Minister steps up inclusion efforts

Employers were called upon to “redouble their efforts” to recruit
talented and skilled disabled people by minister for disabled
people Anne McGuire.

In her first speech since she took on the brief, McGuire told
the TUC’s Disability Conference in London that employers and the
government needed to pool their efforts to end exclusion from the
workplace for disabled people.

“More employers are realising there’s a compelling business case
for employing disabled people,” she said, arguing that “real
landmarks” had been achieved in extending protection from
discrimination to 600,000 more disabled workers and seven million
more jobs in the last seven years.

Employing disabled people, McGuire added, was not “just an
ethical responsibility” but a “business imperative”.

She reminded delegates that last year, the government brought in
changes to the Disability Discrimination Act 1995 which ended the
exemption previously given to small businesses, the police, fire
and prison services. This was done to ensure that no employer could
reasonably discriminate against disabled employees or jobseekers,
McGuire said.

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