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Equalities and Rights Equalities and Rights

Give employers the advice and support they need to employ disabled people

Last updated: 08:51am 24 January 2019

We will give employers the advice and support they need to hire and retain disabled people and those with health conditions.

Conservative Party Manifesto 2017, p.57

Our verdict

According to a House of Commons briefing paper, in April-June 2018, there were an estimated 3.8 million people of working age with disabilities in employment. That equates to an employment rate of 50.7%, whereas the employment rate for people without disabilities was 81.1%. The difference between those rates is known as the “disability employment gap”.

This policy, to give employers advice and support to hire and retain disabled people and those with health conditions, is part of the government’s attempt to close the disability employment gap.

In November 2017, the government published its ten-year strategy aimed at tackling the disability employment gap, Improving Lives: The Future of Work, Health and Disability. The strategy includes a chapter on improving advice and support for employers, which outlines a vision for improvements, details current initiatives and provides plans for future development.

The strategy also includes the government response to an independent review of mental health and employers, which commits to implementing recommendations aimed at helping employers to support their employees.

In July 2018, a £4.2 million Work and Health Challenge Fund to support people with mental health or musculoskeletal conditions to remain in work was launched. The purpose of the fund is to look at:

“new approaches to help employers and employees develop workplace solutions, and developing ways of working that facilitate greater participation of those with mental health or musculoskeletal conditions”.

Funds were awarded to 19 successful projects under the Work and Health Challenge Fund in November 2019.

There is enough evidence of government efforts to provide employers with advice and support for us to consider this ‘in progress’. To ascertain whether employers are getting “the advice and support they need”, we’ll be consulting with disability rights groups to see if we can move this to ‘done’. Follow this policy for updates.

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