In June, the Equality and Human Rights Commission, the Department for Work and Pensions and the Government Equalities Office jointly published research that examined the impact of the recession on disability, age, gender and ethnic minorities. The report found that over the 12 months since its publication, the employment rate for disabled people fell slightly, from 48 per cent. to 47.7 per cent., which was less than the fall from 74.7 per cent. to 73.5 per cent. in the overall population.
One of the effects of the recession is rising unemployment. As we—hopefully—begin to emerge from the recession, what action can be taken to ensure that disabled people are not left at the back of the queue for jobs?
The answer for all people is to make the right investment decisions, as the Government are doing, to ensure that there is no increase in unemployment overall. However, as the Equality Bill takes its place on the statute book, the new socio-economic duty will play an important role in ensuring that the economic outcomes for disabled people are particularly taken into account. That is something for the future that we all deserve.