Evidence review: Employment support for people with disabilities and health conditions


There are significant disability employment gaps across the UK. On average, 51.3% of people with disabilities were in employment, compared to 81.4% for people without a disability: a disability employment gap of 30.4 percentage points.

The disability employment gap varies by region, broadly following overall regional labour market trends with the largest gap in Northern
Ireland (44%) and smallest in the South East (24%).

The gap in employment rates varies between disabilities and health conditions: just 5.8% of people with learning disabilities and 32% of people with mental ill health are in work, compared to 46% of people with musculoskeletal conditions.

The government has set a target of placing and retaining 1 million more people with disabilities and other health problems in work by 2027 (from 3.5 million in 2017 to 4.5 in 2017). While the disability employment gap has narrowed slightly over the last five years (from 33.7%
in 2013 to 30.2% in 2018) , the government acknowledges that there is a lot further work to be done to support disabled people to work.