AXA UK becomes Disability Confident Leader

Dan-Neil,-AXA

Disability Confident Leader is the top level of a scheme encouraging employers to hire and advance people with disabilities

3rd December is the International Day of People with Disabilities

AXA employees are invited to a panel on accessibility and a webinar on neurodiversity

AXA UK has become a Disability Confident Leader, as the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) has granted the insurer the highest level of recognition in a scheme that encourages employers to recruit, retain and develop people with disabilities.

The news is being announced on Tuesday 3 December to coincide with the International Day of People with Disabilities (IDPWD), a United Nations (UN) initiative which has chosen ‘The Future Is Accessible’ as its 2019 theme.

In the UK, 7.6 million working-age people have a disability. Supported by the DWP, Disability Confident (DC) is a voluntary scheme developed by employers and disabled people’s representatives. It encourages employers to improve how they recruit, retain and develop people with disabilities.

The scheme has three levels:

  • Disability Confident Committed Employer (level 1)
  • Disability Confident Employer (level 2)
  • Disability Confident Leader (level 3)

To reach the top level, besides previous commitments regarding recruitment, adjustments and support, businesses must: employ people with disabilities; report on disability, mental health and wellbeing; and act as a Disability Confident champion within their local and business communities.

Mark Howes, AXA PPP healthcare’s COO, and Executive Sponsor of the Able Employee Resource Group commented, “We are thrilled to have achieved the top level of recognition in the Disability Confident scheme for employers. It shows how committed we are to recruiting from the widest possible pool of talent – and retaining that talent. This diversity is crucial to better compete in our chosen markets. But it is far more than this: being a Disability Confident Leader really shows us living our values and embracing inclusion. By building a diverse workforce that reflects our customers, we can better serve them. This official accolade says we are a business that cares.”

Dan Neill, MI Analyst at AXA PPP healthcare said, “Three years ago, a period of depression and a passing comment from my wife led to me being diagnosed autistic. Far from being limiting, this has been one of the most personally and professionally liberating periods of my life. AXA encourages me to embrace my differences, which are seen as strengths, and to bring 100% of me to work each day.”

To celebrate the International Day of People with Disabilities on 3 December, AXA employees are invited to join a lunchtime event in London featuring Emma Case, the Founder of Women Beyond The Box, an online platform for neurodivergent women; Marianne Waite, the Director of The Valuable 500 Campaign; professional speaker Steven Dowd, who was paralysed from the neck down in a cycling accident; and Paul Dockerty, Wellbeing Consultant at AXA UK. In the afternoon, Case will also hold a webinar on neurodiversity.    

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