Improving Lives: The Work, Health and Disability Green Paper – Inclusion London’s response
Inclusion London has responded to the open consultation for the Work, Health and Disability Green Paper. We have a number of concerns that proposals in the green paper are either misplaced and will fail to tackle the root issues central to Deaf and Disabled people’s exclusion from employment opportunities, or have the potential for adverse impacts through contributing to avoidable harm.
Inclusion London has responded to the open consultation for “Improving Lives: The Work, Health and Disability Green Paper”. We are strongly in favour of measures that can uphold the rights of Deaf and Disabled people to work and employment in accordance with Article 27 of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD).
We have a number of concerns that proposals in the green paper are either misplaced and will fail to tackle the root issues central to Deaf and Disabled people’s exclusion from employment opportunities, or have the potential for adverse impacts through contributing to avoidable harm.
We also have a number of suggestions for how Deaf and Disabled people’s employment opportunities can be concretely improved including addressing areas of retrogression that have occurred over the past few years.
Summary of main points:
- We are disappointed that the green paper misses the opportunity to move away from the discredited biopsychosocial (BPS) model of disability and instead set welfare policy based upon a social model approach which has the potential to more effectively improve lives.
- We are concerned that the green paper proposes little in the way of new solutions within a context of significantly reduced funding than was available for the Work Programme.
- We are concerned that misinterpretation of data is repeated within the green paper as a central justification for proposals concerning the Support Group.
- We would urge the Government to address substantive barriers to work overlooked by the proposals in the green paper including lack of independent living support, mental health service cuts, changes to Access to Work and adverse trends in the labour market including growth of insecure employment, labour intensification and workplace discrimination.
- A conversation between health and work that leaves out social care will unquestionably fail to deliver the Government’s vision.
- We recommend expanding the Access to Work programme to include support to take part in voluntary work and reverse damaging changes that have recently undermined effectiveness of the programme.
- The public sector must lead the way on building inclusive and accessible workplaces that embrace diversity and eliminate disability discrimination.
- The integration of Work and Health must be about streamlining and tailoring services to meet the needs of Deaf and Disabled people to get into, stay in and get on in work in ways that are ethically sound.
- Deaf and Disabled people must be listened to and our views taken on board to shape policy that works not only in our best interests but also for the wider socio-economic benefits.
- We are extremely concerned about the damaging effects of linking therapeutic interventions and treatment to employment outcomes.
- We urge the Government to end conditionality within the benefits system.
- We call on the Government to scrap the deeply flawed and inaccurate assessment processes for ESA and PIP and replaced them with in-house assessments based on a social model approach that understands the barriers that Deaf and Disabled people face.
- There must be proper support for people who cannot work. We are concerned that the green paper offers nothing to reform failing assessment systems or reverse the decision to cut ESA WRAG and as a result Deaf and Disabled people will be moved further from employment.
Download the Inclusion London Response:
- Inclusion London response to Improving Lives – work, health and disability (PDF)
- Inclusion London response to Improving Lives – work, health and disability (Word doc)
Zacchaeus2000 and Spartacus Network have also written responses to the Improving Lives Green Paper:
- Zacchaeus2000 Trust response to ‘Improving Lives: the Work, Health and Disability Green Paper’
- SMOKESCREEN: a Spartacus Network report in response to Improving Lives: Health, Work and Disability Green Paper