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1 in 5 disabled workers has had a job offer withdrawn due to their health

New study suggests employers are failing to ensure disabled people are not discriminated against at work

Many disabled people have been “frozen” out of work due to their condition, according to the research by disability charity Leonard Cheshire.

The survey of 1,600 disabled adults revealed that three out of four working adults had stopped work because of a disability or health condition. Almost one in five who had applied for a job in the past five years said the employer withdrew the offer as a result of their disability.

A separate survey of 500 managers showed that two thirds believed the cost of making workplace adjustments were a “barrier” to employing a disabled person.

Neil Heslop, chief executive of Leonard Cheshire, said: “Our research reveals a tough and unwelcoming employment landscape for disabled people despite overall employment levels climbing to record highs. Most disabled people in 2019 remain frozen out of the world of work.”

“More employers need to seize the opportunity of the untapped talent of disabled people.”

Disabled people can sometimes resist applying for certain jobs, for fear of not being accepted or unwelcome in the workplace, however, Leonard Cheshire hopes to change this.

Even small changes can make a huge difference in helping a disabled person to reach their full potential at work, says Rebecca Hilsenrath, chief executive of the Equality and Human Rights Commission.

“Reasonable adjustments in the workplace aren’t just the right thing to do, they are a legal requirement,” she added. “It is shocking that so many are overlooking the positive contribution disabled people can make to their organisation.”

Heslop added that these straightforward measures exist to prevent those in work from falling out of employment due to their disability. “More employers need to seize the opportunity of the untapped talent of disabled people,” he said.

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