Yesterday, SPECTRUM Centre for Independent Living launched The Disability Manifesto for the General Election 2017. The aim of the manifesto is to highlight the issues that Disabled People feel ALL political parties should commit to, following the General Election. Over the coming days, we will be focusing on a particular section of the Disability Manifesto each day and welcome your feedback on our Facebook page or via Twitter using the hashtag #DisMan17
Today, we are looking at the topic of Employment:
Reducing unemployment – especially long-term unemployment – and making the workplace fully inclusive and accessible to all are both vital to the UK’s economic recovery, but many Disabled People face a range of barriers to work and there is a still large and persistent disparity in the employment rates of Disabled People compared to non-disabled People and this gap has widened since 2010/11. Less than half (47.6%) of Disabled People in Britain are in work compared to almost 80% of non-disabled People.
The disability pay gap in Britain continues to widen. In 2015-16 there was a gap in median hourly earnings: Disabled People earned £9.85 compared with £11.41 for non-disabled People.
The next Government needs to address the gap between rhetoric on the need for more Disabled People to work and the lack of effective support for the many Disabled People who want to do so. Supporting Disabled People to work reduces dependence on benefits and increases the number of tax paying citizens contributing to the nation’s economy.
We call on all political parties to commit to halving the employment gap for Disabled People over the course of the next Parliament.
We call on all political parties to commit to eradicate the pay gap between Disabled People and non-disabled People.
We call on all political parties to commit to double the number of Disabled People benefiting from Access to Work support in the next 3 years.
Funding for Access to Work, which is proven to be effective in helping Disabled People to move into work and to stay in work, should be increased.
We also call on all political parties to commit to ensuring that Disabled People with complex support requirements have equal access to all employment support programmes.
If you want to read the full manifesto, please visit our Disability Manifesto page