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Coronavirus Pandemic

Persons with disabilities fear losing their job in UK

Coworker in wheelchair using digital tablet against photo editors in meeting room at creative office

Scope’s poll found many people with disabilities fear their employer cannot make their workplace safe for them to return.

The disability equality campaign wants the government to prioritise persons with disabilities in its recovery plans.

The government says it is committed to helping persons with disabilities return to work.

Around 30,000 people have signed a letter to the prime minister. Scope says persons with disabilities have been “hardest hit” by the pandemic.

It asked 874 adults with a health problem or disability who are in employment about their views on returning to work.

It found 41% feel anxious about returning to work, while almost half are worried about using public transport to get to their workplace.
87% fear others will not respect social distancing rules, putting them at risk.

The open letter, addressed to Prime Minister Boris Johnson, points to “Coronavirus has devastated people’s lives, and amongst the hardest hit are the UK’s 14 million people with disabilities. Almost two-thirds of people who have died because of Coronavirus were disabled. And now, with a looming recession and disabled people at the sharp end of poverty, we need the Government to “take urgent action.”

With its survey showing 59% of people with disabilities felt forgotten by the government during the coronavirus pandemic, the charity says the effect “is taking its toll.”

“Disabled people and their families have disproportionately faced loneliness and worsening mental health. Shielding may be pausing, but for millions of disabled people, there is no pause button on their anxieties,” the letter says.

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