Job hopes ‘rigged’ against disabled Fifers as almost half not in employment
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Figures from the Department of Work and Pensions suggest there were around 67,000 disabled people aged 16 to 64 in the Kingdom as of June – 49% of whom were not in work. This compares to 16% among those without disabilities.
The gap in employment rates between the disabled and non-disabled population has remained steady, but is currently slightly smaller than in 2013-14, when local figures were first available. At this point, the same figures show 57% of around 52,000 disabled people in Fife were out of work.
Fazilet Hadi, head of policy at Disability Rights UK, said: "There is a lot the Government can do to support disabled people into work and to stop disabled workers falling out of the labour market."
She urged support for the Disability Employment Charter, which calls on the Government to introduce new measures to support disabled workers. These include requiring companies to report the difference in pay between disabled and non-disabled staff, and improve workplace adjustments for those who need them.
Rates vary significantly across the UK – in the North East, 45% of disabled people were in employment, compared to 60% in the East of England. In Scotland, the figure was 52%.
James Taylor, director of strategy at disability equality charity Scope, urged businesses to "recognise, promote and nurture" disabled talent: “Our labour market is rigged against disabled people. Businesses are letting talented disabled people slip through their fingers by not supporting disabled employees.”