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Disability Matters

Employment Law

Disability Matters – our October 2021 Campaign to stamp out Disability Discrimination in the Workplace.

Coinciding with World Mental Health Day on 10 October and continuing throughout the month, our Employment Law team’s Disability Matters Campaign aims to stamp out disability discrimination in the workplace.

Workers struggling with mental health disabilities increasing

We have found that the pandemic and numerous lockdowns have resulted in a notable increase in people seeking employment law advice about disability discrimination at work. We have found a huge increase in employees with mental health disabilities such as anxiety and depression experiencing unfair treatment at work.

Unemployment rates among disabled people increasing

  • The September 2020 update from the Office of National Statistics (ONS) found that the employment rate among disabled people was only 53%, compared to 81% for the general population. However, where people had mental health issues, this figure decreased to 33%, and reduced to just 21% for people with Autism.
  • In April 2021, the ONS found that during the Coronavirus pandemic, the proportion of disabled people in employment fell, with the proportion of disabled people who are either unemployed or economically inactive rising from 45.9% to 47.7%. The comparative rate for people who are not disabled is 18.9%, so the disability employment gap has risen to 28.8 percentage points.
  • The ONS also reported that a higher proportion of disabled employees have been made redundant. In July – November 2020, 21.1 per thousand disabled employees were made redundant, compared to 13 per thousand for employees without disabilities.

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