Autism: Employment

Department for Work and Pensions written question – answered on 5 April 2017.

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Photo of Cat Smith Cat Smith Shadow Minister for Young People and Voter Engagement, Shadow Deputy Leader of the House of Commons

To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, with reference to the National Autistic Society's report, The autism employment gap: too much information in the workplace, published in October 2016, if he will make it his policy to increase the number of people with autism in employment.

Photo of Penny Mordaunt Penny Mordaunt The Minister of State, Department for Work and Pensions

The Government is committed to increasing the number of people with disabilities or long-term health conditions, including autism, in employment and there are a range of programmes and initiatives to support them. By March 2017, 1,000 Job Centre Plus staff have been trained to give claimants who have autism the best possible support with their claims.

New measures to help people with autism were launched on 27 March, to mark World Autism Awareness Week. This includes a Disability Confident autism toolkit, which provides comprehensive information on autism and hidden impairments, as well as guidance on employment and local authority services. This Toolkit has been promoted to all government departments.

In addition, the Department has helped to develop a Disability Passport - About Me - to support people with autism who are seeking jobs and those helping them. Disabled people can share it with their work coach or adviser, to help improve communication and put any reasonable adjustments in place at the earliest opportunity.

Finally, Improving Lives – the Work, Health and Disability Green Paper’ sets out the Government’s proposals for improving work and health outcomes for disabled people and people with long-term health conditions. We are now considering consultation responses and the next steps for longer term reform.

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