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Virtual Companies and the Disabled Workforce

Nearly 7 million people of working age in the UK are disabled or have a health condition. Mobility is the most common impairment, affecting just over half of all disabled people. Historically there has been a significant gap between the proportion of disabled people employed compared with non-disabled people. This gap is narrowing thanks to changes in working practices. 

Encouraging applications from disabled people is good for business. It can help you to:

  • increase the number of high quality applicants available
  • create a workforce that reflects the diverse range of customers it serves and the community in which it is based
  • bring additional skills to the business, such as the ability to use British Sign Language (BSL)

The costs of making reasonable adjustments to accommodate disabled employees are often low, and easy to make.

Working From Home
Britain is still lagging behind many European countries in terms of making public transport accessible for physically disabled people. In addition to this, rising anxiety levels amongst British workers can mean that the daily commute can seem a huge stress for many people. The number of companies who enable their employers to work from home has increased considerably in the last 10 years due to advancements in technology. The number of people working from home has increased to almost one in seven over the past decade, according to the Trades Union Congress. This revolution in working patterns has enabled more disabled people than ever before to join the UK workforce.

Virtual Companies
While the majority of virtual workers are employed by traditional, office-based companies, there are a rising number of virtual companies and distributed teams taking remote work to the next level across many sectors. Companies to who choose this approach benefit from large savings in rent and the associated costs of running an office. In addition, research suggests that remote workers have a stronger work ethic, according to the a 3-year study conducted by the University of Cardiff completed in 2017. Most importantly, virtual companies enable people with physical disabilities and many with long-term health conditions to work, creating a diverse workforce.

If you would like to discuss how Ortolan People can attract a diverse workforce, contact us on 020 3743 0600 or email

Posted on 11/05/2018 by Ortolan

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