December 21, 2021

Disability History Month: our ED&I commitment

This month is Disability History Month, an event that runs annually in order to celebrate and raise awareness of people living with a disability. As part of our ED&I commitment, we have focussed on creating an inclusive, supportive and empowering workplace for all our employees.

We understand how important it is to be an inclusive employer and have taken this responsibility seriously by putting policies and measures in place that support and empower colleagues with a disability. This commitment starts from the very beginning of a person’s journey with us, and so we wanted to take the opportunity to share with you what we are doing in HR to encourage people with a disability to apply for a role with us and to enable them to be successful in their role.

Ensuring inclusivity in our HR processes

During the initial stages of our recruitment process, we work alongside platforms and agencies, such as Diverse Jobs Matter and the GTI Platform, to make our roles more accessible to people with disabilities. Working alongside these sorts of platforms means that candidates know we are an inclusive employer and welcome applications from people from all backgrounds. If we didn’t support and recruit disabled candidates, we would miss out on a lot of people who bring a variety of talent and experience to the role, so we aim to advertise our roles as widely as possible.

At application stage, we guarantee an interview to people with a disability who meet the minimum criteria for the role. The aim of this is to encourage people with a disability to apply for a role with us and have an opportunity to demonstrate their skills, abilities, and experience during their interview. We recognise that this may mean that someone with a disability may need reasonable adjustments to be made in order to carry out their interview, which is something we offer to potential candidates and our current employees. By providing the reasonable adjustments that candidates and employees need, we are enabling them to participate fully and to their best potential, meaning us as a Firm can benefit from their skills, talent and creativity. It’s a win win!

Disability and hidden impairments

One of the themes for this years Disability History Month is ‘disability and hidden impairments’. More than half of the 14.1 million people currently identified as disabled in the UK have hidden impairments. This can be anything from autism, attention deficit, dyslexia, epilepsy etc. and this can cause people with a hidden impairment to not be viewed as disabled or treated differently to those with physical disabilities. This is why it is important for us to put measures in place to ensure we capture this information and make reasonable adjustments for anyone who needs them. We also provide our interviewers with an inclusive interview manager guide before their interview so they are aware of the right questions to ask and prepared for situations where candidates may require reasonable adjustments during their interviews.

Our clients and community

Accessibility and inclusivity is not only important for our employees and candidates, but for our clients too. Our clients and community are at the centre of what we do and so broadening the measures we put in place to reach our clients with disabilities is just as integral. We have a small working group in our Personal Injury team that have been working on making our website more accessible, for example, designing the ‘Accessibility Hub’ where clients with disabilities can see the measures we have in place to accommodate them when visiting our offices. They have also worked closely with our Marketing team to increase accessibility of our marketing literature, such as using subtitles on marketing videos, and providing options for the visually impaired when visiting our website.

Becoming a Disability Confident Employer

ED&I has been a big focus for us over the past couple of years and we are always looking for ways we can increase our commitment and make a bigger impact on not only potential candidates, but also for our current employees. As part of this we signed up to Disability Confident, which is a government scheme designed to encourage employers to recruit and retain disabled people and those with health conditions. We currently have Level 1 status and have been working hard to build on the areas we need to in order to progress. We are now really excited to say that we will shortly be submitting for Level 2 status following the creation of a self-assessment guide whereby we can see the key areas we need to build on. We will continue to keep progressing with the Disability Confident scheme, not only to encourage disabled people to apply to our Firm as an inclusive employer, but to also encourage other employers to sign up to the scheme and do more too, as raising awareness and encouraging others is what Disability History Month is all about!

The aim of Disability History Month is to celebrate the lives of disabled people now and in the past, and to raise awareness, educate, and create equality. We hope that by introducing the policies and procedures we have in place at RWK Goodman, starting right from the very beginning of a person’s career journey with us, we are one step closer to achieving that!

Find our current vacancies here.

 

 

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