Government plans to transform disability employment

The government has outlined a plan to see more disabled people in work over the next 10 years.

  The strategy is launched to break down employment barriers and the Prime Minister said: "I am committed to tackling the injustices facing disabled people who want to work, so that everyone can go as far as their talents will take them.” She continued: “This strategy sets out how government, employers and the health service will work together to get more disabled people into employment, and help shift the attitude of business and society to disability.” The strategy, called ‘Improving Lives: the Future of Work, Health and Disability’, builds on last year’s Work, Health and Disability Green Paper, which called for a comprehensive change to the UK’s approach to disability employment. The strategy includes: - Extending fit note certification beyond GPs to a wider group of healthcare professionals, including physiotherapists, psychiatrists and senior nurses. - Investment in work coaches and the number of employment advisors. - Encouraging more companies to sign up to the Disability Confident scheme to promote disability inclusion (there are currently over 5,000 companies signed up). Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt said: “This strategy will help shape the future for hundreds of thousands of people with disabilities and mental health issues as we continue to tackle the stigma that so many people face when trying to get into and progress in work.” Leonard Cheshire Disability chief executive Neil Heslop said: “The government committed some time ago to getting 1 million more disabled people into work, but the pace of progress to date has been slow. “There are some positive signs in this strategy that the government has an appetite for reform but we need detail on what action and backing will follow to make these succeed. The absence of this risks it becoming a missed opportunity.” Mark Atkinson, Chief Executive of disability charity Scope, said: "The pledge to get a million more disabled people into work is an important gesture but today's publication needs to lead to swift action to make this a reality.” Kamran Mallick, chief executive of Disability Rights UK said: We’ve heard many positive platitudes from governments about the employment of disabled people over the last 20 years but little change in reality. To meet its ambitious target of more than 1 million additional disabled people in work by 2017, this government needs to make sure its ambition is matched with the resources and culture change required to make it happen.”
Share page
Print page
Follow us