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Disabled People: Employment

Volume 706: debated on Thursday 22 January 2009


Asked by

To ask Her Majesty's Government why there has been no increase in the proportion of disabled working-age adults in employment; and what action they propose regarding that situation. [HL363]

The employment rate for disabled people has been on an upward trend over the past 10 years, increasing by nine percentage points to the current level of 48 per cent.

We believe it is better to fund support to help people work than to fund a life on benefits. From 27 October 2008 we replaced incapacity benefits for new customers with the employment and support allowance, which focuses on what people can do, as well as what they cannot. To underpin this new more work-focused system, since April 2008, Pathways to Work has been available to everyone on incapacity benefits in Great Britain. Around £1 billion is being invested in Pathways to Work between 2008 and 2011 to provide the support disabled people need to return to work. In addition, we have announced our intention to double the Access to Work budget.

Since coming to power the Government have also significantly extended and improved the protection provided by the Disability Discrimination Act 1995, including in the areas of employment and occupation.