The government’s Disability Confident scheme intends to help your business maximise the talent of the estimated 7.6 million people of working age in the UK who have a disability.

Its central focus is on recruitment and retention measures. It’s also a step to ensure there’s no disability discrimination in the workplace.

In this guide, we examine further what the scheme is and how your business can utilise it.

You can also read about how to provide better support to disabled staff elsewhere on this site.

How does the scheme work?

The Disability Confident scheme consists of three levels, each of which has various commitments and activities you must adhere to before you can progress.

After completing each stage, you’ll receive a certificate in recognition of that achievement, a badge to display on your company website, and other supporting materials.

Do note that under the Disability Confident scheme, dyslexia is part of the initiative. It can be a disability under the Equality Act 2010.

Level 1: Starting the process

Disability confident employers start here. At this stage, you’re trying to reach a standard of Disability Confident Committed.

To achieve that, you’re required to sign up to the disability confident employer scheme and agree to the five key commitments. Those are:

  • Inclusive and accessible recruitment.
  • Communicating vacancies.
  • Offering a guaranteed interview scheme.
  • Providing reasonable adjustments.
  • Supporting existing employees.

Employers must also identify at least one action that they will carry out at work, and alter where necessary, to make a difference for disabled people; examples include work experience, apprenticeships or paid employment.

Successful employers will receive a certificate of recognition with a unique reference number, along with a badge to display on their company website, supporting materials for a further 12 months and an online self-assessment to help with the journey.

Level 2: Gaining recognition

At Disability Confident level 2, you have the chance to become recognised as a Disability Confident Employer.

This will involve completing the online self-assessment and evaluating how they go about meeting the two key themes:

  • Theme 1: Getting the right people for your business.
  • Theme 2: Keeping and developing your people.

For each theme, you’ll need to agree to take all the actions set out in the ‘core actions’ list and at least one from the ‘activity list’.

Core actions include making sure online or offline processes are fully accessible as well as removing any barriers in the recruitment process that disadvantage disabled applicants.

Meanwhile, the activity list includes actions such as promoting a culture of being Disability Confident or advertising vacancies through organisations and media aimed particularly at disabled people.

Once the online evaluation is complete, you register as Disability Confident for two years.

You’ll receive another certificate in recognition of that, along with the other customary awards.

Level 3: Becoming a leader

Although it’s not a requirement, you may choose to step up to level 3 and become a Disability Confident Leader. That means you must act as a disability champion within your local and business communities.

To attain that, you’ll need to have your assessment validated by a recognised third party and show evidence you’re delivering against each of the core actions required as a Disability Confident Employer.

You’ll also have to submit a narrative outlining what steps you intend to take in the future to show your commitment as a Disability Confident Leader.

Successful employers will receive the appropriate recognition and register as a Disability Confident Leader for up to three years.

Need our help?

If you need any assistance with this scheme, you can get in touch with us 24/7: 0800 028 2420.