Chronic Illness Inclusion

Chronic Illness Inclusion

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Work and Pensions Committee Launches Inquiry into Disability Employment Gap

The CIIP’s submission illustrates how energy limiting chronic illnesses are often overlooked in the employment landscape.

In December 2020, the Chronic Illness Inclusion Project (CIIP) submitted evidence to the Work and Pensions Committee’s call for evidence for its inquiry into the disability employment gap.

In addition to the continuing impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic, the UK government’s inquiry will examine the 28.6% gap in employment between disabled and non-disabled people (with current figures at 53.2% and 81.8% respectively). It will also address the economic impact of lower employment rates for disabled people, and the assistance available to disabled people seeking employment.

In response to the inquiry’s questions, the CIIP’s submission details the results of a survey of over 2,000 disabled people living with energy limiting chronic illness (ELCI) in the UK, as well as an in-depth qualitative research forum on navigating employment and social security issues with ELCI.

The CIIP’s research, initially undertaken in 2018 for the Disability Research on Independent Living and Learning programme, highlights the unique challenges of ELCI and employment, and calls for the government to implement policies specific to these conditions instead of a one-size-fits-all approach. Some of the CIIP’s recommendations from its forthcoming report with Leeds University include, “reduction in hours, flexible working, and the creation of niche roles” to accommodate workers with ELCI.

On its recommendations, the CIIP said:

“Above all, the government must acknowledge and account for ELCI as a discrete impairment group and tailor its policies accordingly by engaging with disabled people with ELCI.”

The full submission can be read here.