• Record amount of submissions to the 2015 RIDI Awards 01/09/15

    The RIDI Awards are pleased to announce that we have have received a record amount of entries for our awards this year.


    The executive committee set a target of entries after last years success and we're pleased to amount that this total has been far exceeded.


    Kate Headley, Chair of the Recruitment Industry Disability Initiative says:

    "Last year, the first year of the RIDI Awards, the number (and standard) of entries blew away the judging panel. There were some very difficult decisions when it came down to choosing our finalists and subsequent winners. I am thrilled that this year we have exceeded our target of entries, and have received submissions from organisations of all sizes throughout the UK. I look forward to juging the submissions and announcing our finalists in due course."


  • "I’m grateful to E.ON because they haven’t just given me a job – they’ve given me a future.” - E.ON Reasonable adjustments case study 22/07/15

    When Jessica first joined E.ON, she had never worked in an office before. She had concerns that her condition – Multiple Sclerosis (MS) – might have a negative impact on her work and prospects. However, her fears proved to be unfounded thanks to E.ON’s supportive approach.


    “I’ve been with E.ON three years now,” says the Customer Service Specialist. “It was my first proper job after university. I had graduated in 2011 and spent a year looking for work without success. Certain jobs – like working in a shop – were out of the question because of my condition. So I looked for an office-based role. E.ON was the first company to come along that was willing to give me that chance.


    “They believed in me during the interviews – and I’m happy to say they’ve believed in me ever since. They’ve been so supportive and understanding from day one. For example, I started off working in the contact centre, but they could see it wasn’t quite right for me – so they offered me a role in credit operations after a month. I took up the chance and am so glad I did. It’s a much better environment for me as I get to have longer conversations with customers and put the customer service skills I had built in my previous roles to good use.


    “They’ve been supportive in other ways too. For example, they’ve kitted out my computer with speech recognition software. This means I don’t have to worry about hand tremors or shakes disrupting my work. They’ve also been sympathetic when my condition has worsened. MS can flare up at any time, and 2014 was a pretty bad year for me. I had to take quite a few days off, but they were very understanding. After consulting with me, they also adjusted my rota to make life easier going forward. I now work a fixed shift pattern, and I find this routine and consistency has helped prevent further relapses.


    “The company has also invested in my training and development. So much so that this year I’m hoping to move up to the next level within my role. It’ll involve supervising, call listening and a lot more responsibility. I’m grateful to E.ON because they haven’t just given me a job – they’ve given me a future.”


  • "...the support I received from E.ON was fantastic." - E.ON Reasonable adjustments case study 21/07/15

    When Helen developed a rare eye condition, she was amazed by the support she received from her colleagues. The experience inspired her so much she’s now a leading voice for disability within E.ON.

    “About two years ago, I started to develop a flickering eyelid,” says the HR Administrator. “It was actually my colleagues that first noticed it. The flickering was minor at the start, but it soon got rapidly worse, so I went to the doctors to have it checked out. That led to me being diagnosed with blepharospasm - a rare condition that causes the muscles around the eye to contract involuntarily.

    “In severe cases like mine, it leads to functional blindness. Suddenly and without warning, I’ll find that my eyelids clamp shut and won’t open. It’s scary to experience. And because it can happen at any time, I can’t drive anymore.

    “As you can imagine, I was pretty upset about having this condition, but the support I received from E.ON was fantastic. In the first instance, they’ve always let me have time off for hospital appointments. But more importantly, they took the time to analyse my work environment to minimise its impact on my condition.

    “For example, I now have a white keyboard that takes away glare. They’ve also removed lights around my desk because I work better in dimmed conditions. In meetings, I’ll work with paper handouts rather than looking at a screen. The company has also helped me with the cost of special glasses that filter out blue light.
    “I gave E.ON permission to tell my colleagues about my condition. That has made a massive difference. Everyone around me is so supportive. If I ever feel
    my treatment starting to wear off, I know I have someone to turn to for help. “Because of this experience, I’m keen to help other colleagues with disabilities.

    I’m now an active member of the Disability Employee Network (DEN). We work with various parts of the organisation to raise awareness about disability. So many disabilities are subtle and not obvious – we want to give people the courage to speak up.”



  • The power of collaboration, your steps to disability confidence!

    Great new video for employers and recruiters from RIDI – 5 simple steps to attract more disabled candidates via the power of collaboration!


  • 5 Steps to Disability Confidence

    Disability Confident logoNearly 7 million people of working age in the UK have a disability but the employment rate for disabled people lags well behind non-disabled people. Only 46% of working age disabled people are in employment compared to 76% of working age non-disabled people – representing a gap of around two million. We believe more needs to be done to build disability confidence into our recruitment and employment strategies. You can make a difference one step at a time, using the power of collaboration with your partners. Take a look at our new infographic

  • Communication is key to improving inclusion

    The latest blog from Melanie Forbes, CEO of Guidant Group on HR Zone


    Picture of Melanie Forbes, Guidant Group

    As a previous winner of two RIDI Awards, E.ON is clearly an organisation which takes its commitment to addressing inclusion in the workplace seriously. 

    To find out how the company is making in-roads, I spoke to the company’s HR Director, Dave Newborough:


    What, do you believe, are the business benefits of a diverse workforce? 

    At E.ON we believe that the diversity of our people is one of our biggest strengths.  We face a variety of challenges daily and we know that it’s only by tapping into different ideas and perspectives that we’ll be able to overcome those challenges.  We want the best talent to drive us forward and that means being open to all qualified candidates – not just some.  We’re committed to creating a supportive, inclusive culture in which people from all walks of life can achieve and exceed their potential.

    Read the full article on HR Zone


  • Evenbreak sponsoring 'Overall candidate experience'

    Picture of Jane Hatton, Director of EvenbreakEvenbreak is an award-winning not-for-profit job board run by disabled people for disabled people. RIDI is delighted to welcome them as the latest award category sponsor. 


    Employers like EY, Network Rail, E.ON, John Lewis, Wellcome Trust, BBC and many others advertise their vacancies on Evenbreak to enhance their reputation as inclusive employers and to attract additional talent that they will almost certainly not find anywhere else. Disabled candidates have the confidence that these employers are enlightened enough to see past their impairments to the skills and talents they have to offer. Evenbreak is the most accessible job board in the UK, and uses the most creative, accessible and diverse range of attraction strategies to find this exceptional talent for our employers.


    Jane Hatton Director of Evenbreak said: “The most important part of the inclusive recruitment process is the candidate experience. Without an engaging, flexible, attractive and accessible process, the best talent may be excluded. Evenbreak is proud to be sponsoring this award, to share and encourage best practise around the experience of the disabled candidate.”


  • RIDI Awards In Recruitment International


    ridi awards 2015 logo

    As de Poel teams up with RIDI Awards to celebrate inclusivity in recruitment, Janice Henson, managing director of CSR arm de Poel Community, who has been appointed to the RIDI Awards executive team, discusses the huge benefits to be capitalised on by agencies: Recently, many companies have become heavily focused on their Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) objectives.

    Whether this is through reviewing environmental policies, undergoing charity work or nurturing a diverse supply chain, businesses are increasingly looking at ways to update and advance their CSR initiatives. Alongside these tactics, fostering an inclusive workforce is another avenue businesses are exploring, in order to develop their CSR strategy.

    Whilst a diverse workforce can indeed enhance any company’s CSR policy, there are a number of additional benefits to be had, that can actually impact the bottom line. de Poel fully recognises and supports this drive to improve and promote CSR within businesses, however recent statistics indicate that there is still more which can be done. Research commissioned by the Recruitment Industry Disability Initiative (RIDI); highlighted one in three jobseekers (37%) with disabilities have been discriminated against during the recruitment process.

    Whilst many organisations have a good intention to promote an inclusive workforce, often this is not enough. Disability confidence of recruiters is not only key, but also not difficult to achieve with the support and guidance available. In a study by The Clear Company, 79% of candidates ‘reported that a lack of disability awareness by recruiters remained their biggest barrier’, something recruiters have the power to do something about.

    Read the full article in Recruitment International



  • Recognising inclusivity in recruitment

    Picture of Janice Henson, de Poel CommunityRecently, many companies have become heavily focused on Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) objectives within their business. Whether it be environmental policies or charity work; businesses are increasingly looking at ways in which to update and improve their CSR policy.


    Having a diverse workforce is another way businesses are looking to expand their CSR policies, however, increasing inclusivity within business also offers many additional benefits.


    “Many businesses are already realising the benefits of having an inclusive workforce” says Janice Henson Managing Director at de Poel Community. “From increased retention and loyalty to the company as well as a higher productivity rate, a diverse workforce actually has real business benefits.”


    Despite this, research conducted by the Recruitment Industry Disability Initiative (RIDI) has discovered that a staggering 82% of disabled jobseekers have had a negative experience with a recruitment agency, and up to 37% have been discriminated against within a recruitment process.


    With such figures being attributed to a lack of knowledge and understanding around disability, companies are increasingly looking to their supply chain to recognise aligned interests with their CSR strategy. Within recruitment, for many agencies, having aligned interests and processes with their customer base can actually give them the competitive edge over their rivals. 


    Read the full article here.

  • Non-visible disabilities: Does HR see the big picture?

    By Paul Smith, Chairman of Eversheds LLP


    For many people, the term ‘disability’ is synonymous with wheelchair users and others with evident physical impairments. Indeed, the universal symbol for disabled access - one of the most widely-used and instantly recognised icons in the world - is a stylised image of a person using a wheelchair. However, from an HR perspective, it is worth remembering that disability exists in many forms. Consequently, by increasing awareness and understanding of ‘non-visible’ disabilities, organisations stand the best chance of opening themselves to the possibility of true diversity.



    The UK’s Equality Act 2010 defines disability as difficulty in performing day-to-day tasks for a period of twelve months or longer because of a physical or mental impairment. This includes people with visible disabilities, such as wheelchair users, as well as those with non-visible disabilities such as people with dyslexia. From 2005, people with certain long-term illnesses such as cancer, multiple sclerosis, coronary heart disease or HIV, were also considered disabled from the point of diagnosis. Of course, as a profession, HR is open to the benefits that a diverse workforce brings – but could organisations on the whole, be doing more to identify and accommodate professionals with less ‘obvious’ challenges?


    Read the full blog post on HR Zone

  • Number of disabled people in work increases

    Picture of Mark Harper MP, Minister for Disabled PeopleNew statistics reveal a year-on-year increase of 141,000 disabled people in work – the equivalent of nearly 400 more for every day of the year. Minister of State for Disabled People Mark Harper hailed the figures as further evidence of the UK’s jobs miracle.


    According to Office of National Statistics figures, more than 3.1 million disabled people are in employment with the number of unemployed disabled people falling by 10.9% since last year to just over 399,000. 


    The number of disabled women in employment has also risen by 86,000 over the past year, a 5.5% increase on last year’s figures which brings the total number of disabled women in employment up to more than 1.6 million.


    Minister of State for Disabled People, Mark Harper said:


    "Our welfare reforms are about helping disabled people move into work and having the security of a regular wage.


    "These figures demonstrate how the UK jobs miracle is benefiting everybody in Britain and it is fantastic that there are now an additional 141,000 disabled people in work since this time last year.


    "I am also encouraged by the positive figures for the increasing number of disabled women in employment – 86,000, which would pretty much fill Wembley Stadium. It is clear that more and more companies across the country are waking up to the considerable talents of disabled people in the workplace."


  • Disability at work - case study

    Picture of John Craig, EvershedsImmigration Manager John Craig shares his thoughts on why being open about his disability at work is a good thing.


    In many cases you can’t see it. You can’t hear it. You can’t smell it and you can’t taste it. No this isn’t an advert for checking your boiler, I am talking about disability. I want to share with you my experience of living with a disability and especially a disability that you wouldn’t know I had unless I told you it was there.


    Disability disclosure is still a taboo topic especially when you look at areas of disability such as mental health. You may ask if nobody can tell that I have a disability why would I share it in the first place? The reason I share my disability with my employer and my colleagues is that from time to time my condition means that I need a little support or adjustment to my day to enable me to perform at my best. If I didn’t share what my condition was and how it has an impact on my life then like many individuals I would suffer in silence.


    A couple of simple changes can make a huge difference to the lives of individuals living with disabilities.

    Read the full case study here.

  • Eversheds to share its view on diversity in the workplace - 27/02/15


    Eversheds logo

    International law firm Eversheds is leading a special recruitment breakfast seminar on 27th February 2015 in London. The free-to-attend seminar will be hosted by WCN, a UK and global e-Recruitment software supplier. 


    At the event, Mardi Smouha, Recruitment Business Partner at Eversheds, and Kate Headley, Chair of the Recruitment Industry Disability Initiative and a Director at The Clear Company 2015, will outline Eversheds’ journey in becoming a proficient disability recruiter.


    Read the full article here.

  • Disability Confident event - 02/02/15

    Picture of the Disability Confident event in StockportStockport and Greater Manchester employers joined forces to discuss employment, and celebrate inclusive and diverse workforces at a 'Disability Confident' event on 02 February 2015.


    Hosted at Bredbury Hall by Rt Hon Sir Andrew Stunell MP, Lisa Smart, prospective MP for Hazel Grove and recruitment specialist de Poel Community, the event is part of a nationwide campaign to encourage MPs and employers to realise the multiple business benefits of an inclusive workforce.


    RIDI sponsor de Poel Community, formerly placeability, has supported the campaign from the beginning, partnering on the launch event in London and the regional event in Manchester in March 2014, in addition to today’s conference. Janice Henson, Managing Director of de Poel Community, presented at the event alongside a number of key speakers. 


    To find out more about the Disability Confident campaign and de Poel Community, please visit www.gov.uk/government/collections/disability-confident-campaign and www.depoel.co.uk/community

  • RIDI survey published

    One in three disabled jobseekers face discrimination - 02/02/15

    Up to 37% of disabled jobseekers have been discriminated against during the recruitment process according to research commissioned by the Recruitment Industry Disability Initiative (RIDI). In addition, 82% of disabled candidates have reported a negative experience with a recruitment consultancy, which they attribute to a lack of knowledge surrounding disability issues.

    There is also a significant disparity between the perceptions of candidates and recruiters in terms of the provision of ‘reasonable adjustments’ made to accommodate disabled jobseekers – a legal requirement under the Equality Act 2010. Despite the fact that 82% of recruiters claim reasonable adjustments are made to cater for disabled jobseekers, 58% of those candidates say that no such adjustments were made.