Disability experts lacking on government’s new National Equality Panel

Campaigners have hit out at the lack of disability experts on the government’s new equalities quango.

Equalities minister Harriet Harman last week announced that the National Equality Panel was being set up to decide what new diversity laws were needed.

She told delegates at the TUC conference in Brighton that the panel would report back in 12 months’ time on “where we have made progress during the past 10 years, and where we need to make much more progress”.

But the Employers’ Forum on Disability warned that the panel – to be chaired by London School of Economics professor John Hills – is lacking experts in disabilities.

Susan Scott-Parker, the forum’s chief executive, said: “Disabled people are one of the most disadvantaged groups in society. One million disabled people say they actively want to work but can’t find a job.

“We need the day-to-day experience of disabled people and employers to be included in this panel’s work for it to be a success. We know from the experience of our members that it makes business sense for employers to get it right on disability – and when they do, it brings economic and social benefits.”

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