When it comes to employing disabled people. in the UK, the country has scope to do better” Tom Pursglove, Minister for Disabled People, Health and Work, made the comment while announcing a new Disability Action Plan.
He is the third MP to hold the position in as many months.The Office for National Statistics states that 53% of disabled people in the UK are employed. However, 82% of nondisabled people are employed.
Pursglove wants Access to Work to go digital. The program’s goal is to assist disabled people in entering or remaining in the workforce. It provides financial assistance to pay for practical assistance such as transportation or interpreters for British Sign Language users, but it is currently paper-based.
The system is also slow to process applications. More than 25,000 disabled people are currently waiting for their Access to Work application to be processed. The time it takes to process the application has nearly doubled in the last year, from 32.5 days to 63.1 days.
Globally, disabled people struggle to find work. In the United States, 19.1% of people with a disability worked last year. Additionally, those who do not have disabilities are three times more likely to be employed than those who do.
I have been looking for work for the past three years. I am still unemployed.
I’m 23-years old and have never held a paying job. I have been rejected by Stop & Shop, Big Y, Walmart, McDonald’s, Cinemark, Target, Texas Roadhouse and Wendy’s, among many other employers. In the past week alone, I’ve received five rejections.
There are numerous barriers faced by disabled people when it comes to employment. These include inaccessible buildings, a lack of caregiving support, discriminatory attitudes, and loss of Medicaid coverage. Many times, prospective employers rescind interview requests when I tell them I have Cerebral Palsy.
I would love to be able to work a full-time job. Hopefully, in the future, I will be able to. In order for this to happen, employers need to understand that disabled people can be valuable employees. Employers will not know this if they don’t even bother to interview us, let alone offer us a job.
Baker, Keiligh. “Minister for Disabled People on Employment: ‘We Can Do Better’.” BBC News, BBC, 2 Dec. 2022, https://www.bbc.com/news/disability-63835803.
Persons with a Disability: Labor Force Characteristics Summary – 2021.” U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, 24 Feb. 2022, https://www.bls.gov/news.release/disabl.nr0.htm.
Roberts, Lily, et al. “Removing Obstacles for Disabled Workers Would Strengthen the U.S. Labor Market.” Center for American Progress, Center for American Progress, 23 May 2022, https://www.americanprogress.org/article/removing-obstacles-for-disabled-workers-would-strengthen-the-u-s-labor-market/.