The Great Big Workplace Adjustments Survey 2023

Last month, Business Disability Forum published the findings from Great Big Workplace Adjustments Survey for 2023. Four years on from the inaugural survey the results are as revealing today as they were in 2019.

The Great Big Workplace Adjustments Survey, sponsored and supported by Microlink, is Business Disability Forum’s study of the experience of disabled employees, managers, and senior leaders of requesting, making, and reviewing adjustments for disabled employees. It was previously run in 2019.

Nearly 1,500 disabled employees and 400 managers responded to our 2023 survey and the findings were published in June.

Key findings

  • 78 per cent of disabled employees told us they, rather than their employer, had to initiate the process of getting adjustments.
  • 58 per cent of employees said getting the adjustments they needed was due to how assertive and confident they are to ask for that support.
  • 56 per cent of disabled employees said there are still disability related barriers in the workplace after adjustments have been made.
  • Only 37 per cent of disabled employees feel their employer is genuine about removing all disability-related barriers and making the workplace inclusive for disabled employees.
  • Only 18 per cent of disabled employees said their adjustments have removed all barriers in the workplace.
  • 10 per cent of disabled employees said it was easy to get the adjustments they needed.
  • The speed of getting adjustments has improved by 4 per cent since 2019. But 1 in 8 disabled employees are waiting over a year to get the adjustments they need.
Download the survey -Download the Big Workplace Adjustment survey

In brief

Disabled people are still waiting too long for the adjustments they need to reduce or remove the barriers they experience in their jobs. Employees are also having to push for adjustments or even fund them themselves. Adjustments include flexibility over hours and location, time off for medical appointments, as well as ergonomic equipment and assistive technology.

Disabled people are also facing a number of other disability related barriers at work, which go beyond adjustments to their individual roles. These include bullying and harassment, limited career and development opportunities, inaccessibility of programs and initiatives intended to support wellbeing, and wider inaccessibility of buildings and systems.

Managers feel more confident talking about disability than they did previously and play a key role in the adjustments process. But multiple internal processes and limited powers to make changes in the wider organisation create additional barriers and leave managers feeling frustrated.

For both disabled employees and managers, the COVID-19 pandemic had and continues to have a significant negative impact on workplace experiences.

Recommendation for employers

Clearly what BDF’s vital survey goes to show is that despite areas of progress, there remains an enormously long way to go before Disabled people feel the safety, security, fulfilment and support that many non-Disabled colleagues are able to take for granted.

In order to reduce this discrepancy, it has never been more important for every business and organisation to reflect on whether the adjustments they make to support Disabled staff are effective.

If you and your organisation is looking to ensure you provide best practice, industry leading workplace adjustments for your workforce, contact Microlink today to discuss a pilot or to simply find out more about our award-winning, case-managed Workplace Adjustment Service.

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