DWP is committed to helping people with health conditions and disabilities including those recently recovered from long-term illness, move nearer to the labour market and, when ready, into work, by building more personalised tailored employment and health support. For example:
- The Work and Health Programme, which rolled out between November 2017 and March 2018, will support around 275,000 people over five years - the majority whom (around 220,000) will be disabled people who can volunteer for the programme at any time.
- The new Intensive Personalised Employment Support programme, which is due to be rolled out across England and Wales at the end of 2019, will provide highly personalised packages of employment support for people with both disabilities and complex barriers to employment who are considered by DWP work coaches to be more than 12 months from the labour market without intensive support.
People who have recently recovered from long-term illness but whose health condition or disability affects the way they do their job can apply for in-work support from Access to Work scheme. Access to Work can also offer support for interviews and voluntary pre-employment opportunities, such as Work Experience and Work Trials, which may lead to paid employment.
In addition, DWP is engaging with employers through the Disability Confident scheme - supporting them to feel more confident about both employing disabled people, including autistic people, and supporting disabled employees to realise their potential. Nearly 12,000 employers have signed up to the scheme so far.
Looking forward, DWP is working in partnership with DHSC to publish a consultation on how employers can best support disabled people and people with long-term health conditions to stay and thrive in work. The proposals included in the consultation not only seek to benefit disabled people, but all employees who experience or are at risk of a long term sickness absence.