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Access to Work Scheme

Volume 685: debated on Monday 30 November 2020

We are committed to ensuring that people with disabilities and long-term health conditions get the vital support that Access to Work provides. That includes working with more than 19,000 Disability Confident employers to enable them to promote access to work through their networks.

According to recent research, 42% of employers feel discouraged from hiring people with a disability because they are not confident about how to support their needs through the pandemic. Will the Government consider fast-tracking Access to Work applications for disabled people through the kickstart scheme, as recommended by the charity Leonard Cheshire?

I thank the hon. Member for that question. I know I am meeting the hon. Member on 14 December to discuss this in more detail. I am also meeting the new chief executive of Leonard Cheshire, so I will discuss that report in detail. I am very proud, as a Government, that we have delivered record disability employment, and last year 43,000 people benefited from Access to Work—up 20%. Through schemes such as Access to Work and Disability Confident, and our highly trained and skilful work coaches, we will continue to engage with employers of all sizes to give them the confidence to take advantage of the huge wealth of talent that is available with a diverse workforce.