Last reviewed: 22 June 2022
- Disability Confident is a UK Government scheme to support employers to be more inclusive.
- It has three levels, and employers can progress through the levels by taking concrete steps to improve disability inclusion.
- Participating in the Disability Confident scheme can be a great way of demonstrating to applicants and candidates that your organisation is committed to recruiting and retaining disabled talent.
What is the Disability Confident scheme?
Disability Confident is a UK government voluntary scheme set up to support employers to recruit and retain disabled talent.
It has three levels
- Level one – Disability Confident Committed
- Level two – Disability Confident Employer
- Level three – Disability Confident Leader.
Employers that want to improve disability inclusion in their organisation can sign up voluntarily.
Organisations begin at Level one, which involves agreeing to the Disability Confident commitments and committing to taking at least one action to improve disability inclusion at their organisation.
In return, employers participating in the Disability Confident scheme can receive information to support their knowledge and actions and a badge they can use to show their participation in the scheme.
After signing up at Level one, employers undertake an online self-assessment. This includes how you attract and recruit disabled people, and retain and develop them when they are in post.
Completing this stage means employers receive a badge to show their Disability Confident Employer status and information about progressing to Level three.
Level three involves having the self-assessment validated by an external party – such as Business Disability Forum. If you are a BDF Member or Partner, contact your Disability Business Partner or our Advice Service for more information about how BDF can support you with your validation.
What do Disability Confident employers need to do?
To participate in the Disability Confident scheme, employers must agree to a number of commitments, many of which relate to inclusive recruitment. Employers must:
- Ensure their recruitment process is inclusive and accessible. This means taking steps to ensure against discrimination, making job adverts accessible, providing alternative formats and accepting applications in alternative formats.
- Communicate and promote vacancies. Employers can do this by advertising through a range of channels including ones that disabled people are more likely to use and are more accessible to them. They can also use their Disability Confident badge to communicate their participation in the scheme.
- Offer an interview to disabled people. Sometimes known as ‘guaranteed interview schemes’, employers can guarantee disabled applicants that they will be offered an interview if they meet the minimum criteria for the role. See more in our resource ‘Offer an interview’ schemes’.
- Anticipate and provide reasonable adjustments. Employers must provide adjustments to disabled applicants, candidates and employees to remove barriers that put them at a disadvantage. This is a legal duty under thee UK’s Equality Act 2010. For more information, see our resource ‘What is ‘reasonable’ in recruitment?’
- Support existing employees who become disabled to stay in work. There is advice and guidance for employers on the Government’s website about how to do this – see Gov.uk for more information.
These commitments apply to employers participating in the Disability Confident scheme from Level one onwards.
Member organisations can talk to their Disability Business Partner or Senior Disability Business Partner to talk about how we can support you with the Disability Confident Scheme.
You can also contact our Advice Service for support and guidance.
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