ONS: Employment of Disabled People 2021

ended 04. November 2021

The ONS this morning published a report about the number of working age disabled people in employment. Overall, the numbers were upbeat, e.g.

  • there were 4.4m disabled people in employment in the UK in Q2 2021. This is estimated an increase of 300,000 on the year, an increase of 390,000 since Q2 2019 and an overall increase of 1.5m since Q2 2013
  • the disability employment gap was 28.4 percentage points in Q2 2021. This is a decrease of 0.7 percentage points on the year, a decrease of 0.6 percentage points Q2 2019 and an overall decrease of 4.8 percentage points since Q2 2013

We sought the reaction of HRs, recruiters and disabled people themselves…

4 responses from the Newspage community

Star Quote
"As a disabled person, the recruitment and employment experience is still inferior in 2021. Job advertisements are often not written to be inclusive for neurodivergent people and recruiters still don't consider accessibility as standard when designing a role or workplace. 15 percent of people are disabled and yet we still have a substantial disability employment gap and disability pay gap. We can't even measure these accurately because many disabled people are too scared of stigma or discrimination to declare their disability at work. There is a very long way to go and all employers and policy makers should be making inclusion and accessibility a priority."
Star Quote
"With the taboo around disability fading, it is great to see employers adopting more inclusive recruitment methods, although there is still a lot more work to be done. This latest data is promising but there is still an employment gap to address. That said, it has been brilliant to see many new disability specialist recruitment companies starting up in the past 12 months. That shows we are moving in the right direction as a society."
"Being a disabled person myself, I can honestly say, if I applied for jobs and mentioned my disability, I never got a response to my application, or even with 20 years on the job experience, I apparently am not "qualified enough". When I stopped mentioning my disability, I got interviews immediately but yet as soon as they knew I used a wheelchair, apparently the person fresh out of sixth form is more experienced. I have even had one company pay me less because I needed flexi hours based around my care needs. I still worked the same amount of hours per week as the person sat beside me."
"The interesting area for us is that it’s the flexibility now on offer that is allowing people with disabilities access to work. 1 in 10 of our audience has a disability and 95% of those share with us that it’s a non-visible disability. Flexible working continues to be the benchmark that people of diverse backgrounds use to decide who they want to work for. They see it as an inclusivity statement that shares more about the culture of that company, more than any other act or ‘policy’ creates."