DISABLED people are being “shut out of the jobs market” due to the discrimination they face when applying for work, equality charity Scope has warned.
New research by the charity showed that more than a third felt that employers were unlikely to hire them because of their impairment or condition.
On average, disabled people apply for 60 per cent more jobs than non-disabled people — yet only half of their applications result in an interview, compared with 69 per cent for non-disabled applicants.
The Conservatives pledged in their manifesto to place one million more disabled people in work, but Scope warned that this was set to be “another broken promise” unless the government takes “rapid and real” action.
The charity called for a complete overhaul of the notorious work capability assessments and better access to specialist employment support.
Chief executive Mark Atkinson said: “Employers are missing out on the talent they badly need because they don’t have the right support in place, or because of outdated attitudes towards disability.
“Disabled people with all the skills to do the job are being repeatedly passed over for roles, while others are being forced to apply for jobs which they know they are overqualified for.”
Lauren Pitt, who is registered blind after losing most of her sight aged 13 due to a genetic condition, graduated with a 2:1 degree in theology and has undertaken lots of volunteering work.
But she said she spends most of her time in interviews having to explain that she could do the job as well as anyone else.
After applying for over 250 jobs, only half responded, but she has since been offered work as an administrator for a social enterprise.
“It just shows how employers’ misguided attitudes can be a real barrier preventing disabled people finding work,” she said.
Scope is launching a new digital employment support service to help one million disabled people with information and support, so they can realise their career ambitions and stay in work.
But it also wants to see reforms to statutory sick pay. After looking at official ONS statistics, it found that for every 100 disabled people moving into work, 114 leave.