The long-awaited National Disability Strategy (NDS) was finally published in July 2021. disability@work provide a reflection and a formal response to this set of proposals which will guide future disability policy, particularly in relation to employment.
While there is a discernible and welcome shift in policy focus towards the role of employers and workplace barriers in employment outcomes for disabled people, there is some frustration and disappointment that the emphasis is on more consultation and more review with the consequent delay in policy implementation.
The disability@work reflection considers some of the challenges and benefits of workplace reporting and raises concerns about the indicators used by Government to chart its progress on reducing disability employment disadvantage.
Our formal response, in the form of a Briefing Note, reviews the proposals set out in the NDS in the context of discussions that disability@work had with the Minister for Disabled People, and with senior officials at the Cabinet Office Disability Unit and the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP), in the months preceding the publication of the NDS. These include: the positive bias in the indicators used by the government to evaluate its progress in narrowing the disability employment gap; the introduction of mandatory workplace disability employment and pay gap reporting; reform of the government’s Disability Confident scheme; the scope for government procurement to be leveraged to improve disability employment outcomes; and the role of trade unions.