Working for change

We’ve launched our new campaign, Working for Change, which aims to change attitudes to hearing loss in theDownload working for change brochure workplace.  

For years now, people with hearing loss have told us that the poor attitude of employers is the biggest barrier they face in the workplace.  

Working for Change will help employers to feel confident about recruiting people with hearing loss as well as overcoming some common myths about hearing loss and employment  – and show them how to support employees who already have, or will develop, a hearing loss.  

In our previous research in 2014, eight out of ten respondents said that employer attitudes towards hearing loss was a major barrier in the workplace. For this campaign, we wanted to delve deeper into this. We commissioned YouGov to survey business leaders and we interviewed people in business to identify good practice that can be replicated across the country. Our research found that:

  • There’s a lack of confidence in employing people with hearing loss
  • Employers perceive there to be a lack of advice and support available about employing people with hearing loss
  • There’s a lack of awareness of the government’s Access to Work scheme among employers, which can help meet the costs of reasonable adjustments to the workplace
  • Employers are not yet prepared to support an ageing workforce.  

You can read more about our findings, along with our recommendations, in our report Working for Change: Improving attitudes to hearing loss in the workplace (PDF 1.9MB, opens in new window).  

Our previous research found that nearly eight out of ten people with hearing loss find employer attitudes to be the biggest barrier in the workplace. Yet we know that there are some excellent employers around the country who successfully recruit and retain people with hearing loss. We wanted to delve a little deeper and talk directly to employers about their experiences, and what they would like to see change. You can read what we found out in our latest report.  

Download our report (PDF 1.9MB, opens in new window)  

Building on this research, we’ve produced a straightforward myth-busting guide for employers.    

Key findings from our YouGov poll are:

  • Just over a third (35%) of business leaders stated that they do not feel confident about their business employing a person with hearing loss
  • Over half (57%) of business leaders agree that there is a lack of support or advice available for employers about employing someone with hearing loss
  • Almost two-thirds (63%) of all business leaders had never heard of Access to Work
  • Nearly two-fifths (39%) of business leaders don’t feel well-equipped to enable staff with hearing loss to stay productive in the workforce.  

Recommendations

The report makes recommendations to the government, employers, and people with hearing loss, as we think we all need to work together to improve the understanding of hearing loss in the workplace. We want employers to use our myth-busting guide to help them overcome any concerns about employing people with hearing loss. We also want businesses to spread the word about our campaign.   If you’ve been affected in any way by an employer’s bad attitude towards hearing loss, or lack of understanding about it, please contact us and tell us about your experiences. Powerful stories always strengthen our campaigning.  

Email campaigns@hearingloss.org.uk or contact our Information Line: telephone 0808 808 0123, textphone 0808 808 9000 – or send a text message to 0780 000 0360.

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