Unison calls for resources to help disabled people find employment

The Unison public services union has called for more resources to break down the barriers to employment for disabled people.

Unison general secretary Dave Prentis told the union’s disabled members conference that business needed to stamp down hard on any notion that disabled people “are scroungers that don’t want to work but prefer to live on benefits”.

He said finding information, affordable transport and an “incomprehensible maze of bureaucracy” all made finding work difficult for disabled people.

“Finding vacancies and competing for work is a costly business for disabled people and is riddled with problems,” he said. “To tackle these barriers we need more investment in the Government’s Access to Work scheme, greater choice in public and private housing, accessible transport and inclusive education.”

The Government laid out plans for new disability discrimination in the Queen’s speech last week.

Proposed new measures include:

– a new positive duty on public bodies to promote equality of opportunity for disabled people

– bringing more people diagnosed with the progressive conditions of HIV, multiple sclerosis and cancer within the scope of the Disability Discrimination Act

– removal of the requirement that a mental illness must be a clinically well-recognised condition to gain protection.

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