A YouGov poll of 622 employers and 1,061 employees commissioned by Business in the Community (BITC), found 40 per cent of employers did not know it was legal to employ someone who was homeless, while nearly a fifth were concerned hiring someone who was homeless would have a negative impact on other employees.
BITC said the results demonstrates there was still a stigma towards employing or working with people who are homeless, and that despite the UK’s record employment rates, “people furthest from secure employment are still being left behind”.
Earlier in the year The Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) had begun an initiative to help homeless people access work. They had launched a £3m project that would see Jobcentre staff providing homeless people with advice on finding work.
The scheme involves Jobcentre staff joining outreach teams to go out onto the streets to help rough sleepers access benefits, open bank accounts and access work.
The DWP said the funding would also allow Jobcentre employees to spend more time working with charities and other organisations that work with homeless people, with some of the money going towards existing projects with homelessness charities.