Government ‘must do more on disability employment’, MPs hear | DisabledGo News and Blog


The government must do more to offer incentives to businesses to take on disabled people as employees, and to tackle the barriers that prevent them finding jobs, according to cross-party MPs.

MPs from Labour, the Liberal Democrats, the SNP and the Conservative party all pushed the government to improve its policies.

Disability Rights UK, which helped secure the debate, said afterwards that it was the first time MPs had debated disabled people and economic growth in the main Commons chamber.

Disabled MP Marsha de Cordova, Labour’s shadow minister for disabled people, told fellow MPs that the government had done far too little to remove the barriers faced by disabled people in the employment market.

She said: “It is a matter of serious concern that we have a government who barely speak about removing barriers, while actually creating new ones through their austerity cuts and their punitive social security system.”

She said the disability employment gap – the difference between the employment rates of disabled and non-disabled people – currently stood at more than 31 percentage points, and was even higher for some impairment groups.

De Cordova was among MPs who criticised the government’s Disability Confident scheme, which is supposed to encourage employers to take on disabled employees.

She said it had been “a dismal failure” and “has yet to produce any concrete evidence of results”.

She asked the minister for disabled people, Sarah Newton, how many disabled people had found jobs as a direct result of the scheme, but Newton later failed to provide an answer.

De Cordova told fellow MPs how one deaf man had been offered a job by an employer signed up to the Disability Confident scheme.

But when the employer realised that the man’s Access to Work support would be capped – because of government policy – and they would have to meet the rest of his disability-related workplace costs, the job offer was withdrawn.

 

Source: Government ‘must do more on disability employment’, MPs hear | DisabledGo News and Blog

Hidden disabilities at work: ‘Every day I’m fatigued and in pain’ | DisabledGo News and Blog


I’m constantly anxious that my ‘luck’ will run out. Either in being able to work at all, or that my workplace will run out of patience and I’ll be out of a job,” says Rebecca Allen, a data analyst in London. Allen, 30, has hypermobility syndrome – a connective tissue disease causing lax joints and muscle fibres – as well as fibromyalgia, and gut and lung problems. Every day at work, she’s fatigued and in pain – even a tough commute can mean she’s unable to make it through the working day. But because her disability is hidden – that is, a disability that isn’t immediately apparent – she doesn’t necessarily appear disabled to her employers and colleagues. It means she’s had colleagues in previous workplaces make pointed glances at the clock when she’s had to come in later because of her health, as well as derogatory comments about her commitment to the job. “I’ve found there’s a total lack of understanding in the workplace, as in the wider world, of what a hidden disability is, whether it’s

Source: Hidden disabilities at work: ‘Every day I’m fatigued and in pain’ | DisabledGo News and Blog

Disabled people have every reason to be sceptical about new Tory work plans | Frances Ryan | Opinion | The Guardian


The Conservatives’ pernicious treatment of chronically ill and disabled people has made us even sicker. Closing the disability employment gap is not that simple

Source: Disabled people have every reason to be sceptical about new Tory work plans | Frances Ryan | Opinion | The Guardian

Experts call for focus on Access to Work, adjustments, attitudes… and funding | DisabledGo News and Blog


Disabled experts have suggested a raft of ways in which the government could help to fulfil its commitment to halving the disability employment gap. The ideas came during a public evidence session held at Somerset House in central London, part of an inquiry by the all-party parliamentary disability group into how to increase the number of disabled people in paid work. The session was organised by Disability Rights UK, which runs the parliamentary group’s secretariat, alongside students from King’s College London, who are working on the inquiry. Henrietta Spalding, head of advocacy for the disfigurement charity Changing Faces, told the inquiry session that she believed there should be mandatory training for managers on disability and health conditions. She said that people’s attitudes and biases needed to be “re-ordered, re-aligned” so that disabled people can “present the skills, strengths and experiences that they have”. She described the discrimination experienced by a skilled and

Source: Experts call for focus on Access to Work, adjustments, attitudes… and funding | DisabledGo News and Blog

Charity calls for WRAG exemption from benefits cap | DisabledGo News and Blog


A leading user-led charity has called for more disabled people to be exempt from the cap on working-age benefits, after the publication of new government figures. Disability Rights UK (DR UK) spoke out after the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) published figures showing that more than 3,100 households which included someone claiming employment and support allowance (ESA) were having their benefits capped in May 2016*. Although those in the ESA support group, and claimants of disability living allowance and personal independence payment, are exempt from the cap, those in the ESA work-related activity group (WRAG) are not. The figures show that 15 per cent of the 20,000 households affected by the cap included someone claiming ESA. DR UK called for all ESA claimants, including those in the WRAG, to be exempt from the cap. Liz Sayce, DRUK’s chief executive, said there needed to be more flexibility from employers, personalised support for disabled people, and advice and support for

Source: Charity calls for WRAG exemption from benefits cap | DisabledGo News and Blog

Disability employment gap: Former diplomat calls for government action | DisabledGo News and Blog


The government must do more to research the benefits of disabled people finding work, according to a former diplomat who was forced to quit after the Foreign Office refused to fund the lip-speakers she needed to do her job. Jane Cordell was giving evidence to the Commons work and pensions committee as part of its inquiry into the government’s pledge to halve the disability employment gap (the difference between the employment rates of disabled and non-disabled people). Five years ago, Cordell, who became profoundly deaf as a young woman, lost her employment tribunal appeal in a disability discrimination case against the Foreign Office over the cost of providing her with lip-speakers. She had been offered the job of deputy ambassador to Kazakhstan and Kyrgystan, but the offer was withdrawn because the government said the cost of providing lip-speakers would be too high (estimates varied from less than £200,000 to more than £300,000 a year). Cordell, now a director of the coaching and

Source: Disability employment gap: Former diplomat calls for government action | DisabledGo News and Blog

Disability employment gap: Experts demolish government excuses for WRAG cut | DisabledGo News and Blog


A trio of experts have destroyed government claims that cutting out-of-work benefits for disabled people will help them find work. They were giving evidence to the Commons work and pensions select committee, as part of its inquiry into the government’s pledge to halve the disability employment gap (the difference between the employment rates of disabled and non-disabled people). Neil Coyle, a Labour MP and a former director of Disability Rights UK, had asked the panel of experts if they agreed with the government that cutting nearly £30-a-week from new claimants placed in the work-related activity group (WRAG) of employment and support allowance (ESA) would help cut the employment gap. David Finch, a senior economic analyst with the Resolution Foundation think-tank, who previously spent eight years at the Department for Work and Pensions, said: “We don’t think it’s going to make any particular difference to people’s incentive to look for work or not. “In face, we think there’s evidence

Source: Disability employment gap: Experts demolish government excuses for WRAG cut | DisabledGo News and Blog

Call for submissions – inquiry launched into employment support for disabled people


Politics and Insights

disability-employment-gap

Disability Employment Gap 2015. Source: UK Parliament.

Inquiry background

The Work and Pensions Committee has launched an inquiry into the Government’s commitment to halve the “disability employment gap.” According to the most recent data, 46.7% of disabled people were in work at the end of 2015 compared to 80.3% of non-disabled people. In order to close this gap, the Committee says an extra 1.2 million disabled people would need to be supported into work.

The Committee’s welfare to workreport, published in October 2015, raised concerns about the lack of success of existing employment programmes in supporting disabled people into sustained employment.

The Government has since announced:

  • A new Work and Health Programme to replace the current generalist Work Programme and specialist disability Work Choice programmes
  • A real terms increase in spending on the Access to Work Programme, which provides practical support for disabled people, beyond the “reasonable adjustments”…

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