Photo montage of disabled employees

New standard launched to recognise exemplar employers of disabled people

Social Enterprise Mark CIC is proud to launch a new standard for Supported Businesses and social enterprises that support disabled people to find and maintain meaningful employment.

Social Enterprise Disability Employment MarkThe Social Enterprise Disabilty Employment Mark (SEDEM) has been designed specifically for businesses whose primary objective is the employment of disabled people. It aims to provide assurance for commissioners/funding bodies and disabled people on the specialist supportive environment provided for employees with disabilities.

This new Mark, developed in partnership with the Supported Business sector and through discussions with the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP, builds on the experience and evidence of the government Disability Confident scheme, the Social Enterprise Mark and Gold Mark accreditations, as well as the customs and practices of the Supported Business community as exemplar employers and businesses.

“We are really excited to announce the launch of our newest products. This marks a key milestone for us in our work with the Supported Business Steering Group, as well as DWP.” says Lucy Findlay, Managing Director of Social Enterprise Mark CIC.

“We hope that this accreditation will become a yardstick for businesses that wish to prove their credentials in creating the most supportive environment for employing disabled people, as well as demonstrating their social value. We are particularly pleased to see take-up from some of the leaders in this field and hope that more will follow as we work with DWP and Steering Group to refine the details.”

The new Mark has been welcomed by the social enterprise and Supported Business sectors, as explained by Mark Norbury, CEO of social enterprise support body UnLtd:

“There are hundreds of social entrepreneurs out there recruiting and training talented and skilled disabled people. They serve as powerful role models for other businesses – particularly the SME sector which employs over 60% of our UK workforce.

“This new initiative will give deserved recognition to social enterprises, such as those backed by UnLtd and Scope, who are innovating to reduce the UK’s unfair and unaffordable disability employment gap. If this gap is to be closed completely, the UK will need to harness the proven potential of these inspiring social ventures to achieve change. Recognition through this new Mark is an important step in the right direction.”

Social Enterprise Disability Employment Mark and Local Authority Disability Mark holders

The inaugural recipients of SEDEM, involved in the pilot phase for the new Mark, include one of the UK’s oldest social enterprises – CLARITY, and Britain’s Bravest Manufacturing Company (BBMC).

Geoff Streetley, Managing Director of BBMC, said:

“As a socially-thriving, commercial enterprise now in its 100th year of providing crucial employment support to injured veterans and people with disabilities, we are immensely proud to have been awarded the Social Enterprise Disability Employment Mark.

“This mark is the recognition of our commitment to improve the lives of people in need of support, each and every day.”

Local Authority Disability Employment MarkFollowing the initial testing of SEDEM with a number of local authorities, the Local Authority Disability Employment Mark (LADEM) is also being introduced, to recognise the specific benefits of supported businesses that are embedded in Local Authorities.

To find out more about these new Marks and how to apply, please get in touch to speak to a member of our friendly team.