We are committed to reducing the disability employment gap, and will report on progress regularly. We will consider the case for a target as part of our work on the new National Disability Strategy which we have committed to publish by the end of 2020.
In 2017, the Government set out its commitment to see one million more disabled people in employment by 2027. In the first two years of the commitment (between Q1 2017 and Q1 2019), the number of disabled people in employment increased by 404,000 while the disability employment gap has reduced by 1.4 percentage points.
We help disabled people enter and stay in work through a range of programmes including the Work and Health Programme, the new Intensive Personalised Employment Support Programme, Access to Work and Disability Confident. We have invested in a programme of trials and tests to identify effective models of health and employment support to help people with health conditions or disabilities to stay in work or return to work. In the 2019 consultation, Health is Everyone’s Business, we set out proposals to support and encourage employers to be better at managing health issues in the workplace. A copy is attached.
The Government has also announced that the Department for Work and Pensions will be bringing forward a Green Paper in the coming months on health and disability support. This will explore how the welfare system can better meet the needs of claimants with disabilities and health conditions now and in the future, to build a system that people trust and enables them to live independently and move into work where possible.