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Employment: Disability

Question for Department for Work and Pensions

UIN 171400, tabled on 6 September 2018

To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what assessment she has made of trends in the level of the disability employment gap; and what information her Department holds on the disability employment gap by (a) condition and (b) type of disability.

Answered on

11 September 2018

Evidence shows that the disability employment gap is narrowing, although we are determined to see further improvements, so that everyone who can work is given the right support and opportunities to do so.

Table 1 shows the gap in employment rates between working age disabled and non-disabled people, based on the estimates published by ONS on the website at the following link:

https://www.ons.gov.uk/employmentandlabourmarket/peopleinwork/employmentandemployeetypes/datasets/labourmarketstatusofdisabledpeoplea08

Table 1: Employment rates for disabled and non-disabled people aged 16-64, Q2 2013 – Q2 2017

Disabled employment rate (%)

Non-disabled employment rate (%)

Gap
(percentage points)

2013

43.6

76.8

33.1

2014

44.9

78.4

33.5

2015

45.9

79.2

33.3

2016

47.9

80.1

32.2

2017

49.2

80.6

31.3

Source: Labour Force Survey

Notes:

  1. Estimates relate to quarter 2 (April-June) each year.
  2. Percentages are rounded to the nearest 0.1 percentage point. Components may not sum exactly to totals due to rounding.
  3. Estimates exclude a small number of respondents who did not report whether or not they were disabled.
  4. Data is subject to sampling variation and is not seasonally adjusted.
  5. Due to an apparent discontinuity, ONS has applied health warnings to estimates for periods after Q2 (April to June) 2017. We are awaiting further advice from ONS on how these more recent figures can be used in future.

Table 2 shows how employment rates for disabled people with different health conditions or broad types of disability compare to that of non-disabled people.

Table 2: Employment rate of disabled people by health condition, Q2 (April to June) 2017

Disabled employment rate (%)

Total number of people
(thousands)

Problems or disabilities (including arthritis or rheumatism) connected with arms or hands

53.7

458

Problems or disabilities (including arthritis or rheumatism) connected with legs or feet

56.5

765

Problems or disabilities (including arthritis or rheumatism) connected with back or neck

56.4

1,036

Difficulty in seeing

54.9

85

Difficulty in hearing

62.3

65

Speech impediment

-

-

Severe disfigurements, skin conditions, allergies

64.0

82

Chest or breathing problems, asthma, bronchitis

54.4

433

Heart, blood pressure or blood circulation problems

49.1

412

Stomach, liver kidney or digestive problems

60.3

361

Diabetes

55.0

259

Depression, bad nerves or anxiety

46.3

1,068

Epilepsy

28.0

92

Severe or specific learning difficulties (mental handicap)

16.8

184

Mental illness, or suffer from phobia, panics or other nervous disorders

27.1

476

Progressive illness not included elsewhere (e.g. cancer, multiple sclerosis, symptomatic HIV, Parkinson’s disease, muscular dystrophy)

37.7

416

Other health problems or disabilities

52.5

810

Any mental health main condition

40.3

1,544

Any musculoskeletal main condition

55.9

2,259

Any mental health main condition or musculoskeletal main condition

49.6

3,803

Total disabled

49.2

7,097

Total non-disabled

80.6

33,792

Source: Labour Force Survey

Notes:

  1. Percentages are rounded to the nearest 0.1 percentage point. Numbers are rounded to the nearest 1,000.
  2. Data is subject to sampling variation and is not seasonally adjusted.
  3. Precision of statistics is limited by small sample sizes. Estimates based on fewer than 10,000 people (weighted) are not shown and are denoted ‘-‘.
  4. The total for all disabled people is slightly higher than the sum of the number of health conditions due to some respondents not reporting their specific health condition(s).
  5. Those with any mental health condition are considered to be those who reported having 'depression, bad nerves or anxiety' or 'mental illness, or suffer phobia, panics, or other nervous disorders'.
  6. Those with any musculoskeletal condition are considered to be those who reported having 'problems or disabilities (including arthritis or rheumatism) connected with arms or hands', 'problems or disabilities (including arthritis or rheumatism) connected with back or neck' or 'problems or disabilities (including arthritis or rheumatism) connected with legs or feet'.
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