Local housing association leading the way in disability in the work place
Out of 19,274 organisations signed up to the government Disability Confident Employer scheme, local housing association, Aster Group is now one of only 398 organisations who have achieved Disability Confident Leader status.
The Disability Confident Employer scheme was designed to encourage employers to recruit and retain disabled people and those with health conditions. It replaced the previous ‘Two Ticks Positive About Disabled People’ scheme. Disability Confident organisations play a leading role in changing attitudes for the better through education, support, and inclusive recruitment practices.
Measures introduced by Aster include launching an Inclusion Passport to encourage employees to share and update their personal data to ensure they receive any appropriate support needed. Regular workshops, webinars and training around disability awareness including leader specific courses are available and form part of the welcome for new employees.
Aster has also worked with Job Centre Plus on a recruitment campaign specifically targeted to encourage disabled applicants to apply for roles. It is a member of Employers Network for Equality and Inclusion (ENEI) and part of the National Housing Federation Equality, Diversity, and Inclusion Network.
Claire Scahill a member of the Aster Disability Confident Group said: “The start of our disability confident journey was about recognising the talents disabled people can bring to Aster. As part of a dedicated employee led group, we’ve been working hard to implement changes to how we recruit, retain, and develop disabled people and make positive changes to attitudes, behaviours and cultures.”
The Disability Confident group have been working in partnership with disability charity, Enham Trust to break down the barriers around disability in the workplace. The partnership has also seen Aster employees volunteering for the charity and fundraising to help raise money for the local cause.
Steven Aughton, Enham Trust disability inclusive employment service manager said, “We’ve been working with Aster to develop and implement good practices. As a leading disability organisation and specialists in the field of disability employment, we validated Aster Group’s self-assessment for their application to be Disability Confident Level 3 Leaders.”
He continued: “We were impressed with the initiatives in place at Aster. It has developed an inclusive and positive working environment that encourages professional and personal development for all employees. Vitally, the company has a strong focus on removing barriers for anyone with a disability or long-term health condition.
“We are very proud to partner with Aster Group and look forward to working side-by-side as fellow Disability Confident Level 3 Leaders.”
Rachel Credidio, Aster chief transformation officer said, “As part of our wider work around diversity and inclusion and as a member of the Disability Confident Employer and Access to Work schemes we are committed to make working for us as accessible and fair as it can be for everyone. We are so pleased to be recognised for our work in this area.”
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