Amanda Solloway

A new advice hub is being launched to help disabled people understand their employment rights as part of plans to remove the barriers they face in work and business. 

The online hub, a joint partnership between the Business Department and the Advisory, Conciliation and Arbitration Service (Acas), will provide clear advice to both disabled people and employers on employment rights – from discrimination in the workplace to reasonable adjustments. Going live today, it will draw together the relevant information in one place for the first time, to help ensure disabled people can make the most of their workplace rights.

It’s just one of the measures contained within the Government’s new National Disability Strategy, launched today, which aims to take concrete steps to improve the working lives of disabled people and carers, and make the UK a great place for them to do business.

Business Minister Amanda Solloway said:

“We want the UK to be the best place in the world to work and do business for everyone – and removing the barriers disabled people face will be critical if we’re to meet that goal.

“From the new employment advice hub to Carer’s Leave, we hope these changes will make a real difference to the working lives of disabled people and carers.”

Acas Chief Executive, Susan Clews, said:

“Our new hub explains how the law protects disabled people from discrimination at work and the basic rights that they are entitled to.

“It is also a great resource for employers to help them create diverse, inclusive workplaces that are welcoming to disabled people and promotes equal opportunities for all employees.

“Advice on the hub includes tips on how to prevent disability discrimination, how to make reasonable adjustments and how employees can raise complaints about disability discrimination at work.”

As part of the strategy, the Government will also explore what additional targeted support should be made available for disabled people in the workplace, as well as entrepreneurs who wish to start their own business.

Enterprise:

By the end of 2021, the Business Department will publish proposals on improving access to finance and business support for disabled entrepreneurs, following extensive engagement with disabled entrepreneurs and disability stakeholders.

The Government’s new Help to Grow: Management programme also offers small business owners a 12-week management training programme, 90% funded by Government, which combines online sessions with face-to-face learning. The scheme has been designed to allow participants to complete it alongside full-time work.

Workers’ rights:

To give disabled people and carers the flexibility they need in their working lives, the Business Department will also launch a consultation on making flexible working the default unless employers have good reasons not to.

Flexible working, which includes a wide range of arrangements over the time and place of work – from home working to job-sharing and flexitime – can bring benefits to a wide range of people including those with disabilities and carers.

To further support unpaid carers, Government will also progress a commitment to introduce a statutory leave entitlement for an extra week of unpaid leave per year, to help support them with their additional responsibilities.

This new entitlement, which follows a consultation run last year, will help unpaid carers to stay in work and balance their caring responsibilities.

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