This guide summarises the Government’s Disability Confident initiative available through the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP).
What is Disability Confident?
Disability Confident encourages employers “…to think differently about disability and take action to improve how they recruit, retain, and develop disabled people.”
By signing up to the scheme, employers are acknowledging the value of disabled employees. The website explains how the Disability Confident scheme helps employers recruit and retain great people, and:
- Challenges attitudes and increases understanding of disability;
- Draws from the widest possible pool of talent;
- Secures high-quality staff who are skilled, loyal, and hard working; and
- Improves employee morale and commitment by demonstrating fair treatment.
How does Disability Confident work?
There are three different levels of Disability Confident:
Any employer joining the scheme starts at Disability Confident Committed (Level 1). They can then progress through the different levels by signing up to certain commitments outlined within the Disability Confident guidance.
While employers can sign up to Levels 1 and 2 without support from a third-party consultant, an external organisation that is registered with the DWP must review and validate an organisation’s Level 3 self-assessment to allow the employer to register as a Disability Confident Leader.
How do employers reach Level 3: Disability Confident Leader status?
- Complete the validation template (which is available to download online) and have this self-assessment reviewed and validated by an external, independent person (who is not a DWP employee).
- Prepare a leadership narrative explaining the steps you’ve already taken—as well as those you will be taking—to demonstrate your commitment as a Disability Confident Leader. This is a high-level summary of what the organisation is doing to demonstrate its commitment as a Disability Confident Leader. As there is no option to save and return to the online registration form, it is recommended that this is prepared separately and in advance (in a document creation tool like Microsoft Word or Google Docs).
- Confirm your organisation is employing disabled people.
- Use the Voluntary Reporting Framework to report on disability, mental health, and wellbeing.
What support can enei provide?
An enei Diversity and Inclusion Lead can review the completed validation template to determine if an organisation meets the required standard for employing individuals with disabilities. They can also provide feedback to indicate where additional work or clarity may be required. When the required standard is met, the Diversity and Inclusion Lead will provide the additional information needed to register/re-register as a Level 3: Disability Confident Leader.
Organisations seeking to incorporate any aspects of disability inclusion can request support from enei. This can come in the form of information, advice, events, and training. It can also include guiding employers through the different levels of the Disability Confident scheme. As Disability Confident Leaders, enei can act as independent validators for those progressing to—or requiring re-accreditation at—Level 3.
The information contained within this resource was accurate at the time of its publication. It was created in April 2023
- Employer Guide: Disability and Employment
- Employer Guide: Diversity Monitoring
- Employer Guide: Equality Act 2010
- Employer Guide: Managing Mental Health in the Workplace
- Employer Guide: Reasonable Adjustments in the Workplace
- Infographic: Disability
- Quick Guide: Disability
- Quick Guide: Reasonable Adjustments – Guidance for Managers
- Video: Disability Inclusion: Is Your Organisation Disability Confident?
- Department for Work and Pensions, Apply to be a Disability Confident Leader
- Department for Work and Pensions, Level 2: Disability Confident Employer, updated 28 November 2019
- Department for Work and Pensions, Voluntary Reporting on Disability, Mental Health and Wellbeing, November 2018
- Disability Confident Campaign
- Disability Confident Employer campaign, September 2017
- Disability Confident employer scheme
- Gov.uk, How to sign up to the Disability Confident employer scheme, updated 25 November 2019