Wheelchair users struggling in employment with only 27% of UK offices having access, YouGov poll finds

More than a quarter of UK offices do not cater for wheelchair users, a survey has revealed.

It potentially leaves 1.2m wheelchair users struggling to find work.

The results, from more than 1,000 workers across the UK, show that 27% of offices don’t have sufficient access for people who use wheelchairs.

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Highlighting further inequality in the workplace, the news comes just days after reports have revealed the pay gap for people with physical disabilities is at almost 10%.

Workspace design specialist, Penketh Group, carried out the survey in conjunction with YouGov.

Chris Birchall, workplace strategist at Penketh Group, said: “The results from our survey are deeply concerning. They shed more light on the inequality crisis that is apparent in the UK workplace today, especially for people with physical disabilities.”

Adding: “Businesses need to realise that inclusivity is more than just a box-ticking exercise. If they want to get the best from the workforce, they need to start catering for all employees, regardless of their physical ability and fully understand what they need to do their jobs.”

Other findings in the survey include that 34% of workers want wheelchair access to be improved in their workplace.

30% of 18 to 24-year olds also think their workplace doesn’t cater for people with varying physical abilities. Often, even when accessibility is addressed, incorrect equipment is implemented.

Despite the findings, Chris said that he has seen an increase in businesses being aware of workplace issues regarding inclusivity.

He said: “We’ve certainly noticed clients picking up on more workplace issues, which lead back to inclusivity – even if they can’t explicitly name or identify what it is they’re referring to.

“Businesses are becoming more aware of the need to provide for staff from all different walks of life and the benefits this brings about, but more needs to be done.”

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Alex Douglas

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