Westminster Business Forum

Conferences that are scheduled to take place before September will be conducted online.
The format will mirror physical conferences organised by the Forum with speakers presenting via webcam, accompanied by slides if they wish.
The conferences will be chaired and there will be opportunities for delegate questions and comments.
We will be contacting all participants in advance of each conference with full information and guidance on how to take part.
There will be some exceptions where conferences will be postponed, for instance those that would largely involve key stakeholders in the NHS or emergency services.
All participants affected by this will be informed as soon as possible.
If you’d like to speak to us over the phone about any booking-related queries, please call one of the following numbers: +44 (0)7951044809 / +044 (0)7503591880 / +44 (0)7538736244

Disability in the workplace - removing barriers to recruitment and progression, creating inclusive workplace cultures, and next steps for policy and organisational practice

February 2020

As the new government begins its work, delegates at this conference will examine latest thinking on next steps for policy and organisational practice on what needs to be done to encourage more disabled people into work - and to support and retain disabled employees.

Issues for discussion include:

  • Specific measures to reduce barriers - such as statutory sick pay reform, help for SME employers, and a cross-government approach to disability policy formulation;
  • Inclusive recruitment, and strategies for staff retention - such as workplace adjustments and support in cases when workers become disabled;
  • Concerns about policy targets encouraging short-term employment, and a lack of evidence to support policy choices; and
  • The effectiveness of programmes such as Disability Confident and Access to Work.


There will be keynote addresses from:

  • Justin Tomlinson MP, Minister of State for Disabled People, Health and Work, Department for Work and Pensions; and
  • Neil Heslop, Chief Executive Officer, Leonard Cheshire.

Further confirmed speakers include: Sigrid Fisher, Employers Network for Equality & Inclusion; Esi Hardy, Celebrating Disability; Abigail Hirshman, Acas; Professor Kim Hoque, University of Warwick; Kamran Mallick, Disability Rights UK; Sonali Parekh, Federation of Small Businesses and Gareth Parry, Remploy.

The agenda

  • Government policy on work and disability - providing greater workplace support for disabled employees;
  • Evaluating policy and progress made towards reaching government targets - latest thinking on what more needs to be done to increase the number of disabled people in work;
  • Reimagining the workplace - overcoming barriers to progression of disabled people in work;
  • Responsibilities and actions - what needs to be done to move forward in increasing opportunities for disabled people in work;
  • The next steps for policy development and implementation; and
  • Case studies: successfully creating inclusive workplace cultures - normalising disability, communicating with and retaining disabled employees, and ensuring routes to progression.

Engagement with policy officials at this conference

This Westminster Business Forum conference has attracted strong interest from policymakers. It will be an opportunity for stakeholders to engage with officials who have reserved places representing: BEIS; Cabinet Office; Crown Prosecution Service; DfE; DHSC; DIT; DWP; Education and Skills Funding Agency; FCO; Government Equalities Office; Government Legal Department; HMRC; Home Office; HSE; MoD; MoJ; NAO and Ofcom.

Price: £95 PLUS VAT

Shortly after every Westminster Business Forum seminar, a briefing document is produced. This is distributed to all delegates on the day as well as to our policymaker contacts in government, and to stakeholders more widely.

A seminar publication provides a timely record of proceedings, and acts as a guide to the latest thinking on current policy issues for those unable to be at the event.

This publication includes


Contributions from keynotes and panellists, including accompanying slides*
*Subject to approval

Delegate Pack

Information from the day, including delegate list, biographies and agenda


Transcript of questions and comments posed to speakers from attending delegates


Supplementary articles from speakers
and delegates