Workforce Disability Equality Standard

The NHS Equality and Diversity Council (EDC) has recommended that a Workforce Disability Equality Standard should be mandated via the NHS Standard Contract, in England from April 2018.

The Equality Diversity Council considered the report published by Middlesex and Bedfordshire Universities on the ‘Experience of Disabled Staff in the NHS‘, alongside findings from research carried out by Disability Rights UK and NHS Employers ‘Different Choices, Different Voices‘, which found that disabled people had poorer experiences of working in the NHS in England than non-disabled colleagues.

The WDES will follow similar process as the WRES through a set of metrics and action plan after the metrics have been analysed to identify any trends and issues.

Workforce Disability Equality Standard


WDES Action Plan 2022 – 2023

WDES Data March 2022


WDES Action Plan 2021 – 2022

WDES Data March 2021

WDES Annual Report 2021


WDES Action Plan 2020-2021 

WDES Data March 2020

WDES Annual Report 2020


WDES action plan 2019 2020 Updated

Providing national leadership to shape and improve healthcare for all

Draft Metrics for a Disability Equality Standard (linked to NHS Staff Survey 2016)

Metric Percentage Non-Disabled Percentage Disabled
1. Percentage of disabled staff in each of the AfC Bands 1-9 and VSM (including executive Board members) compared with the percentage of staff in the overall workforce.    
2. Q15 Percentage of staff experiencing harassment, bullying or abuse from staff in the last 12 months    
3. Q9d In the last 3 months have you ever come to work despite not feeling well enough to perform your duties?


e) have you felt pressure from your manager to come to work?

4.  Q16 Percentage of staff believing that the organisation provides equal opportunities for career progression or promotion    
5.  Q5f: How satisfied are you with each of the following aspects of your job:


f) the extent to which my organisation values my work

6.  Q20f (Appraisal): Were any training, learning or development needs identified?    
7.  Q20g(Appraisal): Did your manager support you to receive this learning and development?    
8 Q20a Did your appraisal help you improve how you did your job?    
 9 Q27b (Reasonable adjustment): Has your employer made adequate adjustments to enable you to carry out your work? (For reporting year)    
10. Does the board meet the requirement on Board membership (referred to in the Race Equality Standard) that ‘Boards are expected to be broadly representative of the staff and population they serve’?    
Analysis of disabled staff response only Percentage yes Percentage no
11. Q17 % saying they had experienced discrimination on the grounds of: c) disability    

Contact Details

Mohammed Ramzan – Equality, Diversity and Inclusion Lead