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Senior management commitment to disability: the influence of legal compulsion and best practice

Cunningham, I.R. and Dibben, P. and James, P. (2001) Senior management commitment to disability: the influence of legal compulsion and best practice. Personnel Review, 30 (4). pp. 454-467. ISSN 0048-3486

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Over the past two decades, two distinct types of action have been taken to address discrimination in the labour market against people with disabilities. First, the introduction of legislation and, second, the launch of "best practice" initiatives. Analyses company annual reports to test whether these two types of action have acted to increase senior management commitment to tackling the disadvantaged position of disabled workers. Presents findings that cast doubt on the extent to which either of the approaches have served to increase such commitment. Identifies a number of legislative reforms, encompassing the introduction of requirements on the external auditing of disability practices, access to occupational health services and the use of contract compliance, that could be utilised to raise the priority accorded to disability issues by senior managers.