Most disabled people ‘frozen out’ of tough and unwelcoming employment landscape

Almost one in five disabled workers have had a job offer withdrawn because of their health condition, a study suggests.

Research by the disability charity Leonard Cheshire indicated that most disabled people were “frozen” out of work.

A survey of 1,600 disabled adults found that three out of four had stopped work because of a disability or health condition.

Almost one in five who had applied for a job in the past five years said the employer withdrew the offer as a result of their disability.

A separate poll of 500 managers showed that two-thirds believed the cost of making workplace adjustments were a barrier to employing a disabled person.

Neil Heslop (pictured), chief executive of Leonard Cheshire, said: “Our research reveals a tough and unwelcoming employment landscape for disabled people despite overall employment levels climbing to record highs. Most disabled people in 2019 remain frozen out of the world of work.

“More employers need to seize the opportunity of the untapped talent of disabled people. Straightforward measures exist to support individuals to get jobs or prevent those in work from falling out of employment due to a disability or health condition.

“All of us must redouble our efforts to challenge outdated attitudes to disability and accelerate the positive change that enables talented individuals to gain and keep jobs.”

Rebecca Hilsenrath, chief executive of the Equality and Human Rights Commission, said: “Even the smallest of changes can make a dramatic difference in helping a disabled person achieve their full potential at work.

“Reasonable adjustments in the workplace aren’t just the right thing to do, they are a legal requirement, and it is shocking that so many are overlooking the positive contribution disabled people can make to their organisation.”

Copyright (c) Press Association Ltd. 2019, All Rights Reserved. Picture (c) Leonard Cheshire.