Venn Group attends RIDI Seminar

Posted on Tuesday, November 20, 2018 by Anders Egeland-EriksenNo comments

 

Last Thursday, I attended the Recruitment Industry Disability Initiative Seminar hosted by RIDI, Guidant Global and Bristol City Council. The event was one of many seeking to help raise awareness of, and overcome, the challenges faced by disabled people in the workplace and seeking employment.

Throughout the UK and around the world, disabled people face obstructions to employment that are as unnecessary as they are easily overcome. At the seminar, accounts were shared on the experiences of those who are disabled and seeking employment. One woman had been sent away from an assessment centre because she was diabetic, as the hiring team didn’t know what to do if something went wrong. Another had to get the confirmation of HR and Occupational Health to convince her manager she had brain damage, simply because he didn’t believe her. Sometimes these issues are hidden, sometimes ignored, but they do still exist.

The disabled employment rate in the UK is 50.7% accounting for 3.8 million people. This stands in stark contrast to the 81.1% of people without disabilities who are employed. A huge talent pool is being missed out on, and in this day and age it seems surprising that this is a conversation that still needs to be had. Many disabilities have little to no effect on a person’s ability to work, such as my own, and when they do, reasonable adjustments are more often than not easy to make and come at no extra cost.

The work of RIDI (Recruitment Industry Disability Initiative) in conjunction with agencies and employers nationwide, is helping to level the field and ensure equal employment opportunities regardless of medical circumstance. A panel of Council employees at the event, discussing their own experiences, exemplified that times have changed and we have come a long way, particularly in the public sector. However, it also made it apparent that there is still a lot to do and perceptions need to be changed. Many people are still afraid to let hiring managers know if they have hidden illnesses, and others are reluctant to let people know about reasonable adjustments due to concerns it might disadvantage them. Perhaps most significantly though, all members of the panel were able to not only get jobs, but succeed in them, proving the error in holding prejudices.

This event brought to the fore the importance of all parties getting involved to create change; hiring managers, HR, recruitment agencies and NfPs. Venn Group welcomes applications from all candidates, for both our internal roles and those we are instructed to work on by our clients, and we will continue to do our bit in promoting the importance of equal employment opportunities. Progress has been made, but there is still a way to go. Nevertheless, change is coming.

Written by Anders Egeland-Eriksen, Senior Consultant

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