The government has published a new voluntary reporting framework for large employers (those with over 250 employees) who want to record and report on disability, mental health and wellbeing in the workplace. The Framework suggests that employers:
- explain what they do as regards the recruitment and retention of disabled people and to support the health and wellbeing of their employees
- where possible, report the percentage of employees who consider themselves to have a disability or long term health condition (mental or physical) and the output of staff surveys that measure wellbeing. (The framework recommends a series of specific questions to include in staff surveys in order to measure employee wellbeing.)
The decision about where to report this information is left to the employer to decide, although annual reports are recommended. Companies with more than 250 employees are in fact already required to state their policies on the following in their annual reports (although most do so only briefly):
(a) for giving full and fair consideration to applications for employment by the company made by disabled persons, having regard to their particular aptitudes and abilities
(b) for continuing the employment of, and for arranging appropriate training for, employees of the company who have become disabled persons during the period when they were employed by the company
(c) otherwise for the training, career development and promotion of disabled persons employed by the company
It remains to be seen how many employers adopt the framework and whether it has an impact on the content of annual reports. The voluntary initiative on gender pay gap reporting which preceded the introduction of compulsory reporting in 2017 was notoriously undersubscribed. However, this framework may be regarded as less onerous and as a potential opportunity for some employers to tell a positive story which helps them attract and retain talent.