Lord Shinkwin, who has been disabled since birth, has proposed a bill in parliament that will force business with more than 250 employees to publish their disability pay gap.
The Private Member’s Bill calls for large businesses to disclose how they meet the needs of their disabled employees, in a bid to promote “equality of opportunity”.
Just over two years ago, the Government introduced mandatory reporting on gender pay for businesses with more than 250 employees. Last December it consulted on whether ethnicity pay gap reporting should follow.
In an interview with the Evening Standard, Lord Shinkwin said his proposed Workforce Information Bill 2019 is the next “logical step” in extending the same principles to other protected characteristics.
The proposed disability pay gap bill would also require employers with more than 250 staff to publish annual information on recruitment, the progression of employees and a breakdown of board-level leadership.
Commenting on the proposal Darren Fields, regional vice president, UK & Ireland, Citrix, says: “This news highlights the increasing focus on disability equality in the workplace. It serves as a timely reminder that businesses mustn’t be afraid to adapt workplace culture if they are to create an environment which enables a truly diverse workforce and boosts diversity equality practices.
“For businesses today, technology is key to this transformation. Many IT departments are playing a pivotal role in improving workforce diversification by collaborating closely with HR and senior business leaders, yet efforts to set aside a budget, and deploy the right technology, often do not go far enough.
“Recent research has found that almost eight in ten disabled knowledge workers in the UK believe outdated technology in the workplace is limiting their work opportunities.”
Fields adds: “While today just 48% of IT decision-makers consider the impact of new technology on disabled employees, IT will play an increasingly important role moving forward as more organisations use technology to create a diverse workforce. By pairing up-to-date, reliable and adaptable technology with a workplace culture that supports a variety of working patterns, UK businesses can champion diversity at work and access a wider pool of talent.
“This is a true differentiator for recruitment and can remove barriers to this largely untapped workforce, leading to subsequent enterprise productivity gains and more employment opportunities for staff with disabilities.”