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Chancellor must not overlook disabled job seekers in jobs package

Big Ben, LondonResponding to the Chancellor’s new jobs package, announced as part of the Comprehensive Spending Review today, Diane Lightfoot, CEO, Business Disability Forum said:

“We welcome the job support measures announced, today, to help the long term unemployed and young people to find work. But we ask the Chancellor to clarify how much additional support will be made available for disabled job seekers. Disabled people are far less likely to be in paid employment than their non-disabled peers – even before the pandemic. And research from Citizens Advice shows that disabled people are at far greater risk of redundancy.

“Support for disabled job seekers needs to be tailored and address the very specific barriers which many disabled candidates experience, from inaccessible recruitment processes to a lack of line manager awareness. We also need to see an increase in the numbers of Job Centre staff with experience in supporting disabled people to find employment and up-to-date training on the skills that employers are currently seeking.

“We would also urge the Government to make better use of existing schemes, such as Access to Work. The scheme can provide vital support for disabled people in securing employment, but many employers tell us they are reluctant to use the scheme because it is inflexible and difficult to engage with. The Government must also review the current Access to Work cap which disproportionately disadvantages those who rely on human support to carry out a role.

“The Chancellor committed today to giving everyone a chance to meet their potential. Disabled job seekers need some reassurance that that promise also applies to them.”

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