The difference between the number of disabled and able-bodied in employment has barely changed in the last ten years, official figures published by the Office for National Statistics (ONS) reveal.
ONS data shows the ‘disability employment gap’ fell by just 1% between Jan – March 2018 to 30.3 percentage points, despite a pledge in the Tory Party manifesto to help one million more disabled people into work within a decade.
Disability employment figures are published by the ONS every four months as part of the Labour Force Survey, with the Government promising to “measure progress on our goal to get one million more disabled people in work by tracking the number of working-age disabled people in employment in the UK, aiming to see the number rise to 4.5 million by 2027”.
These worrying statistics highlight how far the Government has yet to go, if they are to achieve their ambition of halving the disability employment gap.
Ministers also promised to “publish annual statistical updates, beginning in 2018”, but have so far failed to provide any updates as to when this data will be made public.
Responding to the latest statistics, James Taylor, Head of Policy and Public Affairs at disability charity Scope, said yesterday: “Today’s long-awaited figures show the disability employment gap has barely changed in more than a decade.
“Many disabled people face an unnecessary struggle to get into and stay in work, largely due to employers’ outdated attitudes and inflexible working practices.
“The Government has pledged to get a million more disabled people into work by 2027, which it has promised to publicly measure through a comprehensive annual report.
“Now this data has finally been published, it’s time for the Government to demonstrate whether its actions are improving disabled people’s lives.”
Scope has called on ministers to set out their plans to measure progress towards this aim through a comprehensive annual report.