Select Committee on Work and Pensions Written Evidence

Memorandum submitted by Renate Hales


  For people with a disability who are unable to work full-time, the only way forward for them to return to a working life is to receive support from prospective employers. There are numerous job brokers and support mechanisms for motivation and actions to be taken for job applications, however the missing link is the lack of jobs available. This has a knock on effect of delusion and distress when effort is made to no avail, and I'm not talking over a short time period. Many employers are open to interviewing disabled people but when it comes to the crucial element of offering a job, how do those statistics stack up? I doubt they contribute to the UK's working force. No matter how hard the interviewer tries to hide their reaction to even the mention of being on Incapacity Benefit for a length of time, they are not that clever. This has been a clear observation of mine without my carrying a stigma or negativity about my situation. It's as though we are an inconvenience to an employer, what extra support would they have to spend time giving and the effect on others?

  What is missing? Schemes are, specifically designed for people with disabilities, no matter what they are. I believe I did read the other week a mention of a proposal of this kind whereby there would be cash incentives for employers. I see this working and the only way forward as companies these days are only interested in profit making and the care of people has been pressurised out of their mindset.

  It is also important that the disabled worker gets paid on the scheme and not seen as just gaining work experience to the benefit of the employer only. For many people they have a variety of skills on offer however the restrictions related to their disability are brought to the forefront and seen as negatives, mainly because they don't conform to what is considered a "normal" working life. In my case, time and energy is my constraint and this would only allow me to work for a few hours a week and in the near vicinity of my home, as a starting point.

  I sincerely hope you receive other letters supporting the scheme idea to instigate taking action for the right solution.

Renate Hales

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