Employment: Autism:Written question - 193494

(Bristol West)
Asked on: 20 November 2018
Department for Work and Pensions
Employment: Autism
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what assessment she has made of the effect on the autism employment gap of the Access to Work scheme.
Answered by: Sarah Newton
Answered on: 27 November 2018

We have made no assessment of the effect of Access to Work on the employment rate of people with autism.

Data on people with Autism Spectrum Disorders is not routinely disaggregated within Access to Work statistics. The primary medical condition categories used in Access to Work are consistent with the categories used in the Labour Force Survey. This is so we can compare our data to the disability employment rate.

When a person with autism applies to Access to Work for support, it will be for particular conditions, such as difficulty in speaking, learning difficulties, etc., rather than ‘autism’.

This will be recorded as the individual’s primary medical condition in the Access to Work database, even if it’s linked to their autism

Access to Work has a specialist Hidden Impairments team who receive upskilling and awareness from organisations who have expertise of autism to ensure that advisors have a broad understanding of the barriers individuals with autism face.

The official statistics published on 30th October 2018 provide the latest information on the Access to Work scheme, including breakdowns by customer characteristics such as primary medical condition. They may be accessed here: https://www.gov.uk/government/statistics/access-to-work-statistics-april-2007-to-march-2018

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