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Outdated two-ticks symbol needs revamping, says DWP

Wed, 11 Jun 2014
The Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) has told Recruiter that its ‘two-ticks positive about disability' symbol is outdated and that it plans to revamp the scheme.

The two-ticks symbol is awarded to employers by DWP Jobcentre Plus as a way of showing disabled jobseekers that they are committed to treating them fairly in recruitment and employment. Employers displaying the symbol are signing up to five specific commitments.

However, following a review announced in January 2013 by the minister for disabled people Esther McVey to establish whether the two-ticks scheme was fit for purpose, the DWP has acknowledged to Recruiter that the scheme is outdated and needs improvement.

A DWP spokesperson says: “We know that while the disability symbol has played an important role in recognising employers’ commitment to supporting disabled people, we acknowledge that it is outdated and could do more to offer committed employers better support. We are seeking to reform the accreditation to make it a more dynamic and effective system.”

The announcement comes after research published earlier this week showed that employers displaying the two-ticks symbol were no more committed to treating disabled people fairly than non two-tick employers, and there were suggestions that for many employers it was just a PR exercise.

In a statement, DWP sets out its plan to reform the disability symbol, which includes:

  • wider publicity of the scheme
  • different levels of accreditation
  • a more rigorous assessment process
  • a feedback mechanism for employees
  • better information and guidance.

“We are currently rolling out the biggest employer engagement programme this country has ever seen in boosting the confidence of businesses to hire disabled people through Disability Confident,” the statement continues. The Disability Confident campaign encourages employers to be positive about the skills that disabled people bring to business and to remove barriers to recruiting and retaining disabled employees.

Philip Connolly, policy and communications manager at Disability Rights UK, tells Recruiter: “Employers have become complacent and blasé because there is no monitoring of the scheme.”  

He adds that he would like to see employers forced to publish details of what they are doing to justify having the right to use the symbol in their annual report.
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