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Employees with disabilities held back in the workplace

Published on: 8 Nov 2023

Disability remains a barrier to career progression, with many employers not doing enough to build a supportive culture, according to the latest research.

Employees with disabilities held back

The Disability in the Workplace 2023 study, carried out by the Reward & Employee Benefits Association and healthcare provider Bupa, surveyed more than 300 employed people with a disability, a long-term or chronic illness, or an impairment or condition.


Of respondents, 51% said their disability was stalling their careers, while 34% believed employers could do more to support them. Some 65% would be willing to talk openly about their experiences to help employers better understand their needs.


Greater flexibility was the top benefit called for, including remote working, longer breaks and time for medical appointments. However, only 18% have access to flexible working, the research found.


Other benefits mentioned included help with everyday health costs and mental health support, cited by 43%, and private medical insurance, highlighted by 38%.


According to the study, 4.9 million UK workers – one in five members of the working population – have a disability, while 2.5 million people are economically inactive due to long-term sickness.