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 4 ABLE TO WORK 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 6 ABLE TO WORK 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.