Employment: Autism

Department for Work and Pensions written question – answered on 24th April 2017.

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Photo of Corri Wilson Corri Wilson Scottish National Party, Ayr, Carrick and Cumnock

To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, if he will record the number of autistic people in employment as part of the Labour Force Survey; and what steps his Department has taken to ensure that autistic people are benefitting from increased employment rates.

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

Over a number of years employment data on people with specific long term health conditions has been collected by the Office for National Statistics using the Labour Force Survey. This important survey has allowed the Department to produce useful time series statistics on the employment rates of individuals with long term health conditions, where this information is collected. The Labour Force Survey includes a large range of health conditions that survey respondents can report they experience; however this does not currently include autism as one of the named health conditions and there are no plans to begin collecting this data.

DWP is working with Autism Alliance UK on a national training programme for Jobcentre Plus staff (so that they can better support claimants with autism into work). In addition, the Department has helped to develop a Disability Passport - About Me - to support disabled people, including those 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.

Additionally, 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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