Workforce Disability Equality Standard


The NHS Equality and Diversity Council (EDC) has announced that a Workforce Disability Equality Standard (WDES) will be mandated via the NHS Standard Contract in England from April 2018.

This decision followed the findings from research carried out by NHS Employers in partnership with Disability Rights UK Different Choices, Different Voices. The proposed standard will use data from the NHS annual staff survey and look at areas such as workforce representation, reasonable adjustments, employment experience and opportunities. 

NHS Employers will be at the forefront of supporting NHS organisations during the development of the WDES, and in making sure that the guidance is clear and comprehensive. To help trusts implement the WDES NHS Employers have created a workforce disability task and finish advisory group which will support the consultation process, pilot the standard and support disability networks across regions.

Paul Deemer, head of diversity and inclusion at NHS Employers, has welcomed the announcement: “The proposed standard will enable healthcare organisations to measure and improve on performance for disabled employees and stakeholders. At the same time we hope to encourage a systems approach to workforce disability to ensure that the proposed standard is integrated into existing management tools such as the equality delivery system, and work already in progress on learning disabilities and the workforce. We look forward to working with our pilot sites and others to test the standard and help launch a final version in 2018”.

You can find more information on the WDES on the NHS England website.

For more information on various types of employment related disabilities take a look at our workforce disability  & learning Disabilities & deaf awareness & stammering web pages.

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