Research and insight

Welcome to our research and insight section where we take an in-depth look at some of the key issues being faced by business and Government as employers of and service providers to disabled people.

Our latest reports investigate topics including the recruitment and retention of disabled employees to what makes disabled people walk away from inaccessible products and services.

Follow the links below to download the reports and find out more.

Disability-smart approaches to engaging suppliers and partners - October 2016

We know that part of the good work to build disability-smart organisations relies on suppliers having the right know-how to improve inclusion for all employees, candidates and customers, including those with disabilities. Not surprising when we consider that in 2013/14 the total contract value of UK public sector outsourcing agreements was £51 billion and for the commercial sector was £30 billion.

This research study involved 16 organisations (14 private sector and 2 public sector) and is intended to identify the common characteristics associated with ‘why disability-smart happens’ in work with suppliers and partners; and what typically gets in the way.

Download Disability-smart approaches to engaging suppliers and partners here (PDF)

Preview of Retention Toolkit & Retention Maturity Model, sponsored by Ingeus – April 2016

The Retention Toolkit offers employers innovative and practical approaches to retaining employees with disabilities and long-term health conditions. As an electronic resource, it will be continuously updated.

BDF & Ingeus are pleased to present a free 16-page preview of the Retention Toolkit & Maturity Model. The preview provides an overview of the key components of best practice in the retention and progression of employees with disabilities and includes some practical and simple actions that could be taken by employers. 

Read the preview of our Retention Toolkit & Retention Maturity Model (PDF) 

Square holes for square pegs: Current practice in employment and autism - February 2016

Created by Daniel Wiles, Disability Consultant at BDF, the report examines current practice in the employment of people with autism amongst BDF’s membership organisations and makes key recommendations for employers when adopting inclusive practice.

In creating this report, BDF spoke to a wide variety of organisations from different industry sectors, autism and employment specialists and individuals with autism to establish current best practice.

Read Square holes for square pegs: Current practice in employment and autism (PDF)

State of the Nation: Retaining and developing employees with disabilities – Stage 2 – December 2015

The report, entitled: State of the Nation: Retaining and developing employees with disabilities – Stage 2; was commissioned by BDF and supported by de Poel Community, EY, Royal Mail, Lloyds Banking Group, Department of Works and Pensions, Equal Approach and Remploy Employment Services.

Delving into the employee perspective, the second stage research involved 352 employees from across large private and public sector employers and compares the findings with employer perspectives to gain a more in-depth understanding of the biggest barriers and most effective aids in this area.

Read State of the Nation: Retaining and developing employees with disabilities – Stage 2 (PDF)

State of the Nation: Retaining and developing employees with disabilities – Stage 1 – June 2015

With expenditure on staff turnover in just 5 sectors costing UK business more than £4 billion each year and the average cost of replacing individual employees estimated at £30,000, Business Disability Forum (BDF) is thrilled to release the first ever report about the skills, confidence and practices that help retain and develop employees with disabilities and long-term health conditions across private, public and third sector employers in the UK.

The first state of the nation report reveals how widespread good practices are within UK employers, particularly larger employers across the private, public and not-for-profit sectors, in retaining and developing employees with disabilities.

Read State of the Nation: Retaining and developing employees with disabilities – Stage  1 (PDF)

Walkaway Pound Report Conducted by the Extra Costs Commission in collaboration with Business Disability Forum – June 2015

Further to customer strategy consultations with Business Disability Forum (BDF) Partners, a priority action was updating ‘walkaway pound’ research to help businesses justify investment in the accessibility of their products and services.

Collaborating with the Extra Costs Commission - which has examined and made recommendations about how to reduce the ‘extra costs’ that disabled customers and households face as a direct result of disability (e.g. higher transport, energy and insurance costs) - BDF was able to integrate updated walkaway pound research into the Commission’s consumer survey that more than 2,500 disabled people engaged with.

Read the Walkaway Pound 2015 Report (PDF)