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Disability employment reporting should be mandatory says ReWAGE and Disability@Work

ReWAGE and Disability@Work have jointly responded to the government’s consultation on disability workforce reporting, which was launched in December 2021 to help inform and shape the government’s future approach.

The response argues that while most government policy has focused on disabled people’s job-seeking activity and incentives to work, even the most positive measures will only prove effective if disabled people have jobs to go to.

Professor Chris Warhurst, Co-Chair of ReWAGE says, “The ReWAGE sub-group which produced our consultation response argues that the government needs to implement measures that encourage employers to ensure policies and practices are in place to help disabled people to get into and remain in work – such as the scaling up of supported employment services, supported internships and disabled people’s access to apprenticeships.”

The response states that the introduction of mandatory disability employment reporting could be a driver for change and would require employers to report the number of disabled people they employ as a percentage of their workforce. However, to be effective, there would need to be: 1) a standardised question for employers to use when asking their employees about their disability status; 2) a question that mirrors the Labour Force Survey (LFS) measure; and 3) a standardised data collection method.

Chris went on to say, “If followed, these three principles would enable the reporting system to produce standardised, comparable data that will allow employers to benchmark their progress against other employers and against meaningful national, regional and sectoral averages.”

The full report, which was co-authored for ReWAGE and Disability@Work by Professor Kim Hoque of Warwick Business School and Professor Nick Bacon of City University, London, has been published on the ReWAGE website.

8 April 2022

About ReWAGE

ReWAGE is an independent expert advisory group modelled on SAGE that is co-chaired by Warwick and Leeds Universities and which focuses on the recovery and renewal of work and employment in the UK as it tackles the economic impact of Covid-19. It supports the government’s ‘build back better’ and ‘levelling up’ agendas by providing evidence to enable a strategic response to jobs’ recovery and renewal.