Workplace adjustment guide launched as part of drive to build disability confidence

Civil service disability champion Philip Rutnam says a new best practice guide will help drive up the standards of workplace adjustments across government

By Suzannah.Brecknell

18 Jan 2017

The civil service has launched a new model policy for workplace adjustments, and a Line Manager's Best Practice Guide giving information on how to support colleagues with disabilities. 

Announcing the new documents on the civil service blog, transport perm sec Philip Rutnam – who is also the civil service perm sec disability champion, said the guide provides disabled employees and line managers with advice on implementing "high-quality and timely adjustments". 

"This will enable us to drive up standards, achieve greater consistency in workplace adjustment provision and support the civil service in achieving its ambition to be the UK’s most inclusive employer by 2020," he said. 

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Rutnam told CSW last year that improving the standard and consistency of workplace adjustments in the civil service, allowing departments to better adapt their working environments around the needs of officials with disabilities, was his top priority as disability champion. 

Since April 2016, a central Civil Service Workplace Adjustment Team has been providing reviews and adjustments for several departments, receving – according to Rutnam's blog – excellent feedback and consistently meeting a target to respond to requests from civil servants within 48-hours. 

Rutnam also announced the start of a communications campaign and online training to raise awareness of themes around disability. 

This training includes a series of video clips featuring disabled civil servants sharing their experiences and tips to help colleagues be more understanding of and confident about disability issues. 

The videos cover a range of disability themes, including acquired disability, learning disability, visible disability, non-visible disability and neurodiversity. 

"Line management interventions are a key factor in determining whether employees with disabilities have a positive experience at work, are fully engaged and remain committed to the organisation," Rutnam said.

"A disability-confident manager knows their team, builds strong rapport and trust, listens generously and engages all team members in delivering business objectives." 

The communications campaign will run in January and February, aiming to help line managers build disability confidence and raise awareness of the support and tools available to them.

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