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This publication is available at https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/disability-confident-guidance-for-levels-1-2-and-3/level-1-disability-confident-committed
The Disability Confident scheme aims to help you successfully employ and retain disabled people and those with health conditions. Being Disability Confident is a unique opportunity to lead the way in your community, and you might just discover someone your business can’t do without.
It was developed by employers and disabled people’s representatives to make it rigorous but easily accessible – particularly for smaller businesses.
The scheme is voluntary and access to the guidance, self-assessments and resources is completely free.
There are 3 Disability Confident levels to support you on your Disability Confident journey:
- Disability Confident Committed (level 1)
- Disability Confident Employer (level 2)
- Disability Confident Leader (level 3)
You must complete each level before moving on to the next.
Your level 1 journey starts with:
- reading this guidance
- providing your contact details
- agreeing to the Disability Confident commitments
- identifying at least one action that you will take
Once you have read this guidance, sign up to become Disability Confident Committed.
Disability Confident commitments
To become Disability Confident Committed and start your Disability Confident journey, you will need to:
- agree to the commitments below
- take at least one action to improve opportunities for disabled people
- sign up on the Disability Confident registration page
You should be prepared to deliver on these commitments within the next 12 months.
1. Ensure your recruitment process is inclusive and accessible
- ensure against discrimination
- make job adverts accessible
- provide information in accessible formats, for example large print
- accept invitations in alternative formats, for example electronically
Guidance is available on:
- recruitment and disabled people
- asking questions during recruitment about disability and health
- accessible communication formats
2. Communicate and promote vacancies
- advertise vacancies through a range of channels
- get advice and support from Jobcentre Plus, Work Programme providers, recruiters and/or your local disabled people’s user led organisations (DPULOs)
- review current recruitment processes
3. Offer an interview to disabled people
Encourage applications from disabled people by offering them an interview, if they meet the minimum criteria for the job (this is the description of the job as set by the employer).
Access to work can pay for practical support for someone with a disability, health or mental health condition if they have a job interview or are in employment.
4. Anticipate and provide reasonable adjustments as required
Make sure disabled workers aren’t seriously disadvantaged when applying for and doing their jobs.
Find more information on reasonable adjustments for disabled workers.
5. Support any existing employee who acquires a disability or long term health condition enabling them to stay in work
Retaining an employee who has become disabled means keeping their valuable skills and experience and saves on the cost of recruiting a replacement.
Read the Access to Work guide for employers to see how the scheme may be able to help your employees.
Activity that will make a difference for disabled people
To become Disability Confident Committed, you must also commit to offering disabled people at least one of the actions listed below.
1. Work experience
This is usually a fixed period of time that a person spends with your business, when they can learn about working life and the working environment.
2. Work trials
This is a way of trying out a potential employee before offering them a job. This can be informal or can be by agreement with Jobcentre Plus. If this is agreed with Jobcentre Plus, an employer can offer a work trial if the job it may lead to is for 16 hours or more a week and lasts for at least 13 weeks. The work trial can last for up to 30 days.
3. Paid employment (permanent or fixed term)
Jobcentre Plus offers a range of recruitment services and guidance that can help you as an employer. For example:
These are for new and current employees. They combine working with studying for a work-based qualification. You could get a grant to funding to employ an apprentice.
5. Job shadowing opportunities
- offer potential employees experience of a workplace and occupational skills that are different from what they are used to
- are usually limited to observation only, are non-paid and don’t give direct work experience, responsibility and skills
- ideally last between half a day and 2 days
These help young people who want to get an apprenticeship or job but don’t yet have the right skills or experience.
7. Paid internships and supported internships
This is a period of paid work experience lasting between 1 and 4 months, usually taking place during the summer. A supported internship is aimed at disabled people still in education who are seeking work experience.
8. Student placements
These are university or college qualifications. They are usually for a set period of time, between 4 to 6 months.
9. Sector-based work academy placements
These help you fill vacancies more effectively. They are available through Jobcentre Plus. They provide sector-based training, work experience and a guaranteed job interview.
What happens next?
When you have read this guidance and agreed to the actions and activities, you will need to sign up as a Disability Confident Committed. You need to do this before you can move on to the next stage. You will be asked to:
- provide your contact details
- agree to the Disability Confident commitments
- identify at least one action that you will take
In return we will send you a Disability Confident Committed badge that you can use in your own business stationary and communications for 12 months. We’ll also send you a certificate in recognition of your achievement and information about becoming a Disability Confident Employer.
As part of awarding you your Disability Confident Committed badge we will include your business name and expiry date on the list of Disability Confident employers that have signed up.
Case studies and resources
Developed by employers and disabled people’s representatives, this scheme is designed to help employers make the most of the opportunities provided by employing disabled people.
See what others say about the benefits of being Disability Confident in these case studies.
Ensure you understand the definition of disability and examples of long-term health conditions.