Citizens Advice has released a new report looking at the rates of employment among disabled people or those with a health condition.

The report shows that people are more than twice as likely to fall out of work in any given year compared with people who are not disabled or do not have health problems. The research also shows they are also three times less likely to move into employment.

The new research from Citizens Advice also explores the shape and size of the health and disability employment gap. 80% of those who are not disabled and without a health condition are employed, compared with just 49% of people who are disabled or have a health condition.

The report ‘Working with a health condition or disability’ reveals that even within the health and disability employment gap some people face more challenges than others:

  • Over half of people with a physical health condition or disability are in work (53%) compared with a third of people (36%) with mental health problems
  • Fewer than 1 in 5 who have a health condition or are disabled and don’t have any qualifications in work, compared with over two thirds (68%) who have advanced qualifications such as a degree
  • Employment rates for people who have a health condition or are disabled varies significantly by region, from 57% in the South West to 42% in Wales and the North East.

Gillian Guy, Chief Executive of Citizens Advice, said:

“Disabled people and those with a health condition face a range of obstacles which need to be recognised and addressed to help them get and keep a job. Simple things like being flexible about medical appointments or adaptable working hours can make a huge difference. It is also vital that people can get timely support from the welfare system when they need it, such as through Personal Independence Payments.

“As many now work for longer in life, the number of people who need to balance the demands of work and managing a health condition or disability will continue to grow. It is in the interests of employers and government to work together to offer a range of support so anyone who is disabled or has a health condition and wants to work can achieve job security.”

You can see the press release and download the report (pdf 230 KB) on the Citizens Advice website.