In a bid to create more inclusive and supportive workplaces, employers are being urged to provide necessary assistance for employees with invisible disabilities. FDM Group, dedicated to bringing people and technology together, has shared essential insights on why businesses should actively support their workforce in this regard, offering six key tips for 2024.

Invisible disabilities, encompassing health conditions not immediately apparent to others, range from mental health disorders and chronic illnesses to cognitive impairments like anxiety disorders, diabetes, ADHD, autism, and autoimmune diseases.

Shockingly, it is estimated that only 4 percent of individuals with disabilities disclose their conditions to employers, underscoring the pressing need for increased awareness and support.

Supporting employees with invisible disabilities is vital not only for fostering an inclusive and diverse workplace but also for promoting equality. Jodie Price, Senior Recruitment Consultant at FDM Group and Chairperson of the company’s Unique Network, emphasised the importance of awareness, understanding, and proactive policies in providing effective support.

Price stated, “By creating an accommodating and supportive environment, we not only enable these employees to thrive but also underline our commitment to inclusion and equality. It also signals to all staff that every individual matters, boosting morale, encouraging empathy, and ultimately leading to a more cohesive, effective workforce.”

Here are six ways organisations can support employees with invisible disabilities in 2024:

  1. Raise awareness: Conduct training sessions to educate employees about invisible disabilities, reducing stigma and encouraging open conversations.
  2. Implement inclusive policies: Develop and communicate clear policies supporting employees with invisible disabilities, including flexible work arrangements, reasonable accommodations, and a commitment to diversity and inclusion.
  3. Provide training for managers: Offer training programs for managers to equip them with the knowledge and skills needed to support employees with invisible disabilities, ensuring regular check-ins and ongoing support.
  4. Encourage open communication: Foster a culture of open communication, allowing employees to discuss their invisible disabilities without fear of judgment. Create individualised support plans based on their unique challenges.
  5. Reasonable accommodations: Make it clear that reasonable accommodations are available, including ergonomic adjustments, modified workspaces, and accessibility initiatives for both physical and digital spaces.
  6. Mental health support programs: Implement mental health support programs, such as Employee Assistance Programs (EAPs) and counseling services, to provide resources for employees dealing with mental health challenges.

Employers are urged to embrace these strategies to create workplaces that champion inclusivity, understanding, and productivity for all.

 

 

 

 

Amelia Brand is the Editor for HRreview, and host of the HR in Review podcast series. With a Master’s degree in Legal and Political Theory, her particular interests within HR include employment law, DE&I, and wellbeing within the workplace. Prior to working with HRreview, Amelia was Sub-Editor of a magazine, and Editor of the Environmental Justice Project at the University College London, writing and overseeing articles into UCL’s weekly newsletter. Her previous academic work has focused on philosophy, politics and law, with a special focus on how artificial intelligence will feature in the future.