The disabled workers’ trade union, Community, is backing the unusual call by one of its recognised employers to ‘steal our staff’. The campaigning message is being promoted by environmental toiletries producer BECo, where over eighty per cent of the workforce are disabled.
Community has been representing members making products for BECo, one of the brands of social enterprise Clarity, for decades, but now the union is supporting the company’s call to other employers to hire their staff. There are over 1 million unemployed disabled workers and BECo recognises its role as a stepping stone towards employment. That’s why it’s promoting the skills and talents of its current workforce – including putting their CVs on their products.
Lauren Crowley, Community’s Head of Equalities, who recently visited the factory, said:
“Like Community, BECo wants to help to close the vast disability employment gap. It’s this kind of innovation and imagination that is needed if we are to see a step change in the numbers of disabled workers in employment.
“At Community, we are continuing to work with other businesses and enterprises which support disabled employment and we keep developing the case that needs to be made to governments in Westminster, Wales and Scotland to reduce the disability employment gap.
“As we celebrate the 120th anniversary of the founding of our National League of the Blind and Disabled section, we are all too aware of the challenges that remain in securing sustainable and rewarding employment for hundreds of thousands of disabled workers. Seeing what our members are doing at BECo makes us more determined to campaign for more action to support disabled workers into employment.”
The National League of the Blind and Disabled was officially founded in 1899. Through the decades it campaigned for landmark changes to legislation to give disabled workers more opportunity to find employment. It’s slogan of ‘justice not charity’ remains a guiding principle of the work that Community does to support its disabled members today.
Employers who are interested in ‘stealing’ BECo staff can visit their website. If you’re looking to help not hire, then BECo products can be found at Boots, Waitrose, Sainsbury’s, the Co-Op and at ethicalsuperstore.com.