Thanks to the efforts of the BartsAbility staff network and our wider inclusion team, Barts Health is now officially designated as a Disability Confident Leader.
This is the highest level in the voluntary government scheme that recognises employers leading the way in recruiting, retaining and developing disabled staff.
The status was awarded this month by the Department for Work and Pensions after a process of external challenge and validation. It demonstrates we are actively encouraging and helping other employers to be disability confident.
We can now proudly use the logo on our emails and Trust literature for the next three years to show our commitment to championing diversity within our communities.
Meanwhile the latest Disability Workforce Equality Statistics highlight the progress we made in developing an inclusive workplace over the last three years.
Disabled staff are better represented in our senior ranks, less likely to enter a disciplinary process, and more likely to be appointed from shortlisting. In addition, fewer are subject to abuse or harassment from service users or colleagues – and those that do suffer are more comfortable reporting it.
Traditionally some people with disabilities are reluctant to record this against their name, and our proportion of disabled staff is still low at 2.8% compared to the 12% or so who tell us anonymously in the staff survey that they have a disability.
However the proportion of senior staff with a disability has improved (to 4.5% of those in Bands 8c and above). And over the last year there was a 5% increase in the proportion of disabled staff accessing reasonable adjustments in their workplace through the BartsAbility passport and dedicated funding support.
Hardev Virdee, group chief finance officer and executive sponsor for BartsAbility, said: “This great recognition is an opportunity to influence and support our local communities, and also a reminder that we have more do to, especially in making reasonable adjustments that enable our staff to do their best at work.”