Disability Confident Scheme

09 July 2019

As an employer, you have a responsibility to provide a business with equal opportunities, and this includes people with disabilities. The Disability Confident Scheme is a simple way to ensure you're doing everything you can to provide equal chances for all your employees.

The scheme brings a wide range of benefits for your business. Such as being able to recruit the best staff and improve your company's reputation. Failure to do so can leave you behind your competitors, with a stain on your reputation.

In this guide, we'll discuss what the Disability Confident Scheme is, how it works, and the benefits it can bring.

What is the Disability Confident Scheme?

It is a government scheme that supports employers to hire people with disabilities. It was developed by both employers and disabled people's representatives to improve their working lives.

Under the Equality Act 2010, a disability is a “physical or mental impairment that has a substantial and long-term negative effect on the ability to do normal daily activities”.

The main purpose is to help and encourage employers to recruit, attract, promote and retain disabled people or people with debilitating health conditions.The scheme has replaced the 'Two Ticks Positive About Disabled People Scheme'.

What are the benefits of the Disability Confident Scheme?

The Disability Confident Scheme helps employers to make the most of the opportunity of employing disabled people.

There are many benefits to the scheme, such as:

  • Helps employees develop an appropriate level of disability awareness.
  • Helps employers to attract, recruit and retain disabled staff, saving money on hiring costs.
  • Helps businesses tap into a bigger and wider pool when recruiting.
  • Improves employee engagement.

As an employer, you must understand what makes up the scheme and how to join.

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What are the three levels of the Disability Confident Scheme?

The scheme has three levels to help all employers on their Disability Confident Journey. These are: Disability Confident Committed level, Disability Confident Employer level, and Disability Confident Leader level.

Level One: Disability Confident Committed

Level one of the scheme is around making your initial commitment to the Disability Confident journey. This is where you start making a difference for disabled people in your organisation.

This is done via the following:

  • Providing reasonable adjustments.
  • Create an accessible recruitment process.
  • Guaranteed interview scheme for disabled applicants. This allows those who meet the minimum criteria and most of the essential criteria for the job an interview.
  • Supporting your existing staff.
  • Communicating vacancies.

You must also commit to activities that you'll carry out to improve disability inclusivity in your workplace. These include things such as work experience, apprenticeships, job shadowing, and student placements.

Level Two: Disability Confident Employer

Level two of the scheme is around two themes:

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

To achieve level two status, you must be going the extra mile so disabled people get a fair chance in your company.

This is done by:

  • Undertaking a confident self-assessment (this is done online).
  • Be able to provide evidence of good practice towards inclusion and disabled people.
  • Identify any areas of development.

Once completed, you'll receive a certificate confirming you've reached level two. This is where you can move on to securing your level three status.

Level Three: Disability Confident Leader

Level three of the scheme is around acting as a champion of inclusivity within local business communities. Showing your organisation is doing all it can to hire high-quality staff with disabilities and create an inclusive workforce.

This is done by:

  • Having your self-assessment validated by someone outside of your business, receiving detailed guidance if required.
  • Provide a brief statement showing what you have done or are planning on doing to support your status as Disability Confident Leader.
  • Be able to confirm you're employing disabled people in your organisation, as well as making reasonable adjustments.

Once completed, you'll receive confirmation you have completed the course. This shows your company is as inclusive as it can be towards someone with a disability.

How to become a Disability Confident employer

To become disability confident you must complete each level of the scheme, starting with number one. The scheme is designed to make each process as easy as possible for you to achieve as an employer.

Remember, there is a range of high-quality benefits for organisations that come with becoming Disability Confident.

You can sign up for the scheme via the government website.

Do you need to renew your Disability Confident status?

Yes, you need to renew your Disability Confident status. The accreditations for each level last for a maximum of three years.

You must renew whichever level you find yourself at either one, two, or three. However, if you progress to a higher level during the three years, they restart from the date of progression.

Get Expert Advice On Equality From Peninsula

As an employer, you have a legal duty to provide people with disabilities the best chance of working for you. So this means becoming an inclusive business.

The Disability Confident Scheme is a simple way to improve the quality of working life for disabled employees. Completing the scheme brings a range of quality benefits to your company, such as employee retention and an improvement in morale.

Peninsula offers 24/7 HR advice which is available 365 days a year. We take care of everything when you work with our HR experts. Want to find out more? Contact us on 0800 051 3687 and book a free consultation with one of our HR consultants.

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