To support stakeholders across the game in implementing an inclusive employment policy, CAFE has published a guidance note on the topic.

CAFE's mantra of Total Football #TotalAccess is a clear one - a game that is accessible, welcoming and inclusive for all. This means that disabled people should have the same opportunities as non-disabled people to take their rightful places not only as players and spectators, but also as employees - be it stewards, volunteers, coaches, administrators, or leaders and decision makers.

Disabled people constitute the largest minority group in the world today. Over 17% of Europeans aged 15 or over are disabled, and more than one billion disabled people are alive today.

Still, disabled people across the globe have much lower employment rates than non-disabled people. For example, in the UK, the unemployment rate of disabled people is almost three times higher than among non-disabled people. In some countries, unemployment among disabled people is as high as 80%.

In 2016, CAFE surveyed almost 700 disabled fans across Europe and found that almost two-thirds would welcome the opportunity to work in football. However only 42% of respondents thought this would actually be a possibility, with many feeling that poor access would prevent them from taking up employment in the game.

The CAFE guidance note on inclusive employment is split into five sections. First we consider why inclusive employment matters, and some of the common barriers faced by prospective disabled employees. The guidance note then has sections on leading an inclusive recruitment process, enabling the retention of disabled employees, and introducing workplace adjustments to create an accessible working environment.

Finally, the guidance note features a section on the promotion of inclusive practices and a series of useful templates with practical advice.

To download the CAFE guidance note on inclusive employment, please click here. Alternate formats are available upon request.

CAFE Global Project Coordinator Esther Jones Russell said, "We are pleased that there is already growing support within the game for a more inclusive employment policy, but there is still much to do to ensure disabled people receive the same opportunities to work in their chosen fields".

The development of the Disability Access Officer (DAO) role has led to further opportunities for disabled people to seek employment within football, but disabled people still have a key role to play in all other areas of the game.

"At the Russian Football Union, for example, there are disabled people working as DAOs, and also within the media and communications department. Any workplace, or boardroom, can benefit from a diverse structure which better reflects the wider society, with disabled people right at the heart of it", added Esther.

UEFA has included inclusive employment policies within its suggested projects in the UEFA HatTrick programme, designed to support the overall growth of football across its 55 member associations. The UEFA HatTrick programme allows member associations to apply for financial support to develop all areas of the game.

For further information, or if you have any questions on how you can develop an inclusive employment policy, please email Esther Jones Russell at [email protected] or call +44 (0)208 065 5108.

You can also watch sessions on inclusive employment at CAFE's third International Conference in Bilbao, on-demand, on the following links:

- Football - an accessible workplace? Business Disability Forum presentation

- Football - an accessible workplace? Football for All Leadership Programme presentation

- Football - an accessible workplace? Bradford City case study

- Football - an accessible workplace? Panel discussion

Published 11/06/2019