Key statistics on people with disabilities in employment

The House of Commons library has published a briefing report that highlights some key statistics related to the disability employment gap.

The 2015 Conservative Party manifesto included a commitment to “aim to halve the disability employment gap” by transforming “policy, practice and public attitudes, so that hundreds of thousands more disabled people who can and want to be in work find employment.”

In the first quarter of 2016, 46.9% of disabled people aged 16-64 were in employment; this was a gap of 33.1 percentage points compared to people without a disability.

Currently, people with disabilities in Great Britain may receive back-to-work support through the Work Programme. However, for those whose needs cannot be met through mainstream employment support, specialist disability employment programmes are available including Access to Work and the Work Choice programme.

Referrals to the Work Programme and Work Choice are due to end in April 2017. In his 2015 Autumn Statement, the Chancellor announced that the Government would be introducing a new single Work and Health Programme to replace both the Work Programme and Work Choice. The new programme will combine support for long-term unemployed claimants and those with health conditions or disabilities. A Green Paper on employment support for disabled people, including the new programme, is expected to be published later this year.