All the charities based at King George V Playing Fields (KGV) have signed up to Guernsey Employment Trust’s (GET’s) Employer’s Disability Charter.
KGV is home to the Guernsey Community Foundation, the Guernsey Health Improvement Commission (which includes Bailiwick Social Prescribing), Headway Guernsey, Guernsey Cricket and KGV’s administration office. All have now committed to take steps towards helping disabled people prepare for work.
The Charter was set up by GET in 2017 to help unemployed disabled and disadvantaged people prepare for, find and maintain a job. Since then, nearly 70 local businesses have signed up to the Charter.
Jim Roberts, Chief Executive of the Guernsey Community Foundation, said: “The Foundation helped launch GET and has assisted it financially in the past. We were happy to sign up to the Employer’s Disability Charter. Even though we’re a small organisation, it’s important that we advertise vacancies and recruit new staff in line with the Charter principles. The adjustments we had to make to our HR policies were minor, but they will make a big difference to disabled applicants and staff.”
“Applying to become a signatory on the Charter was very straightforward and GET were on hand to give advice and support. I’d encourage other businesses, big or small, to sign up.”
The other organisations at KGV are also signatories.
Dr Simon Sebire, Chief Executive Officer of the Health Improvement Commission which includes Bailiwick Social Prescribing said that they are proud to be part of the GET Employers’ Disability Charter.
“It helps us to be an inclusive workplace, supporting existing staff and guiding our recruitment processes. We’ve built a great two-way relationship with GET where we also help to train the GET team in ways to support their clients’ health, from thinking about what to eat at work, keeping active or accessing social prescribing. We are looking forward to offering placements as part of our Charter commitment.”
Philippa Stahelin – Executive Director Headway Guernsey said that they were very keen to sign up to GET’s Employer’s Disability Charter because they are committed to supporting GET’s ambition of securing employment opportunities for all, regardless of their ability or disability.
“For many of our members a return to their workplace following a serious brain injury is not always possible but a modified work environment can often be possible. As well as being associated with GET’s ambitions we regularly talk to employers about adapting work practices can encourage valued staff to return to give real value to an organisation. Often, it’s the simple adjustments like; a gradual return to work, reduced hours and adjusting workloads and informing staff that can help with this. We also work with our members to enable them to be honest with their employers about the issues they are facing, so there is mutual understanding towards a shared goal.”
Chief executive and director of Guernsey Cricket, Mark Latter, believes that the game should be available to all.
“As an employer we wanted to share that same philosophy in our recruitment process,” he said.
“Working through the process to sign up for the GET Charter, with the Guernsey Employment Trust team, allowed us to consider how we were currently placed and how we should be improving to ensure we can offer opportunities off the field to all in our community. The knowledge gained will form our thinking in this arena and, daily in our actions and initiatives in the employment sphere.”
KGV’s general manager, Debbie Hunter, said that after signing up to the Charter they had reviewed all their policies, considered access to new projects, and attended many training sessions.
“At KGV we employ around 25 people at any one time, some full time, but most in part-time casual positions. The roles at KGV vary hugely from grounds staff to office administration personnel, facilities maintenance staff to bar workers. As a community centre, offering job opportunities to all is key.”
Elaine Strappini, GET’s Employment Development Manager, said: “It is exciting to have these charities on board and we are looking forward to working with them to help identify opportunities for our job seekers. This month we are proud to be celebrating our 600th paid placement.”
Signing up to the Charter is free and voluntary. By signing up to the Charter employers commit to taking steps towards helping disabled people prepare for work by offering mock interviews, work experience and job tasters where practicable. Employers also commit to taking steps towards helping disabled people find work by actively encouraging job applications from disabled people; offering a guaranteed interview to disabled applicants who meet their minimum criteria; and implementing good practice and considering reasonable adjustments in their application and interview process.
The Charter also asks employers to commit to taking steps towards helping disabled people maintain work by encouraging all managers and supervisors to complete free on-line Disability Awareness training and implementing good practice and considering reasonable adjustments in the workplace.
To find out more about GET’s Employer’s Disability Charter go to https://www.get.org.gg/employers/charter or call GET on 01481 247999.