Disability employment gap evidence

The Work and Pensions Committee is to investigate the gap between the employment rates of disabled and non-disabled people, and how it can better support disabled people in the labour market.

The most recent official data on disabled people’s employment rates show:

  • 7.9 million people (aged 16-64)— 19% of the working age population—said they had a disability. Of these, an estimated 4.2 million were in employment, an increase of 354,000 from a year previously.
  • 53.2% of disabled people were in employment, up from 51.2% a year previously. The employment rate for non-disabled people was 81.8%, up from 81.4%. The disability employment gap is therefore 28.6 percentage points. In 2015, it was 34 percentage points.

Rt Hon Stephen Timms MP, Chair of the Work and Pensions Committee, said:

“Almost one in five working-age people has a disability or long-term health condition. For some, this has little impact on their ability to work. But too often, having a disability or a long-term health condition means dropping out of the labour market entirely. With the right support, this can often be avoided. The Committee wants to look broadly at the support DWP offers to disabled people and to consider how this could be improved to help people find, stay, and progress in work.”

The questions, text and guidance can be found here: https://committees.parliament.uk/work/751/disability-employment-gap/


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