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Stephanie Scott-Davies
Communications Analyst
T 0207 976 3528

Can the new Health and Work Programme close the disability employment gap?

Thursday, 26 May 2016
14:00 - 17:00
Bishop Partridge Hall, located on 1st floor, Church House Westminster, Deans Court, SW1P 3NZ


  • Dame Carol Black (Expert Advisor on Health and Work to the Department of Health and Public Health England)
  • Debbie Abrahams MP Shadow Minister for Disabled People.
  • Cicely Dudley, report author, The Work Foundation
  • Gemma Hope, Head of Policy, Shaw Trust
  • Dan Hopewell, Director of Knowledge and Innovation, Bromley by Bow Centre

Only around 1 in 2 people with a disability or long-term condition is in work, compared to 3 in 4 of those without, yet we know that many people with long-term conditions want to work and would be able to with the correct support. In recognition of this, the current government has committed to halving the gap in employment between disabled and non-disabled people.

However, there are worrying indications that the systems intended to support this aim are failing. The Work Programme has not performed as expected for people with health conditions, while Work Choice produces better results but is only a very small programme which, in any case, may not be serving those with the most complex needs. There are also fundamental issues around trust in the system, meaning that some processes intended to support a return to work may constitute barriers in themselves. Despite this, it is still possible to identify pockets of good practice that offer the prospect of a more productive way forward.

With welfare-to-work recommissioning on the horizon in 2017, this paper makes the case for a changed approach to supporting people with long-term conditions into employment, and sets out recommendations for how the support that is on offer can be improved.

This event brought together a range of stakeholders and policy makers who discussed implications of the research from our report. 

To access the material available please click  below:


To access the presentations given by our fantastic speakers please click below:


We used the #HealthAtWork.  For insights and discussions held via twitter during the launch and with the report authors following the launch please see below:


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