Disability Employment Gap: Covid-19

Work and Pensions – in the House of Commons on 28th June 2021.

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Photo of Lisa Cameron Lisa Cameron Shadow SNP Spokesperson (Mental Health)

What assessment she has made of the effect of the covid-19 outbreak on the disability employment gap.

Photo of Justin Tomlinson Justin Tomlinson The Minister of State, Department for Work and Pensions

The disability employment gap has narrowed by 0.3 percentage points in the year to March 2021 and now stands at 28.6 percentage points. The Government remain committed to seeing 1 million more disabled people in work by 2027, despite the challenges of covid.

Photo of Lisa Cameron Lisa Cameron Shadow SNP Spokesperson (Mental Health)

MPs, like businesses, must do everything possible to ensure inclusion in employment for people with disabilities, but there is great concern that the employment gap will increase as a result of covid-19. I would like to thank the Department and the Minister for their recent assistance; a quarter of MPs across the House have now signed up as Disability Confident employers following our recent all-party parliamentary group for disability workshop. Could the Minister encourage those MPs who are still considering signing up to do so, so that we can reach our next target of a third of cross-party MPs being Disability Confident employers and ensuring that Parliament is a role model for inclusive workplaces?

Photo of Justin Tomlinson Justin Tomlinson The Minister of State, Department for Work and Pensions

The hon. Member has been an absolute superstar in her role as the chair of the all-party parliamentary group for disability. She organised a brilliant event to incentivise, encourage and cajole MPs from across the House to lead by example by signing up to be Disability Confident employers, and we saw a huge increase in the number of MPs who are signed up. She is absolutely right to keep pushing, because collectively we can make a difference, and she has personally led on that.