Remploy #DisabilityWorks BBC News 220217   1548

Remploy #DisabilityWorks BBC News 220217 1548

Now all this week the BBC has been looking at how business work with people with disabilities and how disabled people have made business work for them, as part of our disability works series, Vishala is visiting a Marks and Spencer
depot in Castle Donington and can join us now, Vishala. That’s right Simon I am in Castle Donington here at the Marks and Spencer warehouse. This is where all your online purchases come from though, apparently these boxes here are carrying cuff links and belts. Marks and Spencer opened this warehouse in 2013. Back then they said they wanted to hire more disabled employees, well joining me now is Kate Nash from Purple Space and also Matt Reed from Remploy. Matt Reed let’s talk about how employers can retain disabled employees, now it is all very well big companies throwing money at the problem of recruiting more but how can they retain them and make sure they work with them through out their career. I think for me it goes back to the business benefits of supporting disabled people. There is an assumption that it costs a huge amount of money to retain disabled talent and that frankly isn’t true,
most adjustments are free and actually if you compare that to the cost of supporting your workforce versus the cost of replacing it, that’s where the investment starts to make business sense. Kate from the employee perspective, why do you think that disabled employees tend to leave earlier in their careers or earlier in their jobs? I think one of the things we
see again and again in particular people who have a new diagnosis of a disability or a
health condition is that they experience a lack of confidence. We often talk about the soft biggotry of low expectation of others and that can have a corrosive impact on how somebody feels about themselves, how they feel about their employers appetite to be
able to deliver the right type of workplace adjustment, so it’s often, we’re often our
own worst enemies because we take a tumble and we may lack confidence and resilience so it’s getting through that, that makes the difference OK Matt one of the problems we
have in the UK is that the number of people that are registered disabled but work and
the number of people of that are registered that can work there is a bit of a rift between that, how can close that gap from an employers perspective? For me i think it comes back down to disability confidence, it’s not about putting people into work, it’s about giving the opportunity to build a career, and that starts from our perspective with educating the employees and helping up skill them making them more disability confident and help them create the kind of environment that welcomes talent from all different aspects of the community and also allows them to bring the very best selves to work everyday. What would success look like? How can we help companies accountable, to something like that? I think, I am not sure it’s about holding them accountable, it comes back to the education piece, there are real obvious business benefits for recruitment support of disabled talent, that’s what will make real differences as oppose to going back to a quota system or counting by numbers, it’s that societal change that will be driven by actual this is not the right thing to do
it’ something that makes absolute business sense. OK, well Kate and Matt thanks very
much, that’s it from me and I will be back in an hours time with more news from Donington. Vishala, thank you very much.


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