Health and Disability White Paper published
The government has published a Health and Disability White Paper on transforming support. A consultation was published back in July 2019, 'Health is everyone's business: proposals for reducing ill health-related job loss'.
A response to this was published in July 2021 and, at the same time, the DWP published 'Shaping future support: the health and disability Green Paper', which set out proposals for improving employment outcomes for people with disabilities or health conditions, through work and the benefits system. The White Paper was due to be published in 2022.
The White Paper sets out the government's aims to help unemployed disabled people and those with long-term ill health conditions get back into and remain in work and sets out how the government will deliver this by:
- Increasing employment support for people with disabilities or health conditions.
- Reforming the benefits system so that it is easier for disabled people to navigate and access support when applying for and receiving health and disability benefits and to work while retaining health benefits.
The measures set out in the White Paper include working with the OH sector and employers to reform the market and improve access to OH services; developing a new digital advice and information service for employers to help them support and manage health and disability in the workplace; and providing mental health support to employees through the Access to Work Mental Health Support Service.
New Access to Work initiatives will also be provided including:
- A flexible package to enable people with disabilities or other health conditions to take up hybrid working opportunities.
- An application for disabled contractors and freelancers enabling them to take up time-limited contracts without having to reapply for Access to Work every time they begin a new period of work.
- A new enhanced package for those needing additional support.
- Working with the Disability Confident Business Leaders Group and the Neurodiversity in Business charity to promote the business benefits of employing those with disabilities.
- Replacing the University Credit limited capacity for work and work-related activity element with a new health element for those in receipt of both Universal Credit and Personal Independence Payment which will abolish the need to be found to have limited capability for work and work-related activity, removing a barrier which prevents people from entering or remaining in employment.
- Providing the support of work coaches to employees claiming Universal Credit to support them to increase their hours or earnings and overcome barriers to progression.
In addition to all this a Disability Action Plan will be developed on which a consultation will be run later in the year.