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Disabled employees still face workplace discrimination

In the recent survey, disabled workers told law firm Leigh Day that they routinely felt they were not supported in the way they should be. The survey highlights disabled workers’ prospects of remaining in employment over the long term and the challenges facing them from their own colleagues and superiors.Anna Bird, head of policy, research and public affairs at the disability charity Scope, commented, “Disabled people are pushing hard to find jobs and get on at work, but they continue to face huge barriers. We know that the attitudes of employers are absolutely crucial in ensuring that disabled employees succeed and progress in the workplace.”Senior managers are more likely to have unhelpful attitudes than their colleagues, and discrimination is often evident at interview – putting off many people from seeking work. Perceptions about the way they will be treated leads many disabled employees to try to hide details of their disability and to avoid asking for help in the first place. And, of those who did ask for concessions, a third said they received little or no help.The authors of the report suggest that the treatment of the disabled workforce – and disabled people who might enter the workforce if they were treated better – has a high cost to society in the form of wasted talent, higher welfare costs and missed tax revenue. A large number of disabled people leave work due to discrimination, unhelpful attitudes from their co-workers and practical difficulties – all of which can be overcome with relatively simple measures, enabling them to stay in work and further their careers.
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