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Inclusive Workplace Award

Inclusive Workplace Award

We believe there is a link between organisational success and the adoption of forward thinking equality and diversity practices. Specifically, we are keen to work with employers who have a commitment to recruiting and supporting employees who have a disability, long term condition or additional support need.

In our experience, organisations who take this approach have management teams with an open-minded and asset-based approach; staff teams with a positive and accepting attitude; strong communication across all levels of the business; and organisational competencies that better enable them to meet the needs of their customers and stakeholders. 

Benefits all round

  • It facilitates introductions and productive relationships between employers and supported employment services.
  • Employers will have increased skills and knowledge, and feel more confident about employing and supporting people with disabilities.
  • Supported employment services will have an increased ability to progress economically inactive people with disabilities into sustainable careers.
  • It helps to create supportive workplaces where everyone can contribute their talents and skills
  • It recognises and celebrates employers who engage with supported employment services.
Research by the Health & Safety Executive reports that disabled employees are as productive as their colleagues, have less time off sick, stay longer in their jobs, and have fewer work accidents. Yet almost half of employers think it would be more difficult to employ a disabled person.

Benefits of becoming an Inclusive Employer

  • A free and comprehensive recruitment service, matching the right jobseeker to the job.
  • Access to continuous support from an experienced Supported Employment service.
  • Customers appreciate and recognise the willingness of businesses to reflect the communities they serve.
  • Promotion of the organisation as an equal opportunities employer with a commitment to Corporate Social Responsibility.
  • Work colleagues welcome and encourage people recruited through the Supported Employment process and good working relationships are developed.

How is it different from other schemes?

Set in the context of wider disability awareness, the award has similarities with Carer Positive or Disability Confident awards, but it is specifically tailored to Supported Employment:

  • Delivered differently, with more support for the employer, including an assessment and training.
  • More emphasis on the supported employment model, the key role of supported employment agencies, Return on Investment and benefits for the employer and the workplace.
  • Endorsement of supported employment as a viable and cost-effective option with a very person-centred approach to the 'business case for disability'.

What is the process?

  1. Connecting with a supported employment partner
    The Inclusive Workplace Award is delivered in partnership with a local supported employment service. The supported employment service works with the employer throughout the process and they are both free to negotiate the nature of their relationship. Employers are guided through the process by SUSE, which does not interfere with any negotiations taking place between the employer and the supported employment service.
  2. Light touch assessment
    SUSE will work with the employer to assess current practices and advise on possible improvements and changes. We follow 4 specific criteria: a positive and supportive environment, reasonable adjustments, flexible procedures and policies and the provision of supported employment opportunities. The supported employment service can help the employer review their practice.
  3. Managers training
    We ask employers to nominate managers and supervisors within the organisation to complete the free Inclusive Workplace Award training. Those nominated should have direct responsibility for management and/or recruitment. The session looks at challenging assumptions and attitudes about what 'can and can't be done' and allows people to discuss their gaps in experience when it comes to recruiting and managing people with disabilities.
  4. Award on successful completion of the assessment and training
    Employer receives a plaque and electronic Inclusive Workplace Award Badge
    1. SUSE support for marketing communications
    2. Free Disability Awareness training for colleagues
  5. Award 'health check' and renewal
    The partner supported employment service will maintain contact with the employer. One year after the award the service will support the employer with a health check. They can give constructive feedback to the employer to help them maintain the standards required to retain the award.


Inclusive Employer Award information sheet (pdf)

Get in touch

If you are an employer interested in becoming an early adopter of the scheme, please contact us. We can discuss the process with you and connect you with a supported employment agency in your area.

If you are a member of SUSE delivering supported employment and wish to strengthen links with employers or promote the award as an added benefit when engaging with new employers, please get in touch.

Laetitia Jan - Development and Engagement Manager
0131 669 1133 / 07921 844926