Citizens Advice Halton highlights health and disability employment gap

Charity helped more than 400 people with workplace related problems last year reports the Liverpool Echo.

CITIZENS Advice Halton has claimed that disabled residents and those with a long term health condition are struggling to gain a job or stay in work.

The charity is highlighting that only 44% of people in the North West who are disabled or with conditions such as arthritis or depression are in work.

The figure is below the national average of 49%.

The charity is now is calling for improved support to help those experiencing health issues or are disabled into work.

Fiona McKelvie, an employment law caseworker at Citizens Advice Halton, said that the charity helped 407 people with workplace related problems, including workplace discrimination, last year.

She said: “We recently won an employment tribunal case where a local employer was found to have failed to make reasonable adjustments and instead unfairly dismissed a disabled worker.

“There were simple things the employers can do to support their disabled employees to maintain their employment and there is also the Access To Work grant scheme which will help pay for some of the costs any reasonable adjustments to be made.”

New research from charity’s national arm revealed disabled people or those with a health condition 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.

They are also three times less likely to move into employment and of the 3.5m people in the categories who are out of work, 1.4m want a job.

Citizens Advice Halton chief executive Hitesh Patel said: “People who are disabled or have a long term health condition such as arthritis or depression face a range of obstacles as they try to get and keep a job.

“Employers can make a real difference, by being flexible about medical appointments or offering adaptable working hours.

“It is also crucial that people can get the help they need from the welfare system when they need it, such as through Personal Independence Payments.

“Employers and Government need to work together to offer a range of support to people who are disabled or have a health condition and want to work.

“This is particularly important as we now have an ageing population, with more and more people working longer in life.

“If you are disabled or have a health condition and are struggling to get a job or stay in work get in touch with Citizens Advice Halton for help.”


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