Disability is difficult to measure: some recommendations from our response to Improving Lives

Disability is difficult to measure: some recommendations from our response to Improving Lives

As government and organisations grapple with disability reporting and tracking trends in disability prevalence and gaps in disability-related outcomes, we publish our response to the Government’s Green Paper Consultation Improving Lives: Work Health and Disability Green Paper (2016). The Green Paper has been superseded with the Command Paper Improving Lives: the Future of Work, Health and Disability (2017) but the key issues we raised on measuring disability remain.

The Green Paper was designed to support the narrowing of the disability employment gap. The commitment was changed in the Command Paper to 1 million more disabled people in employment. A good measure of disability is central to both commitments but how confident are we that that the data available to measure disability are adequate? This is the focus of our response to the Green Paper. We make recommendations in four areas: to improve the measurement of disability by including different measures rather than harmonising measures; to extend disability-related gaps to include disaggregated gaps, adjusted gaps and in-work gaps; to spread guidance and good practice on measurement from experts in government to employers; and to actively promote effective engagement between data collectors and users as a necessary condition towards data improvement.

Jones M and Wass V (2017) Response to Improving Lives: The Work Health and Disability Green Paper

https://www.disabilityatwork.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2018/09/JonesWassgreenpaperfinal.pdf

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