The disability equality charity Scope has today become the first organisation to comply with a new government reporting framework designed to increase the number of disabled people in work.
The government published Voluntary Reporting on Disability, Mental Health and Wellbeing in November last year in the wake of lobbying by Scope.
The framework, which is aimed at organisations with more than 250 employees, sets out to encourage more charities and businesses to collect and publish data about disability workforce issues.
Although the framework is voluntary, it is hoped it will raise awareness of inequality, just as gender pay gap reporting has done, and lead to change.
In its Disability and Wellbeing Report, published today, Scope reveals that 17 per cent of respondents to its 2018 staff survey had an impairment, condition or identified as disabled.
Although this was up by three percentage points on the previous year, it was below the proportion of working-age disabled people in the UK, which was 18.6 per cent.
Anna Bird, executive director of policy and research at Scope, told Third Sector the charity "could do better", but the idea of the framework was to stimulate debate and promote more inclusive workforces rather than "chasing numbers".
"This is a useful baseline from which we can build future diversity and inclusion plans," she said.
"We want to be open. We don't pretend to be perfect. But if we can't do this we can't ask others to do the same."
Bird said Scope had not set a target for a percentage of its own staff who have disabilities, but aimed to improve this figure annually.
A Scope spokeswoman said it was an organisation of disabled and non-disabled people, which valued disability experience in recruitment and often included it as a desirable criterion in job adverts.
"However, we are aware of our responsibilities in terms of discrimination and would make it mandatory only when we’re satisfied there is a genuine occupational requirement," she added.
Scope's report, which was published today to coincide with what many countries celebrate as Labour Day, says a million disabled people in the UK can and want to work but are being denied the opportunity.
The report says that the charity plans to publish a diversion and inclusion strategy to help it improve. It is also piloting a reasonable adjustment process involving a central point of support after the staff survey revealed levels of satisfaction with the adjustments made for disabled staff were "not as high as we would hope for".
Scope also plans to publish guidance this month on how organisations can employ more disabled people.
Janina Vallance, executive director of people and change at Scope, said in a statement: "By leading by example and being open about our performance, including areas where we know we need to improve, we want to encourage other businesses to report and work with us to make inclusive workplaces a reality."