Disability and autism jobs gap set to close

A joint green paper has been published as the Government seeks to close the gap between disabled and non-disabled people in work, with a new ambitious approach to work and health.

The "Improving Lives: the Work, Health and Disability Green Paper" was launched in Parliament on Monday 31st October, and aims to ensure that a disability or health condition should not dictate the path a person is able to take in life.

Despite a record breaking labour market, 4.6 million disabled people and people with long term health conditions are out of work, with fewer than 5 in 10 disabled people in employment, compared with 8 in 10 non-disabled people.

Steve Brine said: "Good progress has been made in this area since 2010, and while there now almost 500,000 more disabled people in work than three years ago, we want to go much, much further.

"We want to join up systems and work widely to change attitudes with employers, within the welfare state, across the health service and in wider society. We can then absolutely focus on the strengths of disabled people and what they can do, so that more people can benefit from the positive impact on health and wellbeing that work can bring."

The Green Paper came on the day the National Autistic Society held a reception with over 100 MPs in the House of Commons to launch their own report on the autism employment gap.

Steve said: "Fewer than 16% of autistic people are in full-time paid work and this particular figure appears to have remained stubbornly low for the last decade.

"The report calls on the Government to ensure autistic people can access specialist support to help them find and stay in work, and bring in a national programme to raise employers' awareness of the skills and potential of autistic people."

Over the coming months, the government will be talking with disabled people and those who have long term conditions, their families and carers, health and social care professionals, representative bodies, local and national organisations, employers, charities alongside anyone who wants a change.

Pictured; Steve Brine MP joins Max at the NAS reception in Parliament


More information ...

Steve Brine is keen to collate local evidence to pass back to Government colleagues, and constituents can get in touch via steve.brine.mp@parliament.uk or by calling 01962 791110.

In addition, the government consultation can be found here.