On Thursday 3rd December, disability groups, businesses and public sector employers are coming together to celebrate the economic contribution that disabled people make across the globe through the Purple Light Up.
The initiative is part of a global movement to celebrate the estimated 386 million disabled employees around the world. It is estimated that Wales has nearly 200,000 disabled employees working in organisations and companies, in various roles.
Leading the Purple Light Up for Wales is Julian John, Managing Director of Delsion, an award-winning People and Development consultancy whose primary focus is in supporting employers to be more diverse and inclusive.
Julian, who was this year deemed by both People Management and the Shaw Trust to be one of Diversity and Inclusion’s top contributors and influencers, says that the ethos of Purple Light Up in Wales is to celebrate the contribution those with disabilities make to the Welsh economy: “In Wales we have the opportunity to become a leading nation for inclusion, specifically around disability and employment. This day is a day when we celebrate disabled employees and where employers can highlight the valued contribution that disabled people make to the workplace and to the Welsh economy.
“The purple pound – the spending power of disabled people and their families – contributes £274 billion to the UK economy every year and it is something that can’t be ignored. The Purple Light Up is the opportunity to recognise this and celebrate the contribution that disabled people make to society.”
For the fourth successive year companies, councils and major Welsh landmarks are all going purple this year. Some are still lighting up buildings, such as Cardiff Castle and the new Transport for Wales offices in Pontypridd, while others, recognising the fact that some or most of their workforce are working from home, have planned a number of activities and events including turning their backgrounds purple while on video calls and wearing purple to show their support for this fantastic initiative that takes place alongside the UN International Day of Peoples with Disabilities which is held on December 3rd each year.
Information on Purple Light Up UK – https://www.purplespace.org/purple-light-up
Facts and Figures
Just 47.3% of the disabled population in Wales are in work compared to 53% in the rest of the UK, while only 43% of working-age people with a disability or long-term health condition in Wales are employed compared to 79% of non-disabled people without a health condition*.
This is a health and disability employment gap in Wales of 36% – while the equivalent UK gap is 32%.