Peer support and advice for employers with disabled workers essential. Service to be managed by consortium of Chambers Ireland, Ibec and ISME. CallEdi.ie launched by Minister Richard Bruton.
The new national Employers Disability Information service (EDI) designed to provide employers with an expert peer source of advice and information on employing staff with disabilities was launched today (2nd February). The ultimate aim is to promote increased employment of people with disabilities.
A consortium of Chambers Ireland, Ibec and ISME will co-manage this National Employer Support Service which will be housed in ISME. The intention is to build and enhance employer capacity to recruit and retain staff with disabilities by having a pool of authoritative advice and information available.
Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation Richard Bruton TD said “I am delighted to welcome the launch of this important initiative to provide employers with expert advice on employing people with disabilities. The aim of this initiative is ultimately to promote increased employment of people with disabilities. That is an aim shared by Government, and recently we launched a Comprehensive Employment Strategy for People with Disabilities, in which providing better advice of this kind was an important action in that plan”.
Mark Fielding, ISME CEO, commented on the new initiative, “Irish Employers are open to hiring people with disabilities and sometimes require advice on how best to accommodate the needs of the new staff member. This helpline initiative for employers, run by employers, will allow them to seek advice in this area and will ultimately lead to an improved working environment for people with disabilities. The website CallEdi.ie will be a repository of information and best practice advice. Our hope is that this advice will ease the transition into the workplace for both employees and employers.”
The service is a centrally-based national resource of peer advice and information for employers on employment of people with disabilities. The service comprises:
- A helpline on a dedicated phone line (01- 6762014) providing advice and information to employers on employment of people with disabilities.
- A central web-based information resource (CallEdi.ie) incorporating guidance and best practice.
- The use of the mainstream channels of the participating organisations to disseminate information on the service and on matters relating to employment of people with disabilities.
- The development of networks and fora for employers to share experiences and good practice.
“The Government aims to increase the number of people with disabilities in employment by 15% in the next ten years. Employers are a key stakeholder in meeting this target and so it is vital that they are assisted in ensuring that they can provide a safe and productive workplace. CallEdi.ie, the employers’ helpline will be a central piece in this plan”, concluded Fielding.
For further information contact:
Chief Executive, ISME.
Tel: 01 6622755
Mobile: 087 2519675
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Note to Editors:
The helpline, which will provide a centrally based national resource of advice and information for employers on employment of people with disabilities, will be manned by the project manager and will be provided from a dedicated phone line and email address.
The project manager will be based in the offices of ISME. The helpline will be a stand-alone service, separate from the host organisation and will be promoted and advertised accordingly.
All queries will be reported to and resolved within 24 hours where possible. If the response/resolution depends on an outside party it will be provided as soon as possible.
The service will provide information and advice on:
- Rights and responsibilities under employment and equality law, health and safety law, etc.
- Support schemes from the Department of Social Protection and other supports and tax breaks for employment of people with disabilities
- Practical advice on providing reasonable accommodations
- Inclusive recruitment and workplace practices
- Managing and supporting staff
- Managing acquired disability and return to work
- Direction to sources of information and advice on specific disability conditions such as hearing loss, vision impairment, autism, specific physical impairments, mental health conditions
This will work with and strengthen the disability capacity of mainstream employment support services provided to employer body members.