To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, how many private sector organisations hold level (a) one, (b) two and (c) three accreditation under the disability confident scheme; and whether there has been an independent evaluation of the effectiveness of that scheme.
We do not breakdown the businesses signed-up up to Disability Confident by Private / Public sector. The figures as at 23 March 2018 are:
5, 964 Disability Confident businesses
3,217 Disability Confident Committed employers (level 1)
2,630 Disability Confident Employers (level 2)
117 Disability Confident Leaders (level 3)
A full list is published on the Disability Confident website at https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/disability-confident-employers-that-have-signed-up. This is updated on a regular basis.
We are constantly looking at ways to improve Disability Confident and have introduced a Professional Advisers Group (PAG). The PAG works with my officials to evaluate the impact of aspects of the scheme and suggest amendments and developments where appropriate. For example, we have introduced a Specialist Thematic approach, which has so far delivered two programmes focused on mental health and workplace adjustments. These programmes have been evaluated by the PAG, and suggested improvements will be incorporated into further specialist themed programmes.
The PAG has also considered the impact of the scheme itself, and has recommended a number of changes which have been incorporated and disseminated recently.
We have also appointed a Disability Confident Business Leaders Group (BLG), comprising senior leaders from significant British businesses across all sectors. The BLG is helping to increase engagement with employers, promoting the business benefits of disability employment, and working with my officials to identify any changes or developments that will improve the effectiveness of the scheme.
We plan to conduct a more formal and robust evaluation of the Disability Confident scheme, and will be discussing this with the PAG, BLG, and other key stakeholders.