Minister to open Business Disability Forum conference on the future of disability in the modern workplace

Sarah Newton MP, Minister of State for Disability, Health and Work, will be opening Business Disability Forum’s annual conference, on 18 April in London, exploring what the modern workplace means for business and their disabled employees and customers.

Sponsored by HSBC, the ‘Disability in the modern workplace’ conference will examine and evaluate the opportunities and risks posed by automation, flexible working, Brexit and other factors at work in 2018 and beyond.

The conference includes a ‘Question Time’ panel on the future of work chaired by acclaimed former newscaster Sir Martyn Lewis CBE, as well as speakers from leading organisations including Microsoft, Barclays, EY, Shell and GlaxoSmithKline.

Speakers will join experts from Business Disability Forum in discussing changes to the workforce and how crucial gains made for disability inclusion over the last 25 years can be preserved and built upon as the world changes.

The theme for the annual conference was chosen in light of the unprecedented rate of change in workplaces around the world, with technological advances, automation and the growth of a new gig economy meaning the term ‘disability-smart’ has taken on a different meaning.

Diane Lightfoot, Chief Executive Officer at Business Disability Forum, said:

“We are delighted to be welcoming the Minister Sarah Newton to our conference as a keynote speaker, as it’s critically important that we have the voice of government at this event as well as the voices of disabled people, businesses and the third sector.

“We have chosen to build our flagship conference for 2018 around ‘Disability in the modern workplace’ because this the best possible time for us to come together and consider the future of disability and work. With Brexit looming, this is a topic we feel must be addressed with urgency.”