‘Two ticks’ symbol not living up to disability promise
Thousands of firms awarded the UK Government’s ‘two ticks’ symbol for ensuring equality for disabled workers have been found to be no better than companies who have not achieved it.
Researchers say the ‘two ticks positive about disability’ symbol, which is awarded by the Department for Work and Pensions’ Jobcentre Plus to help job applicants identify organisations committed to helping disabled workers, is nothing more than an “empty shell” used by companies as PR and “impression management” rather than a true commitment to equal rights for disability workers.
The research led by Kim Hoque, of Warwick Business School, and Nick Bacon, of Cass Business School, found that just 15% of organisations awarded the two ticks symbol adhered to all five of its commitments, with 18% of those signed up not fulfilling any of them, with most – 38%– only keeping one of the promises.
Professor Hoque said: “We found there was no difference in the support and commitment to disabled workers between companies who had the two ticks symbol and those who did not have it. We also found no difference between the public and private sector, if anything the opposite was true.
“It suggests that the symbol may often comprise little more than an ‘empty shell’, where employers display the two ticks for impression management purposes to take advantage of its potential reputational benefits rather than because of a genuine concern for disability issues.
“The Government is aiming to reduce the number of disability benefit claimants by moving one million of them into employment. These plans are dependent upon employers being receptive to taking on disabled people in larger numbers, but our research has shown that the widespread adoption of the two ticks symbol is not indicative of this happening.”
Research has found disabled people are almost twice as likely to be unemployed with a 2012 Labour Force Survey finding the unemployment rate for disabled people and those with long term health problems at 49%. Those in work are paid significantly less, experience disadvantage in career progression and access to training, with disabled people over-represented in low skilled and low status jobs, according to research.
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