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Working Better

The perfect partnership – workplace solutions for disabled people and business

Working Better has been an innovative and highly influential project for the Commission, exploring how we can better match the aspirations and needs of workers, in ways that meet both the economic and individual challenges of modern Britain. In this report we have looked in depth at how we should support the ambitions and career development of disabled people. This is an area where we need to make real progress because the gaps in engagement and achievement between disabled people and non-disabled people in the workplace are too large and in some cases widening.

Our findings are based on the extensive evidence base we have collected, over the past year or so, of the aspirations and experiences of individuals and we have listened carefully to the views of employers and employees, trade unions and others on how we can make real progress. We know a lot about the physical barriers that disabled people face but we also need to look at the cultural barriers at work. The world of work is changing: hot desking, home working, new ways of working, and changes in employment, social enterprise and the ‘big society’. We need to focus on how these factors can transform working practices and better meet a range of different needs.

We also need to shift the onus and spotlight off individuals to act to secure the support they need. Our report recommends working towards collaborative delivery as part of a shared modern work agenda that works for all – including employers recognising that work practices can be shaped around individuals to capture their skills in the interests of business. Flexibility and innovative ways of working are not just desirable: we know that it is often the prime reason disabled people are able to work.