Identifying inclusive and disability-friendly employers

There are a number of initiatives and organisations that support employers to ensure that their recruitment process and working practices do not discriminate against jobseekers and employees with a disability or long-term health condition. Examples are included below. 

Employers can work towards accreditations to demonstrate their commitment to attracting, hiring and training disabled staff. Targeting these inclusive employers can be a useful starting point for your job search and applications.

Business Disability Forum (BDF)

You could check whether the employer is registered with the Business Disability Forum (BDF). This organisation provides a wide range of support to businesses in relation to recruitment and retention of disabled employees, services to disabled customers and development of partnerships with disabled people. It aims to improve the job prospects of disabled people by making it easier for employers to recruit, retain and develop disabled employees. Companies that are members are likely to have a positive attitude towards employing people with disabilities and long-term health conditions. You can view the BDF membership directory online.

Disability Confident scheme

Look for employers who are members of the Disability Confident scheme – their job adverts will display the 'disability confident' symbol, which has replaced the 'two ticks' from the previous 'Positive about disabled people' scheme. These employers have made positive commitments to recruiting applicants with a disability or long-term health condition. You can view a list of employers who have signed up to the scheme online.

There are five parts to this commitment:

  • inclusive and accessible recruitment
  • communicating vacancies
  • offering an interview to disabled people
  • providing workplace adjustments
  • supporting existing employees.

Mindful Employer charter

Another initiative is the Mindful Employer charter, which recognises employers who are working towards better mental health and wellbeing in the workplace. Signatories to the charter agree to provide support to staff experiencing mental ill-health and to ensure they are fair in the recruitment of new staff. Further information is available on the Mindful Employer website.

Disability Employment Mark

This is a new accreditation specifically for social enterprise supported businesses and local authorities with a focus on providing employment for individuals with physical disabilities, long-term health conditions or recognised mental health challenges. To receive the accreditation, organisations need to demonstrate equality, inclusion and diversity in their employment practices.  

Organisations committed to equality, diversity and inclusion

Not every inclusive or disability-friendly employer is participating in one of the schemes and accreditations above. Other evidence that an organisation is committed to equality, diversity and inclusion can include:

  • Recruitment information and application forms are provided in alternative formats
  • Images on their website and recruitment information feature employees from diverse backgrounds
  • The organisation has various staff groups/networks with different equality and diversity themes, e.g. a group for staff with disabilities and long-term health conditions
  • The employer’s equality, diversity and inclusion policy is easy to find on their website
  • Flexible working arrangements, including working from home, are offered across the organisation
  • The organisation actively aims to recruit candidates from diverse backgrounds, for example by advertising their vacancies on accessible job boards like Evenbreak and VERCIDA

Employee reviews posted on sites like Glassdoor, Indeed or The Job Crowd can also provide an insight into a company's working culture, or you could contact employees of organisations of interest to you directly via LinkedIn. Meeting employers, e.g. at recruitment fairs or careers events both at LJMU and online, also gives you opportunities to interact with staff from different organisations and ask questions about their employers' diversity and inclusion strategies.