Employment Inclusivity – VR contribution to inclusivity in the workplace


October 19


09:00 am - 05:00 pm

Event Category:

Online Events

Click to Register: Click to Register

Vocational Rehabilitation Association

Website: Organizer's Website

Online Event

Please join us online for an amazing, fun packed day of Speakers, Workshops and networking.

Employment Inclusivity

The VR contribution to inclusivity in the workplace

An online multidisciplinary conference which aims to support and equip practitioners for the changing world of work and explore how equality, diversity and inclusion can be applied in practice.

All sessions will be recorded and made available to ticket holders after the event.

Learning Objectives:

To support the professional and personal development of practitioners To become familiar with resilience tools for practitioners and to be more resilient themselves To gain knowledge to help overcome barriers, and improve equality, diversity and inclusion in our practice To raise diversity and awareness in practice and gain insight from an expert panel with the opportunity for questions

Target audience

Practitioners, professionals and managers involved in: Vocational rehabilitation, return to work, job retention and employability HR Occupational health Case management Health and wellness Other sectors with a work, health and/or disability focus

Conference Programme

 09.15 – 09.45 Registration and Coffee

 09.45 – 09:55   Welcome  

 09:55 – 10:40  Designing inclusive remote and hybrid working to support disabled workers with Paula Holland & Aman Navani – The large disability employment gap is driven by organisational inflexibility and non-inclusive policies and practice within the workplace, including inequitable access to effective reasonable adjustments. Working from home has been shown to be positive for disabled workers’ employment, yet employers were reluctant to implement it pre-pandemic. In our mixed-methods study, disabled workers reported that remote working during the pandemic gave them greater control over their working environments, supporting their physical and mental health, productivity and job satisfaction (Taylor et al, 2022). Inaccessible digital technologies and lack of specialist equipment at home hampered work participation for some participants, but 82% wished to work remotely 60-100% of the time in future. Participants expressed concerns for their health if returning to office-working reduced their flexibility and autonomy. Our ongoing larger-scale study for the Nuffield Foundation explores how remote/hybrid working can be designed to be inclusive of disabled workers’ needs and preferences, so that it actively promotes their job retention, recruitment and progression.

10:40 – 10:45 Sponsored wellbeing mini break

 10:45 – 11:30  Considering diverse needs when returning to work in a hybrid environment – Jo Yarker – Over the last three years the world of work has changed with approximately 38% of the UK workforce now working from home or in a hybrid work environment. Flexible work and working from home are effective work adjustments for returners, but much of what we know is based on returning to traditional ways of working and with little attention to diversity and inclusion. Research examining hybrid work among the wider working population reveals a complex picture: managing wellbeing for employees who may not be visible presents a far greater challenge than doing so in a controlled and managed workplace; and evidence suggests that the flexibility of hybrid working may in fact be deleterious to wellbeing for some. This presentation will bring together findings from our research which highlights the need to consider the diverse needs of workers to facilitate a sustainable return to work.

 11:35 – 12.20  Line Manager wellbeing – Is it time to stop squeezing the squeezed? With Dr Zofia Bajorek. This presentation discusses the under-researched topic of line manager wellbeing. Line Managers have often been described as the ‘squeezed-middle’ and often deemed as pivotal for maintaining direct report wellbeing and productivity. But what implications does this have on their own wellbeing, and why is this even important? With the changes in the way that work had adapted since the Covid-19 pandemic, is this now more important than ever? This presentation will look at the recent evidence regarding line manager wellbeing, theories about why they have become so squeezed, and recommendations as to how various organisational stakeholders can reduce pressure on line managers for everyone’s benefit.

12:20 – 13:20     LUNCH 

 13:20– 14:05  – Workshops A & B:

Disability discrimination / reasonable adjustments / case studies with Emily Yeardley – A practical workshop looking at common situations and examples of managing ill-health and disability in the workplace.

Strategies to ensure inclusive workplaces for neurodiverse people – Bea Richardson – An introduction to neurodiversity and strategies for creating and maintaining inclusive workplaces for neurodivergent people. In this session we will: Learn about the language of neurodiversity Understand the value neurodiversity brings to business Learn about the positive impact of universal design principles, and how to apply these in the workplace Explore actionable ways to adjust both recruitment and team management to be neuroinclusive

 14:10 – 14:55 – Workshops C & D:

Managing stress and Mental Health in the workplace  with Sharon Patmore and Jennifer Fielder – Stress is a highly topical subject so it’s important to understand more about what organisation can do to manage it more effectively and what practitioners can do to support this. This session will highlight key actions and tools that will be helpful to organisations who want to understand and manage stress in their workplaces. An organisation that has improved their ability to reduce stress at work will share their experiences, including how and what they have done to get to the point of having a reduction in the number of stress reported incidences at work.


 Long COVID 3 years on and the workplace  with Beverley Knops – Beverly, is a Specialist Occupational Therapist with more than thirty years’ experience. She has spent the majority of her career working with people experiencing persistent pain and fatigue. She worked in North Bristol NHS Trust (NBT) for twenty-nine years, starting in the rheumatology service, then moving into the Specialist Pain and ME/CFS services. In 2012, Beverly started work as an associate therapist with Vitality360, a private company working exclusively with people experiencing pain and fatigue. She now leads this specialist team full-time. Beverly is passionate about sharing knowledge and skills with other health professionals.

14:55- 15:00 Delegates back to the main room

15:00– 15:50  Roundtable of all speakers  Q and A Discussion on Disability and Inclusion 

15:50 – 16:00   Closing Summary

16. 00 – 17.00  Networking

All sessions will be recorded and made available to ticket holders after the event.

We would like to introduce our amazing Event Sponsors:

HCB Group – HCB Group provides Employee Health Management and Occupational Health support to help employees return to work from illness or injury in a sustainable way. We have provided these services for more than 25 years and have supported thousands of individuals via their insurers or employers.We are a small business doing meaningful work in a role which is traditionally fulfilled by large corporates. We are directly supporting a number of global financial institutions. We are confident that we are redefining Occupational Health provision.www.hcbgroup.co.uk

Hawk and Heath – The Hawk and Heath MethodForest Bathing, also known as Shinrin-Yoku, is a type of eco-therapy that originated in Japan. The practice involves immersing oneself in nature while mindfully engaging with the five senses. It has been shown to reduce stress, improve mood, and enhance overall health and wellbeing. While it’s gaining popularity among individuals seeking mental and physical relaxation, it’s also become increasingly relevant for corporations to incorporate Forest Bathing in their wellness programs.


Vitality 360 – We are a rehabilitation provider who specialises in pain and fatigue, including post-viral fatigue caused by COVID. Our innovative approach consistently achieves great outcomes including a 70% return to work and an 89% improvement in vitality for our clients. Most models use a single disciplinary intervention whereas we offer a multidisciplinary team approach based on clinical evidence of optimum intervention. We work with insurance providers, case managers/solicitors & VR companies/employers. We deliver over 90% of our programmes remotely online.www.vitality360.co.uk

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