact 0845 608 8020, 01635 588942 or get in touch online.