Future job market concerns for disabled people

Our Policy Manager Sharlene McGee responded to today’s findings from the Office of National Statistics, that disabled people are less likely to re-enter work after unemployment.

In response to today’s findings from the Office of National Statistics, Sharlene McGee said: 

“These findings show how the Covid-19 recovery is not working for everyone. The pandemic has exacerbated existing inequalities faced by disabled people. Structural, long-term barriers to employment mean disabled people who have lost their jobs could be feeling the negative effects of the downturn for years to come.

“These statistics echo our own findings, which illustrate the disproportionate impact that the pandemic has had on disabled people’s employment: 71% of disabled people have faced loss of work, income, or furlough. All of this paints a worrying picture of the jobs market for disabled people post-pandemic.

“This is why the government needs to play the long game. It needs to look at a disability inclusive recovery plan that will address the ongoing jobs shock faced by disabled people. We need to see better access to flexible working, specialised support for disabled people hoping to enter work, and increased eligibility for programmes like Kickstart to help more people at risk of long-term unemployment. Tackling these issues would bring wider economic benefits as well as designing a labour market fit for the future.”

Media enquiries

For further information, interview requests and case studies, please contact Sam Buckley on samuel.buckley@leonardcheshire.org or call 020 3242 0204.