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The Disability Employment Charter sets out the actions we believe the government should take to improve the working lives of disabled people. 

You can read or download the PDF version below. 

If you require the charter in an alternative format, please contact us. 

Have a question? Visit our Frequently asked questions page

The labour market disadvantage disabled people encounter is demonstrated by a large and enduring disability employment gap, and disability gaps in pay, job satisfaction, and work-related well-being.

This charter outlines the action the government needs to take to address the disadvantage disabled people encounter in their working lives.

1. Employment and pay gap reporting. 

The government should require all employers with 250+ employees to publish data annually on: the number of disabled people they employ as a proportion of their workforce; their disability pay gap; and the percentage of disabled employees within each pay quartile.

2. Supporting disabled people into employment. 

The government should: increase disabled people’s access to employment programmes and apprenticeships; increase the scale, quality and awareness of supported employment programmes and supported internships; and increase the provision of tailored careers advice to disabled people.

3. Reform of Access to Work (AtW). 

The government should: remove the AtW support cap; ensure application/renewal processes are efficient, personalised, and flexible; entitle disabled job-seekers to ‘in principle’ indicative awards; facilitate passporting of awards between organisations and from Disabled Student’s Allowance to AtW; and increase awareness of AtW support.

4. Reform of Disability Confident. 

The government should: require all employers at Disability Confident Levels 2 and 3 to meet minimum thresholds regarding the percentage of disabled people in their workforce; and remove accreditation from employers that do not move up within 3 years from Level 1 to Levels 2 or 3.

5. Leveraging government procurement. 

The government should: ensure award decisions for all public sector contracts take into account the percentage of disabled people in the workforce of tendering organisations; require government contractors to work towards a minimum threshold regarding the percentage of disabled people in their workforce; and take failure to achieve this threshold into account in future contract award decisions.

 6. Workplace adjustments. 

The government should: require employers to notify employees on decisions regarding reasonable adjustment requests within two weeks; make the option to work flexibly from day one the legal default for all jobs; introduce stronger rights to paid disability leave for assessment, rehabilitation and training; and fund an increase in Statutory Sick Pay to the European average.

7. Working with disabled people and their representatives

The government should: require employers to consult and negotiate
with disabled people and their representatives on disability equality matters; and provide trade union equality representatives and disability champions with statutory rights to time off to perform their role.


8. Advice and support. 

The government should create a ‘one stop shop’ portal to provide information, advice and guidance to employers on recruiting and retaining disabled people, and to disabled people on their employment rights.


9. National progress on disability employment. 

The government should take into account increasing disability prevalence in calculating the disability employment gap, and use the ‘prevalence corrected’ employment gap measure in monitoring national progress on disability employment.

The Disability Employment Charter

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