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 Employers for Change: Invitation to Tender | April 2024

Invitation to Tender
Disability disclosure in the workplace – psychological safety, effective self-identification processes, data collection, measurement and management: An Employer Toolkit

Employers for Change is inviting application of tender from external consultant to undertake the development and creation of an information guide and practical toolkit for employers who are seeking support and information on how to best collect, measure and manage data from employees with disabilities who are disclosing their disability and self-identifying as a person with disability in the workplace. Based on the toolkit, a short practical complimentary training should be also created, to help employers implement the recommendations.

Employers for Change, is a programme of the Open Doors Initiative, and funded by the Department of Children, Equality, Disability, Integration and Youth. The service empowers employers with all the information and advice needed to hire inclusively and to employ, manage and retain staff with disabilities. Since launching in March 2021, Employers for Change has engaged with over 300 employers. The mission of Open Doors Initiative is to enable equitable access to employability to marginalised groups.

Through this work, Employers for Change has committed to developing a toolkit that will educate and support employers in creating effective disclosure processes, collect, measure and manage data of employees with disabilities. This toolkit will be informed by research and the lived experience of those who will be positively impacted by this resource.

The tender will close on Friday, 31st of May at 5pm.

Download a PDF of the tender document

If you have any queries about the process, please do reach out to Anna Boda, Programme Manager at Employers for Change (info@employersforchange.ie)

Tender

The purpose of this project is to address the challenges of disability inclusion in the workplace by focusing on disability disclosure data collection. It aims to provide employers with the practical tools they may need to accurately measure disability employee data through effective self-identification processes and nurture a culture of psychological safety and belonging.

Key Objective: Provide a practical guide to employers on how to best collect, measure and manage data of employees with disabilities. And how to create a culture of psychological safety for disclosure.

Key Audience: Employers - corporate business, public bodies, HR staff.

This project is not an academic piece of work, but a practical toolkit that should be accessible by employers and employees. Please see our Inclusive Recruitment Toolkit as an example of something produced previously - this can be found on the Open Doors Initiative website through this link here.

Project Deliverables

The successful tender applicant will be expected to produce a well-structured, comprehensive toolkit which offers practical advice and recommendations to employers by 18th of October 2024. The toolkit should be practical with keys steps.

It should include the methodology for disability disclosure data collection, along with accompanying resources such as survey templates, policy framework, communication materials, and complimentary training

  1. To provide employers with practical tools and guidelines to accurately measure disability employee data and track progress over time.
  2. Communication guideline to raise awareness about the importance of disability inclusion and self-identification, leading to increased participation rates among employees.
  3. Include legislation and legal requirements and regulations, since this involves sensitive, personal information.
  4. Include clear steps to avoid any form of discrimination.

Awareness training will be developed as a complimentary resource to the toolkit. The purpose of the training will be to give employers practical guidance on implementing the recommendations laid out in the research toolkit.

Context

The availability of reliable statistics is essential to inform researchers, policy makers and the population in our collective efforts to improve society. (NDA)

As per Diane Lightfoot, CEO of Business Disability Forum “We can only drive change – and close the disability employment gap – if we can get an accurate picture of who is in our workforce already. Understanding who is in our workforce can also enable us to support everyone effectively – to understand the effectiveness (or not) of our processes and identify areas where more support is needed.”

Among employers, there is also a growing recognition of the need for accurate data collection to inform diversity and inclusion initiatives. However, based on the feedback from employers, we know they often face challenges in effectively measuring disability employee numbers due to barriers to self-identification.

A survey conducted by the Irish Data Protection Commission (DPC) found that many businesses struggle to navigate GDPR requirements, particularly concerning the collection and processing of sensitive personal data like disability status. Compliance with GDPR regulations adds an additional layer of complexity, as organizations must ensure that they handle disability data in a manner that respects individuals' privacy rights. Ensuring GDPR compliance while collecting disability data requires clear policies and procedures, as well as ongoing staff training to uphold data protection standards.

The NDA notes that employees not sharing their disability status and challenges with data collection can be issues for public bodies.

The report by the Business Disability Forum from 2023 has identified different challenges for disclosure, such as:

  • Procedural challenges, data protection complexities,
  • Lack of psychological safety in the workplace,
  • People with hidden disabilities not disclosing due to fear that it may harm their career prospects.

This project seeks to address these challenges by providing practical solutions and resources to support employers in collecting and measuring disability data more effectively.

Requirements

  • Experience in research and excellent writing skills.
  • Experience in producing high quality documents to an agreed deadline.
  • Demonstrated knowledge of the area of employment, and/or disability inclusion in the workplace, this can also be from lived experience, academic background, or relevant volunteer work.
  • Desired: Demonstrated knowledge of HR best practices and legal requirements in the area of self-identification, employee data collection.

Process

If you would like to engage with this tender process, please send the below to info@employersforchange.ie:

  • Your CV, along with details of your relevant work
  • A sample of relevant work in this area
  • A timeline of the completion of this work by 18th of October 2024
  • An outline of how you would develop this toolkit, along with suggested key topics
  • Overall costing of this work within the budget of €8,000 (incl. VAT)

The tender will close on Friday, 31st of May at 5pm.

 Employers for Change is hiring a Programme Coordinator | September 2023

Employers for Change is seeking applications for the new, part-time role of Programme Coordinator. Full details of the position and how to apply below. 

Programme Coordinator

Start Date:  Negotiable
Part- Time: 12-month Fixed Term Part-Time (three days per week)

Location: Remote with Office Set-Up

Salary: €25,000 per annum

Our Commitment 

We value and celebrate the diversity of our team and the importance of an inclusive work environment. We welcome applications from people of all backgrounds and abilities. Please let us know if you require a reasonable accommodation for the interview process and we will do our utmost to accommodate you. You can email your request or any queries related to the role to info@employersforchange.ie or call 085 1579603.

Who We Are

Employers for Change is a programme of the Open Doors Initiative, funded by the Department of Children, Equality, Disability, Integration and Youth. Employers for Change is an employer disability information service, that empowers employers with the advice and information needed to recruit, employ and retain staff with disabilities.

The role of the Programme Coordinator in Employers for Change is to provide support to the Director of Employers for Change in delivering the work plan.

This description lays out the responsibilities, duties and expectations of the position holder.

Responsibilities and Requirements

Responsibilities

  • Provide expert advice, information and support to employers on disability inclusion practices and supports.
  • Assist in organising events, meetings, and conferences.
  • Develop and maintain positive relationships with stakeholders of the service.
  • Provide support with the helpline and responding to and recording of queries.
  • Identify new opportunities to grow the impact of the service.
  • Perform day-to-day administrative tasks, including responding to emails, scheduling appointments, managing calendars and doing follow up emails and calls with employers.
  • Manage and update CRM databases (Salesforce), spreadsheets, budget and other electronic files as required.
  • Create and manage surveys to record the impact of Employers for Change on its service users.
  • Create and present reports and presentations as requested by the Director.
  • Support the work of disability focussed programmes of the Open Doors Initiative.  
  • Work with Open Doors Initiative Communications team and Director of Employers for Change to create website, social and traditional media content.
  • Provide the Director and CEO with new innovations and ideas to promote the work of Employers for Change and the Open Doors Initiative.

These are not an exhaustive list of the duties of the position and some additional work may arise.

Essential Competencies

  • Excellent organisational and time-management skills.
  • Proficient in using office software (e.g. Microsoft Office Suite), PowerPoint, Excel, Outlook and Adobe.
  • Strong telephone, email communication and presentation skills i.e., managing telephone and email queries from employers and delivering disability awareness training to employers as required.
  • Ability to multitask and prioritise tasks effectively.
  • Effective problem-solving and decision-making skills.
  • Demonstrable Stakeholder Management skills.

Desirable Competencies

  • Have a strong understanding of barriers experienced by people with disabilities, particularly in employment.
  • Knowledge of current government disability supports and grants.   
  • Knowledge of the NGO and business sectors to provide enhancements to partnerships and consider the possibility of joint projects which will benefit Employers for Change and the Open Doors Initiative.

Hours of Work
This a part-time position of three days per week. How these hours are worked will be agreed. Some work may be out of hours and at weekends. Flexibility would be required in the role, within reason.

Physical Movement
The role will be a desk-based job except on occasions where an in-person team meeting or event is taking place.

Environment
The Programme Coordinator will work remotely and will be provided with home office equipment. The role may require in-person meetings from time to time. On these occasions access to transport will be necessary.

Application
Applications should be made with a Cover Letter and Curriculum Vitae. The application should be submitted as one PDF or Word document by email to info@employersforchange.ie with ‘EFC Programme Coordinator’ in the subject line, by 5pm on Friday, 6th October 2023.

Find out more about us at: www.employersforchange.ie and www.opendoorsinitiative.ie

Employers for Change nominated for Diversity in Tech Award | August 2023

Employers for Change has been nominated under the Disability Inclusion Category at the Diversity in Tech Awards. Winners will be announced on September 27th 2023. More information is available at diveristyintechawards.online

 Diversity Matters: Better Business Magazine | July 2023

In the Summer 2023 edition of the Small Firms Association Better Business magazine,  Director of Employers for Change, Christabelle Feeney talks about the importance of embedding diversity, equity, accessibility and inclusion in every element of an organisation. Christabelle speaks about the Reasonable Accommodation Passport and how it can be utilised to create an inclusive culture where employees feel comfortable sharing information about their disability and accommodation needs.
Read the article in full on pages 30 & 31 on ISSUU

LinkedIn Article | July 2023

In this LinkedIn article, Christabelle Feeney, Director of Employers for Change asks 'How can we break the cycle of underemployment amongst the disabled community in Ireland?'  She highlights the importance of creating awareness and breaking bias in improving Ireland’s employment rate of people with disabilities. Read the article in full on LinkedIn.

 Mastering DEI in the workplace: HR Locker Webinar | June 2023

In this webinar, Christabelle Feeney, Director of Employers for Change speaks with Crystel Robbins Rynne, Chief Operating Officer at HR Locker. The webinar looks at how HR professionals can master DEI in the workplace. Where to begin with creating a DEI strategy and how to utilise data on your DEI journey.

 The Open Doors Initiative and Employers for Change appear before Oireachtas Committee | May 2023

 

Director of Employers for Change, Christabelle Feeney  and Jeanne McDonagh, CEO, Open Doors Initiative appeared before the Oireachtas Committee on Trade, Enterprise and Employment on 17 May 2023. The theme was the employment of people with disabilities, and we had a very engaged conversation with the committee members and our colleagues in NCBI. To view playback of the video of the meeting, please click here.

Open Doors written submission is available to download here.

Employers for Change Shortlisted in The Irish News Workplace & Employment Awards 2023 | May 2023 

Employers for Change has been recognised by the Irish News Workplace & Employment Awards 2023 under the Best Diversity, Equity and Inclusion category.
 
Click here to learn more.

The HR Locker Podcast | May 2023

Christabelle Feeney, Director of Employers for Change, speaks to HR Locker about DEI in the workplace. She discusses the benefits of utilising a reasonable accommodation passport in creating truly inclusive work cultures and building for suture success.

To listen to the podcast please click here.

 The Shortlist Podcast | April 2023

Christabelle Feeney, Director of Employers for Change talks to Johnny Campbell on The Shortlist about inclusive hiring, and how to build diversity, equity and inclusion into every step of your hiring process. How to make inclusion a reality in all aspects of the workplace and employment life cycle is also covered.
 

 Focus on Diversity article | March 2023

What does your company’s hiring policy say about your company?

The article featuring Employers for Change discusses a number of myths about people with disabilities and employment, and reveals the realities as supported by research.

Read the article here.

 Institute of Directors Blog post by Christabelle Feeney | January 2023

In this Institute of Directors Blog, Christabelle Feeney, Director, Employers for Change at the Open Doors Initiative discusses the positive business case for disability inclusion and inclusive recruitment practices.

Read the article here.

 Employers for Change Speaks to Insight HR | December 2022

To mark #InternationalDayOfPersonsWithDisabilities our Director, Christabelle Feeney (She/Her) spoke with the team at Insight HR 

In this podcast Christabelle speaks with Mary Cullen and Eoin Lyons about the positive steps organisations can take to be inclusive of disabled employees and potential employees with disabilities.

Inclusion should be embraced by organisations and allow employees and colleagues to bring their true, authentic selves to work and provide the opportunity for each individual to excel in their application, interview, onboarding and overall employment.

Listen back at https://insighthr.podbean.com/e/episode-94-disability-inclusion-in-the-workplace/

 Employers for Change were delighted to participate in the Irish Wheelchair Association (IWA) and FREE NOW Access Now conference  | 10th February 2022

Employers for Change were delighted to participate in the Irish Wheelchair Association (IWA) and FREE NOW Access Now conference.

Our Director Christabelle Feeney She/Her sat on the second panel of the day alongside Joan Carthy, Patrick Flanagan Maeve Monaghan and Fergus Sharpe.

The panel spoke about the importance of educating audiences as a first step towards making transport accessible for all - looking to the workplace & day to day life where changes need to be implemented to achieve accessibility for all.

If you missed it, you can watch the panel discussion here.
 
Full recording below:

Launch of ‘The Future of Work and Disability - A Remote Opportunity’ research paper by Employers for Change and The Open Doors Initiative | November 2021

The research focuses on the impact of remote working on people with disabilities during Covid19 and was sponsored by Positive2Work Skillnet Ireland.

To cite: O’Donnell, Joan (2021): The Future of Work and Disability: A Remote Opportunity, Employers for Change & The Open Doors Initiative. Link.

Employers for Change and the Open Doors Initiative will launch ‘The Future of Work and Disability - A Remote Opportunity’, a research paper looking at the impact of remote working on disabled people during Covid19. The research was sponsored by Positive2Work Skillnet Ireland.
 
Christabelle Feeney, Director of Employers for Change at the Open Doors Initiative will launch the report alongside the research author Joan O’Donnell, Doctoral Researcher, Maynooth University & Author of Research, David Joyce, Equality & Development Policy Officer, Irish Congress of Trade Unions, Alexis Goldfarb, Senior Consultant, Diversity, Equity & Inclusion, Vice-President at Northern Trust Corporation and Julianne Duffy Gillen, Young Adult Mentor, Explore Programme, Chime
 
The research lays out a number of leverage points which are based on the principles of connecting, learning and accommodating. The Open Doors Initiative and Employers for Change will take these learnings and engage with employers to ensure that we are addressing the needs of employers and employees with disabilities.
 
Click here to read the report in full.

Employers for Change Social Talent Blog | October 2021

Christabelle Feeney, Director, Employers for Change discusses disability inclusion in the workplace in SocialTalent's October blog post. Read the article in full at https://www.socialtalent.com/blog/diversity-and-inclusion/disability-inclusion-in-the-workplace-with-christabelle-feeney

Employers for Change speaks to Social Talent | September 2021

Christabelle Feeney, Director, Employers for Change speaks to Johnny Campbell, SocialTalent about the importance of disability inclusion in the workplace and the practical steps employers can take to put disability on their Diversity, Equity and Inclusion agenda.  

 Employers for Change speaks to HRHeadquarters.ie | August 2021

Christabelle Feeney, Director, Employers for Change speaks to Declan Collins, HRHeadquarters.ie about the barriers facing people with disabilities as they access employment opportunities, employers obligations and practical steps employers can take to make their recruitment and employment practices more accessible and inclusive. Listen back at HRHeadquarters.ie 

Employers for Change Media Coverage | July 2021

 

Employers for Change and Ibec published a policy paper with recommendations for government on increasing the employment of people with disabilities in Ireland. Read more about the policy paper in The Irish Times. Read the Policy Paper in full on the Ibec website.

Employers for Change Media Coverage | April 2021

Image from Launch of Employers for Change. Left to Right: Síne Breslin, Bank of Ireland, Christabelle Feeney, Director of Employers for Change, Francesca McDonagh, CEO Bank of Ireland and Sinéad Burke, CEO Tilting the Lens at the launch of Employers for Change Image from Launch of Employers for Change. Left to Right: Síne Breslin, Bank of Ireland, Christabelle Feeney, Director of Employers for Change, Francesca McDonagh, CEO Bank of Ireland and Sinéad Burke, CEO Tilting the Lens at the launch of Employers for Change 

Employers for Change in Chambers Ireland In Business Magazine

Employers for Change Director, Christabelle Feeney spoke to Chambers Ireland In Business Magazine. Read the article now on page 50 of InBUSINESS Spring 2021.

Radio Kerry Interview

Director of Employers for Change, Christabelle Feeney spoke to Amber Galwey on Kerry Radio recently about the service.
Listen back here: In Business - April 8th, 2021 | RadioKerry.ie 

Open Doors Initiative Mental Health & Working Life Seminar | April 2021

Open Doors seminar on Mental Health & Working Life took place on World Health Day 2021. The seminar coincided with the launch of the Open Door’s Mental Health Toolkit and Podcast series. As we continue to work remotely, many employees and job seekers are struggling with isolation and disconnect. The toolkit and podcasts offer support and advice for mental wellbeing during these challenging times.

Employers for Change media coverage | March 2021

Silicon Republic

Silicon Republic reports on Ireland’s new disability information service.

The Irish Examiner

The Irish Examiner reports on disability activist Sinéad Burke launching new initiative for inclusive employment.

Interview with Christabelle Feeney, Director of Employers for Change

Interview on the launch of the new service and how it can help employers recruit and retain people with disabilities to strengthen their workforce.

Employers for Change · Interview with Christabelle Feeney, Director of Employers for Change

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