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Disabled Jobseekers

Volume 521: debated on Monday 10 January 2011

I raise the example of a constituent who is almost entirely blind—among a number of other disabilities—and is trying to set up his own business. As hon. Members can imagine, that involves a lot of communication with the local DWP office. My constituent needs that communication to be in an e-mailable form because he has a machine that will read the message for him in confidence without personal information being seen by his carer. The local office has said that it can send communication only by letter, citing security as a reason. Will the Minister look into that unsatisfactory situation?

I thank my hon. Friend for raising that issue. I share his concern about the rigidity of the rules regarding e-mail and the effects that they can have on certain aspects of the running of the Department. I assure him that we will be looking at that.

Figures show that people with a disability find it more difficult to enter the workplace. What discussions has the Minister had with her ministerial colleagues from the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills about the number of employers who are showing a genuine interest in employing people with a disability?

I not only have discussions with BIS, but have gone out to talk to employers about their commitments to employing disabled people. There are some great examples of major and smaller employers who have a real commitment to ensuring that disabled people have a level playing field when it comes to taking on jobs. Through that and the support provided by access to work and other programmes that the Government are running, I am sure that we can help more disabled people to get back into gainful employment.

Is the Minister satisfied that the people who operate the Motability scheme and those who sit in judgment on appeal tribunals are aware that the Government’s intention is to encourage disabled people into work? Those people should not drive disabled people who had work out of work by taking away their Motability cars.

I can assure my hon. Friend that we greatly value Motability’s work in supporting not only disabled people who are in employment, but disabled people who are not in employment. We will be ensuring that that scheme is robust into the future. Many thousands of people enjoy the support of Motability and get great value from it.