The House of Commons has been recognised for outstanding disability performance and commitment to disabled people by achieving ‘silver’ status from the Business Disability Forum (BDF), almost doubling its score from 2013 to 83%.
The BDF scores organisations’ performance on disability across the whole business from their products and services to recruitment and facilities. It is built around 10 criteria and helps businesses to measure and improve performance for disabled customers, clients or service users, employees and stakeholders. The House of Commons Diversity and Inclusion Team aim to provide a positive, inclusive working environment where people are valued for the skills and experience they bring to work, whilst being representative of the society they serve. This means making Parliament more accessible, diverse and free from discrimination and meeting the requirements of the Equality Act 2010.
A number of initiatives have been introduced which have contributed to the ‘silver’ status, including Workplace Equality Networks (WENs), a Role Models Campaign and Tactile Tours. A further list of key initiatives from the House of Commons Diversity and Inclusion Team, which have contributed towards its silver accreditation, are available in the editor’s notes. Anne Foster, Head of Diversity and Inclusion, said: “I am delighted that the House of Commons is progressing in its efforts to become a disability-smart organisation. I hope that the BDF’s accreditation shows our support for our colleagues, customers and parliamentarians in becoming an inclusive workplace and institution.”
Angela Matthews, Senior Disability Consultant with the Business Disability Forum, said: “We are very happy to have awarded House of Commons Silver status in their Disability Standard evaluation. This is an outstanding achievement; particularly since BDF’s high-achievers in the Disability Standard are mostly larger businesses with access to a comparatively sizable range of resources. The House of Commons should be immensely encouraged and proud of this achievement. It is visible to BDF how hard and enthusiastically the House have worked since its last submission. Disability-related work at the House of Commons is well-structured, and it is clear that disability is an embedded ‘business as usual’ topic across the organisation.”