To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what steps she is taking to ensure that stakeholders are consulted as part of her Department's work to reduce the disability employment gap; and how frequently that consultation is taking place.
The Department regularly engages with a wide range of stakeholders to inform disability employment policy and programme development. This is to support disabled people to start, stay in and succeed in work, and our ambition to reduce the disability employment gap.
This includes the Disability Confident (DC) scheme, where we regularly engage with stakeholders, including the DC Business Leaders Group (which meets quarterly), comprising board level Directors, the DC Professional Advisers Group, disabled people, disability charities and representative groups, to gather their views about the scheme and help shape future DC Policy. As part of our current review of the scheme, we are working with a wide range of stakeholders to ensure the content of the scheme remains up to date, credible and sufficiently challenging, in support of disability employment. We also engage with employers through events and DC webinars, that focus on topics to support disabled people, such as: Autism and Neurodiversity, Mental Health in the Workplace, and New Ways of Working.
The Access to Work programme also engages with a wide range of disability groups with a mix of disabled people’s organisations, charities, and disabled people. These user-led stakeholder forums take place regularly throughout the year across England, Scotland, and Wales.