Prime Minister launches new drive to improve workplace and housing for disabled people
Announced by Prime Minister Theresa May, new measures will be introduced to help tackle the barriers that disabled people face on a daily basis, including up to 300,000 new accessible homes every year, an overhaul of statutory sick pay and greater workplace support.
In light of this, the Prime Minister has also announced a new cross-government disability team at the heart of the UK Government, which incorporates the Office for Disability Issues.
This team will work closely with disabled people, disabled people’s organisations and charities to develop a new approach to disability, with their views and experiences at the forefront of any new policy.
Prime Minister Theresa May said: “My determination to identify and tackle injustices, wherever they exist in society, remains as strong as ever.
“So I am proud to announce new measures to break down barriers faced by disabled people, whether in employment, housing or elsewhere.
“We all have a crucial role – businesses, government and civil society – in working together to ensure that disabled people get the support they need, and go as far as their talents can take them.”
Recognising that too many disabled people still live in unsuitable homes, the Government will consult on mandating higher accessibility standards for new housing. This could help deliver up to 300,000 new accessible and adaptable homes every year.
Guidance will also be published to help councils meet current standards for accessible housing in England.
A consultation on new measures to help employers better support disabled people and those with long-term health conditions in work will also be published in July 2019. These include reforming Statutory Sick Pay and more flexibility to encourage a phased return to work.
The Work and Pensions Secretary will also explore how to improve support for those on disability benefits through a Green Paper, for which her department will engage extensively with disabled people’s organisations and charities.
Work and Pensions Secretary Amber Rudd said: “Disabled people encounter too many challenges in life and I want to see these end.
“We want to change the landscape for disabled people and to make sure there is always a level playing field for them. Because all of us need an equal chance to live a life of opportunity and fulfilment.
“We intend to support disabled people in all phases of their life so that the pursuit of equality is a shared goal.”
The Government adds that further measures to support disabled people will be set out later this year.
Communities Secretary Rt Hon James Brokenshire MP said: “Every person, whatever their ability or age, must have the opportunity to succeed in life – that means providing new homes that meet the everyday needs of whoever lives in them.
“However, too many of the homes built in the past have not lived up to this basic promise, which is why we’re looking very closely at strengthening accessibility requirements, including making them mandatory for all new homes.”
Catherine Foot, Director of Evidence at the Centre for Ageing Better, added: “Older people and those with a disability are at a serious disadvantage in our housing market and in the workplace. Just 7% of homes meet basic accessibility criteria and many people face ageism at work. So this new cross-government team is very welcome.
“Delivering enough accessible homes and future proofing our housing stock will mean changing regulations so local authority planners and private developers are required to build homes everyone can live in.
“To support older and disabled people to be in good quality work for as long as they want, we need to make flexible working the default for every job, improve education and training opportunities for older workers, and do more to help employees with a health condition.
“Now is the time for action. Very few affordable and accessible houses are being built each year, and many older workers aren’t properly supported to manage a health condition at work.”https://thiis.co.uk/prime-minister-launches-new-drive-to-improve-workplace-and-housing-for-disabled-people/https://i2.wp.com/thiis.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2019/06/Theresa-May-TN.jpg?fit=1000%2C956&ssl=1https://i2.wp.com/thiis.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2019/06/Theresa-May-TN.jpg?resize=150%2C150&ssl=1Government & Local AuthoritiesHousingNewsroomaccessible housing,adaptable housing,Amber Rudd,disability benefits,disabled people,Office for Disability Issues,Prime Minister,Statutory Sick Pay,Theresa May,UK Government,Work and Pensions SecretaryAnnounced by Prime Minister Theresa May, new measures will be introduced to help tackle the barriers that disabled people face on a daily basis, including up to 300,000 new accessible homes every year, an overhaul of statutory sick pay and greater workplace support.In light of this, the Prime Minister...Sarah SarsbySarah Sarsbysarah@thiis.co.ukAdministratorTHIIS Magazine