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On this International Day of Persons with Disabilities, new research commissioned by Maximus UK highlights that managers do not feel fully equipped to support disabled employees in the workplace.

The research showed that business managers are not confident to provide the right level of support to disabled colleagues with one in five managers saying they are not confident that they would know what to do if an employee came to them with an issue related to their mental health, and 14 per cent said the same for a physical disability.

Managers urgently need training and resources to help them support disabled employees as almost two fifths (39 per cent) said their business could do with more, and more than one in ten said that their business provided none.

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Similarly, only 45 per cent of managers said that their business has the right systems and facilities in place to accommodate employees with a physical disability while half of managers  said their organisation doesn’t get any specialist advice or follow any guidelines on how to appropriately employ people with a disability.

Margaret McNab, Managing Director of occupational health provider Health Management commented: “Employers have a duty of care to make sure their workforce feels fully supported.

“That’s why it’s really important that businesses have the right level of information, resource and support in place to allow their management teams to be in a position to fully accommodate any disabled person in their business.

“At Health Management we provide specialist workforce training courses on the topic of disability and health, including our disability and health workshop for managers, autism awareness, dyslexia awareness, hearing loss awareness and disability champions training.”

Maximus UK is one of the largest providers of employment, health and disability support programmes in the country. It operates several businesses in the UK, including the Centre for Health and Disability Assessments, Remploy and Health Management, and employs 5,000 staff, including over 1,400 doctors, nurses, occupational therapists and other healthcare professionals.

A firm which is making a disability inclusion a priority is building materials supplier, Travis Perkins. Earlier this year, the firm announced that it had joined The Valuable 500 last year, a global movement putting disability on the business leadership agenda, and stated that it was committed to building a fully inclusive workplace for its 20,000 employees.

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