We must highlight, confront and challenge the attitudes, prejudices and misunderstandings that, after many years, have become engrained in many of the policies and minds of employers, within the welfare state, across the health service and in wider society.
Change will come, not by tinkering at the margins, but through real, innovative action.
This Green Paper marks the start of that action and a far-reaching national debate, asking: ‘What will it take to transform the employment prospects of disabled people and people with long-term health conditions?
’ This government is committed to acting but we can’t do it alone. Let’s ensure everyone has the opportunity to go as far as their talents will take them – for a healthier, working nation.
For those in work, but who are just managing, it can lead to them losing their job and then struggling to get back into work.
Unable to support themselves and their family, and without the positive psychological and social support that comes from being in work, their wellbeing can decline and their health can worsen.
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What should count is a person’s talents and their determination and aspiration to succeed.
However, at the moment, for many people, a period of ill health, or a condition that gets worse, can cause huge difficulties.
1) Employment rates amongst disabled people reveal one of the most significant inequalities in the UK today: less than half (48%) of disabled people are in employment compared to 80% of the non disabled population. 2) This green paper sets out the nature of the problem and why change is needed by employers, the welfare system, health and care providers, and all of us.