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"Employers' Guide To Disabilities"

Volume 23: debated on Tuesday 4 May 1982

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asked the Secretary of State for Employment if he will discuss with the Manpower Services Commission ways of bringing to the attention of employers the "Employers' Guide to Disabilities" published by the Royal Association for Disability and Rehabilitation, of which he has received a copy.

The Manpower Services Commission is bringing the guide to the attention of employers through a variety of means, and in particular is planning to do so through the contacts its disablement resettlement officers have with individual employers. I am glad to have this opportunity warmly to welcome the guide, which will be a valuable aid to those concerned with the employment of disabled people.

Is my right hon. Friend and his Department aware that often a disabled person is a conscientious and dedicated worker, because a job means so much to his self-respect and to his acceptance among the able-bodied? Will he continue to ensure that employers at the highest level realise the enormous importance of taking their share of employment from among the disabled?

Yes. I particularly endorse and note my hon. Friend's concluding point. As to the quality of disabled people in work, there is no doubt that, having taken on disabled people, many employers discover that they have a premium in their dedication, commitment and reliability.

Is the Minister aware that, in addition to seeking to persuade employers, the Royal association is also in favour of retaining and strengthening the quota system, which has statutory backing?