42 Disability employment gap been trialled in the past, there has not been concrete evidence of success. Financial incentives could, however, encourage employers to undertake desirable behaviour, which in turn might encourage others and create a virtuous circle. It is clear that there is a great deal of interest in the role incentives for employers could play in tackling the disability employment gap, even if it is currently far from clear what sort of financial support package might work best in Britain. (Paragraph 66) 18. We recommend the Department test a range of approaches to incentivising employers, using a collection of small trials. These should test, for example, the impact of wage subsidies, incentives such as relief on National Insurance Contributions, and commissioning external organisations to provide support and guidance directly to employers. The Department’s evaluations should consider the effects on different industries and different sizes of business. In finding out what does work, the Department must also be open to discovering what does not. Sticking to the same safe strategies will continue to bring the same results. (Paragraph 67) 19. For too long, disabled people who want to work have lacked the support to enable them to do so. Developing a health condition or disability while in work has, too often, meant dropping out. Once unemployed, disabled people have faced obstacles both obtaining and staying in work. The large pool of unemployed disabled people who want to work is, however, a fantastic opportunity for the economy. We are pleased that the Government has recognised the imperative of halving the disability employment gap. We do not underestimate the scale of the challenge it now faces in making this vision a reality. The Government is aiming to achieve a reduction in the disability employment gap of a magnitude much greater than that seen in recent decades in the UK. Now is not the time for a cautious approach. (Paragraph 68)
Disability employment gap 43 Formal Minutes Monday 23 January 2017 Work and Pensions Committee Frank Field, in the Chair Heidi Allen Mhairi Black Ms Karen Buck James Cartlidge Neil Coyle Richard Graham Steve McCabe Craig Mackinlay Royston Smith Draft report (Disability employment gap), proposed by the Chair, brought up and read. Ordered, That the draft Report be read a second time, paragraph by paragraph. Paragraphs 1 to 68 read and agreed to. Resolved, That the Report be the Seventh Report of the Committee to the House. Ordered, That the Chair make the Report to the House. Ordered, That embargoed copies of the Report be made available, in accordance with the provisions of Standing Order No. 134. [Adjourned till Monday 30 January at 3.30 p.m.