If you have never recruited or employed a disabled person before, there can be a few uncertainties that may seem difficult to overcome. However, there are now a large array of organisations and institutions set up to support the hiring process and provide further assistance once you have a disabled employee.

With these channels of support, you can have no fear in setting down the path to make your company culture more accommodating, your workplace more accessible, and eventually help in ensuring both your disabled staff and your business reach their combined future potential.

Please note, we are still in the process of compiling information for all the assistance local to you. For now, here is a general overview of the different support channels you can contact to find support:

  • JobCentre Plus

    Your first port of call for accessing local assistance in the employment process is your local JobCentre Plus. The JCP will deliver the government’s Access to Work program, in which your business can receive up to £60,700 per year in support making your workplace accessible. For details on this scheme and how to access it, go to our funding guide.

    The JCP will also deliver their own range of support or guidance. One service your local JCP may deliver is a ‘work trial’. What this entails is setting up a short period in which, if a disabled person cannot demonstrate their skills in a normal interview process or setting, they will work for you with assistance from JCP so you can observe if they would be a good fit for your business.

  • Local Council

    Every local council will have its own budget, and therefore their own grants and schemes, for delivering personalised assistance to disabled employees and employers alike. For some examples of what a local council may provide, here is a list of the services that North Yorkshire Council Council offer:

    • Job coaching through their dedicated Supported Employment Staff
    • A Working Interview, in which they help a disabled person have an unconventional interview so they can properly demonstrate their skills
    • Provide any extra training or education that is necessary to fulfil the job role
    • If the employee is unable to express their needs to you themselves, the council can act as an intermediate between yourself and the employee to ensure they are receiving all the support that they need
    • Job Introduction Scheme, a grant that offer a set sum for 6 weeks to help cover employment costs, the only condition being that it is a real job which lasts at least 6 months
    • Job Coaching, a member of staff will come and help the employee if they are finding it difficult to adapt to the job or a new task that their job has adapted to encompass

    If you want to find out more information on what your local council offers, this page has links to all the UK’s local council websites and contact information.

  • Local Charities or NGOs:

    Luckily, the UK has nearly a thousand charities that help people with disabilities in one regard or another. This means that, even if there is not a local charity that offers direct support to you as an employer, there will be a charity that will offer support to your disabled staff. For more information on different disabled charities, search for charities in your area with this directory.

    Some charities, such as BASE-UK, will offer you personalised guidance and support for employers who are looking to hire disabled people. They now also offer a charter to help your business raise awareness as an accessible business.

For support from other UK businesses who are either going through or have gone through the same process of becoming accessible, go to the not-for-profit Business Disability Forum.