Employment: Disability

Department for Work and Pensions written question – answered on 6th March 2020.

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Photo of Baroness Stroud Baroness Stroud Conservative

To ask Her Majesty's Government what steps they have taken to support SMEs to employ more staff with disabilities.

Photo of Baroness Stedman-Scott Baroness Stedman-Scott The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Work and Pensions

The Government is committed to reducing the disability employment gap and seeing a million more disabled people in work between 2017 and 2027. We offer support to employers of all sizes and to disabled people who wish to get or keep employment, through a range of initiatives.

Disability Confident engages with employers ranging from large multinational corporations to local businesses. This scheme, which was developed by employers and disability organisations, encourages and supports employers to think differently about disability and to take action to improve how they recruit, retain and develop disabled employees.

Over 16,500 employers are currently signed up to Disability Confident, of whom over 80% are small and medium enterprises, and that number is growing all the time.

Access to Work supports people with a disability or health condition that affects the way they do their job to enter, sustain and progress in their employment. The scheme offers individually tailored support, advice, and if necessary a discretionary grant of up to £59,200 per year to cover costs above the level of employers’ statutory obligation to provide reasonable adjustments.

We will publish a National Strategy for Disabled People before the end of 2020. This will look at ways to improve the benefits system, opportunities and access for disabled people in terms of housing, education, transport and jobs.

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