Income Protection  

Understanding gender, disability and the protection gap

  • Describe the challenges disabled women face in the workplace.
  • List what can be done to address this problem in the group insurance market.
  • Identify what other help is available to support disabled women back into work.
CPD
Approx.30min

Furthermore, companies need to evidence that they will provide a working environment which will not only allow disabled women to flourish, but also allow their employers to get the most out of them.

This may mean looking at the job or the place of work from a slightly different perspective, but there are very few circumstances which cannot be overcome with imagination and commitment.

Careers advice, particularly for people with physical disabilities, is to seek work in the public and charity sectors as they are seen as needing to “set an example” and lead the way in diversity and equality in employment.

The bitter irony is that this is completely backwards.

The private sector is better equipped to employ disabled women, with more money to make reasonable adjustments and more freedom in how it is spent, and has the most to gain through improved productivity.

It is a sad fact that the private sector is still viewed collectively as the heartless engine of capitalism and inequality, but that reputation can change if employers lay the groundwork and take concrete action.

Change will not happen overnight, but a clear message, backed by consistent investment and action, can gradually shift attitudes and perception among relevant demographics and the wider public.

Protection benefits

One step which can encourage disabled women to consider private sector employers and see that they are serious about providing for their needs is to provide group insurance benefits with inclusive eligibility conditions, such as a very simple “all employees”.

For most employees, cover is provided without the need to provide any medical information.

This means valuable life insurance or income protection benefits can be gained by people who may otherwise struggle to acquire them, with the added bonus that they do not cost the worker anything.

Besides the financial benefits, many group insurance policies include a broad array of support services which can be used day-to-day, such as employee assistance programmes, second medical opinion services and apps which may track wellbeing, or offer retail discounts and other perks.

Support from the state is available, though not necessarily something to be relied upon.

The well-worn discussions about the ongoing diminution of the Employment and Support Allowance aside, other employment-focused initiatives are also flagging.

The most well-known of these, Access to Work, can provide financial and practical support to disabled people based on their needs.

This could provide modifications to the equipment for the job, specialist software, counselling support, even aid with transport to and from the workplace.

It does not cover reasonable adjustments employers need to make to comply with the Equality Act 2010, but the average cost of these has been estimated at just £75, with many costing nothing at all, according to the Department of Health.

CPD
Approx.30min

Please answer the six multiple choice questions below in order to bank your CPD. Multiple attempts are available until all questions are correctly answered.

  1. Disabled women are likely to face what throughout their lives?

  2. Overlooking a valuable pool of willing workers has a knock-on effect on three things. Which one of the below is not in that list?

  3. The disability employment gap has been above what percentage for more than 10 years?

  4. "The charity sector is better equipped to employ disabled women, with more money to make reasonable adjustments." True or false?

  5. In 2007, the Disability Rights Commission estimated that raising the employment rate of disabled workers to that of non-disabled workers would generate how many months of economic growth?

  6. According to the author, what type of workers are out there for employers?

Nearly There…

You have successfully answered all the questions correctly, well done!

You should now know…

  • Describe the challenges disabled women face in the workplace.
  • List what can be done to address this problem in the group insurance market.
  • Identify what other help is available to support disabled women back into work.

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