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Government Plans To Get A Million Disabled People Into Work In 10 Years

November 30, 2017

Plans to get one million more disabled people in work over the next 10 years have been set out by the government.

Ministers say the new strategy will help those with disabilities keep their jobs and progress in their careers.

The new measures include widening the number of people who can issue fitness-to-work notices and additional training for mental health professionals.

Labour’s Debbie Abrahams said benefit cuts had already pushed more disabled people towards poverty.

‘Tackling injustices’

The pledge comes after ONS figures from June 2017 suggested that disabled people were twice as likely to be unemployed as non-disabled people.

About 80% of non-disabled people are in work compared with just under 50% of disabled people.

Prime Minister Theresa May said a person’s life and career “should not be dictated by their disability or health condition”.

“Everyone deserves the chance to find a job that’s right for them,” she added.

“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.”

The government says in the past four years 600,000 disabled people have found work. However, the disability charity Scope says progress is too slow.

The new strategy includes:

  • Measures to provide access to personalised support for those with mental health issue
  • Extending “fit note” certification – which details how a condition affects someone’s ability to work – beyond GPs to a wider group of healthcare professionals, including physiotherapists, psychiatrists and senior nurses
  • Reform statutory sick pay

The 10-year plan builds on a green paper published last year which pledged to halve the so-called disability employment gap.

Employers’ attitudes

The government hopes the changes to the fit note system will improve the identification of health conditions and treatments to help workers get back to work quickly.

But some disability activists say the problem lies in employers’ attitudes. Mik Scarlet, an inclusion specialist, says he chose to be self-employed after some “disastrous attempts” at getting work.

“Employers have little idea of how beneficial disabled employees can be to a workforce,” he said.

“They also don’t understand that creating flexible inclusive work systems improves the working environment for all.”

BBC disability correspondent Nikki Fox said it was not the first time the government had pledged to get more disabled people into work.

However, she said “the employment gap between disabled and non-disabled people has not significantly changed for some years”.

Labour’s shadow work and pensions secretary, Ms Abrahams, warned the government’s plans “hinted at” further cuts.

“The Tories’ cuts to social security support are pushing more and more disabled people into poverty,” she said.

“The Tories have already hit disabled people who are not fit for work but who may be in the future in the work related activity group.

“I hope they are not going to now target the most disabled people in the support group, as their green paper hinted at.”

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3 Comments leave one →
  1. Justin permalink
    November 30, 2017 9:40 am

    More tory lies, just like the promised 350 million from the vote leave tory mob, incidently most of them hate anyone who cannot work and let’s look at there track record sometime, they certainly lead by example, perhaps this is ideas mooted by the same people that do the fitness to work medicals, however one small burning question sits at the back of my mind, with companies pulling out of England due to a select bunch of ignorant lying tories and the hardships faced by the NHS due to there ignorance how is there going to be 1 million jobs for anyone let alone people with issues, I suppose this must be part of the ids arbeit macht frei strategy that has sat one there desk of stupidity since he resigned and is still there along with mein kampf for any daft tory stupid and gullible enough to read it

  2. Cerys permalink
    November 30, 2017 2:45 pm

    It goes back to the tory notion that bullying is a cure for all disabilities

  3. November 30, 2017 5:41 pm

    True Justin and Cerys,

    It smells like their attempts to get Psych-quacks into jobcenters spouting their “It’s all your fault” Quackademic BS.

    >”BBC disability correspondent Nikki Fox”
    So what does Nikki Fox do all day?
    Here’s a ‘story’ –
    11/5/17 – BBC signed another big contract with murdering fraudsters ATOS (£560Million)
    http://www.bbc.co.uk/mediacentre/latestnews/2017/new-contract-technology-services
    Previously –
    http://www.computerweekly.com/news/2240214384/BBC-starts-search-for-suppliers-to-replace-2bn-Atos-outsourcing-deal

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