Our D&I strategy outlines our commitment to being Disability confident and what we’re doing as an organisation to support staff and employees. Here are some of our achievements to date.
Disability Confident Leader status
We achieved our Disability Confident Leader status in October 2020, over a year earlier than planned. It makes us an employer of choice for people with disabilities who might otherwise be struggling to find employment.
Employees by disability
As at 31 March 2023, 113 (25.7%) of our employees identify themselves as having either a disability or a long-term health condition. Employees are asked to complete these questions on our HR System.
We’re pleased that 74% would recommend our organisation to friends or family as a great place to work. This increased to 90% for employees with a disability or long-term health condition.
- 82% of those with a disability or long-term health condition believe our workplace culture allows them to be themselves
- 90% of those with a disability or long-term health condition agreed that we actively encourage diversity in all aspects
- 88% of those with a disability or long-term health condition feel able to speak up on new ideas, provide feedback or raise concerns
- 74% of those with a disability or long-term health condition can see the difference that we’re making within Diversity and Inclusion. This is an increase on last year’s result of 71%.
We’ve made sure that every advert has Disability Confident Leader status added, including the logo and a statement around our commitment.
We’re attracting a more diverse candidate pool for our vacancies, and we have seen an increase in applicants who disclosed a disability or health condition during the recruitment process. We have been fulfilling our commitment to guarantee an interview to all who met the essential criteria of the role they applied for.
We have a continued arrangement direct with Scope for all our external vacancies to be advertised on their job board.
All of our hiring managers or interview participants have gone through inclusive recruitment
mandatory e-learning before they conducted recruitment activities. We’ve also provided managers with reasonable adjustment guidelines to ensure all adjustments are in place from the interview process through to joining.
We continued our adapted recruitment process for apprentices whereby applicants answer questions about their understanding of the apprenticeship programme and their motivation. This is instead of providing a CV. This approach enables the candidate to talk about why this apprenticeship appeals to them and supports those with a disability.
Externally, we attended 3 career fairs and worked with local organisations such as Ways to Work where we contributed by providing CV reviews and Interview tips.
Mental Health First Aid
Understanding mental health issues and promoting openness within our organisation is crucial to supporting our workforce.
We currently have eight trained Mental Health First Aiders who are on-hand to support our employees when they are struggling or in need of advice and support.
We also offer Mental Health at Work training for all People Managers. All of our managers go through mental health training within their first six months of joining, providing tools and guidance to effective communication with their team members.
Health, wellbeing and support
As well as our company funded health benefits, employees have access to support from Able Futures, Access to Work, Appa Me Ltd and our 24-hour employee assistance programme. 91% of our employees in our February 2023 employee survey agreed that they knew how to access wellbeing support provided by the company.
With the support of our internal employee Diverse Ability Action & Awareness Group, we host regular activities and events, and share internal communications to raise awareness of disability and long-term health conditions. This includes our employee lunch & learns, coaching opportunities, webinars and employee spotlights.
The employee network group have previously partnered with external organisations to support people with disabilities within the local community through recruitment workshops, work experience or mentoring opportunities. The group continues to explore other opportunities to make a difference.
The community function of Connect Online, our new intranet, also provides additional opportunities to share stories and helpful recourses, and to engage with a wider group of people within the organisation.
From our last employee survey in February 2023, out of the employees who identified as having a disability or long-term health condition:
- 97% believe their manager is genuinely interested in their wellbeing, up by 5 points from last year’s survey with 74% agreeing that they felt comfortable in discussing their mental health with their line manager
- 96% also said they can usually rely on their manager to give them the support they need to do a good job
- 59% agreed they were comfortable discussing mental health with a colleague
We asked our employees with disabilities and long-term health conditions other questions to measure their wellbeing:
- 85% felt positive about working here
- 81% said they were happy with their work-life balance
- 96% agreed that they understood how their individual role contributed to the wider PPF purpose
Practical adjustments have also been made to the office, workstations and IT software to support those with disabilities so they can work efficiently. This year we upgraded the lobby entrance to automated doors to enable easier access/exit to open plan office areas and meeting rooms from the lifts. We also rearranged our supplies cupboards to be more accessible for all by utilising lower-level shelves and introduced alternative milk to support those with allergies or intolerance.