One in two (50%) employers are not yet reporting the number of disabled staff they have within their workforce, according to new figures.
Research by Grid revealed that this year’s data shows a minor improvement on the 46% that did divulge their disability employment statistics last year. However, the industry body for the group risk sector is urging all employers to start reporting now, highlighting that Office of National Statistics figures suggest there are currently more than 5 million disabled people in employment.
The body believes that, with mandatory reporting likely to be introduced for larger corporates at some stage, it would be a good idea for all sizes of organisations to do so, particularly since its study found that more than two in three (68%) believe that transparency on workplace disability reporting would help shrink the disability employment gap by resulting in more inclusive policies and practices.
Katharine Moxham, spokesperson for Grid, said: “It’s good to see a growing number of employers being transparent and getting a better grasp of the number of people in their organisation with a disability. This will undoubtedly enable them to support this group of employees better and ensure they have relevant employee benefits and workplace initiatives in place.”
Grid has also warned employers to be careful about collecting data since employees do not have to inform them of any disabilities and that many are “invisible”, such as mental health illnesses and diabetes.
The body’s study found that among organisations that do currently gather data on their number of disabled workers, 45% use it to inform diversity and inclusion (D&I) initiatives, while the same percentage do so to track their D&I progress.
More than two in five (41%) use the data to inform recruitment practice, while one in three (34%) use it to inform talent management practice.
Katharine Moxham added: “We would encourage employers to make an informed decision now that it is in the best interests of their employees. Without reporting, they are less likely to have the evidence that shows what their needs are and how they can really make a difference in the lives of their employees who live with a disability day-in, day-out.”