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The impact of the coalition government on disabled workers

The impact of the coalition government on disabled workers

Harwood, Rupert (2015) The impact of the coalition government on disabled workers. [Working Paper]

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Analysis of the Labour Force Survey 2012 "shows that one in six people of working age living in the UK is disabled " (Coleman et al., 2013: vii). Disabled individuals experience considerable disadvantage in relation to employment (e.g. Hills et al, 2010), including lower wages and higher levels of unemployment (e.g. Coleman et al, 2013: viii), as well as being more likely to experience ill-treatment in the workplace (eg. Fevre et al, 2013). An important measure of employment related disadvantage is the disability employment gap, which is the percentage point difference in the employment rate between those who are disabled and those who are not (Jones and Wass, 2013: 987). For example, in 2011, the disability employment gap for men was 49.1% and for women was 38.6% (Jones and Wass, 2013: 991). However, the UK/GB/England wide evidence on how the disability employment gap has changed since 1998 is contradictory and only goes up to 2012 (Baumberg et al., forthcoming); and, according to Baumberg et al (forthcoming: 18) - ‘Until the discrepancy in trends is explained, we cannot be confident that the disability-related employment gap has fallen...’. As regards the post-2010 period (i.e. since the Coalition came to power), Baumberg et al's (forthcoming) Figure 2 ("Employment Gap by Survey ... (1998-2012)") does show that - (a) the Health Survey for England indicates that the disability employment gap has increased since 2010; (b) the Labour Force Survey indicates that the considerable closing of the gap since 1998 has stalled since 2010; and (c) the General Household Survey stops at 2010. However, Jones, one of the authors, points out - "since there is variation in the data year on year I wouldn't be very confident in making any conclusions based on data from a single year e.g. HSE" (email, April 2015). What does seem clear is that the Coalition does not have a solid basis on which to claim that it has outperformed previous governments in reducing the disability employment gap. In addition, there is the question (which this paper contributes to addressing) of whether there is a job quality gap between disabled and non-disabled workers and the question of what has happened to any such gap since 2010.

Item Type: Working Paper
Uncontrolled Keywords: Disabled workers, Disability related disadvantage, Disability employment law, Employment rights
Faculty / School / Research Centre / Research Group: Faculty of Business
Faculty of Business > Department of Accounting & Finance
Faculty of Business > Centre for Work and Employment Research (CREW) > Public Services International Research Unit (PSIRU)
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Last Modified: 09 Aug 2017 15:44

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