Disability Employment Gap Inquiry launched

Year of Publication: 

The Work and Pensions Committee has launched an inquiry into the Government’s commitment to halve the disability employment gap. The inquiry will assess the scale of the challenge and the likely effectiveness of the Government’s employment support and benefit policies in achieving this goal.

Inquiry background

The employment rate among disabled people stood at 46.7% at the end of 2015, compared with 80.3% for non-disabled people. To halve this gap would require bringing an extra 1.2 million disabled people into work.

Disability Employment Gap Chart 2013- 2015

The Committee intends to consider possible improvements in:

  • the DWP’s employment support programmes for disabled people
  • support for employers to take on disabled people
  • disabled people’s access to the labour market more broadly

The Committee’s report on Welfare to Work (Oct 2015) noted the lack of success of employment programmes to date in supporting disabled people into sustained employment.

Written submissions addressing the following points are invited :

Steps required to halve the disability employment gap:

To what extent are the current range of proposed measures likely to achieve the Government’s ambition of closing the disability employment gap? Should the Government set interim targets along the way to meet the commitment to halve the disability employment gap? What should they be?

Support for employers

How effective is the Disability Confident campaign in reducing barriers to employment and educating employers? What more could be done to support employers?

Effective employment support for disabled people:

What should support for people with health conditions and disabilities in the proposed Work and Health programme look like? How should providers be incentivised to succeed?

Likely effects of proposed ESA reform:

What are the likely impacts on disability employment of the abolition of the Employment and Support Allowance Work Related Activity component? What evidence is there that it will promote positive behavioural change? What evidence is there that it will have unintended consequences, and how could these be mitigated?

Click here to read BASE's submission to the enquiry.