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					Able to Work


Report of the National Employment
Panel’s Employers’ Working Group
on Disability

January 2005




Chair – Mark Thompson
National Employment Panel




Able to Work

Report of the National
Employment Panel’s Employers’
Working Group on Disability
January 2005


Chair – Mark Thompson
2   ABLE TO WORK
                                                         3




CONTENTS



Chair’s foreword                                       p5
Executive summary                                      p7
Introduction                                           p15
Vision                                                 p21
Engaging employers                                     p23
Skills for the modern labour market                    p35
Retention and rehabilitation                           p43
Re-engaging jobless disabled people                    p53
Concluding remarks                                     p67
Annex A – Membership of the Employers’ Working Group   p69
Annex B – Table of recommendations                     p70
Annex C – Bibliography                                 p79
Annex D – The National Employment Panel                p81
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                                                           EXECUTIVE SUMMARY             5




Chair’s Foreword

Enabling more disabled people to enter the workforce is an urgent challenge both for
employers and Government. Disabled people make up 20% of the UK’s working age
population – the pool from which employers must meet their talent needs. At a time
of low unemployment, people claiming disability and illness related benefits represent
by far the largest target group for welfare-to-work programmes.

And most importantly of all, for many disabled people, nothing has greater potential
to transform their life chances than work which is meaningful and rewarding to them.

As part of its cross-Government review of disabled people’s life chances, the
Prime Minister’s Strategy Unit asked the National Employment Panel to convene
an Employers’ Working Group to develop recommendations designed to help
disabled people succeed in the labour market.

In our report, we call on employers and others to take a lead in raising awareness of,
and changing attitudes towards, disability among their peers. We also make a range
of recommendations with a view to ensuring that Government services – including
skills, healthcare, employment and benefits – will all contribute more to increasing
employment opportunities for disabled people. And we argue that, to enable
employers to navigate their way through all the available sources of advice and
support on disability issues, Government should lead the development of a ‘virtual
brokerage’ which will act as a single, employer-facing point of access to the system.

The report looks towards a step-change in the labour market status of disabled
people in the UK. This will take time, sustained commitment from employers and
Government, and profound shifts in our attitudes and behaviour. But we believe
that the measures recommended in this report represent some important first steps.

The National Employment Panel, through its network of Employer Coalitions,
will support this process. Working in close collaboration with Jobcentre Plus,
Regional Development Agencies and local Learning and Skills Councils, our
objective will be to increase significantly job opportunities and new careers
for disabled people throughout the country.

I would like to thank my fellow group members for contributing so much time,
expertise and imagination, and also to thank officials from the National
Employment Panel and the Strategy Unit for their able support.

Mark Thompson
Director General, BBC
January 2005
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                                                    EXECUTIVE SUMMARY            7




Executive Summary                       • how to encourage more
                                          employers to recruit and
Fifty percent of working age
                                          retain disabled people
disabled people are economically
inactive – neither working nor
                                        • how to improve the skills levels
actively seeking work – compared
                                          of disabled people
with just 15% of non-disabled
people. Given that almost 20% of
                                        • how to increase the use of
the UK’s working age population
                                          rehabilitation services designed
are disabled, this represents wasted
                                          to help disabled people stay in
opportunity on an enormous scale –
                                          and return to work
for disabled people themselves, for
employers and for the UK economy.
                                        • how to make the Government’s
It is estimated that there are one
                                          welfare-to-work initiatives work
million disabled people who want
                                          more effectively for employers
to work but are not working.
                                          and disabled people
The focus of this report is how we
                                        The group consisted of chief
can help as many disabled people
                                        executives and senior managers of
as possible to fulfil their potential
                                        major employers, chief executives
in the labour market. It sets out
                                        of small businesses, disability
a clear vision of what we want to
                                        experts, and Government officials.
achieve and why it is so important.
                                        We have met regularly over a six
And it makes a wide range of
                                        month period to develop the vision
recommendations – both for
                                        and recommendations set out
employers and for several different
                                        below. Our discussions were also
arms of Government – which will
                                        informed by: input from other
help to deliver that vision.
                                        employers; officials and service
                                        providers; a programme of visits;
Background                              and stakeholder consultations,
                                        including with disabled people
In early 2004, the Prime Minister’s     themselves, conducted on our
Strategy Unit asked the National        behalf by the NEP staff team.
Employment Panel (NEP) to convene
an Employers’ Working Group, to
bring an independent, employer-led      Vision
perspective to the Strategy Unit’s
                                        The group’s vision is that by 2025,
cross-Government project on the
                                        disabled people living in Britain
life chances of disabled people.
                                        should not face extra barriers
Specifically, the group was asked
                                        relative to non-disabled people
to consider:
                                        to fulfilling their potential in work.
  8     ABLE TO WORK




More and more disabled people           Engaging employers
will be working, learning, or
participating in some other activity    At the macro level, there are strong
which is meaningful to them. They       economic reasons to increase the
will have easy access to high quality   numbers of disabled people in
services designed to help them          employment; as the economy
achieve this. They will have high       continues to grow, it will be
expectations of what they can           important to increase the supply
achieve in the labour market, and       of labour, and economically inactive
take responsibility for their own       disabled people offer a large pool
career development.                     of untapped potential.

More and more employers                 The reasons why individual
will value disabled employees as        employers do or do not recruit and
highly as anyone else, at all levels    retain disabled people are complex,
of the workforce. They will take        however. The strength of business
responsibility for recruiting,          case arguments for doing so varies
retaining, developing and               between employers, and in
promoting staff in a way that           particular by employer size. Poor
enables disabled people to              understanding of disability in the
achieve their full potential.           workplace, concerns about the
Accessible workplaces in which          perceived costs of employing
necessary adjustments are made          disabled people, and discrimination
will be the norm.                       are all real issues.

Government will ensure that             In our view, raising employer
effective support is available to       awareness of disability issues
disabled people who want to work        and changing employer attitudes
and to employers, and that the          towards disabled people represent
benefit system encourages work          a crucial starting point. We do not
rather than dependence on the           believe that non-specific rhetoric
state. It will ensure that disabled     about the business case for
people benefit fully from public        employing disabled people will
investment in the UK’s skills base.     convince many employers, however,
It will be an exemplar in the way       or that Government is the most
that it employs and delivers            credible messenger. We therefore
services to disabled people.            recommend that employers
                                        themselves should lead the way
Specific progress measures              in raising awareness of disability
associated with this vision are         issues and promoting best practice,
set out in the main body of             by working in partnership with
the report.                             Government to develop effective
                                        employer to employer messages.
                                                       EXECUTIVE SUMMARY           9




Any employers specific awareness           engaging employers, however,
raising should be based on case            and there is a need for some kind
studies of successful practice.            of broker to help employers to
There are a number of ways that            navigate through it and access the
such awareness raising could take          services they need. We believe that,
place including through local              rather than an additional tier of
campaigns and events, this method          human infrastructure, this should
is likely to be particularly successful    be a ‘virtual brokerage’, and
at engaging smaller businesses.            we recommend that ACAS, with
We believe that government                 support from DWP, DH and DTI,
and business needs to work in              should ensure disability issues are
partnership in developing an               fully covered in the development
employer to employer approach              of ACAS’s employer facing Race
that will effectively engage business.     and Equality website. It is essential
                                           that this source of information is
We have also considered the role of        well known to all employers and
the media in shaping the attitudes         their advisers.
of employers and colleagues
towards disabled people. Although          As well as considering issues
some progress has been made,               relating to awareness, attitudes and
there is a still a particular under-       information, we have reviewed the
representation of disabled people          role of two key Government-led
whose disability is ‘incidental’ to        incentives for employers – Access
their portrayal, and in work roles.        to Work and the Disability Symbol.
We recommend that major media
organisations, the advertising             We are unconvinced of the case
industry and Government should             for a distinct Disability Symbol and
each commit to increasing the              recommend that standards relating
visibility and positive portrayal in       to the recruitment, retention and
employment situations of disabled          promotion of disabled people –
people within their media output.          with a stronger emphasis on
                                           demonstrable results – should be
Once employers begin to engage             incorporated into the Investors
with disability issues, many will          in People framework instead.
benefit from outside advice and
support, for example on how to             We believe that Access to Work is
make workplace adjustments.                important as a source both of advice
And there is a diverse range               on adjustments and – for small
of organisations – Government              businesses in particular – of financial
agencies, for profit and non profit        support. Reflecting feedback from
service providers – on hand to help        employers, we recommend
in different ways. The complexity          important improvements to the
of this system is in itself a barrier to   assessment stage of Access to
                                           Work, but also that the share of
  10    ABLE TO WORK




adjustment costs borne by large          We therefore recommend that:
private employers should be
increased, and that financial support    • the Learning and Skills Council
to public employers should be              should have specific objectives
phased out entirely. This will focus       to increase the number of
the subsidy element on the SME             disabled people studying towards
sector, where it is most needed.           vocational training at all levels –
                                           as well as mandatory components
                                           on employment in all post
Skills for the modern                      16 special educational
labour market                              needs provision

The skill needs of UK business are       • Government should review the
increasing – the number of jobs            extent to which Connexions and
requiring no qualifications is set         Information, Advice and Guidance
to decline by 25% over the next            partnerships have the ability to
10 years. On average, however              provide coordinated specialist
the skill levels of disabled people        advice to disabled people.
are significantly lower than those
of non-disabled people. Almost 40%       • the cross-Government Skills
of disabled people aged 19 lack a          Strategy Steering Group should
Level 2 qualification, compared with       report regularly to Ministers on
23% of non-disabled 19 year olds;          how it is ensuring that the needs
over 40% of disabled people have           of disabled people are fully built
no qualifications at all.                  into the implementation of
                                           the strategy
Much of the investment made in
the skills of UK workers is made by      • specific objectives relating to
employers, and employers have a            participation and achievement
responsibility to ensure that disabled     should be built into the
employees benefit from the same            Government’s new skills initiatives
development opportunities as               – New Deal for Skills, Employer
non-disabled employees.                    Training Pilots and
                                           Apprenticeships – and staff
But Government has a crucial role          delivering these initiatives should
to play, particularly in providing         be equipped with the necessary
people with basic skills, generic          expertise in disability issues
employability skills and lower level
qualifications. The publication of a
new Skills Strategy last year, and the
implementation of several new skills
initiatives, represent an important
opportunity to address the ‘skills
gap’ faced by disabled people.
                                                    EXECUTIVE SUMMARY      11




Retention and rehabilitation             of doing so. We strongly support
                                         current initiatives to improve GPs’
Many disabled people become              understanding of occupational
disabled during their working lives.     health issues, and also recommend
Helping them to return to work as        that fitness for work should become
quickly as possible will very often be   an integral part of GPs’ training.
in their best interests – in terms of
health and social integration as well    We also recommend that Jobcentre
as income. For employers, the case       Plus and its providers should work
for retaining disabled staff who are     with GPs to ensure they are able
a ‘known quantity’ is more likely        to signpost patients on to locally
to be persuasive than the case           available employment support,
for recruiting. For Government,          so that GPs are able to effectively
effective early intervention will        encourage patients back to work.
reduce the number of people
falling into long-term                   A range of measures are needed to
dependency on state benefits.            stimulate a more effective market
                                         in occupational health services.
There is much that employers             On the supply side, the Department
can and should do for themselves,        of Health needs to accelerate
by proactively managing sickness         improvements to the quality and
absence, and improving line              quantity of occupational health
managers’ understanding of how           provision – encouraging more
to respond quickly to new health         trainees, raising professional
problems or impairments – which          standards and using a wider
in many cases may only require           range of delivery channels.
simple workplace adjustments.
The importance of effective absence      To stimulate demand, we
management, occupational health          recommend further Government
and early intervention should be         research into the ‘bottom line’
key themes of the awareness              benefits of occupational health,
campaign recommended under               disseminated through the ‘virtual
Engaging employers.                      brokerage’ described above, and
                                         increased efforts by NHS Plus to
Primary healthcare and occupational      promote occupational health
health services also have a crucial      services to small businesses.
role to play in enabling employers       To send a direct price signal to
to retain more disabled staff.           employers, we recommend that
                                         the insurance industry should
Currently, too many GPs sign             consider how to encourage the
patients off sick without fully          offering of discounts on premiums
considering the potential for a          to employers offering occupational
return to work – or indeed the           health services to their staff.
health benefits for the patient
  12    ABLE TO WORK




Re-engaging jobless                       and Pensions can demonstrate a
disabled people                           good return on its investment in
                                          Pathways, it should prioritise the
There are currently 2.7 million           mainstreaming of the Pathways
people claiming Incapacity Benefit        approach across the whole country.
(IB), at a cost to the Government of
almost £8 billion last year. Although     Although the Government has done
an estimated 1 million IB claimants       much to ensure that work pays for
want to work, once someone has            people leaving welfare, the financial
been on IB for a year, the average        incentives for many IB claimants to
duration of their claim is eight years.   take work are still weak compared
                                          with other claimant groups.
Jobcentre Plus currently delivers a       We believe that, as a medium
range of different programmes             term aim, Government should
designed to help disabled people          ensure that work pays for all
return to employment – including          disabled people entering full
the New Deal for Disabled People.         or part-time work. We also
It is also piloting – in partnership      recommend that HM Treasury
with the NHS – a more intensive           and Inland Revenue should
approach to helping IB claimants,         conduct a review of how well
Pathways to Work.                         the tax credit system is working
                                          for disabled people.
We believe that Pathways – which
includes specialist personal advisers,    Finally, we have considered how
additional work-focused interviews,       partnerships with employers and
condition management programmes           other public sector bodies could
and a return to work credit –             better support the welfare-to-work
represents a sensible, broad-based        agenda for disabled people:
approach to learning how to address
the IB challenge. We also believe         • Jobcentre Plus has recently
that it will be easier to engage both       implemented a new structure for
employers and jobseekers if the             engaging employers in diversity
current set of programmes for               issues but this is targeted on large
disabled people is simplified.              businesses – we recommend that it
We therefore welcome the                    should develop a ‘reference sales’
Government’s announcement in the            approach to engaging SMEs via
recent Pre-Budget Report, to extend         their preferred commercial
the Pathways pilots to a further            advisers and Business Links
14 Jobcentre Plus districts, covering
the Local Authority areas with the        • As part of the forthcoming public
highest concentrations of IB                sector duty to promote equality,
claimants. We further recommend             all arms of Government should
that, if the Department for Work            act as exemplar employers of
                                            disabled people, use procurement
                                        EXECUTIVE SUMMARY   13




  to promote compliance with
  the public sector duty among
  suppliers, and set themselves
  specific targets to increase the
  proportion of their employees
  who are disabled

• Local authority social services and
  day care provision should all build
  into their services a focus on
  helping inactive disabled people
  to work

• Government should seek to
  maximise the impact of publicly
  funded economic development
  and regeneration initiatives on
  the employment opportunities
  available to disabled people

In conclusion
In our concluding remarks,
we emphasise the importance
of ensuring that the flow of
information between Government
and service providers on the one
hand, and employers on the other,
is simple and coordinated, and that
any programme of action designed
to help disabled people in the
labour market is coherent.
Greater emphasis on coordination
of information aimed at disabled
people themselves is also something
we would like to emphasis.

Finally we call for strong leadership
on the issue – from employers,
business bodies, disabled people
themselves, organisations working
on behalf of disabled people,
and Ministers.
14   ABLE TO WORK
                                                          INTRODUCTION      15




Introduction

 Summary
  This introductory section provides the background to the arguments
  and recommendations made in the main body of the report. It starts
  with an overview of the current position of disabled people in the UK
  labour market, which makes clear the scale of the challenge which
  disabled people, employers and Government face. It then goes on to
  discuss the remit of the Employers’ Working Group, the approach we
  have taken to our work, and the structure of our report.


Disabled people in the                  This huge gap reflects the fact that
labour market                           many disabled people experience
                                        multiple disadvantages. Disabled
Disability is far more prevalent than   people are significantly less likely to
many people, including employers,       have qualifications, and more likely
may expect. About 11 million people     to live in poverty. The likelihood of
in the UK, including 20%                being disabled increases significantly
of the working age population,          with age. The incidence of disability
can be defined as disabled.             is higher in geographical areas
                                        where unemployment is high.
Like any other group of people,
the disabled population is hugely       Many disabled people, particularly
diverse, in terms of background,        among those who are looking for
outlook, aptitudes and aspirations.     work, do not give their impairment
This diversity also holds true for      or condition as the main reason
disabled people’s impairments and       that they are out of work. Having
conditions. Some of these are short     the right skills and work experience,
term, others permanent. Some            being motivated and self-confident,
people have been disabled from          and getting a fair reception from
birth, many become disabled later       prospective employers, are
in life. While some disabled people     important for all disadvantaged
will define themselves as ‘disabled’,   jobseekers.
others do not identify with the term.
                                        As the charts below indicate, there
It is nevertheless possible to          are significant variations in the
generalise about disabled people’s      employment rate of disabled people
labour market opportunities.            according to impairment type – in
50% of working age disabled people      particular, the employment rates of
are economically inactive – neither     people with learning difficulties and
working nor actively seeking work –     mental illnesses are strikingly low.
compared with just 15%
of non-disabled people.
  16                  ABLE TO WORK




                                                        Employment rates for disabled men by impairment
                                                                          type and age
                           100
                            90
                            80
                            70                                                                                                                                                                                     16 – 24
                            60
         Percentage




                            50                                                                                                                                                                                     25 – 39
                            40                                                                                                                                                                                     40 – 49
                            30                                                                                                                                                                                     50 to 64
                            20
                            10
                             0
                                                                                                                       Depression,



                                                                                                                                               Learning
                                                                                                                                 etc.




                                                                                                                                                                                                      No health
                                                                                                                      mental illness
                                                                         Communication



                                                                                                    Internal




                                                                                                                                                                                                       problem
                                             Physical




                                                                                                                                                                                           Other
                                                                                                                                                                          Progressive
                                                                                                                                             difficulties




                                            Employment rates for disabled women by impairment
                                                               type and age

                      90
                      80
                                                                                                                                                                                                                  16 – 24
                      70
                      60                                                                                                                                                                                          25 – 39
    Percentage




                      50                                                                                                                                                                                          40 – 49
                      40                                                                                                                                                                                          50 to 64
                      30
                      20
                      10
                       0
                                                                                                                Depression,

                                                                                                                          etc.
                                                         Communication




                                                                                                                                                                                                   No health
                                                                                         Internal
                                 Physical




                                                                                                                                                                                                    problem
                                                                                                               mental illness



                                                                                                                                         Learning
                                                                                                                                        difficulties



                                                                                                                                                            Progressive



                                                                                                                                                                                        Other




 Note – where percentages are not shown, this because sample sizes are below the
 publishable threshold and not because the employment rate is zero.


Nevertheless, for all impairment                                                                                                                 The focus of this report is how we
types, the labour market                                                                                                                         can help as many disabled people as
disadvantage is substantial.                                                                                                                     possible to achieve their potential.

It is clear that this picture represents
wasted opportunity on an enormous                                                                                                                Our focus
scale – for disabled people
themselves, for employers and                                                                                                                    In late 2003, the Prime Minister
for the UK economy. It is estimated                                                                                                              asked his Strategy Unit to undertake
that there are one million inactive                                                                                                              a strategic review of disabled
disabled people who want to work.                                                                                                                people’s life chances – the
                                                           INTRODUCTION        17




opportunities available to disabled       particular to advise on issues
people to improve their quality of        relating to employment. Specifically,
life. The objectives of this project      the group’s areas of focus included:
were to:
                                          • how to encourage more
• assess the extent to which disabled       employers to recruit and
  people are suffering adverse              retain disabled people
  economic and social outcomes
  in the UK                               • how to improve the skills levels
                                            of disabled people
• identify why this is happening,
  and its implications                    • how to increase the use of
                                            rehabilitation services designed
• assess what could be done to              to help disabled people return
  improve the situation, in                 to work
  particular by making better
  use of existing resources.              • how to make the Government’s
                                            welfare-to-work initiatives work
                                            more effectively for employers
While there are of course many              and disabled people
different determinants of disabled
people’s life chances, one of the
most important is the extent to           The group consisted of chief
which they are able to participate in     executives and senior managers
the labour market. As well as being       of major employers, chief executives
the principal source of income for        of small businesses, disability
most adults, work often provides          experts, and officials from the
a wide range of social and health         Department for Work and Pensions,
benefits, and opens doors to a range      Jobcentre Plus. The members of
of other opportunities. It is essential   the Group are listed at Annex A.
that disabled people should be
equipped to succeed in the modern
workplace, employers should
operate in a way which enables
disabled people to achieve their
potential, and Government should
deliver effective support services.

The Strategy Unit therefore asked
the National Employment Panel
(see Annex C) to convene an
Employers’ Working Group, to
provide an employer perspective
on the Strategy Unit’s work, and in
  18    ABLE TO WORK




 Definition of ‘disabled people’ and use of key concepts
  At present, there is no single, universally accepted definition
  of disability. In carrying out our remit, we have followed the
  approach of the Strategy Unit and considered people covered
  by a range of definitions to be within the scope of our work.
  Those definitions include:

  • people defined as disabled under the Disability Discrimination Act
  • people who define themselves as disabled in response to the
    Labour Force Survey and/or diversity monitoring conducted by
    Government agencies

  • people in receipt of state benefits associated with disability
    or long-term ill health

  We are acutely aware, however, that disabled people are a hugely
  diverse group – regardless of which definition is being used – and have
  tried to reflect that diversity in our analysis and recommendations.

  We have also made a distinction between these three key concepts:

  • disability – the disadvantage experienced by an individual as a result
    of barriers (attitudinal, physical etc.) that impact on people with
    impairments and/or ill health

  • impairment – a long-term characteristic of an individual which
    affects their functioning and/or appearance and may give rise
    to pain, fatigue, communication difficulties etc.

  • ill health – the short or long-term effect of disease or sickness
  Many people with an impairment or ill health do not consider
  themselves to be disabled.


Our approach                              from other employers, Government
                                          officials and service providers.
Between March and September
2004, we have met as a group on           We have conducted a programme
several occasions to discuss the issues   of visits to employers and service
discussed in this report. At each         providers, both to examine good
meeting, we have had vital input          practice and to gather views on the
                                                          INTRODUCTION     19




issues faced on the front line and       disabled people are enabled
how they might be addressed.             to participate fully in work
In addition, the National
Employment Panel staff team              • Engaging employers considers the
has consulted on our behalf               reasons why employers do – and
with a wide range of stakeholders,        in too many cases, don’t – recruit
including disabled people                 and retain disabled people. It
themselves. The organisations we          recommends a number of ways in
have visited or consulted include:        which awareness, attitudes and
                                          incentives could be improved.
• BBC
• Blue Arrow                             • Skills for the modern labour
• Breakthrough UK Ltd                     market considers the gap between
• BSkyB                                   the increasing premium on skills
• Department for Work and                 and the low skill levels of many
  Pensions                                disabled people, and argues that
• Disability Employment Advisory          the Government’s Skills Strategy
  Committee                               represents an important
• Disability Rights Commission            opportunity to address this.
• Employers’ Forum on Disability
• Her Majesty’s Treasury                 • Retention and rehabilitation
• Jobcentre Plus                          assesses the case for active
• Jobcentre Plus Manchester and           management of sickness absence
  Employment and Regeneration             and greater use of occupational
  Partnership – Stepping Stones           health services, to enable disabled
  project                                 people to return to work quickly.
• Learning and Skills Council             It considers how an effective
• NHS Plus                                partnership between employers,
• Papworth                                the NHS and other service
• Remploy                                 providers could drive
• Tomorrow’s people                       improvements in this area.
We are very grateful to all the
people who have generously               • Re-engaging jobless disabled
contributed their time and expertise.     people focuses on the
                                          programmes of support offered
                                          by Government to people on
Structure of our report                   disability and sickness related
                                          benefits, many of whom have
The rest of this report is organised      been out of work for very long
into six sections:                        periods. It considers how to
                                          make these work more effectively
The following section sets out our
                                          both for disabled people and
Vision of what success will look like,
                                          for employers.
if a steadily increasing proportion of
  20   ABLE TO WORK




Although not specifically dealt with in
this report, the group recognises the very
real need for improvements in areas such
as transport and housing to enable
improvements in the labour market
outcomes of disabled people.

Finally, our Concluding remarks highlight
some important links between the
recommendations made in the previous
sections.

In addition, the working group’s
membership, a full list of our
recommendations, and background
information on the National
Employment Panel, can be found
in the annexes.




 Relationship with the Strategy Unit report
 The views expressed in this report, and its recommendations, are those
 of the Employers’ Working Group and do not represent the views of
 the Strategy Unit or of Government. The report and recommendations,
 however, are key inputs into the final Strategy Unit report on the life
 chances of disabled people
                                                                     VISION       21




Vision                                    But we also believe that, to maximise
                                          the combined impact of these and
To take our work forward, the group       other changes, it will be important
has considered in some detail the         to articulate a clear, shared vision of
different barriers to employment          what can be achieved and why it is
which disabled people face. We have       so important.
also looked at the role of employers
                                          The vision statement that follows
and of several different arms of
                                          is an initial attempt to do this.
Government in addressing them.
                                          At a high level, it sets out the
In order to generate a step change        respective roles and responsibilities
in the labour market experience           of employers, Government and
of disabled people, all of these          disabled people themselves, and
stakeholders have a distinctive role      gives a sense of our common goal.
to play – in the following sections
                                          Throughout the rest of the report,
of the report, we make
                                          we use scenarios describing the
recommendations for each
                                          current experience of disabled
of them.
                                          people, and what their experience
                                          could be like in future, to bring the
                                          vision to life.


  Vision
  By 2025, disabled people living in Britain should not face extra barriers
  relative to non-disabled people to fulfilling their potential in work.

  More and more disabled people will be working, learning, or
  participating in some other activity which is meaningful to them.
  They will have easy access to high quality services designed to help
  them achieve this. They will have high expectations of what they can
  achieve in the labour market, and take responsibility for their own
  career development.

  The benefits for disabled people will include:

  • A substantially higher probability of being in work
  • All the social, health and financial benefits that meaningful work offers
  People will be saying:

  “Each of my last three managers really understood why I wanted flexible
  hours, and together we made it work. I’ve been able to develop within
  each role, and every move has meant a bigger challenge.”
22   ABLE TO WORK




Progress measure – by 2015, the employment rate of disabled people
is 65%.

More and more employers will value disabled employees as highly as
anyone else, at all levels of the workforce. They will take responsibility
for recruiting, retaining, developing and promoting staff in a way that
enables disabled people to achieve their full potential. Accessible
workplaces in which necessary adjustments are made will be the norm.

The benefits for employers will include:

• A more diverse and higher commitment workforce
• Access to a significantly wider pool of talent
People will be saying:

“We still monitor the effectiveness of our policies, of course, but
disability just isn’t a big issue round here any more. Meeting the
needs of a diverse workforce is simply part of the way we do business.”

Progress measure – attitudinal surveys of employers show a
year-on-year increase in the percentage of employers willing
to recruit disabled people.

Government will ensure that effective support is available to
disabled people who want to work, and that the benefit system
encourages work rather than dependence on the state. It will ensure
that disabled people benefit fully from public investment in the UK’s
skills base. It will be an exemplar in the way that it employs and delivers
services to disabled people.

The benefits for Government will include:

• A better return on investment in skills and public health
• Less spending on benefits, and more disabled workers paying tax
People will be saying:

“A few years ago, it seemed like half the people in this town were
on the sick. Now they know where to go for advice, and they
believe that the help on offer can make a difference.”

Progress measure – by 2015, the number of Incapacity Benefit claimants
has fallen by 1,000,000 – from 2.7 million to 1.7 million.
                                                   ENGAGING EMPLOYERS           23




Engaging employers

 Summary
 This section begins by considering why employers do and don’t recruit
 disabled people. Awareness of disability issues and easy access to
 relevant information are clearly of key importance, and several
 of our recommendations relate to these. We also look at current
 incentives for employers and how these could work better.



 Scenario – I am a small employer with a vacancy to fill. My main
 concern is to quickly find the right person to do the job…
 Likely outcome given current arrangements: One of the applications I
 got was from a disabled person. I have to admit I was quite put off by
 their impairment, I don’t like to discriminate but it throws up all sorts of
 worries that I just don’t know how to deal with. I might have to make
 all sorts of adjustments to the building and their desk – that sort of
 thing. I imagine all that would be pretty expensive and I’m struggling
 anyway. Also what about my other staff members? I don’t know how
 they would react – we’ve never had a disabled member of staff here.

 Possible future outcome if system works better for employers:
 One of the applications I got was from a disabled person. It’s a bit of a
 co-incidence really as there seems to be a lot of publicity going around
 at the moment about employing disabled people. The campaign by the
 FSB with real employers talking about their experiences was really very
 good. It made me realise quite a few things, I have to admit I used to
 just think of disabled people as being in wheelchairs or blind or deaf.
 But in reality, sometimes you can’t even tell someone is disabled. There’s
 this new website too that has advice on just about anything employers
 would be worried about when employing a disabled person. I found
 out on there that if I did have to make any changes to the workplace,
 the government will help to pay for these, through a scheme called
 Access to Work.

 Anyway, the disabled person who applied for the job had all the skills
 I was looking for and we got on really well, so I offered them the
 job. This was much easier knowing I can get financial help to make
 adjustments and there are places I can go to get advice if I need to.
  24    ABLE TO WORK




Why employers do and                      However, a business case for such
don’t recruit and retain                  a heterogeneous group of people
disabled people                           aimed at all employers is unlikely to
                                          hold. The strength of any business
At the macro level there are strong       case will vary between employers –
economic reasons to increase the          the distinction between larger
numbers of disabled people in             employers and SMEs is particularly
employment. As the economy                important here.
continues to grow it will be
important to increase the supply of       There is also a lack of evidence to
labour and disabled people offer a        support some of the arguments
large pool of untapped potential.         commonly put forward as part
                                          of the business case, for example
Arguments of this sort will be            disabled people as loyal members
effective in engaging government          of staff staying in their jobs for
and potentially employer groups           longer than non-disabled staff.
and large companies. They are
however, unlikely to cause                Despite there being potentially
individual businesses to                  strong business reasons to recruit
change their behaviour.                   disabled people, there are a number
                                          of reasons why many employers are
Business cases for increasing             not doing so.
recruitment and retention of
disabled people have been put             • Possible discrimination – In some
forward by a number of                      cases it may simply be a case of
organisations (Employers Forum              employers discriminating and
on Disability, Scope, RNIB etc).            having negative attitudes towards
Elements of the business case               disabled people. Recent
make sense, for example:                    government surveys have revealed
                                            that surprisingly low proportions
• retailers are likely to be interested     of employers are willing to recruit
  in their employees reflecting the         a disabled member of staff – only
  local population to encourage a           62% and 37% of employers said
  more diverse customer base                they would recruit a person with
                                            physical or mental impairments
• CSR arguments may appeal                  respectively in the future.
  to large companies
                                                    ENGAGING EMPLOYERS       25




  Jobseeker case study – MIND mental health focus group
  Chris had a successful career in IT before he developed depression which
  forced him to seek medical help and give up his job. His condition has
  now improved and he feels ready to return to his former career, even
  if this means returning to lower graded post. He has applied for many
  jobs most of which he has not even got an interview for, despite being
  over qualified. Chris believes this is because employers are not willing
  to employ anyone with a history of mental health conditions.


• Fears of future discrimination           government funding is available,
  cases – employers may also               through Access to Work (discussed
  have concerns around future              further below).
  discrimination cases. These
  fears stem from the effectiveness      • Lack of awareness of disabled
  of the DDA at protecting disabled        employees – it is also possible
  employees and its relative               employers are not aware that
  ineffectiveness at the recruitment       they do actually have disabled
  stage – just 9% of disability            employees. This may be due
  employment tribunal cases                to narrow views of disability,
  are based on recruitment, the            for example thinking of disabled
  remaining 91% are dismissal              people as wheelchair users and
  and reasonable adjustment cases.         visually impaired people. Disabled
  Some employers may feel it is            employees may not always think
  safer not to recruit a disabled          of themselves as disabled or
  person in the first place.               may be unwilling to reveal
                                           impairments to their employer.
• Fears about the costs – costs
  associated with employing
  disabled people, particularly          The above discussion suggests that
  workplace adjustments, may be          low awareness and understanding
  an issue for employers, particularly   of disability is an important issue
  smaller employers. Employers           for many employers, but that
  often overestimate these costs –       discriminatory attitudes and
  many disabled people will require      practices also exist. Understanding
  no adjustments, others will have       of mental health issues is particularly
  low or no cost requirements such       poor, and employers are significantly
  as flexible working hours – in fact    more reluctant to recruit people
  where adjustments are required         with mental impairments. Also,
  the average cost is as low as £50.     employers’ experience of disability
  Additionally, where expensive          varies significantly by size – small
  adjustments are required               businesses (the vast majority of
  26    ABLE TO WORK




businesses in the UK) do not have          Recommendation 1 – Government
in-house HR or diversity expertise         and business to work in partnership
to call on, and will often be more         to develop employer to employer
concerned about the potential              based awareness raising of disability
cost of workplace adjustments              issues and promotion
or discrimination cases.                   of best practice.

To address this situation, we are          Case studies would need to be a
likely to need a mixed strategy for        central part of the publicity, this
engaging employers, encompassing           would be particularly useful to allow
awareness raising, enforcement             (smaller) businesses to see how any
and incentives.                            barriers to recruiting disabled
                                           employees were overcome and
                                           where employers sought advice from.
Awareness, attitudes
and information                            There are a number of ways that
                                           such awareness raising could take
As highlighted issues around               place including through local
awareness, attitudes and information       campaigns and events, this method
are particularly important. Employers’     is likely to be particularly successful
misconceptions around the costs of         at engaging smaller businesses.
employing a disabled person
highlight the level of false beliefs.      DWP has recently set up an
While disability is becoming better        Employer Engagement Project,
understood, employers and others           which is due to report by the end of
still lack awareness of many types of      2005 on how Government can better
impairments; this is especially true for   engage employers and encourage
mental health conditions, for which a      and support them to recruit and
great deal of stigma still exists.         retain more disabled people. The
                                           outcomes of this project will better
While we support the need to               inform Government on how to take
publicise the business benefits            forward an effective employer to
of employing disabled people,              employer awareness campaign.
we believe publicity making a              DWP and DTI should work together
generic business case promoted             to coordinate the campaign
by government will not be effective        and bring together relevant
in engaging the majority of                organisations and employers.
employers. Employers are more
likely to be interested in case studies    As well as targeting employers
of successful practice and in advice       and changing their attitudes, we
from other employers and industry          also see the general ‘climate’ and
groups, rather than messages               perceptions of disabled people
from government.                           by the general public as critically
                                           important. The media and
                                                    ENGAGING EMPLOYERS          27




advertisers have the power to make       Once employers are engaged and
a real difference here. As disabled      committed to employing disabled
people become more represented           people, there is the very real issue
in the mainstream media, and             of the availability of support and
other walks of life (e.g. mainstream     advice offered to employers.
schools), this will have an effect on    At the recruitment stage and
employers attitudes and acceptance       beyond employers need advice
of disabled people in the workplace.     and support on how to make any
                                         necessary adjustments. Employers
We are aware of good progress            also have concerns about how to
in this arena already happening.         deal with situations that may arise
Major media organisations are            when an employee becomes
already committed to making              disabled or their impairment
future improvements in media             changes. This will be a particular
portrayal and also as employers          concern for small employers who
of disabled people.                      may not have previous experience
                                         of employing a disabled person.
Despite progress, however,
disabled people are still very           Some support to employers is
under-represented in the                 currently available from a diverse
mainstream media. There is a             range of sources. Examples include
particular shortage of disabled          Access to Work which provides
people whose impairment is               advice as well and financial help;
‘incidental’ to their role and           Employers Forum on Disability
disabled people in employment;           which runs an advice line for its
there are still too many                 members; Business Link’s website
representations emphasising how          provides advice on the DDA and
‘different’ disabled people are.         workplace adjustments.

Recommendation 2a – The media            There are also a large number
and advertising industry to              of service providers working with
recognise its role in changing           employers to help them recruit
attitudes towards disabled people        and then retain disabled people,
and work to increase the visibility of   many of which are local small scale
disabled people in the mainstream        organisations. These vary a great
media and increase the exposure          deal in the service provided
given to disability issues.              to employers.

Recommendation 2b – Government
as major advertiser to work towards
a greater representation of disabled
people, particularly in employment
situations, in its non-disability
specific material.
  28   ABLE TO WORK




• Breakthrough UK Ltd is a social       Employers, especially SMEs, find the
 enterprise which employs 60%           system difficult to navigate and do
 disabled staff – they provide          not have the expertise or the time
 training and employment support        necessary. We therefore see a
 for disabled people in Manchester      need for some form of brokerage
 and Liverpool. Breakthrough            to signpost employers to the
 offers advice to the employers         relevant organisation or source
 it places clients with.                of information they require
                                        in each situation that arises.
• Papworth works with employers
 across Eastern England to support      Although a distinct cadre of human
 them to retain staff becoming          ‘brokers’ would be one possible
 disabled (through its rehabilitation   approach, it would be high in cost,
 programme), recruit disabled staff,    and would to some extent duplicate
 and meet their skills requirements     the resources of Government
 – as well as providing advice          agencies and non-Government
 on the DDA.                            service providers. We believe,
                                        however, that there is a strong
While many of these sources             case for a ‘virtual brokerage’ pulling
of support and advice offer an          together key information in a
effective service to employers, the     user-friendly format and acting
sheer number of organisations, the      as a portal to all the available
variation in support provided along     sources of help – this would be
with difficulties employers face in     based around an employer-facing
finding out about these providers       website, possibly backed up by a
mean employers are not benefiting       telephone helpline. The website and
as much as they could.                  helpline must be fully accessible.



  ACAS Race and Equality website
  ACAS are developing a ‘one stop shop’ gateway website which will
  provide users with direct access to specialist websites covering race
  and broader equality issues in the workplace.

  The front page will link users to two separate pages – one for SMEs
  and one for larger employers. Although each of these pages will be
  very similar, they will provide access to different sites and draw out
  information that is more relevant to either SMEs or larger
  organisations. Both pages will provide information on Codes of Practice
  and will include good practice guidance and examples as well as links
  to sources of further information and advice.
                                                 ENGAGING EMPLOYERS      29




Recommendation 3 – DWP, DH and         point of information, containing
DTI to work with ACAS to ensure        all the necessary information
the information and advice needs       and signposting to relevant
of employers on recruiting and         organisations. Employers do not
retaining disabled workers are         have the time to investigate a
fully included in the ACAS Race        variety of sources of information,
and Equality website. This should      a single point of contact is
include information and contact        essential to overcome the barrier
details where more extensive           of lack of support and advice faced
information may be needed.             by employers.

There are similar websites where       The need for some form of
employers can get a limited amount     brokerage and a single point of
of advice on employing disabled        contact for information and advice
people; examples include Business      is a recurring theme throughout
Link and Direct.gov.com.               the report, and several of the
                                       recommendations made in
Business Link is specifically for      subsequent sections dovetail with
business but does not have a           our recommendations here relating
disability or diversity focus.         to awareness raising and the
There is some limited information      ‘virtual brokerage’.
on employing a disabled person
and the DDA, although this is
hidden in the employment section.      Incentives for employers
Direct.gov.com has separate easy
to identify sections on disability     Increasing awareness and making
and employment but is not aimed        support available to employers may
at business.                           not always be enough to ensure
                                       employers are actively engaged
In our view ACAS are in a better       and recruiting and retaining
position than Government to host       disabled people.
and promote the website, as they
are trusted by business and are seen   We see a need for an accreditation
as impartial. As ACAS are already      or award that employers want to
working on setting up an equality      have and that disabled people know
website for employers, it seems        identifies an employer with a
sensible and cost effective to         commitment to and a good record
integrate this recommendation          for employing disabled people.
with their equality website.

The website will need to be well
publicised and made known to
all employers and their business
advisers. It must provide a single
  30    ABLE TO WORK




  Case study – Employers Forum on Disability:
  Disability Standard
  The Employers’ Forum on Disability is an employers’ organisation
  focused on the issue of disability in the workplace. It is funded and
  managed by employers. With over 375 members, the Forum represents
  organisations who employ over 20% of the UK workforce.

  The Forum has recently developed a Disability Standard, which it is
  piloting with a number of its members. The Standard is a self assessed
  accreditation that allows employers to determine how well they are
  recruiting and retaining disabled employees as well as their customer
  service to disabled people. Their assessment is confirmed by the Forum
  who then provide advice on improvement and benchmark the
  organisation over time and against the rest of their sector.


            One initiative in recent     development of people to achieve
            years that has aimed         business goals. We believe linking
            to provide such an           the accreditation of IiP to
            accreditation is the         companies’ records on recruiting,
disability, or ‘two ticks’ symbol.       retaining and developing disabled
Jobcentre Plus award the symbol          employees will provide a genuine
to employers who are committed           incentive to employers.
to offering interviews to all disabled
applicants meeting the minimum           IiP is reviewed every three years;
criteria for the job. Other              with the latest review having just
commitments are based on having          taken place. In time for the next
procedures in place to recruit and       review, IiP should consider how
retain disabled people. However,         to most effectively include
feedback from disabled people and        performance on recruiting, retaining
employers suggests the symbol is         and developing disabled people into
not very effective. It is not valued     the accreditation criteria for IiP.
and sought after by employers,
it is based on procedures rather         Recommendation 4 – By 2007,
than outcomes and disabled people        Investors in People to incorporate
are not influenced by seeing the         within its accreditation criteria
symbol on job adverts.                   standards relating to the
                                         employment and development
A good example of an accreditation       of disabled people, with an
valued by business is Investors in       emphasis on demonstrable
People (IiP) – the national standard     results. This should replace the
which sets out a level of good           ‘two ticks’ disability symbol.
practice for training and
                                                   ENGAGING EMPLOYERS      31




Businesses may be further               and also provides funding for costly
incentivised to improve their           workplace adjustments. Access to
recruitment and retention of            Work therefore has the potential
disabled people by a commitment         to overcome employers’ issues
to publish information on their         regarding advice and costs.
record, for example as part of
their annual report. Those              In practice many employers and
businesses which report publicly        disabled people experience Access
on their records on employing           to Work as a slow and unresponsive
disabled people within their annual     service. From contacting Access
reports are sending a powerful          to Work to having an assessment
signal about their commitment           through to getting the equipment
to this issue – to their staff in       and/or funding often takes over
particular. We are keen, therefore,     6 months. As the adjustment is
for DTI to do everything it can         necessary for the person to do their
to encourage this practice.             job, employers have an unfilled
                                        vacancy or someone working below
                                        their full productivity for too long.
Access to Work
                                        Access to Work is not widely
Access to Work provides advice and      publicised and as a result many
financial help for disabled people      employers – particularly SMEs –
and their employers, covering the       do not know of its existence.
cost of overcoming disability related   We understand that any increase
barriers to employment. There are       in publicity, with employer’s
four strands to its provision:          contributions remaining as they are,
                                        would require a substantial increase
• Adaptations to premises               in government funding – funding
                                        which we are aware is unlikely to
• Special aids and equipment            be available.

• Support to workers                    For some employers it is the advice
                                        and ability to make purchases that
• Fares to work.                        is the most valued part of Access to
                                        Work. For other, typically smaller
Throughout our group discussions        employers, the financial help can be
and consultations with other            of crucial importance. We therefore
employers and disabled people           see a need to encourage larger
Access to Work has been highlighted     employers to make a larger financial
as having the potential to be an        contribution and for the current
effective incentive for employers.      levels of support to remain for
It can provide advice at the            smaller employers. Government,
recruitment stage and on-going          as a large employer, should lead
advice on workplace adjustments         the way in making larger financial
  32   ABLE TO WORK




contributions towards Access to         The service offered by Access to
Work adjustments, with a view           Work would be further improved by
to phasing out central and local        IB recipients having Access to Work
government using Access to              assessments, where appropriate,
Work funding.                           when they are close to finding work,
                                        which they can take with them to
We see different roles for funding      interviews and will allow
of equipment and adjustments            adjustments to take place before
depending on whether the funding        the person starts work.
is for workplace adjustments, and
therefore a contribution towards        Recommendation 5a – DWP
costs that in the absence of Access     to redesign Access to Work to
to Work would be incurred by            provide a more efficient service
the employer or for adjustments         to employers, make it easier
required personally by the disabled     for disabled people to move
person. Examples of the latter          between jobs, and target
include fares to work, wheelchairs      funding for adjustments towards
and some IT equipment. We believe       small businesses.
the latter would be more efficiently
funded from a separate source,          The key changes this will involve are
preferably one of the many schemes      as follows:
already funding the extra costs
incurred by disabled people. From       • Access to Work should distinguish
the disabled person’s point of view       between funding to meet the cost
it makes more sense to have fewer         of equipment or support required
sources of funding for extra costs.       personally by the disabled person,
From the employer’s point of view         and funding for workplace
this will make it easier to recruit       adjustments by employers. The
disabled people, taking away the          former should be paid directly to
need to sort out funding for areas        the disabled person, making the
that in many cases employers do not       equipment/support ‘portable’
consider their role to deal with e.g.     between jobs.
transport to work.
                                      ENGAGING EMPLOYERS   33




• Employers should be offered a
 faster and more effective
 service, including support from
 specialist advisers. Potentially,
 this could include industry or
 sector specialists.

• Large private employers, however,
 should make a substantially
 increased contribution towards
 the cost of Access to Work funded
 adjustments. And Access to Work
 funding for public sector
 employers should be gradually
 reduced, and phased out
 completely by 2008 for central
 government. If the removal of
 Access to Work funding for central
 government does not have
 adverse effects on the
 employment of disabled people,
 funding should be phased out
 for local authorities by 2012.


Recommendation 5b – All IB
claimants being actively encouraged
to apply for work by Jobcentre
Plus to be offered an ‘Access to
Work’ assessment as part of the
job broking process, indicating
their workplace requirements,
which they can take with them
to any employer.
34   ABLE TO WORK
                                 SKILLS FOR THE MODERN LABOUR MARKET          35




Skills for the modern labour market

 Summary
 Many disabled people wish to find employment, however many of them
 lack the basic or job-specific skills that are needed by employers. In
 order to equip disabled people with the skills needed to find a job,
 there need to be major improvements in the way that services are
 provided for disabled people. This section describes the skills issues
 faced by disabled people, and considers how they can be addressed.
 In particular, it focuses on the potential impact of the Government’s
 new Skills Strategy, and a number of new skills initiatives.


 Scenario – I am a 45 year old man, I have worked in construction all
 my working life. I am no longer able to do any work that involves heavy
 lifting. I do not know what to do next, I want to work but have no
 qualifications or experience outside of construction. I would like to have
 the chance to retrain and start a new career…
 Likely outcome given current arrangements: I asked at my local
 jobcentre about training schemes I could go on, they told me to get in
 contact with the local Information, Advice and Guidance partnership,
 apparently they co-ordinate all local training schemes. They gave me a
 bunch of leaflets, but I am not even sure what kind of job I would like
 to do and all the schemes seemed to be aimed at younger people. I am
 now receiving Incapacity Benefit, I have noticed that all the jobs I stand
 a chance of getting with my experience and no qualifications do not
 pay much more than I am getting in benefits – I don’t want to stay on
 benefits, but it doesn’t seem right to not be any better off from
 working. It’s all very depressing.

 Possible future outcome if system works better for disabled people:
 I asked at my local Jobcentre about training schemes I could go on, an
 advisor from the local Information, Advice and Guidance partnership
 is based at the Jobcentre so I had a chat with them. They arranged an
 appointment with an IAG advisor who specialises in helping disabled
 people. We talked in detail about what I might like to do and how I
 could get some training to be able to achieve my aims. I would really
 like to get some IT training and maybe get a job on an IT helpdesk. I
 am going to start the New Deal for Skills, where I will get my IT training
 and some work experience. I will still be able to receive my full benefits
 on the scheme and afterwards I should be able to get a well paying job.
 It’s a little scary starting something so new at my age, but I am also
 looking forward to learning and getting back to work.
   36   ABLE TO WORK




The skills challenge                         of disabled people would be for
                                             fewer young disabled people to
The nature of the employment                 leave school without qualifications.
market in the UK is changing;                Disabled people face several
the number of jobs requiring                 barriers to accessing learning and
no qualifications is set to decline          training, such as financial hardship,
by 25% over the next 10 years.               lack of confidence and transport
Many employers face recruitment              costs. Many disabled people have
problems, particularly in skilled            had a ‘revolving door’ of non-
trades, personal services, transport         vocational training programmes
and machine operatives, and among            that haven’t led to skills progression
associate professionals. Currently           or employment.
one fifth of job vacancies (135,000
posts) remain unfilled because of            This puts disabled people at a great
a lack of skilled applicants.                disadvantage in the labour market,
                                             because they are less likely to find
In a labour market that is                   work; less likely to find jobs that
demanding higher levels of                   pay well; and less likely to be hired
educational attainment, disabled             by employers that offer good
people do not fare well. On                  quality training.
average, the skills levels of disabled
people are lower than those of               Although employers should and
non-disabled people. Over 40%                do invest in the skills needs of their
of people on Incapacity Benefits             staff, it is important that disabled
have no educational qualifications,          employees benefit from the
compared to 18% of the non-                  same development, training
disabled working-age population.             and promotion opportunities
Almost 40% of disabled people                as non-disabled employees. The
aged 19 lack a Level 2 qualification,        government has an important role
compared to 23% of non-disabled              to play by enabling disabled people
19 year olds. Outdated skills are also       free access to training, particularly
a problem for disabled people who            in basic skills and up to Level 2.
have been out of work for
a long time, including many
Incapacity Benefit claimants.                The adult skills system

Often, the educational system                The adult skills system is primarily
fails disabled people; mainstream            the responsibility of the Learning
education institutions may not make          and Skills Council (LSC), who provide
the adjustments necessary for the            training for 6 million adult learners.
disabled learner to perform to the           Its priorities include increasing the
best of their ability. It is clear that in   nation’s skills levels to increase
the long term a more efficient way           competitiveness, reducing the
of addressing the skills levels              number of people who lack basic
                                   SKILLS FOR THE MODERN LABOUR MARKET        37




skills in literacy and numeracy, and    Level 2. However, currently they
making training available to all        make up only 10% of the LSC’s
sections of society. It funds the       learners studying towards basic
majority of Further Education           skills, Level 1 or Level 2
(post-16, non-degree courses)           qualifications. There are still
provision in the UK, and in 2002-3      large numbers of disabled people
had a budget of £7.5 billion; £2.4      who could benefit from this
billion of which was spent on           training entitlement.
training for adults (19 and over).
                                        The LSC currently lacks an overall
The LSC is committed to making          objective for the participation of
itself a national equality and          disabled learners on its courses.
diversity exemplar through meeting      Although achieving Level 2 is
the diverse needs of learners,          regarded as a good basis for
including those with learning           employability, not all disabled
difficulties or disabilities. The LSC   people are capable of achieving
places a contractual requirement        this. Many would also benefit
on all of its providers to promote      from alternative ways of measuring
disability equality.                    progress. Many are able to enter
                                        meaningful employment with lower-
However, disabled people do             level, vocational qualifications. Also,
not benefit sufficiently from           many disabled people are keen to
LSC provision, compared to              study beyond Level 2, to enter
the population as a whole.              more high-skilled, better paid jobs.
                                        Therefore we would like the LSC to
• Only 9.5% of learners in              promote training at all levels for
  LSC-funded provision are disabled,    disabled people.
  although 20% of the working
  age population are disabled.          Recommendation 6a – The LSC
                                        to have an overall objective to
• Currently only 33% of disabled        mainstream disability throughout
  learners funded by the LSC are        its business planning, and specific
  studying towards a Level 2            objectives to increase the number
  qualification or above.               of disabled learners studying
                                        towards all levels of training
                                        and qualifications.
Because disabled people are
generally lower skilled than non-       Recommendation 6b – The LSC to
disabled people, they should benefit    include mandatory components on
significantly from the government’s     employment in all post 16 special
commitment to providing free basic      educational needs provision.
skills training, and training up to
  38    ABLE TO WORK




Advice and guidance                       The Connexions service is aimed at
                                          the average or typical young person,
The provision of good quality advice      and does not provide sufficient
and guidance to disabled people is        specialist support or advice for
very important, particularly because      young disabled people. Connexions
many disabled people are not aware        Partnerships usually include a
of the funding and assistance             number of specialist advisers for
available to them for training.           disabled people, who may be based
Information, Advice and Guidance          in specialist schools or advise other
(IAG) partnerships provide free           PAs in the area. However, they often
services for all people over 19           have large caseloads so are unable
to assist them in accessing or            to spend significant time with
progressing in learning. Connexions       individuals, and lack training in
provide a similar service for 13–19       how to support young disabled
year olds (and up to 25 years for         people with complex or
disabled people). They play a key         multiple impairments.
role in providing people with
information about training                Recommendation 7 – DfES to ensure
opportunities that are available          Connexions and IAG partnerships
to them.                                  have the ability to provide specialist
                                          advice to disabled people.
Therefore there is a strong need for
IAG services to reflect the needs of
the disabled population. The IAG          Skills Strategy
framework states that disability and      implementation
employment issues should be part of
the core information services that        Skills are a key priority for
IAG partnerships provide, and that        Government, because they help
IAG advisers should be able to            businesses achieve the productivity,
signpost information on the               innovation and profitability needed
availability of specialist support for    to compete. In July 2003, the
clients around learning support,          Government published its Skills
basic skills and disability. Currently,   Strategy White Paper, 21st Century
the quality of IAG services is            Skills: Realising our Potential. The
extremely patchy and even where           strategy aims to ensure that all
effective, are under utilised. A          people have the skills they need to
recent review of capacity and             succeed in the modern workforce,
competence of IAG services                and improve the quality and
highlighted particular concerns           capacity of training provision.
about the levels of delivery to
certain priority groups including
disabled people.
                                    SKILLS FOR THE MODERN LABOUR MARKET         39




Key features of the strategy include:    leadership from the Steering Group
                                         is required.
• Sector Skills Councils, which aim
  to address the skills needs of         Recommendation 8 – The Skills
  particular sectors                     Strategy Steering Group to ensure
                                         that the needs of disabled people
• Strategic Area Reviews, which          are fully built into all aspects of the
  determine how the LSC can              implementation of Skills Strategy
  best contribute to each area’s         White Paper – and to report
  skills needs                           annually to Ministers on how this
                                         is being done and on the results.
• Regional Skills Partnerships, which
  will determine and address the
  skills shortages in each region        New and developing skills
                                         initiatives
• Apprenticeships, opened up to
  more people and employers              The Government is currently
                                         piloting/developing new skills
• Employer Training Pilots, which        initiatives. These are not aimed
  provide support and funding to         specifically at disabled people, but
  employers who wish to train            have the potential to dramatically
  their staff                            increase the numbers of disabled
                                         people in work.

The implementation of the White          Welfare to Workforce Development
Paper is being carried out through
several organisations and initiatives,   As part of the implementation
many of which seek to ensure that        of the White Paper, the National
training is linked to the recruitment    Employment Panel examined
needs of employers in regions and        measures to increase collaboration
sectors where there are skills           between the welfare to work and
shortages (some of these are listed      workforce development systems.
above). This work is being overseen      The resulting report Welfare to
and coordinated by the Skills            Workforce Development contains
Strategy Steering Group. The Skills      recommendations to join up the
Strategy, and the skills initiatives     employment and training systems
within it, represent a major             and providers, with particular
opportunity to improve the skills        measures to improve the situation
levels of disabled people. In order      for disadvantaged people.
to ensure that the needs of disabled     The report makes several
people are taken into account in all     recommendations that will
the relevant skills organisations and    improve the skills situation of
initiatives, we feel that strong         disabled people, which we
                                         support. These are:
  40    ABLE TO WORK




• DfES and DWP should extend             which is intended to provide more
  mandatory work-focused                 intensive individualised support to
  interviews to all Incapacity           help people secure the skills and
  Benefit recipients and undertake       training they need to gain
  a joint programme to screen and        sustainable productive employment.
  train an increasing proportion of      NDfS is still being developed, so
  IB recipients.                         it is an excellent opportunity to
                                         ensure that the skills needs of
• IAG contracts should give a            disabled people are catered for in
  priority service to Jobcentre Plus’    the programme.
  clients lacking Level 2
  qualifications, and focus IAG          Employer Training Pilots
  advice on the most efficient and
  effective route to employability.      The Employer Training Pilots (ETPs)
                                         are employer driven, with employers
• The requisite financial support        identifying basic and vocational
  should be in place to encourage        skills gaps which affect their
  Incapacity Benefit claimants to        productivity. Employers will be
  take up training as a route back       reimbursed for giving low-skilled
  to work.                               employees paid time off work to
                                         take education and training courses,
We firmly endorse these                  up to Level 2. The Pilots have been
recommendations, and recommend           popular, however their effectiveness
that they are implemented by the         for disabled people could be
relevant organisations as a matter       improved. Whilst the majority of
of priority.                             learners in the ETPs are working
                                         towards NVQ Level 2, disabled
New Deal for Skills                      learners are more likely to be
                                         working towards basic skills. It is
New Deal for Skills (NDfS) is            estimated that 12% of employees
intended to focus on the low skilled,    in Great Britain are disabled, but
and will build on the entitlement of     less than 5% of ETP participants
everyone to receive free training        are disabled. ETP brokers have a
up to Level 2. Employers will be         role to play in ensuring that
offered better advice and more           disabled people achieve greater
flexible support to meet skills needs,   representation in ETPs.
along with free and flexible training
for low skilled workers participating    Apprenticeships
in the Employer Training Pilots.
The focus on basic skills will be        On 10 May 2004 new
particularly relevant to a large         Apprenticeships were announced,
proportion of disabled people.           to replace the current Modern
They could particularly benefit from     Apprenticeships (MA). These reforms
the proposed skills coaching service,    are intended to:
                                   SKILLS FOR THE MODERN LABOUR MARKET   41




• Open apprenticeships up to            Recommendation 10 – DfES to carry
  a greater number of people,           out further evaluation work to
  extending provision to young          understand in more depth why
  people from age 14 and removing       disabled people appear to fare
  the upper age limit – previously      less well in the Employer Training
  MA’s were only available to           Pilots and set targets for starts,
  16–25 year olds.                      completions, and employment
                                        outcomes of disabled people
• Involve a greater number              in Apprenticeships.
  of employers.


We welcome these changes, as they
are likely to increase participation
rates of the disadvantaged. The
entry requirements for each
Apprenticeship framework are
scrutinised to ensure that they do
not discriminate against disabled
people; however, other factors such
as some employers’ recruitment
practices and other barriers can
lead to a shortfall in participation.
Rates for disability participation in
Foundation Apprenticeships (12%)
are comparable with other cohorts,
but not for Advanced Modern
Apprenticeships, where it is
significantly lower (5%).
Despite this shortfall, the new
Apprenticeships do not have a
specific aim to increase the number
of disabled participants.

Recommendation 9 – DWP and DfES
to ensure the New Deal for Skills
and Employer Training Pilots meet
the needs of disabled people.
42   ABLE TO WORK
                                          RETENTION AND REHABILITATION        43




Retention and rehabilitation

Summary
Retention and rehabilitation are essential components for us to consider.
Enabling individuals to stay in their job through early intervention to
ensure necessary workplace adjustments and/or medical intervention take
place is key to preventing people unnecessarily moving onto long term
inactivity. Rehabilitation is also relevant and important for those already
out of the labour market. This section looks at the case for retention and
rehabilitation and the roles of employers and health care professionals,
and considers how they could work together more effectively.


 Scenario – I am a senior manager at a large company; the HR team
 handle all the sick leave arrangements…
 Likely outcome given current arrangements: As I understand it when an
 employee goes on sick leave for longer than seven days, they send in a
 sick note from their GP – this note explains what is wrong with them
 and why they are not capable of coming to work. As a rule for up to
 six months, we allow the employee to stay off for as long as the doctor
 signs them off for. A member of the HR team contacts the person at
 home to see if there is anything we can do to help them return to
 work, for example initially to return on reduced hours. Generally, this
 does not make much of a difference; employees are unwilling to return
 to work when their doctor has told them not to. This is not always a
 satisfactory way of dealing with this, but we are all so busy here and
 do not want to put extra stress on staff who are sick and risk adding
 to their problems.

 Possible future outcome if system works better for employers: As I
 understand it when an employee goes on sick leave for longer than
 seven days, they send in a sick note from their GP – this note explains
 what is wrong with them and why they are not capable of coming to
 work. This sick note is received by a specialist member of the HR team
 who works closely with our occupational health service. This is a recent
 initiative for the company. Following the recent government campaign
 on the costs to industry of sickness absence, we decided to monitor the
 amount of sickness absence and try and calculate all the costs of this for
 the company – which were a surprisingly large proportion of our salary
 costs. As a result we decided it would be cost effective to add an
 occupational health service as one of our employee benefits.
  44   ABLE TO WORK




  Early impressions are that this is working well, a high proportion of
  employees signed off for a month or more are seeing our OH therapists
  and many of these are working at least part time hours, some of whom
  we have found alternative jobs for.


The case for retention                  medical treatments, rather than
and rehabilitation                      considered once the individual has
                                        been returned to full capability.
Sickness absence for many workers
is a short term issue, followed by a    There are a number of players
quick return to work. For others,       involved in rehabilitation and
however, it can be the starting point   retention:
for many years away from the
labour market and dependence            • individual themselves
on benefit.
                                        • employers
Absence has high costs for
employers and the economy,              • GPs and other health care
with 33 million work days lost to         professionals.
sickness absence each year. Once
a worker has been off work for six
months they have a very high            Jobcentre Plus and other providers
chance of not working again in          of employment support along with
the next 5 years. This has obvious      insurance companies can provide
implications for government             support and incentives to employers.
spending on disability and
                                        The ideal world scenario would be
sickness related benefits.
                                        one where individuals, employers
There are also costs related to the     and health care professionals no
individual’s health and related costs   longer see the onset of a health
to the NHS. Lack of work can have       condition or impairment as meaning
negative effects on health and well     an end to working, all three will
being. For example, we know that        instead work together to ensure
many people who stop working due        where possible rehabilitation takes
to a physical impairment go on to       place to enable the individual to
develop a mental health condition.      continue working.

Retaining or returning someone
to work can require a number of         Employers
interventions, often including some
                                        The business case for retention of
relatively simple workplace
                                        disabled staff is often easier to make
adjustments. Effective rehabilitation
                                        than the case for recruiting disabled
requires the return to work to be
                                        people. Employers can easily see and
fully integrated alongside any
                                                   RETENTION AND REHABILITATION           45




understand the costs, which can                 Very often a work related
include sickness absence and                    adjustment will be all that is needed
recruiting and training new staff.              to keep an individual in work –
It is estimated that sickness absence           research into people with back pain
costs employers at least £11billion             showed that job satisfaction was the
each year; this is 16% of salary costs.         main determinant of whether the
                                                individual would return to work.
Despite these costs to employers,               Often these work related
many employers do not take steps                adjustments can be made at no
to actively monitor or deal with                extra cost to the employer (see table
sickness absence. Research has found            below), with the most common
that two thirds of employers                    adjustments being car parking
consider sickness absence to be a               spaces and flexible working hours.
significant problem, with almost                It is important not to underestimate
all believing it is possible to reduce          the importance of these kinds of
sickness absence. However, the same             adjustments – that are costless and
research found that less than half              relatively easy to introduce but can
of employers monitor costs or set               be very effective in helping the
targets to reduce their sickness                individual remain in their job.
absence rates. This may be due
to poor understanding among
employers about how much sickness
absence is actually costing them as
well as not knowing what to do
about it.

    Working adjustments for disabled employees1
                                                                  Column percentages
    Car parking spaces for disabled employees                                      56
    Flexible working time or varying hours for disabled employees                  55
    Adapted work environment to help disabled employees
    (eg adapting premises, furniture, lighting)                                    42
    Flexible work organisation
    (eg transferring people to other jobs, rearranging work duties)                35
    Transferring people or jobs to other premises to assist
    disabled employees                                                             15
    Providing appropriate physical assistance
    (eg interpreters for a person who is deaf)                                     12
    Allowing working from home for disabled employees                              12
    No adjustments in place for disabled employees                                 17
    Base: All where there have ever been disabled employees                       835

1
 Department for Work and Pensions Research Report No 202: ‘Disability in the workplace:
Employers’ and service providers’ responses to the Disability Discrimination Act in 2003 and
preparation for 2004 changes’, Simon Roberts et al
  46   ABLE TO WORK




Early intervention when an             main point of contact with
employee becomes disabled or           employees have a critical role to
starts a period of absence will be     play, although often they do not
beneficial for the employer and        have the knowledge of how to deal
employee – costs will be lower for     with the situation, this may be
the employer and the employee will     particularly true when faced with
be more likely to retain their job.    an employee with mental health
A period of absence may in some        problems. Prevention of illness and
cases act as a flag to identify        disability as a part of good
individuals at risk of becoming        management is also an important
disabled. Line managers as the         role for line managers.

  Employer case study – BT
  BT is one of Europe’s leading providers of telecommunications services
  and employs 100,000 people.

  As part of its drive to improve its absence management and retain more
  staff, BT has provided disability training for line managers. Once an
  employee has been absent for two weeks line managers are required to
  call the individual and see if they can assist with a return to work. To
  help managers overcome any fears about dealing with the situation line
  managers are given a script to use for the initial conversation.

Recommendation 11 – Managing           Given that one of the most
sickness absence and occupational      commonly required workplace
health in the workplace to form a      adjustments is flexible working, we
central part of any awareness          also strongly support the DTI’s work
raising exercise for employers.        to encourage flexible work patterns.

Recommendation 12 – IiP
accreditation (see Recommendation      Health care professionals
4) to include requirements for line
managers to receive training in        Rehabilitation goes beyond health
disability awareness to ensure they    care interventions and in many
know how to manage sickness            situations retaining someone in
absence, how to intervene early to     their job will not need a health
enable a return to work, and where     related intervention. However often
to go for support. This training       health care professionals,
should include a particular focus      particularly GPs do play an
on mental health conditions.           important role in return to
                                       work and rehabilitation.
                                           RETENTION AND REHABILITATION      47




GPs                                      related benefits of working.
                                         Recognising the health benefits of
There is strong evidence to suggest      work is not going far enough – GPs
GPs often sign patients off from         then need to be able to know where
work, without fully considering the      to direct patients to get further help
longer term implications. Patients       with staying in or returning to work.
have come to expect this and
employers often accept the sick note     DWP is aware of the need to
without further considering a return     increase GPs’ awareness and
to work for the employee.                understanding of the health
                                         benefits of working. DWP issues
The role of a GP is to deal with their   guidance to all doctors stating
patients’ medical problems, for          that they should always carefully
which they are very time constrained     consider whether advising a patient
– providing specific employment          to refrain from work is the most
advice is beyond their role. However,    appropriate response to their
they do have a statutory duty to         condition. There are also a number
provide advice on fitness for work.      of initiatives to improve the training
For a newly disabled person their GP     and awareness of GPs in this area.
may be their first point of contact      We support these initiatives
and has responsibility for signing       and would like to see our
them off from work. GPs can have         recommendation build on this
a great influence on an individual’s     work and see fitness for work
decision whether to return to work,      issues become an integral part
to be able to offer such advice they     of GPs’ training.
need to have a greater awareness
than at present about the health

  GP training
  GPs receive training as part of their undergraduate course, and
  also receive training at postgraduate level. There are several recent
  initiatives at the postgraduate level which aim to increase the amount
  of training in occupational health (OH) that GPs receive, to make them
  aware of the benefits of work to a patient’s health.

  The Faculty of Occupational Medicine recently asked for occupational
  physicians to get involved in taking students on OH attachments, in
  the 1–2 foundation years of training that doctors receive before
  they become GPs.
  48   ABLE TO WORK




  The Faculty and Society of Occupational Medicine (FOM and SOM),
  the Royal College of General Practitioners (RCGP) and DWP’s Corporate
  Medical Group are writing a book entitled “Occupational Health and
  Patient Care” directed at GPs to be published in 2005. It deals with the
  effects of health on work, effects of work on health, rehabilitation
  and fitness for work certification.

  Recommendation 13 – We endorse these initiatives, and recommend
  that occupational health and fitness for work training is included
  as an integral part of GPs’ training, along with training and awareness
  raising amongst GPs on the health related benefits of work.


We have heard about an innovative       Budget Report announcement to
scheme run by Tomorrow’s People         pilot the placement of employment
(an independent charity) where they     advisors in GP surgeries. We also feel
have placed their employment            that GPs themselves need to be able
advisors in GP surgeries. GPs can       to signpost patients on to a range
refer their patients (or they can       of locally available employment
self refer) to the employment           related support (particularly in areas
advisors who offer intensive support    where employment advisors are not
with finding work. Having built up      being piloted).
strong relationships with local
employers, these advisors provide       Recommendation 14 – Jobcentre
a link between inactive individuals     Plus to work with local GPs, to
and the local labour market.            ensure GPs are aware of locally
                                        available support to help individuals
Tomorrows’ People have had great        remain in or return to employment,
success with this scheme (with 100%     so they can effectively signpost
of participants entering work, and      patients to this support.
70% still in work after one year). We
recognise that many of the people       Occupational health
most motivated to ask for advice at
their surgery might be expected to      While we view it as important for
return to work quickly without          GPs to have a better understanding
assistance. Nevertheless,               of the health related benefits of
we believe that stationing Jobcentre    working and put more consideration
Plus advisors, or advisors from         into signing people off sick, we
Jobcentre Plus’ provider                recognise that anything further than
organisations, at GP surgeries –        this is beyond their role. GPs and
most likely on a part-time basis –      their patients need the added
does offer the potential to reach       support of occupational health (OH)
more high priority customers. We        professionals to further assist the
welcome the Government’s Pre-           patient back to capability for work.
                                          RETENTION AND REHABILITATION      49




The UK has much lower provision of      Linking employers and health
OH than other European countries.       care professionals
Employers and GPs do not have
access to the OH expertise they may     In many cases when an individual
need to keep or return an individual    develops an impairment or becomes
to work.                                ill employers will need to work with
                                        health care professions to ensure the
A stock of well trained OH therapists   individual receives all the assistance
is essential to enable employers and    and support they need to return
GPs to play a more active role in       to work.
assisting individual return to work.
                                        While it may not be appropriate
This supply constraint could in part    for employers to intervene in the
be addressed by changes to the way      GP-patient relationship, employer or
OH is delivered i.e. by allowing less   government provided OH can allow
qualified professionals or different    employers to play a more active role
related professions to take on some     in employees’ health and their
of the duties currently requiring a     staying at work.
fully qualified OH therapist, and
making more use of low cost             The previous recommendation is
delivery channels such as telephone     about increasing the supply of OH;
consultations. We welcome the           it will also be necessary to stimulate
Department of Health’s comments         the demand-side and encourage
in their White Paper on Public          more employers to provide OH
Health, encouraging Primary Care        services to their employees. Two
Trusts to develop a championship        potential drivers for this are:
role for health professionals who are
equipped to advise their colleagues     • present employers with evidence
on OH issues and share good               that OH can have positive returns
practice in supporting return             on investment
to work.
                                        • using insurance companies to
Recommendation 15 –                       incentivise OH provision for
Department of Health to accelerate        large employers
improvements to the quality and
quantity of OH provision, through
encouraging more trainees, raising      There are already many examples
professional standards and using a      of good practice with a number of
wider range of delivery channels.       employers providing OH. They have
                                        seen positive outcomes from doing
                                        so – more employers need to be
                                        encouraged to follow suit.
  50   ABLE TO WORK




  Employer case study – BSkyB
  British Sky Broadcasting is the operator of the UK’s largest digital
  television platform and a leading broadcaster of sports, movies,
  entertainment and news.

  Sky set an objective in 2002 to ‘increase the choices and opportunities
  for disabled people’, which applies to its employees and its disabled
  customers. Sky work in partnership with intermediaries, such as Sabre
  Employment, to increase the number of disabled people recruited and
  retained. To help with retention Sky have their own in-house
  Occupational Health service (run by Sabre), and are supportive of those
  who have to take sick leave, particularly if it is planned (rather than at
  short notice). Evidence of their success can be seen at their new
  Disability Services Team based in Dunfermline which has seen
  a 0% attrition rate since its start up in June 2003.


Research has shown that 75% of           • The Job Retention and
employers would be prepared to             Rehabilitation Pilots are being run
increase their investment in OH            jointly by DWP and DH, and will
and employee’s health care if the          show whether retention in work
business return could be shown.            of people falling sick is best
Furthermore, 60% of employees              secured by employment focussed
believe employers should have              support, health based support,
more responsibility for health care.       or a combination of the two.

Government also has role to play         Recommendation 16 – DWP and the
in disseminating the benefits of         Department of Health to research
rehabilitating and retaining workers     the business benefits, including
more generally. A major difficulty       value for money, of expenditure on
here has been a lack of evidence on      OH. These benefits, together with
what works. The government has a         practical examples of what works
number of initiatives in operation       in rehabilitating and retaining
to establish an evidence base:           workers, should then be
                                         disseminated to business.
• DWP has published a “Framework
  for Vocational Rehabilitation”         We believe that once large
  which pulls together information       employers are made aware of the
  about best practice, research and      benefits of OH and issues around
  available capacity, in support of      the supply side are dealt with more
  progress along the roadmap             and more large companies will start
  towards IB reform.                     to provide OH services.
                                        RETENTION AND REHABILITATION   51




At least in the short to medium term
it may not be reasonable to expect
SMEs to develop any form of in
house OH service. SMEs do however
need to be able to access a quick
and effective solution when an
employee becomes ill.

NHS Plus currently provides a
network of OH departments across
England, supplying quality services
to non-NHS employers at a cost.
NHS Plus offers support to industry,
commerce, and the public sector,
with a focus on SMEs. There are
a number of other commercial
providers of OH services as well.
The issue may therefore not be a
lack of such services being available
to SMEs. We suggest that before
SMEs can be encouraged to take
up OH services in greater numbers,
Government needs to conduct some
research to find out why SMEs do
not use OH services.

Recommendation 17 –
The Department of Health and
NHS Plus to undertake research into
levels of awareness of OH services
among SMEs, and reasons why they
are or are not used. This should be
used to inform an awareness raising
campaign emphasising the business
benefits of offering OH to
employees.
    52   ABLE TO WORK




Incentives from the                         Recommendation 18 – Government
insurance industry                          and the Association of British
                                            Insurers to convene a discussion
Some insurance companies now                of leading insurance companies
offer discounted premiums on                regarding how to increase the
group income protection schemes2            use of discounts on premiums to
to employers, on the basis of their         employers offering occupational
sickness absence and retention              health and rehabilitation support.
records and/or because they offer
OH services to staff. Extending
this practice across the industry
would send a powerful price signal
to employers.

Any discounts offered will be based
on reduced risk to the insurance
company – demonstrating their
belief in the extent to which
effective sickness management
and provision of OH services can
have positive outcomes and keep
employees at work. Insurance
companies, by publishing these
effects on risk could play an
effective part in disseminating the
business benefits and what works
in terms of rehabilitating and
retaining workers.

It is generally larger employers
who are already committed to being
‘good’ employers who offer income
protection schemes, so while this
will offer a powerful incentive it will
not be relevant to many, particularly
smaller, employers.




2
 Group Income Protection insurance (also known as Long Term Disability insurance or
Group Permanent Health insurance) provides a replacement income for employees during
long term absence from work through illness or injury.
                                   RE-ENGAGING JOBLESS DISABLED PEOPLE       53




Re-engaging jobless disabled people

 Summary
 There are currently around 3 million inactive disabled people on
 sickness and disability benefits – 1 million of whom say they would
 like to work. Reducing the number of inactive people is the next big
 challenge for the Government’s welfare to work agenda. This section
 outlines the current situation and considers how Jobcentre Plus,
 employers and other arms of Government can work together to
 make a real impact.



 Scenario – I have been claiming Incapacity Benefit for three years
 now. Before this I had a number of different jobs, including factory and
 warehouse work, when I developed heart problems I could no longer do
 this type of work. Since being out of work I have developed depression.
 Likely outcome given current arrangements: I don’t hold much hope
 of returning to work now at my age, with unemployment being so high
 around here. I have heard from a few friends who are also out of work
 and on disability benefits that the local Jobcentre can help with finding
 jobs and have some new schemes especially for disabled people. I am
 not sure about this though in case they think that if I can look for
 work I shouldn’t be getting my benefits.

 Possible future outcome if system works better for inactive disabled
 people: To be honest I had pretty much given up hope of getting a job
 again, I’m over 50 and not able to do the kind of jobs I have done in
 the past and unemployment is high around here. Also suffering from
 depression has kind of wiped out my motivation. A few of my friends
 who have similar mental health problems say that employers just aren’t
 interested in hiring anyone with depression or the like – too much
 bother for them when there are other people to choose from. I’ve
 heard you can get support with finding a job at the local Jobcentre,
 but I don’t want to risk losing any of my benefits so I haven’t been
 there. I went to my local library today and there was a woman from
 a local employment support organisation offering one to one support
 with looking for work, training and that kind of thing. It turns out they
 can help with all aspects of looking for a job – CV writing, interview
 practice, advice on training courses, even some financial support to buy
 interview clothes and bridge the gap until pay day. She also understood
     54    ABLE TO WORK




    about my worries about my benefits, they do calculations to show
    how much better off you would be in work. They also work with local
    employers that are positive about employing people with mental health
    problems. I have arranged to meet with someone and discuss what jobs
    I could do, it really helps to know I will have someone who will support
    me right the way through looking for and hopefully finding a job, they
    say they even offer support once people are in
    the job.




The 2.7 million                                  IB for 1 year, the average duration
                                                 of claim is 8 years. Those that have
The UK currently enjoys the lowest               been out of work for some time face
unemployment rates since 1975,                   multiple barriers to returning to
when records began, with only                    work, for example:
830,000 people claiming Jobseekers
Allowance (JSA). This is partly due              • outdated skills
to the success of the Government’s
New Deal programmes, which have                  • lack of confidence and motivation
helped to get many jobseekers into
work since they began in 1998. The               • age
main issue facing the government
now is the high level of inactivity3.
The number of inactive Incapacity                The most recent IB claimants are
Benefit (IB) claimants has risen                 unlikely to face as many barriers
steadily since the benefits were                 as those who have been claiming
introduced, although the trend                   for years.
increase in the stock has slowed
                                                 The high level of employment in the
since 1997. There are currently
                                                 UK means that to fill new vacancies
2.7 million claimants, of whom an
                                                 employers have to look to a larger
estimated 1 million want to work.
                                                 labour pool, which includes those
Last year the Government spent
                                                 on IB. In order for employers to
£7.7 billion on IB.
                                                 access IB claimants, there needs to
IB recipients are of course a                    be an effective intermediary, to help
diverse group, with many different               both employers and the claimant
conditions and work histories. Many              overcome any barriers to
of them are far from the labour                  employment.
market; once someone has been on



3
    Inactive people are not in work, and are not seeking work.
                                       RE-ENGAGING JOBLESS DISABLED PEOPLE   55




Jobcentre Plus and the                     potentially confusing for employers,
Pathways approach                          disabled people and indeed
                                           Jobcentre Plus Personal Advisers.
There are many programmes
specifically for disabled people, to       During the next two years, the
help them enter employment.                Government’s aim should be to
                                           establish the effectiveness of a
• Work Preparation is a 3–6 week           simple, coherent approach to re-
  work experience programme for            engaging jobless disabled people,
  those who have been out of work          and back it up with the right level
  for a long time                          of resources. Such an approach
                                           would be consistent with the
• Workstep (which includes                 rationalisation of the various New
  Remploy) is a supported                  Deals recently announced in DWP’s
  employment programme for those           Building on New Deal strategy
  with complex support needs               paper – a change which the
                                           National Employment Panel has
• Job Introduction Scheme is a six         long argued for.
  week subsidy paid to employers of
  newly-hired disabled employees           Currently, the main test-bed for an
                                           effective approach is the Pathways
                                           to Work pilots. The pilots offer a
In addition, New Deal for Disabled         more cohesive approach, based on
People (NDDP) offers a job broking         better financial incentives to
service for people on IB, delivered        return to work, a better support
by a range of public, private and          and referral framework via
voluntary sector organisations             Jobcentre Plus, and rehabilitation
                                           programmes to help people manage
The take up and performance of             their conditions.
NDDP has improved substantially
during the past year or so. Overall,
however, the success of the
initiatives described above has been
variable and they have so far had a
limited impact on the large numbers
of people claiming IB. This reflects
the fact that to date, the bulk of
welfare-to-work funding has been
directed towards claimants of JSA,
and it is clear that to make a
substantial impact on the IB case
load, a substantial investment will
be required. We also believe that
the current profusion of initiatives is
    56   ABLE TO WORK




    Pathways to Work
    Pathways to Work is designed to transform opportunities for work for
    people on IB. It has been piloted in three areas since October 2003,
    and in a further four areas since April 2004. Key features include:
    • A new team of skilled Personal Advisers within Jobcentre Plus to
      focus solely on IB clients. Advisers are trained on health and disability
      awareness, influencing and motivating clients.
    • 6 mandatory monthly work-focused meetings for most new IB clients,
      to discuss work options (including support that’s available to help
      with the return to work), explain IB rules and medical tests, and
      develop an action plan. Personal Advisers will have discretion to delay
      repeat Personal Capability Assessments4 where an individual is starting
      to look for work.
    • A ‘Choices’ package, combining existing provision (which will be
      more easily accessible) and new Condition Management Programmes
      delivered jointly between Jobcentre Plus and the NHS. These aim to
      help clients manage their illness better so that they are better able
      to find work.
    • Financial incentives to make work pay, including a Return to Work
      credit of £40 per week, and access to the Advisers’ Discretion Fund5.
    Pathways to Work is currently aimed at new IB claimants. The
    Chancellor announced, as part of Budget 2004, that DWP will extend
    the mandatory work focused interviews to some existing claimants.


We feel that the Pathways pilots are           announced the extension of the
a practical, broad-based approach to           Pathways pilots to a further 14
moving people from IB into work.               Jobcentre Plus districts – covering
Early results seem positive, although          the thirty Local Authority districts
the success of the pilots will not be          with the highest concentrations of
formally established until the                 IB claimants. We very much welcome
evaluation results are published in            this extension, and would like to see
2006. The Government has                       Pathways further rolled out to cover

4
  The PCA is the test that the DWP uses to decide whether an individual is capable of work.
If they claim incapacity benefit or income support as incapable of work, they become
subject to the PCA either as soon as they become ill, if they haven’t worked for some time,
or after 28 weeks if they have.
5
  Since April 2003, personal advisers have been able to use the Adviser Discretion Fund to
make a discretionary payment to help anyone who has been unemployed for six months or
more with their job search, or to purchase essential items without which they would be
unable to take up a job.
                                      RE-ENGAGING JOBLESS DISABLED PEOPLE    57




the whole country, if it continues        Recommendation 19 – In the
to demonstrate positive returns.          longer term, if it can continue
Pathways’ potential to deliver            to demonstrate a return on its
reduced benefit expenditure will          investment in Pathways to Work,
only strengthen this business case,       the Department for Work and
if it can be realised.                    Pensions should prioritise the
                                          rollout of Pathways to cover the
                                          whole country.
  58   ABLE TO WORK




  Provider case study – Stepping Stones to Work pilot
  The Stepping Stones to Work pilot was set up in April 2004, with
  funding of £3.6m over 2 years, and the aim of ‘bringing work focussed
  assistance to those residents of Manchester who are economically
  inactive through incapacity or disability’. It is a partnership between
  Jobcentre Plus and the Employment and Regeneration Partnership –
  an intermediary organisation based in Manchester.

  The project will target long-term IB claimants and aims to get 2,000
  into work within 2 years. They are building links with local strategic
  partnerships, community and voluntary organisations to create a more
  coordinated approach, and increase awareness and access to Stepping
  Stone’s services through these networks. They are also engaging with
  several local ‘beacon’ employers.

  Stepping Stones advisers provide a tailored service to the individual;
  the training provided includes basic skills, occupational training,
  motivational and confidence building and job preparation skills. The IB
  claimants are given an incentive of £150 when they enter employment,
  and their benefits can be continued until they receive their first pay
  cheque. They have engaged with 197 clients since April, of whom
  46 have entered employment and 14 are in training.


Making work pay                          These calculations assume
                                         individuals will not be claiming
Government has done a lot to make        tax credits; many disabled people
sure work pays over the last few         entering work at low wages,
years, through the introduction of a     however, may be entitled to the
range of tax credits and the national    Working Tax Credit and its
minimum wage. However, for many          disability element.
disabled people on IB there is a lack
of financial incentives to enter work.
For example, very few of those
finding jobs of 16 hours at the
minimum wage will be £40 or more
better off a week and only half of
those entering minimum wage jobs
of 30 hours a week will be £40 or
more a week better off.
                                           RE-ENGAGING JOBLESS DISABLED PEOPLE           59




    The Working Tax Credit6 was introduced in April 2003 and replaces
    Working Families Tax Credit and Disabled Person’s Tax Credit. Under
    Working Tax Credit, eligibility for financial support has been extended to
    low income workers without children aged 25 and over working more
    than 30 hours a week. A range of top-up elements supplement the basic
    credit: a couple/lone parent element, a disabled worker element, a 30
    hour element and an element for those aged 50 and above returning to
    work. Tax credits are only payable for part-time work if the person has
    children, a disability or are eligible for the 50-plus element.


In April 2004 there were 80,000                • A low awareness among disabled
people claiming the disability                    people of their eligibility for
element of the Working Tax Credit,                tax credits.
of which 50,000 people also claimed
the severely disabled adult element.           • Upon entering work, disabled
Although take up is still low, the                people may no longer think of
numbers of disabled people claiming               themselves as disabled, so may not
tax credits has doubled since early               apply for the disability element.
2003. This is due to two changes:
                                               • The criteria for eligibility7 may
• The disability element of the                   exclude those with mild mental
    Working Tax Credit is now                     health issues, or those who are
    more generous                                 disabled by the DDA definition,
                                                  but whose condition does not
• It is easier to claim the                       significantly affect their work.
    disability element.

                                               The disabled worker element of
However, there are a number of                 WTC is the financial equivalent of
aspects of the Working Tax Credit              the popular Return to Work credit8
that limit its impact on the financial         offered in the Pathways pilots,
incentives for disabled people to              which represents an alternative that
enter work:                                    is easy to understand and does not
                                               require complicated calculations to
                                               work out how much will be received
                                               or tests to prove you are disabled.

6
  In 2004-5, the basic element of the WTC is £1,570, the disabled worker element is £2,100,
and the severely disabled adult element is £890.
7
 Entitlement to claim the disability element is granted for those who have recently been
claiming a disability benefit, such as IB, and for those who can demonstrate that their
disability puts them at a disadvantage in getting a job.
8
 Claimants in the pilot areas can get a Return to Work credit of £40 a week for 52 weeks
where the claimant’s personal earnings are less than £15,000 a year. This is paid where
someone has been on IB for three months and has a job of more than 16 hours a week.
    60   ABLE TO WORK




There are also financial risks                 We understand that ensuring the
associated with the transition period          right financial incentives to enter
upon entering work:                            work are in place for all disabled
                                               people will not be fixed with a few
• IB stops being paid immediately              adjustments to the benefits system,
    on entering work, although                 but we do see this as a crucial
    individuals usually have to wait           medium term aim for DWP and
    for a month to receive their first         HM Treasury.
    pay cheque.
                                               Recommendation 20 – HM Treasury
                                               and DWP need to make sure work
• Entering work means income                   pays for all disabled people
    related benefits such as Housing           (including those wanting to work
    Benefit (HB) have to be reassessed.        part time). The financial incentives
    This also causes uncertainty as            to enter work need to be simple and
    many will not know how much                known to all.
    they will receive after the
    assessment, making it hard to              Recommendation 21 – Jobcentre
    know how much better off they              Plus to ensure PAs are fully aware of
    will be in work. A four week run           the disability element of Working
    on for HB has been introduced to           Tax Credit, and the 52 week linking
    ensure people entering work do             rule, and this is effectively
    not have to go without HB during           communicated to IB recipients
    the re-assessment period or while
    they wait for their first pay check.       Recommendation 22 – Inland
    Consultations with disabled                Revenue and HM Treasury to review
    people show they have a low                how well the tax credit system is
    awareness of this rule.                    working for disabled people and
                                               how it could better encourage
                                               disabled people to enter work.
• Many IB claimants may also fear
    that if they are not able to retain
    the job they will not be able to go        Working in partnership
    back on to IB. The new 52 week
    linking rules9 are intended to             Jobcentre Plus and small employers
    provide such reassurance; however
                                               Jobcentre Plus has a new approach
    there is low awareness of the
                                               to engaging employers as customers
    rules, and a significant level of
                                               of their recruitment services. This
    bureaucracy involved.
                                               includes offering specialist advice on
9
  The 52 week linking rules allow IB claimants to enter work knowing that if they leave
work during the first 52 weeks they can return to IB without a re-assessment. A recent
survey found (71%) of IB claimants feel that they would move into work if they could
return to their original benefit if needed, implying that knowledge of the 52 week linking
rule is low.
                                     RE-ENGAGING JOBLESS DISABLED PEOPLE     61




diversity issues including disability.   of partnerships in operation with
To achieve maximum job placements        large companies such as Ikea,
for disadvantaged clients this is        under the ‘Recruitment that
targeted on large employers.             Works’ project.

To increase the range of job
opportunities available to disabled
people, Jobcentre Plus has a number

  Case study – Centrica
  In 1998, Centrica introduced a recruitment initiative to create new
  employment opportunities for carers and disabled people in its offices.
  Through partnership with Carers UK, Employers’ Forum on Disability
  and Jobcentre Plus, a project model called ‘Recruitment that Works’
  was developed to allow other employers to learn from Centrica’s
  experiences. The scheme enables Centrica to access a wider pool of
  labour, and has saved them approximately £100,000 in recruitment
  costs by using Jobcentre Plus over private sector intermediaries.

  An example of this successful project-led model of recruitment being
  applied in other companies is an AA call centre in Oldbury, West
  Midlands, where over 150 staff have been recruited in the past
  12 months, of whom around 45% are disabled.


Through these and other initiatives,     advice regarding legal obligations
Jobcentre Plus is beginning to           and risks, and to market the
develop effective ways of working        assistance that Jobcentre Plus can
with large employers and engaging        provide with recruiting disabled
them in recruiting disabled people.      people. Research shows that SMEs’
                                         preferred sources of advice include
Engaging SMEs represents a greater       accountants, banks and solicitors.
challenge, however. To engage
SMEs, we feel Jobcentre Plus needs       Recommendation 23 – Jobcentre
to develop partnerships with             Plus to develop ‘reference sales’
organisations that SMEs are in more      products regarding disability issues
regular contact with. This would         for use by SMEs’ preferred
enable Jobcentre Plus to provide         commercial advisers and
small businesses with practical          Business Links.
  62   ABLE TO WORK




Government as an employer

  Public sector duty to promote equality for disabled people
  The forthcoming Disability Discrimination Bill (due in 2006) will propose
  extending the DDA to functions of public authorities and introduce a
  duty to promote equality for disabled people. Under the duty, public
  sector organisations will have to ensure that they eliminate unlawful
  inequality for disabled people through developing a disability equality
  scheme. When making the scheme, they should involve disabled people,
  and monitor current performance and measure improvements over
  time. All public sector organisations mentioned in this report should be
  covered by the forthcoming public sector duty. There is an opportunity
  to extend this public sector duty through procurement, to organisations
  that public sector organisations contract with.

Recommendation 24 – DWP,                the public sector duty to other
Jobcentre Plus and the LSC to review    organisations through procurement.
their current performance
on disability equality now, in          To boost its creditability with
preparation for the duty coming         prospective employers and to
into effect.                            comply with the public sector duty
                                        Jobcentre Plus should aim to
The public sector has a great deal      become an exemplar employer in
of purchasing power and therefore       this field – with the proportion of
the opportunity to influence its        it’s own staff who are disabled
supplier’s behaviour. We suggest        reflecting the proportion of disabled
that the public sector should make      people in the community.
the most of this and encourage its
suppliers to recruit and retain more    Recommendation 26 –Jobcentre Plus
disabled people. Public sector          to implement a programme to
organisations should also be able       deliver a year-on-year increase in
to offer their supplier some degree     the number of disabled people it
of support to their suppliers, many     employs, with an objective of
of whom may be small enterprises,       ensuring that the proportion of
in meeting any requirements they        disabled Jobcentre Plus staff in each
place on them in relation to the        region should at least equal the
employment of disabled people.          proportion of disabled people in
                                        that region by 2015.
Recommendation 25 – Public
sector organisations to use their       The upcoming public sector duty
contracting powers to promote           could also be used to further involve
                                        Local Authorities and central
                                       RE-ENGAGING JOBLESS DISABLED PEOPLE     63




government departments in the              staff diversity questionnaires. We
employment of disabled people.             suggest the public sector works with
The public sector duty should              the Disability Rights Commission on
encourage Government to also               developing sound approaches to
become exemplar employers of               monitoring the numbers of disabled
disabled people.                           staff employed.

A possible route to achieving this for     Local Authorities also have a key
Local Authorities could be through         role in providing services to disabled
setting Local Authority Public Service     people – generally these take the
Agreements (PSAs) for increasing           form of day care provision and some
the number of their employees that         sheltered employment. Entering
are disabled. There are examples of        employment may not be a
local councils already setting such a      recognised objective for Local
PSA for themselves:                        Authority provided services.

  Nottingham City Council PSA:             Local Authorities are already spending
  ‘Increase the number of people           substantial amounts on disabled
  with disabilities, ethnic                people. We feel that some of this
  minorities and city residents            funding could be redirected to helping
  gaining employment with                  local disabled people find work.
  Nottingham City Council’
                                           Some disabled people currently
Recommendation 27 – Local                  accessing day care provision may be
Authorities and government                 quite far from entering the labour
departments as part of their public        market; however we feel that for
sector duty to have specific targets       the majority of disabled people some
to increase the proportion of their        form of employment should at least
employees who are disabled.                be a long term objective, which Local
                                           Authority services should actively
We recognise that problems exist           work towards. Local Authority
around the monitoring of any               services may encourage those further
specific targets relating to the           from the labour market to enter part
number or proportion of disabled           time or supported employment as a
people employed, for example,              first step.
there is evidence to suggest that
once disabled people move in to            Recommendation 28 – Local
work they may no longer consider           Authority Social Services, with the
themselves to be disabled. We              support of the Commission for Social
believe that these problems can be         Care Inspection should develop
overcome through improved                  strategies for significantly increasing
monitoring techniques, for example         the numbers of disabled people who
by asking a range of indirect              are actively engaged in work outside
questions related to disability in         of sheltered workplaces.
  64    ABLE TO WORK




Key features of effective strategies   • Formal partnerships, including
are likely to include                    joint commissioning, with other
                                         agencies, particularly Job Centre
• Awareness raising amongst staff,       Plus; Learning and Skills Council;
  service users and families that        FE Colleges and independent
  work is a viable option                employment support agencies.

• Some redirection of funds away       Effective person centred planning
  from traditional day care services   Effective employment support
                                       strategies would benefit from the
• Commission specialist employment     development of a performance
  support services offering            indicator by the Department of
  assessment, benefits advice,         Health that could be included in the
  training, work experience, job       Performance Assessment Framework
  search and placement,                for Social Services.
  mentoring and coaching,
  and ongoing support


  Case study – Worcestershire County Council
  Worcestershire County Council Social Services have established
  Employment Development Workers in some of their learning disability
  day centres. They develop vocational profiles with individual service
  users who want to work and then carry out a job search and match the
  person to an appropriate job vacancy. They assist the disabled person
  throughout the interview and support them during the induction
  period. Job coaching is provided and regular contact is maintained for
  as long as it is needed. Concerns are dealt with quickly to ensure all
  parties are happy. The Employment Development Workers negotiate
  reasonable adjustments under the DDA and apply for Access to Work
  funding. For some disabled people the route to entering the labour
  market is a long and arduous journey and may take many years to
  achieve. However by building this function into day care provision,
  there is effective help for people who want to negotiate the route
  to employment.
                                       RE-ENGAGING JOBLESS DISABLED PEOPLE       65




Regeneration initiatives                   Targeted local solutions involving
                                           local partnerships between
Regeneration initiatives offer an          Jobcentre Plus, RDAs and other
interesting opportunity to tackle the      local organisations have potential
high proportions claiming IB in            to offer effective solutions. There
particular regions. The Northern           are a number of regeneration
regions, South Wales and parts of          initiatives already taking place
Scotland have particularly high            which include targets to reduce
concentrations of people on IB.            local inactivity rates.


  The Northern Way
  The Northern Way is part of the ODPM’s ‘Creating Sustainable
  Communities’ project and is being led by the three Northern Regional
  Development Agencies, covering the North’s eight city regions. By
  collaborating with Government and regional stakeholders, they have
  developed a long-term vision for helping the economy of the whole of
  the North to grow. The overall aim is to ‘establish the North of England
  as an area of exceptional opportunity’10 through improving the local
  economy and quality of life.

  One of their aims is to bring more people into work to increase output
  in the North (and close the output gap with the South). They will help
  companies create jobs (e.g. by improving transport links).

  Given the high numbers on IB in the North (840,000 people), they
  have set a target of moving 100,000 from IB into work by 2014.
  To do this they will work with local RDAs, Jobcentre Plus and
  Regional Skills Partnerships.


Recommendation 29 – Jobcentre
Plus to work with RDA and
regeneration initiatives such as the
Northern Way to develop effective
measures to help inactive disabled
people return to work. Specific
targets should be set to reduce
inactivity rates to at least the
national average.
66   ABLE TO WORK
                                                   CONCLUDING REMARKS         67




Concluding remarks
This report contains a wide range        We therefore look forward to
of recommendations, addressed to         Ministers’ response to our report,
employers, several different arms        and express our hope that both
of Government, and a number of           senior Government figures and
other organisations. This reflects the   business leaders will work to
number and complexity of the issues      change the way that we think
which impact on disabled people’s        about disabled people as
chances in the labour market.            employees and colleagues.

A key theme of our report, however,
is that the Government agencies and
non-Government providers working
to help disabled people need to
communicate with employers in a
co-ordinated manner, and make
the system as easy as possible for
employers to navigate. Our
recommendation of a ‘virtual
brokerage’ (Recommendation 3)
has a key role to play here, but it is
also important to note that many of
our other recommendations need to
be linked to it, and/or to each other,
in order to deliver a coherent
programme of action. This is why
our Table of Recommendations
(Annex B) not only indicates who
each recommendation is initially
addressed to, but also which
recommendations are linked.

Achieving the vision set out near
the beginning of this report,
however, will take more than
the implementation of our
recommendations, and of the
many other policy measures being
adopted by Government. It will take
strong leadership from employers,
business bodies, organisations
working on behalf of disabled
people, and of course Government.
68   ABLE TO WORK
                 ANNEX A – MEMBERSHIP OF THE EMPLOYERS’ WORKING GROUP   69




ANNEX A –
Membership of the Employers’ Working Group

Mark Thompson, Chair – Director General, BBC

Sly Bailey – Chief Executive, Trinity Mirror

Catherine Brown – Managing Director, BUPA Wellness

Lawrence Churchill – Chair Designate, Pension Protection Fund

Neil Couling – Director, South East Region Jobcentre Plus

Adam Crozier – Chief Executive, Royal Mail Group plc

Philip Friend – Partner and Director, Churchill & Friend

Lorraine Gradwell – Chief Executive, Breakthrough UK Ltd

Steve Harvey – Managing Director, Goldsmiths

Marilyn Howard – Consultant

Maurice Ostro – Managing Director, Air Fayre Limited

Michael Richardson – Director, Welfare, Work and Poverty Directorate,
Department for Work and Pensions

Rob Sykes – Chief Executive, Worcestershire County Council

Bob Warner – Chief Executive, Remploy Limited
ANNEX B – Table of recommendations
                                                                                                             70



Recommendation                                   Linked to        Lead           In support   Timescale
                                                                  responsibility

Engaging employers

1 – Government and business to work in           Recommendations Employers/                   Campaign
                                                                                                             ABLE TO WORK




partnership to develop employer to               11, 15 and 16   DTI/DWP/ DH                  in operation
employer based awareness raising of                                                           by 2006
disability issues and promotion of
best practice.

2a – The media and advertising industry to       Recommendation   Media and      Ofcom        Ongoing
recognise its role in changing attitudes         2b               advertising
towards disabled people and work to increase                      industries
the visibility of disabled people in the
mainstream media and increase the exposure
given to disability issues.

2b – Government as major advertiser to work      Recommendation   All parts of   Ofcom        Ongoing
towards a greater representation of disabled     2a               government
people, particularly in employment situations,
in it’s non-disability specific material.
Recommendation                                     Linked to        Lead           In support   Timescale
                                                                    responsibility

3 – DWP, DH and DTI to work with ACAS to                            DWP/DH/DTI                  By 2005
ensure the information and advice needs of
employers on recruiting and retaining disabled
workers are fully included in the ACAS Race
and Equality website. This should include
information and contact details where more
extensive information may be needed.

4 – Investors in People to incorporate within      Recommendation   DTI/DfES         JC+/DWP    By 2007
its accreditation criteria standards relating to   12
the employment and development of disabled
people, with an emphasis on demonstrable
results. This should replace the ‘two ticks’
disability symbol.

5a – DWP to redesign Access to Work to                              DWP                         Ongoing
provide a more efficient service to employers,
make it easier for disabled people to move
between jobs, and target funding for
adjustments towards small businesses.

5b – All IB claimants being actively encouraged                     Jobcentre Plus              By 2005
to apply for work by Jobcentre Plus to be                           /DWP
                                                                                                            ANNEX B – TABLE OF RECOMMENDATIONS




offered an ‘Access to Work’ assessment as part
of the job broking process, indicating their
workplace requirements, which they can take
                                                                                                            71




with them to any employer.
Recommendation                                       Linked to   Lead           In support   Timescale
                                                                                                         72


                                                                 responsibility

Skills for the modern labour market

6a – The LSC to have an overall objective to                     DfES                        From 2005
mainstream disability throughout its business                                                onwards
                                                                                                         ABLE TO WORK




planning, and specific objectives to increase
the number of disabled learners studying
towards all levels of training and qualifications.

6b – LSC to include mandatory components                         DfES                        From 2005
on employment in all post 16 special                                                         onwards
educational needs provision.

7 – DfES to ensure Connexions and IAG                            DfES                        By 2005
partnerships have the ability to provide
specialist advice to disabled people, either by
ensuring that their mainstream advisers have
the right skills, or through specialist advisers
for disabled people.

8 – The Skills Strategy Steering Group to                        DfES                        From 2005
ensure that the needs of disabled people                                                     onwards
are fully built into all aspects of the
implementation of Skills Strategy White Paper
 – and to report annually to Ministers on how
this is being done and on the results.
Recommendation                                    Linked to        Lead           In support   Timescale
                                                                   responsibility

9 – DWP and DfES to ensure the New Deal for       Recommendation   DfES          DWP           2005/2006
Skills and Employer Training Pilots meet the      7
needs of disabled people.

10 – DfES to carry out further evaluation work    Recommendation   DfES                        From 2005
to understand in more depth why disabled          6                                            onwards
people appear to fare less well in the
Employer Training Pilots and set targets for
starts, completions, and employment outcomes
of disabled people in Apprenticeships.

Retention and rehabilitation

11 – Managing sickness absence and                Recommendation   DH            DWP           2006
occupational health in the workplace to form      1
a central part of any awareness raising
exercise for employers.

12 – IiP accreditation to include requirements    Recommendation   DTI           DH            By 2007
for line managers to receive training in          4
disability awareness to ensure they know how
to manage sickness absence, how to intervene
early to enable a return to work, and where
to go for support. This training should include
                                                                                                           ANNEX B – TABLE OF RECOMMENDATIONS




a particular focus on mental health conditions
                                                                                                           73
Recommendation                                    Linked to        Lead           In support   Timescale
                                                                                                             74


                                                                   responsibility

13 – Occupational health and fitness for work                      DH            DWP           Ongoing
training to be included as an integral part
of GPs’ training, along with training and
awareness raising amongst GPs on the
                                                                                                             ABLE TO WORK




health related benefits of work

14 – Jobcentre Plus to work with local GPs, to                     Jobcentre Plus DH           2005
ensure GPs are aware of locally available
support to help individuals remain in or
return to employment, so they can effectively
signpost patients to this support.

15 – Department of Health to accelerate                            DH                          Ongoing
improvements to the quality and quantity of
OH provision, through encouraging more
trainees, raising professional standards and
using a wider range of delivery channels.

16 – DWP and the Department of Health to          Recommendation   DH                          Research to
research the business benefits, including value   1 and 17                                     begin 2005
for money, of expenditure on OH. These
benefits, together with practical examples
of what works in rehabilitating and retaining
workers, should then be disseminated
to business.
Recommendation                                    Linked to        Lead           In support   Timescale
                                                                   responsibility

17 – The Department of Health and NHS Plus        Recommendation   DH            NHS Plus      Research to
 to undertake research into levels of awareness    1 and 16                                    begin 2005
of OH services among SMEs, and reasons why
they are or are not used. This should be used
to inform an awareness raising campaign
emphasising the business benefits of offering
OH to employees.

18 – Government and the Association of            Recommendation   DWP           DTI           2005
British Insurers to convene a discussion of       20
leading insurance companies regarding how
to increase the use of discounts on premiums
to employers offering occupational health
and rehabilitation support.

Re-engaging jobless disabled people

19 – In the longer term, if it can continue to                     Jobcentre     DH            Ongoing
demonstrate a return on its investment in                          Plus/DWP
Pathways to Work, DWP should prioritise the
rollout of Pathways to cover the whole country.

20 – HM Treasury and DWP to make sure             Recommendation   HMT           DWP           Ongoing
work pays for all disabled people (including      22
                                                                                                             ANNEX B – TABLE OF RECOMMENDATIONS




those wanting to work part time). The
financial incentives to enter work need to
                                                                                                             75




be simple and known to all.
Recommendation                                      Linked to        Lead           In support   Timescale
                                                                                                             76


                                                                     responsibility

21 – Jobcentre Plus to ensure PAs are fully                          Jobcentre      DWP          Ongoing
aware of the disability element of Working                           Plus
Tax Credit, and the 52 week linking rule, and
this is effectively communicated to IB recipients
                                                                                                             ABLE TO WORK




22 – Inland Revenue and HM Treasury to              Recommendation   IR             HMT          Ongoing
review how well the tax credit system is            20
working for disabled people and how it
could better encourage disabled people to
enter work.

23 – Jobcentre Plus to develop ‘reference sales’                     Jobcentre                   2005
products regarding disability issues for use by                      Plus
SMEs’ preferred commercial advisers and
Business Links.

24 – DWP, Jobcentre Plus and the LSC to             Recommendation   DWP/                        Immediate
review their current performance on disability      25               Jobcentre
equality now, in preparation for the duty                            Plus/LSC
coming into effect.

25 – Public sector organisations to use their       Recommendation   All parts of                Ongoing
contracting powers to promote the public            24               government
sector duty to other organisations through
procurement.
Recommendation                                   Linked to        Lead           In support   Timescale
                                                                  responsibility

26 – Jobcentre Plus to implement a               Recommendation   Jobcentre                   Ongoing
programme to deliver a year-on-year increase     27               Plus
in the number of disabled people it employs,
with an objective of ensuring that the
proportion of disabled Jobcentre Plus staff in
each region should at least equal the
proportion of disabled people in that
region by 2015.

27 – Local Authorities and government            Recommendation   Central                     Ongoing
departments as part of their public sector       24               government
duty to have specific targets to increase the                     departments
proportion of their employees who are                             and local
disabled.                                                         government

28 – Local Authority Social Services, with the                    Local         Commission    Ongoing
support of the Commission for Social Care                         Authority     for Social
Inspection should develop strategies for                          Social        Care
significantly increasing the numbers of                           Services      Inspection
disabled people who are actively engaged in
work outside of sheltered workplaces.
                                                                                                          ANNEX B – TABLE OF RECOMMENDATIONS
                                                                                                          77
Recommendation                                       Linked to   Lead           In support   Timescale
                                                                                                         78


                                                                 responsibility

29 – Jobcentre Plus to work with RDAs and                        Jobcentre     RDAs
regeneration initiatives such as the Northern                    Plus
Way to develop effective measures to help
inactive disabled people return to work.
                                                                                                         ABLE TO WORK




Specific targets should be set to reduce
inactivity rates to at least the national average.
                                                 ANNEX C – BIBLIOGRAPHY        79




ANNEX C – Bibliography
21st century: Realising our Potential:   Employing people with learning
Individuals, employers, Nation (DfES,    disabilities, a handbook for
DTI, HMT, DWP, 2003)                     employers (S Hemmings and
                                         J Morris, Joseph Rowntree
Business case for diversity and          Foundation, 2004)
equality (Women and Equality Unit,
DTI, 2003)                               Evaluation of the New Deal for
                                         Disabled People pilots (DWP, 2001)
Disability in the workplace:
Employers’ and service providers’        Fourth Report from the Work and
responses to the Disability              Pensions Committee: Employment
Discrimination (DWP, 2004)               For All: Interim Report Session
                                         2002-03 (House of Commons, 2003)
Disability programmes in need of
reform (OECD Policy Brief, 2003)         Framework on Vocational
                                         Rehabilitation (DWP, 2004)
Disabled people and the labour
market – an analysis of Labour Force     Full employment in every region
Survey data for London 2001/2            (HMT, DWP, 2003)
(Greater London Authority, 2003)
                                         General practitioners, fitness for
Disabled people, work and poverty        work advice and rehabilitation
(Trades Union Congress, 2003)            (Background paper for Employers
                                         Working Group on Disability,
Diversity in disability (DWP, 2003)      Dr Phillip Sawney, DWP, 2004)

Diversity in Employment – the            Harnessing Workforce Diversity to
Strategic Direction of the Delivery      Raise the Bottom Line (London
of Work, Benefits and Employment         Central Learning and Skills Council
Policy (Unum Provident)                  & London Human Resource Group,
                                         2003)
DRC 2003 Attitudes and Awareness
Survey (Disability Rights Commission,    How disabled people manage in
2003)                                    the workplace (Joseph Rowntree
                                         Foundation, 2003)
Employer Training Pilots: First Year
evaluation Report (J Hillage and         Improving the Life Chances of
H Mitchell, Institute for                Disabled People. Phase Two –
Employment Studies, 200X)                Draft Analytical Report (Prime
                                         Minister’s strategy Unit, April 2004)

                                         Incapacity Benefits and Work
                                         Incentives (DWP, 2001)
  80    ABLE TO WORK




Intermediate labour markets in          Welfare to work and disabled
Britain and an international review     people (Trades Union Congress,
of transitional employment              2004)
programmes (DWP, 2002)
                                        Welfare to Workforce Development
Labour market experiences of            (National Employment Panel, 2004)
people with disabilities (Labour
Market Trends, 2002)

Leaving Incapacity Benefit
(DWP, 1998)

Mental Health and Social Exclusion
(Social Exclusion Unit, 2004)

Modern Apprenticeships and People
with Disabilities (Quality and
Performance Improvement and
Dissemination, March 2000)

Pathways to work: Helping people
into employment’ (DWP, 2002)

Recruiting benefit claimants:
A survey of employers in ONE pilot
areas (DWP, 2001)

Review of Employers’ Liability
Compulsory Insurance, Second Stage
Report (DWP, 2003)

The missing million: supporting
disabled people into work (K Stanley
and S Regan, IPPR, 2003)

The Northern Way: First Growth
Strategy Report (Office of the
Deputy Prime Minister, 2004)

Transforming Disability into Ability:
Policies to promote work and
income security for disabled people
(OECD, 2003)
                               ANNEX D – THE NATIONAL EMPLOYMENT PANEL        81




ANNEX D – The National Employment Panel
The National Employment Panel [www.nationalemploymentpanel.org.uk] is
an Advisory Non-Departmental Public Body. It is an employer-led body that
provides independent advice to Ministers on labour market policies and
performance. The principal objective is to help disadvantaged people move
from poverty into jobs that contribute to business productivity and growth.

The Panel’s key responsibilities are to:

• Engage business as a key customer in activities that are designed to move
  people from welfare into work.

• Help to ensure that jobless people have the skills they need to get, keep
  and advance in work.

• Increase the employability and life chances of individuals facing serious
  barriers to work.

• Improve policies and challenge operational performance of the welfare-
  to-work system.

• Serve as a catalyst for innovation and excellence in welfare reform policy
  and delivery.
  82   ABLE TO WORK




NEP Membership

Sandy Leitch                 Sir Roy Gardner
Chair                        Chief Executive
National Employment Panel    Centrica
Lord Victor Adebowale        Kate Green OBE
Chief Executive              Chief Executive
Turning Point                Child Poverty Action Group
Sonita Alleyne OBE           Dr Binna Kandola
Chief Executive              Senior Partner
Somethin’ Else               Pearn Kandola
Jeremy Anderson              Ruth Marks
Head of Financial Services   Chair
KPMG LLP                     Welsh Employment Advisory Panel
Jonathan Austin              William McGinnis OBE
Managing Director            Chairman
Best Companies Ltd           McAvoy Group Ltd
Chris Banks CBE              John Milligan
Chief Executive              Chair
Bigthoughts                  Chair of the Scottish Welfare to
Mike Beasley CBE             Work Advisory Task Force
Chairman                     Frances O’Grady
CBI West Midlands            Deputy General Secretary
Karan Bilimoria CBE          Trades Union Congress (TUC)
Chief Executive              Gordon Pell
Cobra Beer Ltd               Chairman of Retail Banking and
John Clare CBE               Wealth Management
Group Chief Executive        Royal Bank of Scotland
Dixons Group plc             Mark Thompson
Keith Clarke                 Director General
Chief Executive              BBC
WS Atkins Plc                Jeremy Walker
Philip Friend                Chief Executive
Director                     North Yorkshire County Council
Churchill & Friend
ABLE TO WORK   83
84   ABLE TO WORK
Level 5A Caxton House
6–12 Tothill Street
London SW1H 9NA

www.nationalemploymentpanel.org.uk

This report is printed on recycled paper produced from at least 75% de-inked post consumer waste, and is totally chlorine free.

				
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