-A A +A
Select color visibility that suits you Basic theme Dark theme Darker theme Text only

NAO Supporting disabled people to work report

28 March 2019

New National Audit Office report finds the DWP has no real strategy for helping disabled people into work.

 Supporting disabled people to work – NAO website 

Disability Rights UK says:

“The NAO report is welcome but even if its recommendations are accepted and implemented in full by the Government the employment gap between non-disabled people and disabled people is likely to persist. 

“The report does find some glimmers of hope, for example the increasing emphasise on a personalised approach to supporting  disabled people, but much more needs to be done to overcome the suspicion and mistrust disabled people feel in their dealings with DWP. 

“The narrative needs to change from focusing on reducing the benefits bill and punishment through sanctions to supporting disabled people to use our skills to reach our full potential and take our place as equal citizens in society.”

Report conclusions

The Department has recognised that it does not understand enough to frame a full implementation strategy for helping more disabled people to work. It is positive that it is making an effort to improve disabled people’s experience when they enter a jobcentre. It is also positive that it is starting to work more closely with the Department of Health & Social Care to improve the evidence base of what works. And it is positive that there has been recent growth in the number of disabled people in work. However, neither we nor the Department can tell how much of the improvement is a function of changes in how people already in work report disability, ‘all boats rising with the tide’ of high employment, or its actions to support more disabled people to work.

Given the Department has had programmes in place to support disabled people for over half a century, it is disappointing that it is not further ahead in knowing what works and that it lacks a target that it is willing to be held to account for. While the commitment to gathering evidence is welcome, until it has a clear understanding of what works, and a plan to use that evidence, it is not possible to say the Department is achieving value for money.