Choosing to employ a disabled person can be one of the most rewarding and valuable decisions you can make as a business and as an employer.

With the Bank of England forecasting the UK economic output to shrink by 9.5% this year, your business can’t afford to miss out on the opportunities that your competitors are taking advantage of.

As you will see, there are an abundance of reasons why most employers who hire a disabled person decide to pursue hiring more. Not only will you provide an opportunity for someone who has been wrongfully overlooked, but together you will be able to reach your combined future potential.

  • Find Overlooked Talent

    Just like non-disabled people, disabled people have a diverse array of skills and talents. With over 8.1 million working age disabled people in the UK, making up 20% of the UK’s working population, you can’t afford to overlook disabled people in the hiring process.

    In spite of this, around 3/4 of UK businesses do not have accessible car parking spaces, wheelchair ramps or accessible toilets. In turn, by becoming more flexible and accessible, you are able to tap into a rich vein of talent that most of your competition is overlooking.

  • Expand Your Potential Customers

    Not only are disabled people just as skilled and talented as other individuals, they are more likely to be able to fill certain skill gaps. With disabled people in the UK having over £80 billion worth of annual spending power, they make up a huge proportion of the market.

    Despite this, four-fifths of UK SMEs have admitted their products and services are not accessible. By recruiting a disabled person you will gain an invaluable perspective on how to make your products and services accessible, allowing you to expand your total number of potential customers. In addition to this, disabled employees are more likely to have skills such as knowing British Sign Language that will help to bolster your total potential customers.

  • Improve Your Company Image

    Although having disabled staff is already a potentially major asset to your company, 77% of UK customers are still more likely to choose your company over your competitors if they know that you hire disabled people.

    Being accessible is a journey that no one expects you to achieve on day one. Due to this, you can advertise that you are Disability Confident by just having the intent to be flexible and willing to accommodate changes to your business and recruitment process. You could increase your potential revenues overnight; to find out how, read the government guidance on becoming a certified Disability Confident employer.

  • Reduce Costs

    One of the biggest costs to an employer is if they have to replace an experienced member of staff. According to Oxford Economics, largely due to the loss of productivity in the recruitment period, the average cost of replacing an employee is over £30,000. With 80% of disabled people acquiring their disability during the course of their work life, you can’t afford to spend time replacing them just because your business is not accessible. This is accentuated even further when the cost of medically retiring an employee is predicted to be around £80,000.

The incapacity of traditional employment channels and many employers to create an accessible environment for disabled people means those given an equal opportunity are more valuable employees. There are numerous studies that show disabled staff are more hard-working and loyal than non-disabled staff, meaning higher productivity at a lower cost.

As such, just by having greater flexibility, accommodation and accessibility, you significantly reduce the likelihood of having to replace experienced employees and all the costs that that entails.

Furthermore, it has been found that having a disabled member of staff improves the workplace culture and overall staff retention rate. This is because other employees recognise that as an employer you are accommodating and understanding of each one of their colleagues, making everyone feel more valued and in turn making them less likely to leave.

Given the needs of the disabled community, there are a wealth of different schemes and funding available to employers who are looking to hire a disabled person. To find out how you can access these, go to our funding page.