Partnership commits to disability inclusion

L&Q will work with social enterprise Evenbreak to ensure it offers the best service to disabled staff and residents.

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Residential developer L&Q has announced a partnership with two not-for-profit organisations to work to offer best service to staff and residents with a disability.

As part of their disability inclusion initiative, L&Q will work with Evenbreak, a social enterprise that helps inclusive employers attract and retain more talented disabled people.

L&Q is also said to be working with disability charity Scope to develop housing advice content for their website and advice line.

The two organisations have worked together for the last 18 months to “upskill” L&Q’s employability service, so that they can better engage and support their disabled residents in securing sustainable employment.

According to reports, disabled people are more than twice as likely to be unemployed as non-disabled people.

To reduce the barriers facing disabled people, L&Q have announced they will advertise all jobs on Evenbreak’s website, a specialist job board run by and for disabled people.

L&Q’s other disability inclusion initiatives for 2019 include:

• Improving physical access for disabled staff, residents and visitors over and above legal compliance
• Organising disability awareness training by Enhance UK
• Upskilling staff so they can give great customer service to disabled residents
• Reporting on the disability pay gap from 2019 as part of L&Q’s annual Fair Pay report
• Offering flexible working for all its roles, including in its contact centre, which will break down barriers for disabled staff or carers
• Becoming a Disability Confident committed employer, which means that candidates are guaranteed an interview if they meet the job criteria
• Working with Genius Within to help staff understand ‘neurodiverse’ conditions such as autism

Jan Gale, Head of Diversity and Inclusion at L&Q, said: “By partnering with Evenbreak, we are investing in our people.

“We want our workforce to reflect the diverse make-up of our residents, and we also want to attract people with a wide range of different skills and expertise.

“If we can harness the creativity and innovation that comes from diverse teams, it will help us play our part in solving the housing crisis.

She added: “There is a huge array of talent out there that organisations can’t afford to ignore as we seek to deliver quality services to our residents while building new homes to tackle the supply gap.

“It’s important that there are no barriers to disabled people working at L&Q, and that includes at the very start of their journey as a prospective L&Q employee.”

Jane Hatton, Founder and Director at Evenbreak, added: “We are delighted that L&Q are leading the way on disability inclusion for housing associations.

“The benefits of employing disabled people can have an enormous positive impact on all aspects of social housing, including having a more diverse workforce that residents can relate to.

“Advertising all of their vacancies on Evenbreak will support L&Q in being the type of organisation that excels.”

Commenting on the partnership, Stephanie Coulshed, Programme Lead at Scope, said: “Based on our in-depth research into the information that disabled people need about housing, Scope’s content designers will collaborate with subject experts at L&Q to develop accessible advice that helps people solve problems.

“We believe that L&Q’s knowledge of housing issues and commitment to tackling them, combined with Scope’s expertise in content design, will result in an outstanding partnership that has real impact.”

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