Failure to adopt a multi-disciplinary approach to managing
disability at work threatens the chances of disabled people to
attain independence through employment, according to a study
carried out by the Industrial Relations Services (IRS) Employment
The research, based on responses from 208 employers across the
private, public and voluntary sectors, employing more than 1.4m
people, finds human resources departments usually take on
responsibility for an organisation’s policy on disabled people.
“There is a real danger that the continued absence of
multi-disciplinary approaches to managing disability in the UK will
mean that we will look back in 10 years only to observe that
nothing has changed,” said IRS Employment Review research officer
There needs to be more “responsibility sharing” among people
from different disciplines, including human resources, equalities
specialists, health and safety, occupational health, line managers,
workplace representatives and employees, added McGreer.
The study claims there will be more pressure on employers to
establish a new approach to recruiting and retaining disabled
people that brings together people with “roles in prevention, early
intervention, integration and re-integration of workers with
The research also finds 72 per cent of employers have a formal
policy on employing disabled people, with public service
organisations much more likely to have one than private companies.
However, only 40 per cent of employers say they have a system for
monitoring the disability of job applicants and employees.