The Social Enterprise Disability Employment Mark

Prove your credentials as a social enterprise committed to promoting equality and diversity


Evidence your credentials as an exemplar employer of disabled people.

The Social Enterprise Disabilty Employment Mark (SEDEM) has been designed specifically for social enterprises that have a focus on providing employment for disabled people. It has been developed 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 credibility

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.


Provide assurance to commissioners

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.


Get recognised as an exemplar employer

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.


Differentiate from competitors

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.


Demonstrate your social impact

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.


Access a unique social enterprise network

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*:

Must provide a supportive environment for people with disabilities or long-term health conditions

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.


Must have clear social objectives, which include facilitating the employment of people with disabilities or long-term health conditions

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.


Must demonstrate an effective business model

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.


Must earn at least 50% of income from trading

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.


A principal proportion of any profit made by the business must be dedicated to facilitating employment for people with disabilities or long-term health conditions

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


Minimum of 50% of employees have 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.

Fees start at £420+VAT for organisations with a turnover of less than £150,000. 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 fee tier will be assessed each year at the point of renewal, so if turnover has increased or decreased, the licence fee payable will adjust accordingly.

Annual income* Annual licence fee
(+ VAT)
less than £100k £300
£100k – £199k £420
£200k – £499k £540
£500k – £999k £660
£1m – £2.99m £828
£3m – £5.99m £912
£6m – £9.99m £1,800
£10m – £14.99m £2,640
£15m – £29.99m £3,960
£30m – £49.99m £6,000
£50m – £99.99m £7,200
£100m and above £9,000

*Annual income is 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.