In the last three years, the number of disabled people in work has increased by almost half a million. But we recognise that the gap between the employment rates of disabled people and non-disabled people remains too large. That is why we are committed to halving it.
Last year the Work and Health Unit was established to lead the drive for improving work and health outcomes for people with health conditions and disabilities, as well as improving support for people absent from work through ill health and those at risk of leaving workforce.
The Unit has begun work to build the evidence base of what works to support disabled people and people with health conditions to obtain and remain in work. We are increasing the reach of Access to Work which provide support to an additional 25,000 people per year by 2021, and we have recently launched the Access to Work Digital Service which as so far received an average of 500 claims per week. We are more than doubling Disability Employment Advisors in job centres to help disabled people into employment and embedding employment advisers in IAPT, so that individuals with mental health conditions can receive timely and tailored employment advice.
We will soon publish a Green Paper that will explore a range of options for long-term reform across different sectors enabling everyone to realise their aspirations, regardless of their health condition or disability. We will engage with disabled people, their representative organisations and a wide range of other stakeholders, who all have an important part to play in making the transformative changes required for long-term reform on supporting disabled people into work.