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Seven UK broadcasters have jointly launched a confidential accession and inclusion ‘passport’ that could in time be used by independent producers to support disabled freelancers.

Adapting a model ‘passport’ introduced by the BBC in 2019, the initiative has now been taken up by ITV, Channel 4, S4C, UKTV, STV and Paramount UK, with each broadcaster tailoring the initiative to their own workplace needs and business priorities.

They are designed to be transferrable internally, meaning that disabled staff will not repeatedly need to disclose their adjustment needs to each new line manager.

Each organisation has pledged to work with managers to help them ensure the passports are used to their full effect.

Company approaches:

The BBC has made a number of modifications to the passport and will roll out an internal communications campaign to emphasise to staff the benefits of the scheme alongside promoting its usage via a range of other initiatives, such the BBC’s Disability Allies programme. 

Channel 4’s Inclusion Passport will go beyond disability by supporting staff to talk about any experiences and circumstances that may impact life at home and work, including caring responsibilities or faith practices. This approach was piloted in 2021 and will be rolled out in coming weeks.

ITV began to roll out its Disability Access Passport in December as part of its Diversity Acceleration Plan and Accelerating Disability into the Mainstream commitments. The passports are embedded into the recruitment and performance review to ensure disabled colleagues have a number of opportunities to discuss their needs and adjustments with their line manager. Disability inclusion training, delivered by thinkBIGGER!, is also being rolled out support line managers.

STV’s passport will provide a framework to discuss and identify any in-work support, access or adjustments that will support a colleagues’ ability to thrive in their role.  Opportunities to introduce the passport will be rolled out across recruitment, onboarding and development processes to help break down and overcome any perceived barriers to progression.

UKTV is planning disability inclusion training and Neurodivergent learning lounges to further support managers and staff. The broadcaster participated in the Mind Workplace Wellbeing Index and is partnering with disability organisations such as Diversity and Ability, and We Are Purple as media sponsor for Purple Tuesday.

S4C aims to pilot its passport scheme later this year.

Paramount UK will roll out disability / wellbeing passports across the organisation as part of its Disability Action Plan, being spearheaded by the office of global inclusion, the HR team and Paramount’s disability advisor Samantha Renke. The company is launching a disability employee resource group and creating ‘disability ambassadors’ across the business.

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