Nearly half of employers (45 per cent) are hesitant about hiring someone with a disability because of fears they wouldn’t be able to do the job according to latest research from disability organisation Purple.
The nationwide survey of one thousand businesses also found a fifth of hiring managers (22 per cent) admitted they were worried about interviewing someone with a disability in case they do or say the wrong thing and not knowing whether they should help with things such as opening doors or pulling out chairs (38 per cent). Interviewers also professed their fear of using the the incorrect terminology (32 per cent).
Not-for-profit disability organisation Purple is highlighting how daunting the employment process can be for employees with disabilities who are cautious about moving roles due to barriers and stereotypes.
Still much more work to be done
“We know changing jobs with new responsibilities and colleagues is a scary prospect for anyone but this is even more complicated for disabled workers who might find themselves facing attitudinal barriers with prospective employers,” says Purple Chief Executive and disability equality champion, Mike Adams OBE.
Despite 19 per cent of the working population being disabled, disabled people are more than twice as likely to be unemployed as non-disabled people according to Labour Force Survey April to June 2016 by Office for National Statistics.
“There is still much more work to be done to change opinion and we need to understand and respond systematically to disabled workers' needs,” Mike says.