April 21, 2022
Why did it take a global pandemic to force employers to introduce remote and flexible working, when people with disabilities have been asking for hybrid working arrangements for years? The business world has not only been ignoring the needs of people with disabilities, it would appear that it’s been excluding them altogether.
Over eight million working-age adults in the UK, that is one in five of the working population, are classed as disabled. Yet only 52.7% were in employment in the second quarter of 2021 compared to 81% of non-disabled people. Additionally, disabled people have an employment rate that is 28.4 percentage points lower than non disabled people.
We can only hope the acceleration of workplace trends brought on in the last two years will change this. If the pandemic had a positive, it taught employers the importance of making their workplaces more inclusive and supportive of employees, with DE&I efforts moving into the foreground. A recent survey revealed 77% of workers with disabilities believe their employer has done a better job supporting them since the pandemic began. Of course, hybrid working is not just beneficial for people with disabilities, it’s improving work life for everyone, with mounting research showing that the flexibility to work from home has overall boosted employee satisfaction.
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