Disabled people disproportionately affected by Covid employment landscape

The government must act now to avoid a jobs crisis for disabled people, UK disability charity Leonard Cheshire has warned after a new report finds a shocking disparity in the effects for disabled people.

29/10/20

Disabled people disproportionately affected by Covid employment landscape

The report found that more than 70% of disabled people employed in March have been impacted by loss of income, furlough, unemployment or other damaging effects as a result of the pandemic – at a higher rate compared to non-disabled employees.

Analysis by the Institute for Employment Studies this Spring found that 40% of disabled employees were either furloughed or had their hours reduced, compared with only 30% of non-disabled employees.

Sector leaders also shared concerns from the report that 42% of employers were discouraged from hiring disabled job applicants due to concerns around supporting them properly during the pandemic; and that 1 in 5 employers said they would be less likely to hire someone if they were disabled.

Gemma Hope, Head of Policy at Leonard Cheshire, said that the findings should not be seen as ‘gloomy forecasts’ but ‘as motivators for immediate, wide-ranging action.’

Wera Hobhouse, Liberal Democrat MP for Bath, said the findings were ‘appalling’. Writing to the Department for Work and Pensions, she said: “This is hugely worrying and the government must take action.”

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