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Winners of DWP’s Disability Confident Awards

Winners of DWP’s Disability Confident Awards crowned in night of disability employment celebration.

The Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) has commended businesses across the country who are helping more disabled people get into work.

Scottish independent business Aquarius Hair Design in Earlston amongst the winners with Asda and Microsoft also picking up awards.

The Minister for Disabled People, Mims Davies, presented the awards with a call for other businesses to follow their ‘brilliant example’.

British businesses backing the Government’s drive to get more disabled people into work have been recognised at the DWP’s Disability Confident Awards in London this week.

The three winners included small independents like Aquarius Hair Design in Scotland to global heavyweights like Microsoft and Vodaphone, with awards presented by Minister for Disabled People, Mims Davies.

All nominees are part of the Government’s Disability Confident scheme which promotes and provides resources for businesses to think differently about disability so they can recruit, retain and develop disabled talent.

Disability Confident has contributed to 1.3 million more disabled people now being in work than in 2017 – hitting a government commitment five years early.

The Winners

Small Business Award: Aquarius Hair Design, hair salon in Earlston, Scotland, who employ two people with learning difficulties and have engaged positively with local employment schemes. One staff member who has Down Syndrome is one of the longest standing employees having worked there for 18 years.

Impact Award: Microsoft have developed accessible technology to help disabled people in the workplace. Some of the technology converts text to help visually impaired users. Microsoft has also worked with DWP to upskill Jobcentre work coaches, so they can teach jobseekers how to use the assistive technology.

Mental Health and Wellbeing: Asda developed a mental health awareness programme for staff as part of their “Asda Academy.” The training has been rolled out to 150,000 employees across the country who said it helped de-stigmatise mental health issues.

Minister for Disabled People, Health and Work, Mims Davies MP, said:

These businesses are brilliant examples of inclusion in action and they have helped us reach our goal of getting one million disabled people into work five years ahead of schedule.

A huge congratulations to everyone nominated and the impeccable winners. The standard this year was incredibly high, and I loved hearing about the truly great work of these employers and the impact in their sectors.

With more than 19,000 members and 11.5 million paid employees working in signed-up organisations, Disability Confident employers are leading the culture change in their own businesses and in their networks – promoting the benefits of inclusive recruitment and retention. 

Disability Confident is just one part of the government’s work to boost disability employment, with 5.5 million. disabled people in employment in the UK, an increase of 390,000 on the year.

This is backed by one of the biggest welfare interventions in a generation – our £2.5 billion Back to Work plan – which will support thousands of disabled people and those with health conditions to start and thrive in work.

Further information

  • In Q4 2023, there were 5.5 million disabled people in employment in the UK, an increase of 390,000 on the year Office For National Statistics
  • See the full list and categories
  • Our £2.5 billion Back to Work measures will help over a million people, including those with disabilities and long-term health conditions to break down barriers to work.


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