Workforce Disability Equality Standard

The Workforce Disability Equality Standard (WDES) is a set of ten specific measures (metrics) that will enable NHS organisations to compare the experiences of Disabled and non-disabled staff. This information will then be used by the Trust to develop a local action plan to enable us to demonstrate progress against the indicators of disability equality.

The 10 metrics cover such areas as the Board, recruitment, bullying and harassment, engagement and the voices of Disabled staff which take effect from 1 April 2019 based on 2018/19 financial year data.

The WDES is mandated through the NHS Standard Contract. It is restricted to NHS Trusts and Foundation Trusts for the first two years of implementation.

Why is the Workforce Disability Equality Standard needed?
• Significant under reporting of the numbers of staff who declare themselves to be disabled within the NHS.
• Nationally 15% difference between ESR and Staff Survey declaration rates (WWL Trust figures:- Staff Survey 19.7% (NHS Trust Average 17.1%) ESR 2.2% (17.5% difference)
• Lack of representation of Disabled staff at senior levels within the NHS
• Disabled staff consistently report:
- higher levels of bullying and harassment
- less satisfaction with appraisals and career development opportunities.

Positive Outcomes for the NHS:

Improved Data
• More transparency, more accurate data reporting and analysis.
• Drive up the declaration rate of Disabled staff.

The collection and reporting of data will enable organisations to better understand the experiences of their Disabled staff

Cultural Change
The data will prompt and drive NHS organisations to take action and improve the experiences of Disabled staff. As a result:

• It will support the development of good practice.
• Improve recruitment processes, and increase the number of Disabled staff recruited.
• It will support positive change for existing employees and enable a more inclusive environment for Disabled people working in the NHS.

Raising awareness of disability will support improvements in patient care

Better Staff Experience
· The WDES will champion a more open culture, reduce bullying and improve staff wellbeing.
· Drive forward change in an organisation to improve the employment and retention of Disabled people

The first mandated report deadline was 1st August 2019. WWL’s first WDES was made on 1st August 2019 and is available below. 

WWL Workforce Disability Equality Standard Report 2023

WDES Action Plan 2023

WDES Action Plan 2022

WWL Workforce Disability Equality Standard Report 2022

WWL Workforce Disability Equality Standard Report 2021

WWL Workforce Disability Equality Standard Report 2020

WWL Workforce Disability Equality Standard Report 2019 Part 2

WWL Workforce Disability Equality Standard Report 2019 Part 1