Disability Rights UK blog post, 2 November 2016: Improving Lives: The Work, Health and Disability Green Paper

This green paper sets out the government’s proposals on ways to halve the disability employment gap disabled people and people with long-term health conditions.
Download: Improving Lives: The Work, Health and Disability

The closing date for responses to the consultation is 11.45pm Friday 17th February 2017:

We are seeking views on what it will take to transform employment prospects for disabled people and people with long-term health conditions.

This Green paper includes:

  • equal access to labour market opportunities with the necessary support to stay and progress in work
  • helping employers take action to create a workforce that reflects society,
  • managing an ageing workforce with potentially increased chronic conditions
  • accessing the right employment and health services, at the right time and in a way which is personalised to their circumstances and integrated around their needs
  • more effectively integrating the health and social care and welfare systems to help disabled people and people with long-term health conditions move into and remain in sustainable employment
  • put mental and physical health on an equal footing, to ensure people get the right care and prevent mental illness in the first place
  • invest in innovation to gain a better understanding of what works, for whom, why and at what cost
  • change cultures and mind-sets across all of society so that the focus is on the strengths of disabled people and what they can do
  • Currently the government says it is working jointly across the whole of government, significantly improving its employment support, working with health partners and investing £115 million of funding to develop new models of support to help people into work when they are managing a long-term health condition or disability.


This diagram illustrates a possible model for how this proposed approach could work in future

The green paper asks questions about:

  • the role expected of employers
  • the role of work coaches
  • changes to the welfare system
  • promoting mental and physical health, including timely access to the health and employment support
  • developing better occupational health support
  • ways to reinforce work as a health outcome in commissioning decisions and clinical practice
  • encouraging, harnessing and spreading innovation to ensure that commissioners know what works best in enabling disabled people and people with health conditions to work
  • building a culture of high hopes and expectations for what disabled people and people with long-term health conditions can achieve


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