DRUK makes 25 recommendations for halving the disability employment gap consultation

Tue,21 February 2017
News Education

Disability Rights UK submission to the Department of Work and Pensions the Work, Health and Disability Green Paper “Improving Lives”

This green paper sets out the government’s proposals on ways to halve the disability employment gap disabled people and people with long-term health conditions.

Read DR UK's submission on the Green Paper

Improving Lives: The Work, Health and Disability Green Paper

There are three key messages in our response to this Green Paper.

1. We are pleased that the Government has taken the opportunity presented by the Green Paper to restate its manifesto commitment to halving the disability employment gap. However, we feel that the Green Paper is not a coherent plan, nor will it be effective, until it focuses more on the has a ‘demand side’, namely the rights of disabled people. The most significant demand side measures would be:

  • An expectation that top employers should report regularly on their employment rates of disabled people, with action plans to achieve improvements.
  • That employers in receipt of public sector contracts should demonstrate inclusive recruitment and retention policies and practices and
  • Specific commitments to make government departments and agencies exemplars in employing disabled people.

2. The scrapping the Work Capability Assessment in its current form.

3. A more positive message to prospective employers which highlights the desirability of employing disabled people such as their civic role, their resourcefulness in response to challenges arising from their disability, their enterprise and their industry and resilience.

Our response makes 25 recommendations. Of these we consider 10 to be key, including the removal of benefit sanctions and restoring the cut to ESA for new people in the WRAG group.