Disabled people want to work, but there are still barriers

Enabling Work

The economic impact of an increase in the disability employment rate.


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Read our report

In the last 20 years disabled people have made huge progress in the workplace

Nine out of 10 disabled people have worked or are in work. Yet today disabled people are still twice as likely to be unemployed.  Throughout boom and bust, disabled people have been consistently excluded from jobs.

Much more needs to change 

Two in five disabled people feel a lack of available job opportunities is a big barrier to employment. Whilst the Government has focused on disabled people becoming more employable, they have not done enough to address barriers to work and improve opportunities.

Attitudes play a part. Four in 10 disabled people say they’ve lost out on a job because of how employers perceived their impairments. In work disabled people don’t receive enough support to stay in their current roles.

Staying in work can be harder if you’re disabled, for example some disabled people get more tired and can only work four days a week. Unfortunately, employers don't always offer flexibility or understanding. As a result, only one in three people who become disabled while in a job are still employed two years later. Once you’ve fallen out of work it’s much harder to get back in.

We want to get a million more disabled people into work by 2020  

As the recovery kicks in we all need to work together to make sure disabled people and employers get the right support so people can work, regardless of their impairment.

We want job creation in cities around the UK.  We want to see more flexible working and support for employers so disabled people can get into and stay in work. 

A million futures

Halving the disability employment gap.

Christina says:

Photo of Christina

“I didn’t say anything on my CV but when I told employers in interviews about my condition I could see their faces change. They were gob smacked.  I just thought, right, that’s it then, goodbye.

All I needed was a window, an opportunity to prove I was more than my condition.  I am a full time receptionist in a hotel now.  I’m a good communicator and I have a bubbly personality. I like the responsibility of doing something important.  

I would say to future employers that we’re all normal but different.  Everyone has their strengths and weaknesses and nobody should discriminate.”

Christina, Llandudno

Information for employers