Work and Pensions’ Committee Inquiry into the Disability Employment Gap – Inclusion London’s response

Read a summary of our key recommendations and download our full report

In November 2020 the Work and Pensions Committee launched an inquiry into the Disability Employment Gap.

The Committee is investigating the gap between the employment rates of disabled and non-disabled people and how the Department for Work and Pensions can better support disabled people in the labour market.

The inquiry is focusing on:

  • Trends in the disability employment gap
  • The economic impact of low employment rates for disabled people
  • The assistance available to help people in work
  • The ongoing impact of the coronavirus pandemic.

The inquiry asked for submissions from disabled people in particular. Inclusion London prepared a report which we submitted to the inquiry in December 2020. You can read a summary of our key recommendations, and download the full report below.

Inclusion London Response

Sources of Information

This submission is informed by our experience as Deaf and Disabled people. It is also informed by our knowledge of supporting 70 Deaf and Disabled People’s Organisations in London which provide frontline support to thousands of Deaf and Disabled people in our communities.

Our submission is further informed by data gathered from our survey which looked into the experiences of Disabled people across the country following the easing of lockdown.

We have also drawn heavily on the findings of the TUC’s report “Disability Pay and Employment Gaps” from 2020, as well as their 2019 report into the issue. Also, in the context of Coronavirus, their report “Job security: Saving the jobs of those who cannot work at home, but who have to stay at home” is particularly important, as is findings from Citizens Advice regarding the rate of Covid related redundancies that show Disabled people and those shielding are at particular risk of being made redundant.

Key Recommendations

  • The government must bring in legislation to introduce mandatory disability pay gap reporting for all employers with more than 50 employees.
  • The legislation must be accompanied by a duty on employers to produce targeted action plans identifying the steps they will take to address any gaps identified.
  • The action plans employers produce must also identify and address intersectional issues, for example, how they intend to identify specific barriers faced by Disabled women and ensure pay gap is addressed. 
  • All actions plans must be produced in consultation with recognised trade unions, in work places where there is a recognised trade union.
  • Ensure Access to Work is fully funded, including lifting any caps, so all eligible people can access their full entitlement.  Access to Work needs to be an accessible, easy to use, quick, flexible system which is able to quickly respond to changing needs.  
  • Access to Work should be further streamlined, removing bureaucracy from the application, assessment and reassessment process so support can be quickly and consistently put in place.
  • There should be more proactive enforcement of reasonable adjustments in the workplace, including the right to work remotely, and the right to re-write job descriptions so this is possible.
  • Stop cuts and freezes to social security, and scrap sanctions and conditionality for good.
  • Disabled people who are shielding and are not able to work from home, as well as members of their household, should be able to be put an extended furlough scheme if they cannot work from home, with furlough being paid at the current rate of 80%.
  • The rate of redundancies, and the particular demographics of workers being made redundant should be monitored, with additional funding going to bodies that enforce workers’ rights.

You can download the full report here: Inclusion London’s Response to the Work and Pensions’ Committee Inquiry into the Disability Employment Gap