The Disability and Health Employment Strategy
Read the governments summary “the discussion so far” here.
The government have publicised their “Disability and Health Employment Strategy: the discussion so far” on social media. In it, Minister for Employment, Esther McVey, said:
“It is right that disabled people and people with health conditions have the opportunity to use their skills and talents to play a full role in society, and working is a key part of this.
This strategy is a really important step in the discussion about what we need to do to ensure employers understand the benefits of hiring disabled people and people with health conditions, and that people get the right individualised support from the government“.
This at a time when they are indiscriminately enforcing the 30 hour “rule”, whether or not it meets the needs of Deaf employees. We would very much like to see “individualised support” from the government.
Minister of State for Disabled People, Mike Penning, said:
“I’m proud that the UK is a world leader in disability rights, as demonstrated by our Disability Confident campaign to support employers and businesses to employ more disabled people. Being disability confident means recruiting, promoting and retaining a diverse and talented workforce. If employers are not disability confident, they risk overlooking a wealth of talent.
However, there is a still a long way to go. Looking at what people can do is the key to how we change perceptions of disability and ill health in our country. It is how we will increase the employment opportunities for disabled people in Britain and break down the barriers to work“.
The 30 hour guidance that our campaign is challenging, is creating new barriers to employment for Deaf people. It does not meet need. It is inflexible and does not consider an individuals work patterns, or the right to a choice of support in different employment settings. Employers would have to employ two members of staff for one role. This is potentially making deaf people unemployable.
There is little mention of any details. The only part that cites AtW says that the reform aims to:
“improve the Access to Work programme so that it better reflects the needs of disabled people, people with health conditions and employers. For example, by enabling online applications which will allow employers to apply on behalf of their employees and also by expanding the remit of the programme to cover a wider range of activities that help people prepare for employment;”
We are concerned about the accountability regarding interpreting support. We are unconvinced that there has been any consultation on this.
The government are asking people to have their say. You can email your views about the report at: firstname.lastname@example.org
Help us to challenge the current guidance by signing our campaign.