Search Results for: disability

Flexible working practices could help disabled people stay in work, claims report

A million futuresAccording to a new report from one of the UK’s leading disability charities, one of the main obstacles for disabled people when it comes to finding and remaining in work is a lack of flexible working opportunities. Nearly half of the 700 respondents to a survey carried out by Scope and published yesterday in a new report called ‘A Million Futures’ claimed that flexible working could have helped them to stay in work. The report claims that last year alone some 220,000 more disabled employees left work than found a new job, many of them because they were not allowed to work in ways that would help them to manage significant life changes related to their disability and work around their treatment and meet other demands of their lives. Only around a third felt they had been offered the flexibility they needed.

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Mental illness costs the UK economy £70 billion each year, claims OECD

DepressionAccording to a new report from the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), issues related to mental health cost the UK around £70bn every year in lost productivity, benefit payments and spending on healthcare. The OECD’s Mental Health and Work report is an international initiative which has already produced reports over the last year exploring related issues in Belgium, Denmark, Norway, Sweden, Switzerland and now the UK. Forthcoming reports are due later this year for Australia, Austria and the Netherlands. The new UK report calls for employers to adopt better policies and practices to help people cope with mental health issues.

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BIFM publishes renewed guidance on creating an inclusive workplace

BIFM publishes renewed guidance on creating an inclusive workplace

The recent revelation that there are 2 million more over-50s in jobs than there were 15 years ago means that creating an inclusive workplace is more critical than ever. Access and inclusive design impacts on every aspect of facilities management, from strategic procurement and design of space, to appropriate selection of lighting, finishes and fittings, which is why the British Institute of Facilities Management (BIFM) has now updated its Good Practice Guide (GPG) providing practical guidance for facilities management professionals on the issue. Inclusive Access, Disability and the Equality Act gives a summary of all the relevant legislative and regulatory changes and gives practical tips on achieving reasonable access for all. More →

Younger workers’ CSR ethics don’t necessarily extend to older generation

Younger workers' CSR ethics don't extend to the older generation

Is ageism one of the last bastions of accepted prejudice in the UK? Take the Daily Mail’s “night of the living dead” coverage of the Stones’ Glastonbury performance – deemed acceptable where jokes regarding gender, race or disability are not. A new survey illustrates this attitude. Nearly half of younger workers in a recent poll think older colleagues are in danger of stifling their career prospects by retiring later, that their prolonged presence could damage productivity and that they have very little to teach the younger generation. Yet over half (55 per cent) of Generation Y workers questioned in the poll say the ethical credentials of a company would influence their choice of employer. Since the scrapping of the Default Retirement Age (DRA) the number of over-65s in the labour force has exceeded one million, and the survey, carried out for KPMG by OnePoll warns that tensions could rise as the need for employees to stay in the labour force for longer growing due to social and financial pressures. More →

Guidance on designing in accessibility for disabled workers

Diversity in the workplace

The government launches a campaign today using TV celebrities and disabled groups to help promote positive role models for disabled people. It’s aimed at building on the latest stats that show 81 per cent of people thought the Paralympics had a positive impact on the way disabled people are perceived. Currently they’re not well represented in the workplace, as according to DTI figures half of all disabled people are unable to find work. This is why the Equality Act 2010 plays such a vital role in promoting diversity in the workplace. Put into practice, understanding and adhering to the Equality Act 2010 requires employers to take positive action to remove certain disadvantages to disabled people posed by working practices and the physical features of premises. More →

CIBSE creates diversity panel to reflect varied workforce

Diversity in the workplace

Efforts to encourage a more inclusive culture within the built environment appear to have moved up a gear. RIBA President Angela Brady has voiced concerns on the “gender inequality that continues to pervade the profession,” and now the Chartered Institution of Building Services Engineering (CIBSE) has launched a Diversity Panel. Formed to encourage diversity in all its forms, whether race, gender, age, sexual orientation or disability, it is made up of CIBSE members who are keen to increase the routes to the profession through educational paths and by promoting a diverse workplace. Commented CIBSE: “The employment and retention of a varied workforce is integral to meet the building services engineering skills gap and to therefore improve building performance.” More →

Office furniture ergonomics standard for increasing size of U.S. workers

Larger U.S. workers

The U.S. furniture manufacturer’s association the BIFMA (Business and Institutional Furniture Manufacturers Association) has revised its ergonomics guidance to “reflect changes in the size and shape of the North American working population,” This includes increased seat width, distance between armrests, support surface height for sitting and standing, and height clearance for legs and knees. It’s also developing a new “Heavy Occupant Chair Standard”.  Although the BIFMA cannot be faulted for responding to consumer demand, the renewed guidance doesn’t address the core of the problem – the fact that over a quarter of U.S. workers (approximately 66 million people) are obese.

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Employers missing employee health and productivity link

Employers missing health & productivity link

Only a minority of employers understand the productivity benefits of their health and wellbeing initiatives, new research reveals. Towers Watson’s latest Health, Wellbeing and Productivity survey found that 66 per cent of employers thought the link between health and employee performance was a relatively limited part of their health and wellbeing programme, with the main drivers being the desire to be seen as a responsible employer and the need to focus on more preventative health measures to manage rising healthcare and disability costs. More →

Disabled employees twice as likely to be abused at work

BullyingEmployees with disabilities are twice as likely to be abused or mistreated at work by managers, colleagues and customers, according to research from Cardiff School of Social Sciences. The survey of 4,000 people found that around one in ten employees with a disability or a long-term illness suffered physical violence, verbal abuse or intimidation while at work, compared to just 4.5 per cent of other staff.  The research found that managers were responsible for 45 per cent of serious incidents of abuse, customers were responsible for 28 per cent and colleagues for 18 per cent of cases. Workers with a learning disability or mental health issue suffered more than those with a physical disability.

American Institute of Architects opens design and health project

Via Verde

The American Institute of Architects (AIA) is working with the Clinton Global Initiative and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology Center for Advanced Urbanism (CAU) to examine the relationships between design, urbanism, and public health. The collaboration is part of the AIA’s Decade of Design Commitment to Action, which aims to make positive changes through design in the global urban environment. Alexander d’Hooghe, director of the MIT CAU explained: “We are investigating the scale of urban design, architecture, as well as planning, in relation to health today, whether related to obesity, or to climate change.” More →

Hidden depression amidst Blue Monday hype

DepressionToday is ‘Blue Monday’, allegedly the most depressing day of the year. The case against the beginning of the third working week in January includes an inability to keep up New Year resolutions, lack of daylight, and giving us something to gripe about. However it also presents an opportunity to discuss the hidden problem of depression amongst the workforce. One in four will have some kind of mental health problem this year which is why Business Disability Forum has today announced a new guide for line managers on how to manage mental health at work.

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