Employers have a “social responsibility” to help disabled people into employment, according to the leader of the Conservative Party.
In a speech last week, David Cameron said that if the party won the next general election, it would make the employment of disabled people “a priority” for recruitment policy throughout Whitehall and the public sector.
“If we’re going to change attitudes in our country, the government needs to set an example,” he said. “I want to see employers welcome disabled people.”
Cameron said it was “morally wrong” that businesses were turning to migrant staff to tackle labour shortages while millions of disabled people were “left on the scrapheap”. But the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD) said more effort was needed from the government to overcome negative attitudes.
Dianah Worman, CIPD diversity adviser, said: “There is a perception that people with disabilities are more likely to take time off work. CIPD research shows that employers are wary when it comes to hiring people with a history of health problems, especially those who have been jobless and on incapacity benefits for long periods.”