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Employment: Disability

Department for Work and Pensions written question – answered on 17th October 2018.

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

To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what steps her Department is taking to support people to (a) disclose a disability and (b) ask for reasonable adjustments in the workplace.

Photo of Sarah Newton Sarah Newton The Minister of State, Department for Work and Pensions

The Equality Act 2010 legally protects disabled people from discrimination in the workplace and in wider society and requires employers to make reasonable adjustments to make sure workers with disabilities, or physical or mental health conditions aren’t substantially disadvantaged when doing their jobs.

Disability Confident emphasises to employers the importance of implementing reasonable adjustments and signposts them to further sources of information and guidance. By providing guidance, best practice advice and access to case studies, DC helps to support managers and HR professionals to build a positive culture. This means that managers and disabled staff can have productive conversations in the workplace, creating the right environment for people to share their disability at work.

Access to Work is a demand-led scheme that provides support for disabled workers over and above the level of reasonable adjustments, up to a maximum of £57,200 per year per person. Access to Work provision was approved for 25,020 individuals in 2016/17 – an 8% increase on 2015/16, at a cost of £104m.

In addition, we are working with Council for Work and Health to develop Reasonable Adjustments Clinical Guidance in relation to 5 conditions which commonly lead to absence from work. We expect the guidance to be published in 2019.

Finally, we are working with partners including employers, to establish a voluntary reporting framework on disability and mental health for large employers. In the supporting guidance we will provide advice on disclosure issues.

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