Skip to main content

Covid-19: Disabled People and their Carers

Volume 690: debated on Monday 8 March 2021

What discussions she has had with Cabinet colleagues on the financial effect of the covid-19 outbreak on disabled people and their carers. (913010)

Disabled people and their carers have access to the full range of social security benefits according to their circumstances. DWP Ministers and officials regularly discuss support for disabled people and carers with their counterparts across government, and recognise and value the vital contribution made by carers in supporting some of the most vulnerable in society.

I thank the Minister for his answer. A recent survey of disabled people conducted by Inclusion London, a disability organisation based in my constituency, found that more than one in three disabled people had experienced a worsening financial situation during the lockdown, and recent research by Citizens Advice found that one in four disabled employees has faced redundancy since the pandemic started. We know that even before this pandemic, disabled people faced an employment gap of nearly 30% when compared with non-disabled workers. Will the Government commit to using the upcoming national disability strategy to bring forward comprehensive proposals to address the chronic employment insecurity that disabled people face in the wake of covid-19?

I thank the hon. Lady for raising a very important point about disability employment. The Government are very proud that we delivered record disability employment—it is up 1.4 million since 2014 alone. Even during these unprecedented challenging times, over the past 12 months 25,000 more disabled people are in work. But we recognise that there will be challenges going forward, which is why we have made changes to Access to Work so that people can get support working at home; we have increased our support through Disability Confident, sharing best practice and providing resources to employers to be able to make changes, often small ones, to take advantage of the huge talent pool available. This is a key area, and in both the forthcoming national strategy for disabled people and the health and disability Green Paper we will continue to look at ways in which we can support employers to offer more opportunities for disabled people of all ages.