Disability Strategy lacks ambition

A leading pan-disability charity has said the government’s National Disability Strategy has failed to achieve positive results for disabled workers.

The strategy, introduced just over a year ago, aimed to improve the lives of all disabled people with specific plans relating to job support and tackling the disability employment gap. Commitments included: improving workplace accessibility; increasing job opportunities for disabled workers; enhancing disability workforce reporting and providing greater support for disabled people to start a business.

In May, the government announced a key target had been hit five years ahead of schedule, after data showed the number of disabled people in work was 1.3 million higher than 2017. However, Fazilet Hadi, head of policy at Disability Rights UK, questions the figures suggesting “these are people already in work, who now identify as disabled people”.

She added, “This past year the government has reviewed the Disability Confident Scheme, consulted on improvements to flexible working, proposed improvements in the Access to Work Scheme and consulted on mandatory disability workforce monitoring. So far, we haven’t seen positive results from any of these actions. The National Disability Strategy did include some limited measures to improve the employment of disabled people, but the strategy was not radical or ambitious in its goals.”