At a time when finding the right talent can be a difficult task, British businesses are missing out on the skills of a significant number of individuals.
Disabled people and people with health conditions are under-represented in the workplace, a situation the Department of Work and Pensions (DWP) hopes to change as part of its consultation ‘Improving Lives – the Work, Health and Disability Green Paper’.
The initiative is backed by the Health and Safety Executive and is an issue close to the heart of CIPR past president Sarah Pinch.
Sarah, who is a non-executive board member at the HSE, said: “One area that I’ve become really interested in is how businesses can help disabled people and those with long term health conditions, including mental health issues, get into work, stay there and work effectively.
“We know that PR can be a stressful environment and I have worked alongside people in my career who have needed extra support, changes made to their working patterns, or greater agility in how they work – in order to deliver great results for themselves and for clients.”
The Green Paper, which is published jointly with the Department of Health, aims to spark a far-reaching, national debate on the issues and the proposals it raises to help build a plan for lasting change.
This includes asking for views on what expectation there should be on employers to recruit and retain disabled people and people with health conditions, what the barriers are and what measures would best support employers to do this.
Sarah added: “The HSE is asking PR practitioners to take part in the consultation – we want to know how PROs in house and in agencies can enable those with a disability, or long term condition to have a fulfilling working life, in our industry and what would we like to see government do to support us.”
An online survey hosted on Citizen Space provides a simple and easily accessible way to respond to all consultation questions. It can be found at here.
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