The Social Enterprise Disability Employment Mark

Prove your credentials as a business committed to promoting equality and diversity

Evidence your credentials as a an exemplar employer of disabled people.

The Social Enterprise Disabilty Employment Mark (SEDEM) has been designed by, and for, the supported business sector with the aim of providing assurance for commissioners and disabled people on the specialist supportive environment available to your employees.

It builds on the experience and evidence of Disability Confident, the Social Enterprise Mark and Gold Mark accreditations, as well as customs and practices of the Supported Business community as exemplar employers and businesses.

The Social Enterprise Disability Employment Mark is designed for supported businesses and social enterprises whose primary objective is the employment of disabled people.
It aims to provide assurance on the quality of employment outcomes for disabled people.

Disabled employees photo montage

What are the benefits?

Prove your social enterprise credentials, by submitting to the scrutiny of a rigorous external assessment process. With annual checks against criteria, you can assure customers/partners that you are operating ethically, commercially and upholding sector-agreed standards, with a focus on providing employment opportunities for disabled people.

The Social Enterprise Disabity Employment Mark has been developed in partnership with the Supported Business Steering Group, following discussions with the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP). It aims to provide assurance to commissioners/funding bodies on the quality of employment outcomes that are created for disabled people.

Demonstrate your good practice as an exemplar employer in promoting equality and diversity, by providing valuable support to those people that encounter the greatest barriers to work, enabling them to find and maintain meaningful employment.

You will be featured in a unique directory that lists only accredited social enterprises and shows their social impact, which is viewed by over 500 visitors per month.

Stand out from competitors, by demonstrating you have been externally scrutinised against robust accreditation criteria, and have proven that your organisation puts people and planet before the interests of shareholders.

Prove how you are delivering social value through the employment of people with disabilities or long-term health conditions.

Our social impact questions are designed to help you think about the social impact you create, and to communicate this clearly and succinctly. We also create a Social Impact Declaration for all Mark holders, to summarise how you are striving to make a difference and standing up to scrutiny of purpose as a social enterprise. We also publish full statements of how you commit to make a difference by supporting disabled people into employment.

We facilitate collaboration amongst our international network of social enterprises, and encourage our Mark holders to work in partnership to create combined social value.

Mark holders have access to networking and peer learning opportunities at our annual conference, with a varied and interactive programme to stimulate debate and learning, as well as sharing knowledge and good practice.

Does my business qualify?

To qualify for the Social Enterprise Disability Employment Mark, you should meet the following criteria*:

Applicants should be able to provide evidence of a particularly supportive environment for employees with disabilities, which is not available to people working in a typical work place.

The social aim of facilitating the employment of people with disabilities or long-term health conditions must be clearly articulated within the legal objects of the organisation, e.g. Articles of Association.

Applicants must have effective policies and procedures to attract, recruit and retain board members and employees with disabilities or long-term health conditions, to reinforce their ethical positioning. Effective business planning should drive social aims through all strategies and policies as well as setting, monitoring, reporting and actioning social and commercial KPIs.

Applicants will need to prove that at least 50% of income comes from trading. Trading income is defined as income from sales, fees, contracts, service level agreements but NOT pure grant awards, investment income, donations and loans. This information can be found in company annual accounts.

There should be clauses in governing documents confirming an organisation’s commitment to how surpluses (or profits) are distributed. It must be clear that at least 51% of any annual surplus (or profit) generated are distributed to facilitate the employment of people with disabilities or long-term health conditions.

SEDEM holders will act as exemplar employers, evidencing the value of employing people with disabilities or long-term health conditions. Applicants will need to show that at least 50% of employees have disabilities or long-term health conditions, and are employed at all levels and in all aspects of the business.

* Please note if you don’t meet all the criteria at the outset, we will support you to achieve this over an agreed time period. Where an organisation doesn’t meet all the criteria, they may still be awarded a ‘Committed’ status, whereby they may be granted a period of up to 3 years to work towards achieving the full ‘Approved’ status (subject to an agreed plan and timeframes).

Please contact us with any questions about this.

How do I apply?

Social Enterprise Disability Employment Mark assessment process

How much does it cost?

There is an annual licence fee for the Social Enterprise Disability Employment Mark, which is calculated based on the turnover* of your business. Staged payment plans are available to spread the cost of the licence.

The annual fee entitles you to:

  • an independent assessment against robust sector agreed criteria
  • support and guidance in articulating your social impact
  • tailored feedback to provide benchmarks for future development

With the Social Enterprise Disability Employment Mark, you can:

  • provide assurance to commissioners and funding bodies of the quality of employment outcomes
  • differentiate from competitors
  • demonstrate your good practice as an exemplar employer
  • get noticed as an approved social enterprise creating social impact

*The turnover of the business as stated in the most recent set of company accounts.

Applicants are invoiced up front for the licence fee. In the unlikely event that an application is unsuccessful, the licence fee will be refunded, minus a £200 assessment fee.

Please note – all fees are subject to regular review.

Next steps

Further information

Need more information? Contact Rachel Fell or call 0345 504 6536 to ask any questions and to find out more about this unique accreditation and how you can apply.