Disability in the workplace

July 2019

We are supporting and encouraging law firms to promote disability inclusion in the workplace and working to change attitudes about disability in the profession.

Disability can affect any one of us, one in four people will be affected by mental ill health in the course of their life (Source: Mind) and 83 percent of people will acquire their disability whilst in employment (source: Department of Work and Pensions).

We started talking to firms earlier this year about their commitment to disability inclusion and asked them to tell us about the initiatives and support they have in their firm.

More than 420 law firms responded to a questionnaire. We found 96% had an Equality, Diversity and Inclusion policy but only 20% had an action plan to promote disability inclusion. 13% had disability staff support networks in place with 6% of these staff networks led by senior leaders.

We held two workshops – finding that an inclusive workplace supports people to talk openly about disability.

We know disability status is under reported across law firms – only 3% percent of solicitors and partners declared they had a disability in 2017, compared to 10% of the working age population in employment in England and Wales that are disabled. Our aim is to bring disability to the forefront of people's minds and to foster a good working environment to make sure people are provided with the support they need to participate and achieve their full potential.

The resources below provide information for firms looking to improve inclusion. This includes case studies and videos on how firms have successfully addressed the barriers some people face.

Case studies

Open all

Watch our videos about disability in the workplace

Fadeia Hossian

Financial Regulation Lawyer Clifford Chance

Why it is important for employers to support their staff.

Daniel Winterfeldt

Partner, Reed Smith LLP

How employers need to focus on talent not disabilities.

Katherine Ramo

Technology, Media, IP, Competition, Associate, CMS UK

Why leading from the top is essential when being an inclusive employer.

Jonathan Kewley

Partner, Clifford Chance

Why good communication plays an important part of being an inclusive employer.