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Women and Equalities Committee report highlights employment inequalities

on Wednesday, 29 May 2024.

A new Women and Equalities Committee (WEC) report has found the disability employment gap remains wide, and the disability pay gap continues to widen.

Report published

The WEC's latest report considers the inequalities facing people with learning disabilities, and autistic people, particularly with respect to access to healthcare and employment opportunities.

There are approximately 1.3 million people in England with a learning disability, and 29% of those people are diagnosed as autistic. The report emphasises that people with learning disabilities and autistic people face the widest employment gap of all people with disabilities. Nearly 69% disabled workers earn less than £15 per hour.


The report makes several recommendations, including the following:

  • The government should publish a new disability employment goal and a plan on how to achieve it
  • The Access to Work scheme should be simplified for those with a learning disability and autistic people
  • As recommended by the Buckland Review of autism, a task group with an independent chair should be established to represent autistic people
  • People with a learning disability and/or autism should be exempted from maths and English skills requirements for apprenticeships
  • Job centre staff should be trained on how to effectively assist people with learning disabilities and/or autism.

Next steps

In light of the general election having now been called, the government's response to this latest report from the WEC remains to be seen. However, the report makes useful reading in the meantime, as it gives employers some ideas of the lived experiences of people with learning disabilities and autism.

For more information and advice, please contact Rory Jutton in our Employment team on 07468 698 976, or complete the form below.

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