New cross-Government focus on disability

The Government has launched a new cross-government approach on disability. It is to establish a new cross-departmental team based in the Cabinet Office to strengthen the evidence base on disability and to improve engagement with disabled people and disabled people’s organisations, in line with relevant recommendations from the United Nations. Incorporating the Office for Disability Issues, the new team will sit alongside the Government Equalities Office and Race Disparity Unit in a new Equalities Hub.

The Department for Work and Pensions and the Department for Health and Social Care will consult on how employers can best support disabled people and people with long-term health conditions to stay and thrive in work. This will include measures to reform Statutory Sick Pay. The Department for Work and Pensions will also in the coming months bring forward a Green Paper on health and disability support.

The Government says it will work closely with disabled people, disabled people’s organisations and charities to take forward this new approach to disability, with their views and experiences at the forefront of any new policy.

Other proposals include:

  • New employee rights to request workplace modifications on health grounds
  • New metrics to compare how well companies deliver for disabled customers in essential markets, such as energy, broadband and water.
  • New research to ensure disabled people are at the heart of future Government policy, to be published early next year.