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Pact launches drive to encourage indies to reduce disability employment gap

We are encouraging members to commit to Disability Confident, an initiative set up by the Department of Work and Pensions (DWP) to support employers in making the most of the talents disabled people can bring to their workplaces.

The initiative aims to challenge employers’ attitudes towards disability; increase understanding; remove barriers to recruiting and retaining disabled talent; and ensure that disabled people have the chance to fulfil their potential and realise their aspirations.

Up to March 2019, 7.6 million people of working age (16-64) reported that they had a disability, which is 18% of the working age population. But disabled people have an employment rate that is almost 30 percentage points lower than that of people without disabilities.

Data from the TV industry diversity monitoring system, Diamond, published last Autumn showed that just 4.5% of those working off-screen, and 5% of those on-screen in the UK’s television industry have self-declared as disabled. As a result of these findings, the Creative Diversity Network (CDN) launched Doubling Disability, a campaign which aims to double the percentage of disabled people working in British television by 2020.

Doubling Disability

Our latest initiative is a response to the CDN’s call to action, and provides indies with a clear framework from which they can make positive changes within their own businesses.

Pact Chief Executive John McVay said: “As an industry, we need to be doing everything we can to ensure that we are attracting the most talented people and retaining them. The Disability Confident initiative will help indies to increase their understanding of the issues that may affect disabled talent specifically, and how they can make the most of what they can offer their businesses when given opportunities and the right environment to help them thrive.”
Pact will be supporting its members to commit to Disability Confident and implement changes within their businesses including inclusive and accessible recruitment processes; communicating vacancies; providing reasonable adjustments; and supporting existing employees. The scheme has three levels (more details follow below) and employers must meet the criteria for each level before moving on to the next.

A number of Pact members have already committed, including All3Media, EndemolShine UK, Raise the Roof Productions, Sister Pictures, Sony Pictures, STV, and What Larks Productions.

Creative Diversity Network CEO Deborah Williams, commented: “The research we’ve carried out as part of our Doubling Disability programme reveals that while the industry is committed to increasing the number of disabled people working on and off screen, there are still misperceptions and misunderstandings to overcome so that broadcasters and producers can achieve this aim. This Pact Disability Confident initiative complements Doubling Disability, and I am confident it will help the production community take the often simple, inexpensive measures that will enable talented disabled people to be fully present in UK television.”

Find out more and get involved

Companies wishing to find out more about Disability Confident should contact Pact’s Head of Diversity, Anjani Patel by e-mailing: anjani@pact.co.uk.

More about Disability Confident

Employers in the Disability Confident scheme commit to:

•    inclusive and accessible recruitment
•    communicating vacancies
•    offering an interview to disabled people
•    providing reasonable adjustments
•    supporting existing employees

The scheme has 3 levels. Employers must complete each level before moving on to the next.

Level 1: Disability Confident Committed
Agree to the Disability Confident commitments, undertake a self-assessment, and identify at least one action to make a difference for disabled people.
The activities include (you must identify at least one):
•    work experience
•    work trials
•    paid employment
•    apprenticeships
•    job shadowing
•    traineeships
•    internships
•    student placements
•    sector-based work academy placements

Level 2: Disability Confident Employer
Going the extra mile to make sure disabled people get a fair chance.

Level 3: Disability Confident Leader
Be a champion for disability within your local and business communities. To reach this level you’ll need external validation of your self-assessment, and you’ll also need to show what you have done as a Disability Confident Leader.