Best Practice Case Studies: B & Q (2)


I’ve already shared some examples of good practice shown by B & Q (here), and there are a number of other examples of the kind of actions they have taken to ensure greater inclusion of disabled employees. Here they are:


They continually monitor and adjust their recruitment processes to make them more accessible and inclusive. For example, their formal telephone interview has changed to a more informal conversation to help support candidates with stammers, anxiety, learning disabilities, Aspergers or Autism feel more comfortable and at ease.

They recently helped a candidate with hearing impairment through their recruitment process by resourcing and paying for an external BSL interpreter to attend their face to face interview in store.

They supported a customer advisor candidate who is autistic through the recruitment process from start to finish, making appropriate reasonable adjustments throughout – and they are now happily working in their new store in Friern Barnet.

They work in partnership with external providers such as Remploy and Shaw Trust in helping disabled people back to work via their B & Q Work Placement Scheme.


An employee had been off sick for a wile, and following meetings and home vidits, advisd that he had a visual impairment which was causing difficulties with his role. His return to work was suported by Visual Eyes (an organisation who provide technology to assist partially sighted and blind people). He was moved to another role which he loves, and is now one of the most helpful staff in the store. His colleagus think he could sell snow to eskimos!

Reasonable adjustments can be as simple as changing working hours. A disabled employee needed her working hours to fit in with hours her carer works, and her driver is available, so her hours were changed to 2.00pm to 6.00pm which suited everyone. Similarly an employee with MS was able to change her working days so she could have a rest day after each working day as well as reducing her contracted hours.

Another helpful initiative has been a phased return to work policy after sick leave, enabling employees to return to lighter duties or fewer hours. This has proved to be successful for both B & Q and the employee.

These initiatives are all fairly simple, and generally not expensive, and they allow B & Q to attract and retain the best talent, regardless of any disabilities they may have. This has the additional bonus that more disabled people are likely to apply, knowing that their application will be taken seriously, thereby making it easer for B & Q to gain the benefits of a diverse workforce.


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