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Radar: Disabled people are denied jobs


A report for Radar, the disability campaign group, says that disabled people are being denied jobs because employers are unaware of the support they can receive to help hire workers with disabilities.

The report says there is a growing willingness among smaller businesses to employ disabled workers but they are being "failed" because of lack of support. Research shows that most small and medium-sized companies do not know where to get information and advice on recruiting disabled staff.

As a result the group is calling on the government to be more proactive in marketing employment schemes aimed at helping firms recruit disabled workers.

Nick Goss, employment officer at Radar, said: "Many disabled people are being denied access to employment opportunities in small businesses, not as a result of a lack of skill or ability but because employers do not know where to go to get information and support on meeting disability related needs of employees.

"As a result many disabled people are unable to enter the world of work and the UK's competitiveness is being damaged."

Of the 3.8 million disabled people of working age, only 1.2 million are in employment

16.1% of economically active disabled people are unemployed compared with the unemployment rate of 7.4% overall

Disabled people in full-time employment earn approximately 20% less than non-disabled people

40% of disabled people of working age have no educational qualifications compared with under 20% of their non-disabled counterparts

70% of the 1.5 million economically active disabled people, those in work or officially seeking it, became disabled whilst in work.

In 1996 the first parts of the Disability Discrimination Act became law, covering the areas of employment, education, transport and access to goods and services. It is now unlawful for an employer with 20 or more employees to discriminate against a disabled person. An employer cannot treat a disabled employee or applicant for a job any less favourably than he would any other person because of a reason relating to their disability - unless such treatment can be justified. An employer now discriminates if he fails to make a reasonable adjustment for the disabled person (such as flexible working hours, adapted equipment), unless that failure can be justified.


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