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Education and Employment

UK unveils plans to boost employment for people with disabilities

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People with disabilities and those with health conditions, who have been previously restrained from enhancing their lives through employment, will receive increased support to fulfill their potential, as per the government initiatives revealed on September 5.

A consultation, launched on 5 September, will consider changes to the Work Capability Assessment, with proposals to ensure it is delivering the right outcomes for supporting those most in need.

The consultation will look at updating the Work Capability Assessment’s categories so they better reflect the modern world of work and the opportunities more readily available to disabled people.

Earlier this year, UK Government confirmed investment worth £2 billion to support disabled people and those with long-term health conditions into work, while delivering on the Prime Minister’s priority to grow the economy. Today’s consultation will go further to facilitate appropriate work opportunities for people, by reviewing a range of categories in the assessment – representing its first significant update since 2011.

These categories are designed to determine what activity people can do and how that affects their ability to work. This then informs assessors’ decisions on what additional financial support people can receive through their benefits, and if claimants need to do anything to prepare themselves for work.

The consultation’s proposals include updating the categories associated with mobility and social interaction, reflecting improved employer support in recent years for flexible and home working – and minimising the risk of these issues causing problems for workers.

Those who were found capable of work preparation activity in light of the proposed changes would receive tailored support, safely helping them to move closer to work and ensuring a significant proportion of people are not automatically excluded from the support available.

Prime Minister Rishi Sunak MP said: Work transforms lives – providing not just greater financial security, but also providing purpose that has the power to benefit individuals, their families, and their communities.

“That’s why we’re doing everything we can to help more people thrive in work – by reflecting the complexity of people’s health needs, helping them take advantage of modern working environments, and connecting them to the best support available.”

“The steps we’re taking today will ensure no one is held back from reaching their full potential through work, which is key to ensuring our economy is growing and fit for the future.”

Minister for Disabled People, Health and Work Tom Pursglove MP added: “I am incredibly passionate about supporting disabled people to have the most fulfilling life possible, including through work, and these proposals would enable us to provide help to people who could benefit greatly from it.”

“We will continue to look at ways to safely support more disabled people into work, unlocking all the positive wellbeing benefits that brings, whilst meeting the Prime Minister’s pledge to grow the economy.”

These proposed changes, due to come into force in 2025, come as part of the Government’s wider multi-billion pound plan to tackle inactivity and boost economic growth.

 

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