Britain’s EHRC makes recommendations on future government support for disabled people
Britain’s Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC) has responded to a consultation on future support for disabled people and those with long-term health conditions held by the UK Government’s Department of Work and Pensions. The UK Government has faced criticism in recent years over the reduction in support for disabled people, including in the most recent report from the UN’s Committee on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities.
In a Green Paper, the Government set out how it proposes to support disabled people who are seeking employment and / or claiming benefits because they cannot work. In response to the paper, EHRC made proposals for specific, targeted measures to incorporate Article 19 rights, to live independently and be included in the community, into domestic law (in line with international requirements) and welcomed the focus on enabling independent living as a key priority in the proposals.
EHRC’s recommendations include:
- consulting and actively involving disabled people and their representative organisations in the development and implementation of legislation, policies and other decision-making processes
- collecting data on reasonable adjustments that are requested and provided and disaggregating this data by impairment type, including for people with mental health conditions, learning disabilities and fluctuating conditions
- providing specialist training for job coaches, assessors and decision-makers on the barriers that disabled people face in accessing employment and on providing reasonable adjustments
- providing advocacy support that is independent, impartial, easily accessible and available throughout the benefit claims process
- working in collaboration with disabled people’s organisations, independent experts and disabled people to co-produce improvements to the benefit system