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To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what steps the Government is taking to ensure that employers signed up to the Disability Confident Scheme are actively supporting disabled employees.
The Department for Work and Pensions is working at a district, regional and national level with Disability Confident employers, encouraging them to pro-actively attract, recruit and retain disabled people, offering help and support at every stage of the journey. The department provides employers with a range of material, videos and toolkits, to help them to develop best practice.
We are working closely with our stakeholders, including all main government departments, the Local Government Association, and Councils. The DWP Business Leaders Group, consisting of corporate influencers, is also helping to promote the benefits of employing a diverse range of employees, including disabled people.
Last year, we made a number of improvements to the scheme, including adding the requirement for Disability Confident Leader employers to use the Voluntary Reporting Framework (VRF) to publicly report on how they encourage and support disabled staff. Although there is flexibility in how employers can use the VRF, we expect that most would choose to combine it with their annual report and accounts.
In November 2018, we published the results of survey research commissioned from Ipsos MORI, which explored the effect that signing up to the Disability Confident scheme had on recruitment and retention attitudes towards disabled people. Half of all employers interviewed for the study said they had recruited at least one person with a disability, long-term health or mental health condition as a result of joining the scheme. Among larger employers, nearly two thirds reported the same. Eight in ten (80%) of employers interviewed had adopted at least one disability-related retention practice as a result of joining the scheme.