This page describes best practice. It does not explain the law

2. Create a supportive and enabling workplace

Having the right culture in your workplace can support and enable disabled workers and workers with long-term health conditions. We will refer to both as 'workers' in this guidance. Talking openly to them about any barriers they may face at work can help make sure you are supporting them.

Be a supportive employer

To create a supportive and enabling culture in your workplace, make sure workers’ health, safety and inclusion is a core management priority. Make sure you do this throughout their employment. A supportive workplace culture can benefit the entire workforce. Have a consistent and proactive approach to all workers' health and wellbeing. Work and engage with worker representatives or staff disability networks.

Managers should show the right behaviours and actions. They should behave consistently and fairly. Managers, supervisors and owners should be accessible to staff. Managers need the skills to listen and empathise with workers. They need to understand what might affect them both in and outside work. Make sure your organisation recognises and enables good people management.

Support both managers and workers to challenge poor behaviours. This includes non-diverse and discriminatory practices. Supported managers and workers are more likely to feel safe, comfortable and confident to talk about barriers and obstacles in the workplace that prevent them from thriving in their role.

Also consider potential barriers and obstacles in the design of jobs and the workplace.

Make sure your practices are supportive and enabling

Respect workers' privacy, confidentiality and dignity in all workplace adjustments and practices.

Make sure any practices in your organisation are:

  • clear and accessible
  • applied consistently
  • explained to new starters
  • refreshed with existing workers

Take action to understand, remove or reduce barriers that put workers at a disadvantage. Correct workplace practices and culture will enable workers to thrive in their role.

Sign up for the Disability Confident scheme

You can show your commitment to equality by progressing through the levels of the Disability Confident scheme. This supports employers to make the most of the talents disabled people can bring to your workplace.

The Disability Confident scheme can help you:

  • challenge attitudes towards disability
  • increase understanding of disability
  • remove barriers to workers
  • ensure workers have the opportunities to fulfil their potential and realise their aspirations
Updated: 2023-01-16