New digital employment advice to support disabled employees
A new advice hub will help disabled workers understand their employment rights and support employers in delivering them, it has been announced.
The service comes after the launch of the National Disability Strategy, which aims to “remove barriers faced by disabled people in all aspects of their lives”.
Developed in collaboration with the Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy (BEIS) and the Advisory, Conciliation and Arbitration Service (Acas), the digital advice hub will help both employers and disabled workers better understand the rights and protections they are entitled to.
This includes statutory sickness pay, equality and inclusion, and specialist support for disabled people – such as rights to reasonable adjustments in the workplace and mental health support.
The strategy will also introduce new rights and protections, such as mandatory flexible working – making flexible working the default unless employers have a valid reason not to offer it.
Unpaid carers will also be recognised with the introduction of a new statutory leave entitlement, giving such workers an additional week of unpaid leave per year to support them with their caring responsibilities.
Businesses with more than 250 staff will also be required to report on the proportion of disabled workers in their employment, in line with existing gender reporting requirements.
Commenting on the new service, Business Minister Amanda Solloway said: “We want the UK to be the best place in the world to work and do business for everyone – and removing the barriers disabled people face will be critical if we’re to meet that goal.
“From the new employment advice hub to Carer’s Leave, we hope these changes will make a real difference to the working lives of disabled people and carers.”
Acas Chief Executive, Susan Clews, added: “Our new hub explains how the law protects disabled people from discrimination at work and the basic rights that they are entitled to.
“It is also a great resource for employers to help them create diverse, inclusive workplaces that are welcoming to disabled people and promotes equal opportunities for all employees.
“Advice on the hub includes tips on how to prevent disability discrimination, how to make reasonable adjustments and how employees can raise complaints about disability discrimination at work.”