One million more disabled people in work would boost economy by £45billion

Britain’s economy would receive a £45 billion boost if one million more disabled people were supported to work (the equivalent of halving the disability employment gap).A new report by the disability charity Scope reveals the economic impact of one million more disabled people in work by 2030.
 
Based on economic modelling by Landman Economics*, the report, Enabling Work: Disabled people, employment and the UK economy, finds that: 
  • A 10 percentage point increase in the disability employment rate – the equivalent to supporting 1.1m more disabled people into work – would increase Gross Domestic Product (GDP) by £45 billion by 2030. 
  • This would represent 1.7 per cent of total GDP in 2030
  • The Exchequer would gain £12 billion through higher tax receipts and lower social security payments
  • Relative poverty among disabled people would fall from 30 per cent to 25 per cent 
More than six million disabled people are already in work. However, 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*. 
 
Scope is calling on all political parties to commit to halving the disability employment gap.
The charity’s report sets out the changes needed within individual workplaces, the welfare system and the wider labour market to support more disabled people to work and achieve their career goals. 
 
Richard Hawkes, Chief Executive of Scope, says: 
“Disabled people are pushing hard to get into work and achieve their career goals.
But in 2015, too many disabled people remain locked out of the workplace.
This is a waste of the talents of disabled people, who are a vital and often untapped resource for the UK labour market.  
 
This research demonstrates the huge benefits to the UK’s economy of relatively small increases in the disability employment rate. 
 
Breaking down the barriers disabled people face when gaining employment and staying in work is vital to the country’s sustainable economic growth.”

Many disabled people face huge barriers in the workplace 

Scope’s report sets out four areas that need to be addressed to support more disabled people to find and thrive in work:
  • Improving employer attitudes to disability 
  • Improving job retention of disabled people 
  • Providing personalised and flexible employment support for disabled people to find work
  • Making sure disabled people are part of regional growth plans
Negative attitudes of employers remain a significant barrier to work for many disabled people. 
Research by Scope shows that a staggering 74 per cent of disabled adults feel they have lost out on a job opportunity because of their impairment or health condition. 
 
Enabling more disabled people to stay and progress at work is also an issue. A report by Scope last year revealed that hundreds of thousands of disabled people had fallen out of work in 2012/13, compared to just 200,000 who had found work. 
 
The overwhelming message from disabled people is that having flexibility over their working time and practices is crucial – but it is not always available. Modified hours, such as flexible or part-time working, is an important factor to 40 per cent of disabled jobseekers. 
 
Emma Satyamurti, a partner at the law firm Leigh Day, says being disabled gives her a unique insight that helps in her work as an employment lawyer. 
 
“Very often a person’s disability has very little impact on their ability to do their job. I might not have been able to reach the key fob to get into the building, but that doesn’t affect my ability as a solicitor.” 
 
"Often it takes very little to make the adjustments needed for people to get on and succeed at work.” 

What the government needs to do 

There are important steps government can take to increase the rate of employment of disabled people: 
  • Expanding and protecting Access to Work, a vital scheme that funds specialist equipment, workplace adaptations and transport. 
  • Ensuring all disabled jobseekers have access to specialist advice and support.
  • Piloting personal budgets for employment support.
  • Using devolution and localism initiatives to improve the employment rate of disabled people.
Scope is also calling on the next government to bring in legislation that enables disabled people to take part-time leave when they are adjusting to changes or fluctuations in their condition. 
 
Ends

Notes to the editor:

*Landman Economics’ model uses the widest definition of disability available in the dataset. This captures most, but not all, people who met the definition of disability in the Disability Discrimination Act. The Family Resources Survey indicates that the employment rate of this group is 57.4 per cent. 

The Labour Force Survey is a more commonly used source to determine the total proportion of disabled people in employment. It indicates the disability employment rate is 47.4 per cent. But it is not possible to carry out the economic modelling used in Landman’s report from that dataset without compromising accuracy. 
The Labour Force Survey uses a different definition of disability – people who are considered disabled under the Equality Act 2010 and/or report a work-limiting disability. As a result it produces a different employment rate than the Family Resources Survey. The differing employment rates in these two datasets do not affect the conclusions drawn about the economic benefits to the Exchequer of halving the employment gap.
Scope’s aspiration that the employment gap between disabled and non-disabled people is halved is set out in its A Million Futures report. The figures in that report are based on analysis of the Labour Force Survey. 
*Source: The Office for National Statistics Labour Market Statistics, March 2015
The disability employment rate has not been affected by a return to economic growth in the same way as the non-disabled rate is. Scope’s analysis of the latest ONS employment stats suggests that the difference in the employment rate increase between disabled and non-disabled people, which is not large but statistically significant, shows a repetition of what has happened in previous economic recoveries – the non-disabled employment rate benefits more from the improving health of the economy and recovers faster than that of disabled people’s. 
 
For more information and interviews contact Jenna Pudelek in the Scope press office on jenna.pudelek@scope.org.uk or 0207 619 7155. 
 

 

Type:

south 1 west 2 Attitudes 21 Media 5 Politics 20 Welfare 22 Children and families 5 Social care 11 Living 6 Standards 1 awkward 5 awkwardness 1 disability 71 disabled 66 Allowance 2 DLA 7 Independence 7 Payment; 1 Personal 7 PIP; 2 donate 1 fundraising 3 Retail 1 shops 2 StripForScope 1 assisted 3 die 1 dying 2 Scope 33 suicide 4 commission 6 costs 15 equipment 1 extra 15 wheelchair 3 extra costs 3 disabled children 2 exhausted 1 frustrated 1 parents 1 stressed 1 support 5 benefits 9 Chancellor 3 payments 1 PIP 11 Freud's statement 1 Minimum wage 1 Work 16 assisted dying 4 assisted suicide 3 board 1 chair 3 employment 30 employment and support allowance 2 House of Lords 2 children 3 children's 1 commissioner 1 listen 1 Disabled; 1 expensive 1 Life 2 more; 1 People; 2 Powered 1 Wheelchairs 1 Energy 1 families 2 fuel 1 poverty 1 Care 11 Learning 3 People 26 Residential 1 Social 10 View 2 Winterbourne 2 WCA 3 work capability assessment 1 and 3 Autumn 4 Carers 1 CSA 1 Health 5 Investment 1 Older 1 Statement; 2 Jobs 2 Payment 6 Independent living fund 1 accessibility 1 transport 2 charity 18 Gray 1 review 3 work programme 2 Access 2 Reasonable 1 discrimination 2 MS 1 multiple sclerosis 1 right-to-die 1 honours 2 new year honours 2 CBE 1 Adjustment 1 integration 1 NHS 2 £1bn 1 fund 3 growth 2 labour 1 Local 2 market 1 community care 1 independent living 2 learning disability 2 Winterbourne View 1 end the awkward 4 employers 1 gap 9 actors 1 Cameron 1 Downing 1 End 3 Face2Face 1 Samantha 1 Street 1 the 3 Fisher 1 Hindle 1 Robin 1 campaigns 1 green 2 paper 2 parliament 2 Access-to-Work 1 benefit sanctions 2 Department of Work and Pensions 1 Accounts 1 Committee 3 Institution 1 Public 1 (PAC) 1 Election 1 Morgan 1 Patron 1 Sophie 1 Access to Work 1 economic growth 1 employment gap 3 disabled people 10 ONS 4 Queen speech 1 Alex 1 ambassador 1 Brooker 1 Experiences 1 First 1 Impressions 1 Court 1 delays 1 High 1 unlawful 1 appointment 1 Chief 2 Executive 2 interim 1 £550 1 Cost 1 more 1 ILF 1 Independent 2 dating 1 Day 1 International 1 Kiss 1 Kissing 1 relationships 1 disability living allowance 1 employment support allowance 3 ESA 4 Alex Brooker 1 Channel 4 1 faux 1 gaffes 1 Last Leg 1 pas 1 Shorts 1 Dignitas; 1 Dying; 1 Scope; 3 Duncan 1 Iain 1 Reform 1 Smith 1 homes 1 regulator 1 self-regulation 1 devolution 1 northern 1 powerhouse 1 Sheffield 1 A to Z 1 sex 1 Conference 2 IDS 1 Party 1 Tory 1 derby 1 fan 1 Football 1 Merseyside 1 pretending 1 Appointments 1 Atkinson 1 Mark 1 New 1 autism 1 Connor 1 difficulties 1 epilepsy 1 Sparrowhawk 1 welfare to work 1 work and pensions 1 Comprehensive 2 Spending 2 DDA 1 Disability Discrimination Act 1 living standards 1 Experiences of social care 1 funding 1 2- 1 CSR 1 Statement 2 Donald 2 Kovaleski 2 Serge 2 Trump 2 gold-plated 1 Jenner 1 Kylie 1 J 1 reporter 1 Lego 1 toylikeme 1 toys 1 full 1 disability employment gap 1 Welfare Reform and Work Bill 1 profitability 1 profits 1 peers 1 consultation 2 2016 2 Budget 3 George Osborne 1 Personal Independence Payment 1 Stephen Crabb 1 Crabb 1 Pensions 1 Secretary 1 Stephen 1 Appeals 1 Daily 1 DWP 1 Mandatory 1 Mirror 1 Reconsideration 1 Barclays 1 BBC 1 diversity 1 Alliance 1 Consumers 1 London 1 Uber 1 Bill 1 Digital 2 Divide 1 Economy 2 Queen's 1 Speech 1 Internet 1 dog 1 guide 1 pound 1 purple 1 accessible 1 buses 1 users 1 EU 1 Europe 1 Referendum 1 May 1 Minister 2 Prime 1 Theresa 1 rio 1 RJ Mitte 2 Sophie Morgan 2 sport 2 Select Committee 1 Minister of State for Disabled People 1 Duke of Westminster 1 President 1 HMRC 1 National Minimum Wage 1 paralympics 3 media representation 1 TV 1 TV representation 1 assessment 1 capability 1 Businessess 1 Conservative 1 CQC 1 adults 1 young 1 communications 1 Fundraising, Communications and Marketing 1 marketing 1 PR 1 press office 1 Tracy Griffin 1 A&E 1 Select 1 ACEVO 1 southern co-operative 1 Credit 1 Universal 1