A-million-futures-halving-the-disability-employment-gap

mgshanks

A-million-futures-halving-the-disability-employment-gap

In this reportForeword 3Executive summary 41. Flexible workplaces 82. Jobs 153. Support 22Conclusions and recommendations 32AcknowledgementsWe would like to thank the hundreds of disabledpeople whose views and experiences informedthe development of this report, through surveys,telephone conversations, and in person.Thanks also go to the numerous Scope staff(past and present) who have contributed to theideas and arguments in this report.Particular thanks go to Roseanna Grayston forresearch support.Report author: Robert TrotterApril 2014ForewordTens of millions of us wake up every morning and go out to work.Once in the office, the factory or the shop, we build relationships,contribute to the economy - and take home a pay packet.Disabled people are already part of this picture. Over three milliondisabled people go to work every day. Nine in 10 of disabled peopleare in work or have worked in the past. Yet for too many, theseopportunities are missing.Disabled people are still too often seen as ‘risky hires’ and lose out onjob opportunities in the towns and cities where they live. The supportmany need to find and secure work is not good enough. Once in work,there is little flexibility and it can be a struggle to keep a job. The impactof this is profound: only one in two disabled people are in work.There is also a huge social and economic cost. The UK economy couldgrow by £13 billion if disabled people were included. Workplacesacross the country could benefit from the skills, experience and uniqueperspectives disabled people bring.The majority of disabled people can work and want to work. But withouta step change in policy, practice and public attitudes, there will continueto be too few opportunities to achieve their aspirations.Scope believes that with the right interventions, there are a million moredisabled people who can and want to be in work. This report sets outthe first steps towards making our vision a reality.It sets out the challenges disabled people face in the workplace,the context of changing labour markets, and explores some of thechallenges with the employment support system. Crucially, it sets outambitious, realistic solutions to these challenges.Yet without greater political ambition, these aspirations will continueto be just talking points. There is a General Election on the horizon,and a unique opportunity for the political parties to commit to makingsure that as the economy begins to recover, disabled people are ableto benefit.Richard Hawkes2Chief Executive, Scope3


Executive summaryDisabled people want the sameopportunities to work as everyoneelse. 91% of disabled people arein work or have worked in thepast. [1] But too many disabledpeople remain out of theworkplace, with the gap betweendisabled people’s employmentrate and the rest of the populationremaining largely static ataround 30%. [2]Not every disabled person shouldbe expected to work – andeveryone’s contribution should berecognised regardless of whetherthey are working or not. But thereis a vital economic case for actingto close this gap, which currentlyrepresents a difference of twomillion people. [3] Social MarketFoundation research has foundthat halving the gap andsupporting one million moredisabled people into workwould boost the economy by£13 billion. [4]Closing the employment gap isalso about raising disabledpeople’s living standards. Being inwork can be an essential part ofachieving financial resilience, [5]and a good standard of living isabout more than just income. [6] Italso means being independent inthe widest sense: having purpose,self-esteem, and the opportunityto build relationships.Too many disabled peopleare still shut out of the workplace.New research to inform thisreport shows that for manydisabled people, enormouschallenges remain:Disabled people experience alack of support and adjustmentto stay in work.Last year alone, 429,000 disabledpeople fell out of work and intounemployment or inactivity. [7]The human and economic costof this is profound: 10% ofunemployed disabled peoplehave been out of work for fiveyears or more, compared with3% of non-disabled people. [8]There is an urgent need to bettersupport disabled people alreadyin work to keep their jobs.“I acquired my disability afteran accident and after beingmade redundant I could notget another job despite beinghighly qualified and meetingall of the person specs forjobs I applied for.”Elane, London [9]Changing labour marketsundermine disabled people’sopportunities to benefit fromand contribute to growth.Disabled people’s employmentrate is set to grow more slowlythan the wider workforce. Aregional focus on skills gives aunique opportunity for disabledpeople to connect to growth:nearly two and a half milliondisabled people live in areascovered by the new City Deals,with more than a million out ofwork. [10]“I’ve come across disabledpeople [where I work] whomaybe feel that they’ve madefive hundred applications andstill been turned down for ajob. People do want to work,but if you can’t get your foot inthe door because employersthink it will be too expensive,too difficult, too challenging,that there’s no help for them,it’s not going to motivate[employers] to employ[disabled people].”John, Ardrossan [11]More disabled people are in thelabour market than ever before.job outcomes on the WorkProgramme remain low at 5%. [14]“I am fully aware of what I amnot capable of, but I have noidea what I am capable of.”Justin, Newcastle-Upon-Tyne [15]Government responses to thechallenges disabled people facehave focused on ‘pushing’disabled people out of thebenefits system, or creatingexpensive employmentprogrammes. Yet for disabledpeople, the biggest challenges lieelsewhere: in the availability ofjobs in their area, in the flexibilityand inclusiveness of theworkplace, and in the controlthey have over their own careers.This report sets out a new visionfor how to support disabledpeople to access more and betterjob opportunities. No singlesolution can improve disabledpeople’s working lives. Instead,there has to be a broad andoverlapping focus on jobs, theworkplace, and on the type ofsupport disabled people receive.The task of reducing theemployment gap is not easy,and will require substantialcommitment from Government,employers, the voluntary sectorand Disabled People’sOrganisations (DPOs). But as theeconomy returns to growth, it isvital that we take the opportunityto ensure that disabled peoplecan contribute and benefit fromthe recovery.Since 2008, reforms to IncapacityBenefit means 650,000 moredisabled people are nowexpected to seek work or risklosing their benefits. [12] SinceOctober 2012, at least 120,000disabled people have beensanctioned in the benefitssystem. [13] Yet existing support tofind work is yet to be effective –4 5


RecommendationsFlexible workplacesThe Government should work with employers, charities andDisabled People’s Organisations (DPOs) to create more inclusiveworkplaces, by:•Creating•Showa new, more flexible form of adjustment leave to givedisabled people greater control over their working lives.leadership in improving employer attitudes towards disabledpeople, building on and extending the Disability Confident initiative.JobsThe Government should ensure that disabled people are connectedto growth. To do this:•Thenext Government should make a new funding stream availablefor City Deals that incentivises job creation programmes based ondisabled people’s employment outcomes.•Thenext Government should establish a national What Workscentre and network of good practice in employment support, tosupport civil servants and City Region boards to develop proposalsand programmes to support disabled people into work.•LocalAuthorities and City Deals should create mechanisms toengage with third sector organisations and DPOs. This should focuson ‘bridging’ employment support with the wider ongoing supportneeds a disabled person might have.•Skills•InBoards and City Regions should develop better labour marketintelligence about disabled people in the local economy.the interim, the current Government should explore whether trialareas for the Universal Credit Local Support Services Frameworkscould offer an existing network of local and regional partnerships forregional disability programmes to engage with, such as through theCity Deals.SupportThe Government should ensure that all disabled people receiveeffective, personalised support to find, stay in and progress in work.To do this:•The next Government should introduce large-scale pilots of the useof personal budgets in employment support, preferably applyingRandomised Control Trial (RCT) methodologies to the evaluation.•The next Government should set up a national board to drive forwardthe personalisation agenda in employment support, modelled on theThink Local, Act Personal partnership.•The next Government should develop a revised nationalcommissioning strategy that creates the framework for the transitionto personal budgets.•The next Government should intervene to open up the market inemployment support by setting aside a dedicated innovation fundfor Disabled People’s Organisations.•All political parties should set out in manifestos the principles andapproaches of how they will reform the Work Capability Assessmentas a priority in the next Parliament.•The Government should invest in expanding the network of specialistemployment advisors for disabled people.6 7


Chapter one: Flexible workplacesDisabled people can thrive atwork with the right support inplace. 91% of disabled peopleare in work or have worked in thepast. [16] Yet too often disabledpeople lack support to remain inthe workplace. This is an urgentchallenge. 429,000 disabledpeople in the last year alonemoved from work tounemployment or inactivity. [17]Once out of work, the humanand economic costs are profound:10% of unemployed disabledpeople have been out of work forfive years or more, comparedwith just 3% of the non-disabledpopulation. [18]Disabled people are strugglingto keep their jobs“I, like thousands of others,fall into the grey area of toodisabled to hold down a jobwithout health implications yetnot disabled enough to gethelp from the Government. Ihave applied for over 40 jobssince becoming visuallyimpaired but with so manypeople applying for every jobvacancy, why would someoneadapt the workplace for adisabled employee when theyhave so many other ablebodiedapplicants?”Sarah, Isle of Wight [19]There are nearly four milliondisabled people working in theUK. [20] Yet new Scope researchshows that last year, 429,000disabled people fell out of work,and only 207,000 disabled peoplemoved into work. This means that220,000 more disabled people leftwork than moved into it. [21] Bycontrast, the movement amongstthe rest of the population isoverwhelmingly in the otherdirection: 560,000 more nondisabledpeople found workthan became unemployedor inactive. [22]“I acquired my disability afteran accident and after beingmade redundant I could notget another job despite beinghighly qualified and meetingall of the person specs for jobsI applied for.”Elane, London [23]The impact of this on disabledpeople is profound. Once out ofthe workplace, disabled peoplecan find it much more difficult toreturn. 10% of unemployeddisabled people have been outof work for five years or more,compared with just 3% of thenon-disabled population. [24]“It’s very difficult to get backinto work after a long period ofnot working and employershave been judgemental aboutmy mental health problems.”Heidi, Congleton [25]Scope’s research sought toexplore why staying in work canbe so challenging for disabledpeople. Disabled people told usthat one of the most importantissues for them is ensuring thatthe workplace is flexible andadaptable enough toaccommodate any changes intheir circumstances. 48% ofdisabled people who respondedto Scope’s survey [26] said theywould benefit from modified hoursin the workplace – a findingsupported by other research. [27]Last year,220,000 moredisabled people leftemployment thanmoved into it. [21]8 9


In interviews, disabled peopletold us that a key challenge isthe lack of flexibility around theuse of sickness absence. Manydisabled people would benefitfrom short periods of timeworking reduced hours tomanage changes in their livesrelated to their disability, or tomanage a fluctuating condition,or to recover from treatment.”.Often, disabled employeeswant to remain in work – andcould do so with the necessaryadjustments. But there iscurrently too little flexibility to putthese adjustments in place,leaving disabled people to relyunnecessarily on full-time sickleave – despite wanting toremain in or return to work.As a result, disabled peopleaccount for 60% of those onlong term sick leave. [28]“I fell ill after having beendisabled for some yearsduring which time I was onlong term sick leave. It was atthis point my former employerstarted treating me as anuisance. I did not get anymodifications to workinghours or facilities when Ireturned and needed them,but [instead] ended up beingmade ‘redundant’ on thebasis that I was unable to domy job anymore.”Jane, West Midlands [29]Scope’s qualitative researchshows that for many, sicknessabsence is not the right optionand can lead people to fall outof work unnecessarily. Manydisabled people want to work fulltime, but may be unable to forshort periods of time. This couldbe for a range of reasons, andmight include needing to have anoperation, regular treatmentsand associated recovery times;or because a fluctuatingcondition temporarily makes itdifficult to work full-time.The lack of flexibility within sickleave is also problematic foremployers, who lose theproductivity, networks andconsiderable experience thatdisabled employees bring.Government also lose out, bothin having to cover the costsof statutory sick pay andunemployment benefits.Jane’s story“I’d been off work for nine months with the effects of metal poisoningfrom a hip replacement. It was having physical and neurological effectsand I was on various drugs that prevented me from working.I’d been on sick on various occasions, culminating in that nine months.At the start when I had an operation it was six weeks off work maximum,but every time it happened the periods that I had to have off for recoverygot longer and longer.My employers were never the best people at dealing with this sort ofthing, and they started giving other people my jobs to do.I never had a programme to help me get back in by taking on duties oneby one, or any sort of flexibility.I’d been operating at a very high level for a long time – I’d been there for18 years – and they knew that I was an excellent employee, but all of asudden I was treated as a problem, a hindrance and awkward.If I’d been given the opportunity, I could have sat down with themand said ‘Look, this is what I’m capable of doing, this is whatwould help me get back into the workplace.’But my job was eroded until it became more and more diluted. I had theability to do my job taken away from me.In the end, my director came to me and said ‘Look, there’s a redundancypackage for you’. I ended up taking the package, becauseI really didn’t feel I had a lot of alternatives.Since then I’ve been making ends meet by selling diet products whileI look for a job. It’s not something I want to be for the rest of my life.I’m finding it very difficult to get proper work otherwise. I’ve applied forhundreds of jobs.I still had a voice and a brain – I just didn’t have working legs and theability to write because of my neurological symptoms. They didn’t valueme for the other things I could do.”10 11


Government policy mustsupport disabled people tokeep their jobsDisabled people report that thesingle most important factor increating inclusive workplaces ishaving flexibility in their workingtime and practices. 40% of allemployed disabled people saythat modified hours haveenabled them to stay in work;36% of those out of work saythat modified hours could havehelped them retain their job. [30]The Government has madeprogress in this area, with theextension of the ‘right to request’flexible working. Yet for asignificant number of disabledpeople – and others – thereremains a need for a new optionto take a temporary or short-termperiod of leave to managechanges in their lives.RecommendationTo resolve this issue, theGovernment should introduce anew, more flexible approach toleave policies through theintroduction of a new type ofadjustment leave.Adjustment leave would allow allemployees, including disabledpeople, the option to take atime-limited period of leaveon a part-time basis. If anemployee needs a period of timeoff work, for instance to attend aseries of medical appointments,they could have the option totake two days off a week – whilecontinuing to work on theirfull-time contracts for the rest ofthe week. This approach buildson international evidence aboutthe use of part-time sickleave models. [31]This new form of leave wouldbenefit disabled people,employers and the Government:Benefits of adjustment leaveto disabled peopleThe benefits to disabled peopleare twofold. Firstly, it can enablea disabled person continue towork even during a difficultperiod, by providing moreflexibility over working hours.The binary distinction in currentsick leave policy between‘sickness’ and ‘health’ does notreflect the reality of manydisabled people’s lives. Havingthe option to take a time-limitedperiod of part-time leave wouldenable many disabled people toput in place the necessarysupport, and be able to returnto work full-time.“Any time off I take is nowvery closely monitored andI constantly have to justifymyself. The onus is verymuch on me to find a solutionand I am facing a lot ofpressure to reduce hours as ameans of managing flare ups.Of course, this means thatduring periods when the painis not as bad, I am underemployed. This makes me feeluseless and undervalued.”Jamie, Dunbar [32]Secondly, as Macmillan andDemos have pointed out, similarleave models can act as a formof financial protection fordisabled people. [33] During aperiod on full-time sick leavedisabled people experience asubstantial drop in income. Apart-time sick leave model wouldalleviate this because theemployee retains part of theirfull-time earnings. Part-time sickleave can also reduce thelikelihood of moving ontounemployment benefits – whichalso has a major impact onincome. [34]Benefits of adjustment leaveto employersAdjustment leave can saveemployers money. Internationalevidence shows that adjustmentleave models can lead tosignificant reductions in thenumber of people falling out ofwork. In Finland, a RandomisedControl Trial found thatcompared to full-time sick leave,a part-time model [35] :•Reducedthe average length oftime off work from 20 days to12 days;•Reduced•Reducedtotal sickness absenceby 20%;the risk of someonemoving onto ‘disability pension’(roughly equivalent toEmployment and SupportAllowance) by 6%.With enough flexibility in thepolicy, this will reduce costs foremployers by allowing them toretain productivity compared tohaving a staff member on sickleave, retain employees’networks and experience, andreduce the number of staffmoving onto full time sick leave.Adjustment leave should be oneof many possible adjustmentsthat could be made for adisabled person to stay in work– which is why the model shouldbe time-limited. For a disabledperson with an on-going needfor periods of time off, a standardpart-time or other flexibleworking model may be moreappropriate – and morecost-neutral for an employer.However, there is a clear needfor a new way for employees tomanage a temporary change intheir situation.12 13


concern to everyone from theDepartment of Business,Innovation and Skills to theTrades Union Council (TUC) [39]to the Department for Business,Innovation and Skills. [40] Thismeans that the majority of jobsare being created at the “top”– inwell-paid, senior occupations –or at the bottom, in low-paid andinsecure jobs. Jobs in the middletier of the labour market areseeing much slower growth –if not an outright declinein numbers.Analysis by the Work Foundationshows that more than threequartersof the jobs createdbetween 2001 and 2007 weremanagerial, professional andtechnical jobs. [41] Other studieshave confirmed that this trendhas intensified during therecession. The ResolutionFoundation points out that bothends of the labour marketincreased their share of totaljobs during the recessionbetween 2008 and 2012. [42]Even as the economy returns togrowth, this uneven shift in thelabour market looks set tocontinue. The UK Commissionon Employment and SkillsWorking Futures study showsthat by 2022 there will be a netincrease in job creation at thetop and bottom of the labourmarket, but a net fall in jobs inthe middle tier. [43]What does this mean fordisabled people?These changes underminedisabled people’s opportunityto contribute to the recovery.Table one shows the types ofoccupation where disabledpeople are currently employed,compared with theirnon-disabled peers.This shows that in the higherlevel occupations which areexpected to grow, such asprofessional or managerialoccupations, disabled people areunder-represented; but they areover-represented in occupationswhere the number of jobs isprojected to fall. Unless there isa shift in the occupational profileof disabled people between nowand 2020, disabled peoplesemployment will grow moreslowly than non-disabledpeople’s employment, wideningthe employment gap across thecountry (see chart one).Figure 1 [44] : Proportion of disabled peoplein work by occupation group.Administrativeand secretarialoccupations3%2%1%Skilled tradesoccupations-15% -10% -5% 0%5% 10% 15% 20%Process , plant andmachine operatives-1%-2%-3%-4% -3%YElementaryoccupationsY – Employment gap by occupationX – Projected change in occupation by 2020Caring, leisureand other serviceoccupationsSales and customerservice occupationsManagers,directors andsenior officialsAssociate professionaland technical occupationsProfessionaloccupationsX16 17


One of the key advantages ofthe City Deals is that they cantarget these new areas ofdemand to particulardisadvantaged groups – and thiscould include disabled people.As such, City Deals offer a keyopportunity to connect disabledpeople’s employment outcomeswith the priorities for growth andjob creation in a given area.2. Connecting disabled peopleto growing sectors of theeconomy2.4 million disabled people livein the areas covered by the CityDeals, of whom 1.4 million arenot in work. [50] But employmentrates vary significantly acrossthe country. Particularly in areasof the north and midlands, thereis a higher incidence of particularconditions and impairments [51] –something which has beenlinked to the impact of long-termunemployment in those areas. [52]There is also evidence tosuggest that areas with highrates of unemployment aremore likely to feature a higherproportion of the populationreporting impairments orpoor health. [53]Addressing unemploymentregionally, and providing bettersupport to disabled peopleis therefore an integral partof regeneration and growthstrategies.3. City Deals allow for innovativeapproaches to creating jobsfor disabled peopleA key objective of the CityDeals is to reduce long-termunemployment. Policy-makersare able to use the City Dealsframework to develop and deliverbespoke interventions targetedto specific features of thelocal economy.It is vital that this mandate isused to create innovative linksbetween demand for skills andsupport for disabled people –not just to replicate existingprovision, or develop newwelfare-to-work schemes.The creation of Skills Boardsas part of the City Dealsinfrastructure should help tobring together skills needs withcolleges and providers – butmaking these links effective willbe essential.4. City Deals can bringtogether new partnershipsto create better outcomesfor disabled peopleDisabled people looking for workrely on having a wide range ofother support services in placeto enable successful careers,which can include housing,social care, welfare advice andpotentially other support such aschildcare. City Deals offer theopportunity to link some of theseservices in a new way, and toco-ordinate activity towardsbroader goals includingemployment.These types of partnership arealready happening – but it’s vitalthat City Deals agenciesunderstand the challengesdisabled people face if they areto reduce unemployment in theirarea. For many disabled people,there are a wide range ofbarriers to employment and anyeffective employment strategy –regional or otherwise – needs toensure that there is support inplace to address these barriers.To do this, DPO’s andrepresentatives should beinvolved in developing andimplementing the City Deals. .These groups can bring a uniqueperspective to discussions andhelp identify where there are notenough existing jobs andservices in an area.Recommendations:•The next Government shouldmake a new funding streamavailable for City Deals throughthe Cabinet Office thatincentivises job creationprogrammes based on disabledpeople’s employment outcomes.The funding mechanism shouldbe decided in partnership withindividual City Deals.•In addition to collating economicdata, wherever possible SkillsBoards and City Regions shoulddevelop better labour marketintelligence about disabledpeople in the local economy.•Thenext Government shouldestablish a national What Workscentre and network of goodpractice in employment support,to support civil servants andCity Region boards to developproposals and programmes tosupport disabled peopleinto work.•Inthe interim, the currentGovernment should explorewhether trial areas for theUniversal Credit Local SupportServices Frameworks could offeran existing network of local andregional partnerships for regionaldisability programmes to engagewith, such as through theCity Deals.•LocalAuthorities and CityDeals should createmechanisms to engage with thirdsector organisations andDisabled People’s Organisations.This should focus on ‘bridging’employment support withdisabled people’s widersupport needs.20 21


place. All of this means that thechallenge of providing effectiveemployment support cannot bemet within a uniform type ofprovision (see page 23 for anoverview of different types ofsupport needs a disabled personmay have).“There’s so much to deal withas a disabled person. A lotof the time you are on yourown dealing with theseissues and explaining andeducating people how to getround them.”Gavin, Nottingham [55]Employment support is anabsolutely vital part of ensuringthat as many disabled people aspossible are able to work. In thecontext of recent welfare reforms,this is even more important, asdisabled people on IncapacityBenefit are ‘migrated’ ontoEmployment SupportAllowance (ESA).Since 2008,650,000 moredisabled people arenow expected toseek work.Scope analysis of Departmentof Work and Pensions statisticsshows that since 2008, as manyas 654,000 [56] disabled peoplewho were not previouslyexpected to find work are nowrequired to do so – 64% of thosewho have gone through thereassessment. [57] Despite havingbeen assessed as ‘fit for work’through the Work CapabilityAssessment (WCA), this groupof people are likely to havecomplex support needs, andmay have been out of work fora long time.For many disabled people,decisions around ‘fitness forwork’ are simply inaccurate.The WCA fails to account forthe wide-ranging social andenvironmental barriers thatdisabled people face trying tofind work, so it is questionablehow useful this judgment is.The introduction and tighteningof the conditions placed ondisabled people to find workmeans that being found fit forwork can have a drastic materialimpact on disabled people’sliving standards. SinceNovember 2012, 120,000disabled people have had theirbenefits suspended. [58] It is vitalthat disabled people are fully andeffectively supported to find workwithout being penalised throughinappropriate use of sanctions.But employment supportis not yet working fordisabled peopleDespite growing numbers ofdisabled people requiringsupport to find work, theservices that are available tothem are yet to deliver effective,personalised support. Currently,they are limited to receivingsupport from just three places inthe system: Work Choice, theWork Programme, or from otherlocally commissioned support.Jobcentre Plus (JCP) do nothave enough specialist resourceto effectively support disabledpeople. A recent inquiry by theWork and Pensions SelectCommittee found that there isonly one specialist advisor toevery 600 jobseekers on ESA,compared with one advisor toevery 140 JSA claimants. [59]Scope’s experience of deliveringWork Choice also highlights thatJCP advisors often lackspecialist knowledge of disabledpeople’s support needs, with alot of uncertainty about whatsupport is available in theirlocal area.In Jobcentre Plus,there is only onespecialist adviser forevery 600 disabledjobseekers.“They’ve got no suggestionsfor me when I go in [toJobcentrePlus]. They’reamazed that I can actually findit. They hark on about “Oh it’sfantastic you get here on yourown!”, and I print out myreport where I’ve been lookingfor my jobs on the internetand all the jobs I’ve appliedfor and take it in. And they go,“Oh, we can keep this?” And Isaid, “Yeah, yeah. I’ve got iton my computer at home.”;“Oh you’ve got a computer! Ohwow!” It’s the amazement thatyou actually do something onyour own.”Gavin, Nottingham [60]The Work Programme is notworking for disabled people. The‘job outcomes’ rate of less than5% is significantly below that forother groups, and is lower thanDWP expected. [61] This hasremained broadly stable foralmost the entire lifetime of theprogramme. Without substantialpolicy changes, it seems unlikelythat support for disabled peoplewill improve.Work Choice is a separateprogramme intended to providespecialist support to disabledpeople with complex needs. Yetthere are considerable problemswith ensuring that the rightsupport is going to the rightpeople. Currently, only 16% ofWork Choice customers are onESA – suggesting serious issues24 25


with the way individuals supportneeds are being assessed. [62] In33% of cases – 24,550 referralsoverall – the customersimpairment or condition wasmissing or unknown, reflectingserious concerns about theassessment and informationsharing process.Employment support shouldbecome more personalisedThere are three priority areasthat should be addressed toimprove employment support fordisabled people: accelerateprogress towards personalbudgets in employment; createa more personalised supportassessment; and shape themarket to capacity build smallerspecialist providers.1. Introduce personalemployment budgetsThe priority for any redesign ofthe employment support systemshould be a dramatic increase inthe level of personalised supportavailable to disabled people. Todo this, the next Governmentshould accelerate progresstowards introducing personalbudgets into employmentsupport. Personal budgets can:•Empowerdisabled people toincrease choice and control overtheir careers by enabling them todecide what support they needto meet their own careeraspirations.Remove bureaucracy from theemployment support system.Many disabled people reportfinding the current employmentsupport system remote anddifficult to access. A single,portable budget with a clearlydefined and agreed support plancould reduce the need tocontinually reapply for support.•Creategreater flexibility in thetype of employment supportavailable. Disabled people reportfacing barriers not currentlyaddressed in the system, as setout in page 23.•Smooththe transition fordisabled people moving fromunemployment into work, andfrom one job to another. Startingwork can be made much moredifficult for disabled people byhaving to apply for separatesupport at each stage.•Providegreater flexibility andreassurance to employers byhaving a single personal budgetfor employment support that isavailable both pre- and duringemployment.This could helpdisabled people guarantee toemployers that the adjustmentsthat they require (or be perceivedto require) are covered by thefinancial support that theyalready have in place.•Allowdisabled people to accessemployment support at any pointin their career, not just during aperiod of unemployment. 80%of disabled people are in workwhen they acquire a condition orimpairment. [63] Providing supportfor them and their employers tomake necessary adjustmentsduring this period of changeis vital.There is already evidenceshowing how personal budgetscould work in practice, includinginternational examples [64] , andthe considerable lessons learntfrom the introduction of personalbudgets in social care.These include:An individual should havea person-centred supportassessment, carried out by atrained specialist advisor. Thisassessment should be availableat different points in a disabledperson’s career, not just whenthey are unemployed.Following the assessment, thefinancial level of support aperson can receive will bedetermined, and a range ofactivities decided in partnershipbetween the advisor and thedisabled person that they canuse to either i) find and preparefor work, or ii) adjust theworkplace to keep their job.Where an individual is a jobseeker, a ‘Return to WorkPlan’ will form the basis ofaccountability for the disabledperson to carry out certainactivities to replace currentblanket conditions and sanctionsfor non-compliance, and toensure the budget is spentas agreed.Different payment options shouldbe available to the disabledperson, including a DirectPayment and a managed budget.However, there are still keychallenges in introducingPersonal Employment Budgets,notably around the local marketof support available to disabledpeople. As such, there is a clearrole for a new market-shapingbody, separate from DWP, tooversee the introduction ofpersonalisation intoemployment support.2. Create a more personalisedassessmentThe Work Capability Assessmentis no longer fit for purpose.Evidence from Disabled People’sOrganisations [65] , officialreviews [66] and consultations,frequent media reports [67] andMPs’ own correspondence [68] allhighlight the significant personalharm that is being caused bydisabled people being found fitfor work inappropriately. Over80% of respondents to a recentDisability Benefits Consortium(DBC) survey either stronglyagreed or agreed that the stressof the WCA had made theircondition or impairment worse.At the heart of the failure of theassessment is a debate about26 27


what it may mean to be ‘fit forwork’. Scope does not believethat fitness for work as defined inthe WCA bears any relation todisabled people’s experience oftrying to find and remain in work,for two reasons.Firstly, the WCA does notcapture the wide-rangingbarriers disabled peopleexperience in the labour marketand at work; it has beendesigned to measure fitness forwork against a series of medicaldescriptors. Disabled people thatScope works with consistentlyreport that the barriers to workthey face are far broader thanthe impact of the medicalaspect of their conditionor impairment. [69]This is underlined by the viewsof Work Programme and WorkChoice providers, who haverepeatedly argued that WCAoutcomes are moving customersonto those programmes whoshould not be expected tofind work. [70]Secondly, once the assessmentis complete, disabled people areplaced in different benefit andsupport groups with setthresholds, which determine boththe type and extent of supportavailable to find work, and thelevel of sanctions they willreceive if they fail to meetthese requirements.In Scope’s view these thresholdsare arbitrary and unhelpful. Theybear no relation to the level ofsupport needs a disabled personmight have, since the decision tobe placed within a giventhreshold is based solely on theWCA which does not assesssupport needs.The Government shouldreplace the WCA with a new‘Distance from WorkAssessment’.This is in order to achieve twokey changes:•Toensure that all of the socialand environmental barriers towork that disabled peopleexperience are considered aspart of the assessment;•Toassess disabled people’ssupport needs rather thanmedical capacity, and providegreater choice and control overthe support they receive.To achieve this, Scope hasdeveloped a set of ‘principles forreform’ that should be used toinform the development of thenew ‘Distance from WorkAssessment’:a. Long-term focus: Disabledpeople may require employmentsupport even after finding a job(such as payment foradjustments, support workers ortransport). The assessment foremployment support shouldtherefore be available at anypoint during a disabled person’scareer – not just when they areout of work.b. Distance to work approach:Disabled people’s employmentsupport needs are broader thanmedical capacity, which shouldbe reflected in assessmentsand support.c. More nuanced assessmentoutcomes: The outcome of theWCA determines the level ofbenefit a disabled personreceives – but the ‘group’ theyare placed in also affects thetype and level of employmentsupport they receive. However,benefit type is not an effectiveproxy for employment supportneeds. The new employmentsupport assessment shouldtherefore create a new way ofdefining eligibility for employmentsupport, that is more nuancedthan simply ‘fit for work’ or not.d. Use specialist assessors:Assessors should be free of anyexplicit or implicit targets aroundreducing the number of disabledpeople on benefits. They shouldalso have a specialistunderstanding of disabledpeople’s support needs.e. Signpost to support:Assessors should understandand be able to advise on theavailability of other services in alocal area, and the supportagency carrying out theassessment should be able tosignpost the disabled persononto other support they mightrequire. There should be clearguidance that in certain casesdisabled people can be fasttrackedonto support that aidstheir back-to-work journey.f. Co-designed andco-produced: Disabled peopleshould be directly involved indesigning and setting thepriorities for a new assessmentin order to restore confidence inthe system. Disabled peoplemust lead their own assessmentof work-readiness and shouldtake the lead in deciding whatsupport they may require.g. Accessible and flexibleassessments processes:Assessment should be availablein a location and method of thedisabled person’s choosing,including in their own home,or by telephone. Carrying outassessments by phone or indisabled people’s homes canreduce the need for expensivecentres, and can also reduce thestress and anxiety about thetest that disabled people currentlyreport.h. Regional focus: Benefits shouldcontinue to be administeredcentrally, but there is a strongcase for giving regional bodiesand local government greatercontrol over the employmentsupport in their area, devolvingresponsibility for the deliveryof assessments.28 29


i. Continuity of support:Disabled people should not beforced to go without support forindefinite time periods if theychallenge their WCA decision.However disabled people shouldbe given every opportunity toensure their assessment reflectsthe barriers they experience ingetting into employment, andgiven enough time to make thenecessary plans in the case ofan adverse decision.3. Opening up the marketof employment supportBeyond DWP programmes,there is also a separate layerof employment support beingprovided at local level – yetthese services are under threat.These specialist organisations –notably those run by disabledpeople themselves – operateat local level and are oftenextremely well placed to addressthe barriers disabled peopleface. [71] They have strong linksinto the local economy,understand the specific barriersfacing disabled people, and areoften better able to innovatethan larger providers.Yet thereare challenges for theseorganisations to deliverwithin the current commissioningframework.Funding available throughcouncils is significantly underthreat. Recent research by theNational Development Team forInclusion (NDTi) found that athird of councils have reducedtheir funding for employment;a further quarter have notincreased their funding despitethe ongoing impact of welfarereforms. [72] Supporting DisabledPeople’s Organisations (DPOs)and other smaller organisationsto be able to provideemployment support will be acrucial part of redesigning thesystem.Small organisations also facechallenges trying to engage withmainstream programmes suchas the Work Programme. If DWPwish to engage with providerslike Disabled People’s User LedOrganisations (DPULOs), moresupport needs to be in place.This is likely to include at leastsome support prior to thetendering process, such as thepre-tendering informationworkshops held by theMinistry of Justice during thecommissioning of theirprobation services.As such, Scope believes thatDWP should explore thepossibility of creating a new fund,separate from mainstreamprogramme funding, which isexplicitly intended to encourageproviders to pilot newapproaches, scale up existingservices, and, crucially, allowproviders and others to collectgood quality data on ‘whatworks’.Recommendations:•The next Government shouldintroduce large-scale pilots ofthe use of personal budgets inemployment support, preferablyapplying Randomised ControlTrial(RCT) methodologies to theevaluation.•The next Government shouldset up a national board to driveforward the personalisationagenda in employment support,modelled on the Think Local,Act Personal partnership.•The next Government shoulddevelop a revised nationalcommissioning strategy thatcreates the framework for thetransition to personal budgets.•The next Government shouldintervene to open up the marketin employment support bysetting aside a dedicatedinnovation fund for DisabledPeople’s Organisations.•All political parties should setout in manifestos the principlesand approaches of how they willreform the Work CapabilityAssessment as a priority in thenext Parliament.•The Government should investin expanding the network ofspecialist employment advisorsfor disabled people.30 31


ConclusionTo resolve this, it is essential thatall political parties base theirpolicy development on a moresophisticated understanding ofthe barriers to work that disabledpeople face.The biggest change must be torecognise that many disabledpeople want to work and alreadydo – and that the challenge forthem is to have job that has theflexibility they need to remain inwork. A refreshed approach tosickness absence and better,more flexible in-work supportis essential in order to supportmore disabled people to excelat work.Finally, policy aroundemployment support shouldrecognise that disabled peopleface considerable social andenvironmental barriers to work.This must be taken into accountin assessments of ‘fitness forwork’. And if the supportprovided for unemployeddisabled people is to becomemore effective, it must startfrom the individual andprovide a more personalised,tailored service.Disabled people want to work,but the barriers that they faceare considerable. Despite nine in10 disabled people being in workor having worked in the past,currently only around one in twoare in work. Yet thedisadvantage they face in thelabour market is set to worsenover the next decade.their aspirations, and becomemore financially resilient.But this cannot happen withouta significant change in policy.For too long, the focus ofpolicymakers has been ondisabled people’s supposedfailure to work. This has meanta tightened benefits system to tryand ‘push’ disabled people intowork, and the introduction ofemployment programmes thatare yet to provide successful,personalised support.A second major policy shift mustbe to recognise that the shapeof the labour market is creatingchallenges for disabled people.More jobs should be targetedat disabled people in their localarea, and central Governmentshould incentivise City Regionsto provide significantly bettersupport for disabled peopleto take advantage of growth.As the economy returns togrowth, the next Governmenthas a unique opportunity toresolve this situation, and ensurethat more disabled people aresupported to find work, achieve32 33


References[1] Office for Disability Issues,disability equality indicator B5;Labour Force Survey, 2013[2] Berthoud, R. (2011), Trends inthe employment of disabledpeople in Britain: Institute ofSocial and Economic Research[3] DWP (2013), Disability andHealth Employment Strategy:The discussions so far: https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/266373/disability-andhealth-employment-strategy.pdf[4] Evans, S. (2007) Disability,skills and work: raising ourambitions, Social MarketFoundation[5] See Waddell, G. (2013), Iswork good for your health andwellbeing?: DWP: https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/214326/hwwb-is-workgood-for-you.pdf[6] See Scope, Living StandardsReport.[7] Scope analysis of LabourForce Survey 2012/13, replicatinganalysis available in ONS (2013),Moving between unemploymentand employment, availableonline: http://www.ons.gov.uk/ons/dcp171776_335141.pdf[8] Scope analysis of the LabourForce Survey 2012/13. Analysisused employment status fordisabled and non-disabledpeople across five waves ofresearch between April 2012 andJune 2013.[9] Quotation from LivingStandards Survey, Scope[10] Scope analysis of Census2011 data[11] Quotation from LivingStandards Survey, Scope[12] Scope analysis of statisticaltables published alongside DWP(2013), ESA: Outcomes of WorkCapability Assessments March2014, available here: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/esa-outcomes-of-work-capabilityassessments-march-2014[13] Scope analysis of DWP dataon JSA and ESA sanctiondecisions, via Stat-Xplore,retrieved 17/04/2014[14] DWP (2014), WorkProgramme statistical summary,March 2014: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/workprogramme-statistical-summarymarch-2014[15] Quotation from LivingStandards Survey, Scope[16] Scope analysis of LabourForce Survey 2012/13[17] Scope analysis of LabourForce Survey April-June 2012,April-June 2013, replicatinganalysis available in ONS (2013),Moving between unemploymentand employment, availableonline: http://www.ons.gov.uk/ons/dcp171776_335141.pdf[18] Scope analysis of LabourForce Survey 2012/13[19] Quotation from LivingStandards Survey, Scope[20] Scope analysis of LabourForce Survey 2012/13[21] Scope analysis of LabourForce Survey 2012/13, replicatinganalysis available in ONS (2013),Moving between unemploymentand employment[22] Ibid[23] Quotation from LivingStandards Survey, Scope[24] Scope analysis of LabourForce Survey 2012/13[25] Quotation from LivingStandards Survey, Scope[26] Scope Living StandardsSurvey, 2013[27] Office for Disability Issues(2014), Life Opportunities Survey,Wave 2 http://www.ons.gov.uk/ons/rel/los/life-opportunitiessurvey/wave-two--part-ii/index.html[28] Long-term sick leave definedas longer than four weeks.Source: DWP analysisresponding to public interest inlong-term sickness absence,using Labour Force Survey, 12quarters between October2010-September 2013:https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/long-term-sicknessabsence[29] Quotation from LivingStandards Survey, Scope[30] DWP (2013), FulfillingPotential: Building Understanding[31] Viikari-Juntura et. al. (2006).English summary here: http://www.eurofound.europa.eu/ewco/2012/02/FI1202011I.htm[32] Quotation from LivingStandards Survey, Scope[33] Salter, J. and Wind-Cowie,M. (2013), Paying the Price,Demos: http://www.demos.co.uk/publications/paying-the-price[34] See Viikari-Juntura et. al.(2006)34 35


[35] Viikari-Juntura et. al. (2006).English summary here: http://www.eurofound.europa.eu/ewco/2012/02/FI1202011I.htm[36] http://www.ons.gov.uk/ons/rel/mortality-ageing/focus-onolder-people/population-ageingin-the-united-kingdom-andeurope/rpt-age-uk-eu.html#tab-Ageing-in-the-UK[37] http://www.parliament.uk/business/publications/research/briefing-papers/POST-PN-391/an-ageing-workforce[38] DWP (2013), Disability andhealth employment strategy: thediscussions so far[39] TUC (2014), TUC EconomicQuarterly No. 3 Feb 2014: http://www.tuc.org.uk/sites/default/files/TUC%20Economic%20Quarterly%203-%20February%202014.pdf[40] McIntosh, S. (2013),Hollowing out and the future ofthe labour market, BIS ResearchPaper 134: https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/250206/bis-13-1213-hollowing-out-and-future-of-thelabour-market.pdf[41] Sissons, P. (2011), TheHourglass and the Escalator:Labour market change andmobility, Work Foundation: http://www.theworkfoundation.com/DownloadPublication/Report/292_hourglass_escalator120711%20%282%29%20%283%29.pdf[42] Plunkett, J. and Pessoa, J.P.(2013), A Polarising Crisis? Thechanging shape of the UK andUS labour markets from 2008-2012, Resolution Foundation:http://www.scribd.com/doc/183978630/A-Polarising-Crisis-The-changing-shape-ofthe-UK-and-US-labour-marketsfrom-2008-to-2012[43] Wilson, R. et. al. (2014),Working Futures: 2012-2022, UKCommission on Employment andSkills: http://www.ukces.org.uk/assets/ukces/docs/publications/working-futures-2012-2022-mainreport.pdf[44] Source: Labour ForceSurvey, Q3, 2013. Figures are forworking-age adults in GB. Takenfrom DWP (2013).[45] Meager N, Higgins T (2011).Disability and Skills in aChanging Economy, page 15:http://www.ukces.org.uk/assets/ukces/docs/publications/equalitydisability.pdf[46] http://www.ifs.org.uk/publications/7009[47] Disability EmploymentStrategy, Fulfilling Potential:Building Understanding mainslide deck:[48] Analysis compared length oftime working for current employerfor disabled and non-disabledpeople across five waves of theLabour Force Survey betweenApril 2012 and June 2013.[49] https://www.gov.uk/government/news/deputy-primeminister-announces-multimillionpound-boost-for-youth-jobs[50] Scope analysis of Census,2011 data. Disability defined asthose reporting a long-termhealth problem or disability thatrestricts their daily activities “alot”.[51] Office for National Statistics,2013, Disability in England andWales, 2011 and Comparisonwith 2001[52] Berthoud, R. (2013), Trendsin the employment of disabledpeople in Britain, Institute ofSocial and Economic Research:https://www.iser.essex.ac.uk/files/iser_working_papers/2011-03.pdf36 37[53] Ibid[54] Scope analysis of statisticaltables published alongside DWP(2013), ESA: Outcomes of WorkCapability Assessments March2014, available here: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/esa-outcomes-of-work-capabilityassessments-march-2014[55] Quotation from LivingStandards Survey, Scope[56] As ‘migration’ is not yetcomplete, this number could risestill further. As of May 2013,537,940 people remain on IB. Ifthe proportion placed onto JSAor WRAG remains roughlysimilar, this could mean a further350,000 disabled people couldbe expected to find work by thetime the process is complete. Ifthey are not to experience asignificant drop in income, thesupport they receive to find workhas to be effective.[57] Analysis based on DWPlongitudinal benefit flows data,available through the onlinetabulation tool.[58] Scope analysis of DWPdata on JSA and ESA sanctiondecisions, via Stat-Xplore,retrieved 17/04/2014[59] Work and Pensions SelectCommittee (2014), The role ofJobcentre Plus in the reformedwelfare system: http://www.publications.parliament.uk/pa/cm201314/cmselect/cmworpen/479/47902.htm[60] Quotation from LivingStandards Survey, Scope


[61] DWP (2014), WorkProgramme statistical summary,March 2014: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/workprogramme-statistical-summarymarch-2014[62] DWP (2014), Work Choicestarts and referrals: February2014: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/workchoice-official-statisticsfebruary-2014.Actual numbers:total referrals, 82,300. Total ESAreferrals (both with/without DLA),13,000[63] DWP In-house report 109[64] See Finn, D. (2009),“Contracting out welfare-to-work:lessons from the Netherlands”, inResearch in Public Policy, Issue8: http://www.bris.ac.uk/cmpo/publications/bulletin/bulletinpdf/newbulletin8.pdf; Sayce, L.(2011), Getting in, staying in andgetting on: disability employmentsupport fit for the future, DWP:https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/49779/sayce-report.pdf ; Tarr, A. (2011),Personalising welfare-to-work:the case for personal welfarebudgets, Centre for SocialInclusion: http://www.cesi.org.uk/publications/personalisingwelfare-work-case-personalwelfare-budgets[65] See Spartacus campaign(2013), The People’s Review ofthe WCA: Further evidence,available online: http://www.centreforwelfarereform.org/library/by-date/peoples-review-ofwca-further-evidence.html[66] “The Review highlights areasfor improvement, particularlyensuring that people are treatedwith dignity and respect and thatcommunications are improved.”Litchfield (2013), An IndependentReview of the Work CapabilityAssessment – Year Four: https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/265351/work-capabilityassessment-year-4-paul-litchfield.pdf[67] See for instance Hardman(2013), Why the right could doomwelfare reform, in the DailyTelegraph: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/politics/conservative/10076095/Why-the-Right-could-doom-welfarereform.html[68] HC Deb 12th Jan 2013, Col1050: http://www.publications.parliament.uk/pa/cm201213/cmhansrd/cm130117/debtext/130117-0002.htm[69] For an overview of theevidence, see: Trotter (2013),Work in Progress: http://www.scope.org.uk/sites/default/files/Disability-Charities-Consortium.pdf[70] See oral evidence to Workand Pensions Select Committee(2013)[71] See Disability CharityConsortium (2013), Work inProgress: Rethinkingemployment support fordisabled people, availableonline: http://www.scope.org.uk/node/23244[72] Grieg, R. et. al. (2014),The Cost Effectiveness ofEmployment Support for Peoplewith Disabilities, NationalDevelopment Team forInclusion: http://www.ndti.org.uk/uploads/files/3. The_cost_effectiveness_of_Employment_Support_for_People_with_Disabilities,_NDTi,_March_2014_final.pdf38 39


Scope exists to make this country a place where disabledpeople have the same opportunities as everyone else.Until then, we’ll be here.We provide support, information and advice to more thana quarter of a million disabled people and their familiesevery year. We raise awareness of the issues that matter.And with your support, we’ll keep driving change acrosssociety until this country is great for everyone.Disabled and facing challenges atwork? Share your experiences andhave a conversation on Twitterabout work and disabled people’s#living standardswww.scope.org.ukCall 0808 800 3333 to let us know ifyou’d like this information in a formatthat’s accessible for you.9995_C Scope is a registered charity, number 208231. Copyright Scope April 2014

More magazines by this user
Similar magazines