Scope responds to the latest ONS labour market figures

The Office for National Statistics has today released Labour Market Figures for October to December 2014 that include figures for the number of disabled people in work.

Richard Hawkes, CEO of the disability charity Scope, said:

"Today’s employment figures show a 2.7 per cent rise in the number of disabled people in work compared to the previous year. This is clearly positive news.

"However, the stats also highlight that this number has fallen in the last quarter.

"This shows that we cannot be complacent. 

"The gap between the employment rate of disabled people and the rest of the population is around 30 per cent and has remained largely static for the last decade.

"In 2015 too many disabled people remain locked out of the workplace. Nine in 10 disabled people have worked at some point, but under half are in work now.

"This is a waste of the talents of disabled people, who are a vital and often untapped resource for the UK labour market. 

"All political parties need to commit to closing this gap."

What needs to happen:

  • Employer attitudes need to change: Scope figures show 74 per cent of disabled people believe they have lost out on a job opportunity because of their impairment.
  • In-work support that enables disabled people to progress in their careers is vital. Too many disabled people are falling out of work when simple adjustments could be made to enable them to stay.
  • Workplaces need to be more flexible, welcoming environments where disabled people flourish rather than struggle.
  • Supporting more disabled people in to work and to achieve their career goals benefits individuals and the economy; it is essential for sustainable growth, boosting tax revenues and reducing welfare costs.

Notes to the editor:

For more information or interviews please contact Jenna Pudelek in the Scope press office on 0207 619 7155 or jenna.pudelek@scope.org.uk.

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