159 companies from 22 countries respond to ILOs Global Business and Disability Network surveys on Disability inclusion during COVID-19
Wed 29 July 2020
A leading voice in disability issues at work, the International Labour Organization (ILO) Global Business and Disability Network (GBDN) wanted to understand how organisations were addressing disability inclusion in their responses to COVID-19. In May 2020, the ILO GBDN conducted 2 surveys to identify good practices and gaps in responding to the COVID-19 crisis in a disability-inclusive way.
Here are some of the key findings:
The survey asked companies to identify which practices they had implemented to protect their employees with disability during the COVID-19 crisis. The three most-selected practices were to provide: telework; flexible working hours; and paid leave. Responding companies also mentioned additional practices, including providing reasonable adjustments and facilities to people with disability to work from home, contacting their employees periodically to find out about their welfare, and generating accessible material on COVID-19 through online training.
“Nothing about us without us”, continues to be highly relevant during the COVID-19 crisis. Consulting with organisations of people with disability is essential for companies to promote a truly-inclusive response. Of all companies surveyed in the sample, 47% reported that they had consulted, or were planning to consult, organisations of people with disability on their COVID-19 response.
Companies’ expressed needs to strengthen disability inclusion in their responses to COVID-19. Raising awareness about disability, and capacity to provide workplace adjustments, stood out as the most pressing needs identified to ensure a disability-inclusive response. Companies also identified government support as an important need for their COVID-19 responses. Overall, 51 responding companies had requested, or were planning to request, support (including funds) from governments. Out of these 51 companies, 69% were planning to use this support to safeguard the employment of people with disability.
Responding to this current crisis begins with ensuring that gains made in disability inclusion are not undercut, and building back better will require a strengthened emphasis on disability inclusion.
See more of the findings from the ILO survey in the infographic below or read the study.