In 2019, we launched the Social Enterprise Disability Employment Mark (SEDEM); a new standard for social enterprises that primarily deliver social value through the employment of people with disabilities or long-term health conditions.
This bespoke accreditation was designed specifically for the supported business sector, with the aim of providing assurance for commissioners/funding bodies and disabled people on the specialist supportive environment provided for employees with disabilities.
Following an initial pilot phase with a number of supported businesses, including Britain’s Bravest Manufacturing Company and MTIB, we have now developed the criteria and assessment process. This was done in consultation with the Supported Business Steering Group* to ensure the criteria and assessment is relevant and appropriately robust.
Assessments will be reviewed by an independent Accreditation Panel, which comprises individuals from different backgrounds, including those with experience of disabilities and long-term health conditions, and the criteria being examined. The Panel’s role will be to consider and make judgements on assessments conducted, ensuring these conform with criteria expectations and setting new precedents for assessing eligibility going forward.
After initial testing of SEDEM with a number of local authorities, we also developed a separate accreditation, the Local Authority Disability Employment Mark (LADEM), to recognise the specific benefits of supported businesses that are embedded in Local Authorities.
We are now rolling out these accreditations more widely to provide recognition to innovative employers that are tackling the disability employment gap by creating supportive working environments, which empower disabled people to find and maintain meaningful employment. Applications are subject to an external assessment process, where organisations are required to describe how they are meeting the criteria and submit supporting evidence in respect of this.
If you want to get recognised as an exemplar employer and prove how you are delivering social value through the employment of people with disabilities or long-term health conditions, you can register your interest and a member of our team will be in touch to discuss the next steps.
*The Supported Business Steering Group comprises members of the British Association of Supported Employment and other sector stakeholders. They provide an advocacy and lobbying role for supported businesses and promoting the employment of people with disabilities and long-term health conditions. This includes regular engagement with the Department of Work and Pensions, who manage funding in support of these interests, who were also involved in the consultation around the development of these accreditations.