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As part of our Inclusion and Diversity framework , Maximus UK has supported the creation of MaxAbility, a dedicated colleague network which aims to continuously improve the day-to-day experience of disabled colleagues across the company and increase the number of disabled colleagues employed at Maximus UK.

The MaxAbility board is chaired by Stephanie Hopper, an Assessment Centre Manager in the CHDA division, and Gareth Parry, Programme Director for our Employment, Skills and Disability division, and is composed of colleagues with lived experience of disability or an interest in disability issues. The new colleague network, launched earlier this month, is built around three focus areas:

Aspire – Focusing on ability rather than disability, the network will encourage personal and professional development for disabled employees, creating opportunities by championing disability. It will advocate for improved knowledge and training in the workplace, ensuring that disability is high on the agenda and treated equitably throughout the business.

Access – Campaigning for improved access to services and resources, the network aims to reduce barriers experienced by disabled employees. It will be a ‘safe space’ where disabled colleagues can share their views and experiences, and will aim to improve access to support, promote progression, and share the latest information, advice and guidance.

Achieve – MaxAbility will recognise individual and group successes, aiming to establish a supportive network of colleagues who can share experiences and work towards their goals. As a collective voice, the network will help shape policies and processes across Maximus UK and initiate projects that will meaningfully impact disabled colleagues.

Stephanie Hopper, MaxAbility Co-Chair, said:

“As a nurse and a functional assessor, I have a professional interest in disability, but I also have a passion for the subject owing to lived experience. I’m excited about the creation of this network, which I hope will enable colleagues to come together to support each other. We are also aiming to recruit colleagues into the MaxAbility network, both to broaden its reach and to make it more representative of the business”.

As part of the new network, we are in the process of developing a Health and Wellbeing Passport that will help disabled colleagues to collate all the information they wish to share with their line manager. This will ensure that they receive the right support to be successful in their role, eliminating the need to repeat information when starting in a new role.

Also in progress is an action plan for enhanced Disability Confident accreditation, building on our existing Disability Confident Leader Level 3 status across our four divisions.  

Gareth Parry, MaxAbility Co-chair, said:

“With the Paralympics taking place this summer in Tokyo, it’s a perfect time to launch MaxAbility, which shares many of the same values - courage, determination and the will to achieve. My aspiration for MaxAbility is for the network to establish Maximus UK as an employer of choice for disabled people and to attract disabled candidates because of the positive experience we can offer them which will ultimately result in more disabled people employed by our company”.