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Covid-19: Disabled People in the Workplace

Volume 696: debated on Wednesday 26 May 2021

Over the past year, there have been 2,500 more Disability Confident employers, a much more flexible system and greater extended support through Access to Work going forward.

According to the Business Disability Forum, 11% of employers furloughed a disabled employee at the beginning of the pandemic after failing to provide reasonable adjustments. Disabled people have already been disproportionately impacted by the pandemic, but it is clear that disabled workers are continuing to be forced out of employment through a lack of access to reasonable adjustments. Will the Government introduce mandatory timescales for employer-implementation of reasonable adjustments and end the Access to Work payment cap to prevent the disability employment gap from widening further?

As I outlined earlier, there are greater numbers of Disability Confident employers and Access to Work has been adapted during covid to help the disabled, with greater online assistance, extended timeframes, flexibility, mental health support and much, much more, about which I will get the Minister for Disabled People, Health and Work, my hon. Friend the Member for North Swindon (Justin Tomlinson), to write in specific detail to the hon. Lady.