asked the Secretary of State for Employment if he will make a statement on the plans for the publication of an employers' guide on the employment of disabled people; what the guide's aims are; and what action he proposes to help promote their implementation by employers.
The employers' guide, "Positive Policies", is published today by the Manpower Services Commission, which has prepared it in co-operation with the National Advisory Council on Employment of Disabled People. As its title implies, "Positive Policies" aims to promote the development of positive management and company policies covering all aspects of the employment of disabled people—that is, not merely recruitment, but induction, career development, training, physical access and safety. It also aims to increase employer's awareness of the range of facilities provided by the Employment and Training Services Agencies to help them employ disabled people."Positive Policies" is being sent to some 55,000 employers in both private, and public sectors—to all who have a quota obligation. The CBI and TUC have expressed full support, and are inviting their memberships to use their influence to help bring about the implementation, in agreed ways, of "Positive Policies". In addition, ministerial colleagues will be encouraging employers for whom they have sponsoring responsibility to take account of the guidelines in "Positive Policies" in the further development of their own employment policies.I know that the Manpower Services Commission and the Employment Service Agency regard the issue of "Positive Policies" as a major initiative in securing employers' co-operation in providing more and improved employment opportunities for disabled people. Discussions with employers following publication will be high among ESA's operating priorities over the coming year. ESA's Managers and disablement resettlement officers, in co-operation with disablement advisory committees, will be initiating a sustained programme of visits to employers to encourage them to incorporate the "Positive Policies" guidelines into management and company practice. We hope trade union and work place representatives will be involved in these discussions.The Government welcome "Positive Policies". It is now for employers, together with their union representatives, to show what more they can do to make the objectives of "Positive Policies"—equal employment opportunities for disabled people—a reality.