Social Enterprise Disability Employment Mark Recognises Exemplar Employers

Social Enterprise Disability Employment Mark Recognises Exemplar Employers

Social Enterprise Mark CIC, the award-winning social enterprise accreditation authority, has expanded its portfolio of services with the launch of a new standard for the social enterprise and Supported Business sectors.

The Social Enterprise Disability Employment Mark (SEDEM) has been designed specifically for organisations whose primary objective is the employment of disabled people. It aims to provide assurance for commissioners/funding bodies and disabled people on the specialist supportive environment provided for employees with disabilities.

This new Mark, which was developed with the Supported Business sector following discussions with the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP), builds on the experience and evidence of the government Disability Confident scheme, existing Social Enterprise Mark CIC accreditations, as well as the customs and practices of the Supported Business community as exemplar employers and businesses.

The Social Enterprise Disability Employment Mark logo.

Lucy Findlay, founding Managing Director of Social Enterprise Mark CIC, says:

“We are really excited to announce the launch of our newest products. This marks a key milestone for us in our work with the Supported Business Steering Group, as well as DWP.

“We hope that this accreditation will become a yardstick for businesses that wish prove their credentials in creating the most supportive environment for employing disabled people, as well as demonstrating their social value. We are particularly pleased to see take-up from some of the leaders in this field and hope that more will follow as we work with DWP and Steering Group to refine the details.”

The Mark has been welcomed by the social enterprise and Supported Business sectors, as explained by Mark Norbury, CEO of social enterprise support body UnLtd:

“There are hundreds of social entrepreneurs out there recruiting and training talented and skilled disabled people. They serve as powerful role models for other businesses – particularly the SME sector which employs over 60% of our UK workforce.”

“This new initiative will give deserved recognition to social enterprises, such as those backed by UnLtd and Scope, who are innovating to reduce the UK’s unfair and unaffordable disability employment gap. If this gap is to be closed completely, the UK will need to harness the proven potential of these inspiring social ventures to achieve change. Recognition through this new Mark is an important step in the right direction.”

The eight* organisations involved in the pilot phase for the new Mark include CLARITY, one of the UK’s oldest social enterprises, and Britain’s Bravest Manufacturing Company, a division of Royal British Legion Industries, which provides employment opportunities to members of the Armed Forces community.

Watford Workshop employees Social Enterprise Disability Employment Mark

Geoff Streetley, Managing Director of BBMC, said:

“As a socially-thriving, commercial enterprise now in its 100th year of providing crucial employment support to injured veterans and people with disabilities, we are immensely proud to have been awarded the Social Enterprise Disability Employment Mark. This mark is the recognition of our commitment to improve the lives of people in need of support, each and every day.”

Following initial testing of SEDEM with a number of local authorities, a separate accreditation, the Local Authority Disability Employment Mark (LADEM), is being introduced, to recognise the specific benefits of supported businesses that are embedded in Local Authorities. County Print Finishers, part of Oxfordshire County Council, and Tremorvah Industries (part of Cornwall County Council) are involved in the pilot phase for this Mark.

Will Gardner, Unit Manager at County Print Finishers, says:

“County Print Finishers was keen to achieve the Local Authority Disability Employment Mark to demonstrate our commitment to help people with a disability in Oxfordshire to find and stay in work, whilst also promoting excellent standards in the supported employment sector.”

Full information on these new Marks and how to apply, along with case studies on the pioneering recipients can be found on the Social Enterprise Mark CIC website: The SEDEM and The Local Authority Disability Employment Mark.

Social Enterprise Disability Employment Mark

Social Enterprise Mark CIC is the social enterprise accreditation authority, responsible for assessing applications for the internationally recognised Social Enterprise Mark, the Social Enterprise Gold Mark, and now the Social Enterprise Disability Employment Mark and the Local Authority Disability Employment Mark. It assures the social enterprise business model remains ethical, credible and commercial through accreditation. The Social Enterprise Mark has a presence in 10 different countries, including South Africa, Singapore, and Spain.

*This number may be subject to change ahead of the launch on 29th April as we are still finalising some applications. At the time of writing, the inaugural recipients are:

SEDEM LADEM
Britain’s Bravest Manufacturing Company (part of RBLI) County Print Finishers
CLARITY & Co. Tremorvah Industries
Haven Products  
MTIB  
Pluss (SEDEM ‘Committed’ status)  
Realise Futures  
Watford Workshop  
Yateley Industries  

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