U.K. Disability Employment: Information & Resources


Information on disability employment services and opportunities including DDA employer laws in the UK.

Definition: Defining the Meaning of Access to Work

If you want to work but have a disability that makes working a problem you may be able to get help from the access to work scheme. This provides practical advice and support to help you overcome work-related obstacles. It can also give you grants towards extra employment costs. An Access to Work grant can pay for practical support if you have a disability, health or mental health condition to help you: start working, stay in work, move into self-employment or start a business. The money doesn't have to be paid back and will not affect your other benefits. The grant is not for business start-up costs. How much you get depends on your circumstances.

Main Document

According to the World Bank, "The goal of employment policy for disabled people is full inclusion in the general labor market. Achieving that goal requires efforts in training and education, vocational rehabilitation, accessible transport, and the right to accommodations in the workplace. These accommodations include accessible work stations, job restructuring, and special equipment or assistive devices."

Of the working-age people with disabilities in the UK, almost half are employed - but this figure should be higher. With the right support, many more could join their ranks.

The UK Disability Discrimination Act 1995 (DDA)

Employees with disabilities share the same general employment rights as other workers, but there are also some special provisions for them under the Disability Discrimination Act (DDA).

The main piece of legislation which makes it unlawful to discriminate against a disabled person in their terms of employment, promotion opportunities, by dismissing them or by subjecting them to any other detriment. All employers have to comply with this Act.

The DDA defines disability for the purposes of the Act: There must be a mental or physical condition which has a substantial and long-term adverse affect on the employee's ability to carry out normal day-to-day activities. Long-term means that the condition must last, or be likely to last, for more than 12 months.

Looking For Work:

When you're looking for work, look for the 'positive about disabled people' symbol (with 2 ticks) on adverts and application forms. The symbol means the employer is committed to employing disabled people. If a job advert displays the symbol, you'll be guaranteed an interview if you meet the basic conditions for the job.

Employers must make reasonable adjustments to make sure disabled workers aren't seriously disadvantaged when doing their jobs.

Your DEA can tell you about programs and grants to help you back into work. These include:

  • Residential Training - to give you work experience and training.
  • Work Choice - to help you find a job, and get support when you start work.
  • Access to Work - money towards a support worker or for the cost of equipment or traveling to work.

Quick Facts: Disability Confident

UK businesses are still discriminating against disabled workers as one in five feel they are unsupported and treated differently, according to law firm Leigh Day.

The organization's Purple Workforce report also found that almost half of disabled worker respondents admitted they would not feel comfortable disclosing a disability when applying for a new job.

Disability Confident is the name of a campaign initiated by the U.K. Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) designed to help companies become more willing to employ disabled staff, by offering advice and breaking down unhelpful work-related myths.

Disability Confident - What Does it Mean- Ian Langtree - (2014-04-04)

Statistics: U.K. Disability Employment

  • Nearly one in five people of working age (6.9 million, or 19%) in Great Britain are disabled.
  • Disabled people are more than twice as likely as non-disabled people to have no qualifications (26% as opposed to 10%)
  • World Health Organization (WHO) predict that by 2020, depression will be the most common form of disability.
  • Only about half of disabled people of working age are in work (50%), compared with 80% of non disabled people of working age.
  • There are currently 1.2 million disabled people in the UK who are available for and want to work.
  • The average gross hourly pay for disabled employees is £10.31 compared to £11.39 for non disabled employees.
  • Mental health problems, such as depression and anxiety, now account for more Incapacity Benefit claims than back pain.
  • 90% of people moving on to Incapacity Benefit expect to get work; after 12 months 40% would still be unemployed - with just a 20% chance of finding work within the next five years
  • In the UK Directgov offers disabled people information on a wide range of topics including independent living, financial support, health and social services, employment and travel.

Latest United Kingdom Publications

Opportunities for people with disability in the UK workplace likely to come under threat unless government prioritises recreation of EU safeguards into British statute.

Information, definition and original meaning of the phrase Disability Confident as well as tips on becoming a Disability Confident organization.

Nearly a third of UK people on the old incapacity benefits have been found to be capable of some form of work since reassessment began.

Disabled can now get support through Access to Work when setting up their own business if they are enrolled on the New Enterprise Allowance (NEA).

UK Work Choice program provides employers a payment up to £2275 when they employ a young disabled person.

People in the U.K. who have been unemployed for more than two years could be referred onto compulsory community work placements.

The U.K. Government is launching a consultation into employment services for disabled people and seeking views on the recommendations.

UK Government support for employment services for disabled people should be focused on the individual and not the institution.

Click Here for Full List of Documents (23 Items)