Measuring Progress and Next Steps
The disability employment gap in Scotland is similar to that at a UK level and, based upon the current rate of change, it has been estimated it could take 200 years to halve the UK gap. Clearly progress has been too slow and we believe it is time to be much more proactive.
We aim to at least halve the disability employment gap by 2038, with milestones set along the way. To measure our progress in reducing the disability employment gap we will monitor and report annually on changes to labour market outcomes for disabled people. Although the employment rate of disabled people is the best indicator of overall progress, in line with our labour market strategy and principles of fair work, we want to develop a more rounded measure of success. We want disabled people to work in meaningful jobs that enable professional development and career progression.
Using the best available data, we will therefore measure progress in line with the 3 key themes of this plan, including monitoring and reporting on the:
- Employment rate of disabled people aged 16-24;
- Type of occupations disabled people move into;
- Pay levels of disabled people;
- Changes in how employers are recruiting disabled people;
- Changes in how disabled people move in and out of employment.
We will publish and regularly update this information.
To achieve our ambition, the employment rate of disabled people will need to increase by at least 1 percentage point every year, and we will undertake a structured review of activity at key milestones to review progress and identify any need for a change to our approach:
- By 2023 we want to increase the employment rate of disabled people to 50%;
- By 2030, we aim to achieve an employment rate of disabled people of 60%.
Meeting our ambition will require achieving an employment rate for disabled people that far surpasses anything they have ever experienced in our labour market. We will also require a significant reduction in the inactivity rate of disabled people. This will require a concerted effort by employers across the public and private sectors and also wider societal change. But anything less is depriving disabled people of their right to lead fulfilled and independent lives.
We began this journey in 2016 with the publication of A Fairer Scotland for Disabled People, and have already seen the disability employment gap begin to close. We are aware of the scale of the challenge required but continuing as we are is not an option. We believe the disability employment gap to be driven by inequality and long-standing disadvantage. We cannot rely on market forces to improve labour market outcomes for disabled people – it requires collective action.
- In continuing to develop the plan and extend the action to be taken, not only by the Scottish Government, but across sectors and employers in the coming years, we commit to the following:
- Establishing a Scottish Government Delivery Programme Board to oversee implementation of the plan;
- Establishing a Leadership Action Group (co-chaired by disabled people's organisations and employers) to extend the influence and drive the development of further action across the private, third, and public sectors;
- Undertaking further engagement with disabled people and wider stakeholders to inform our approach;
- Launching a website by Spring 2019, which will host the most up to date information on:
- The wider policy context and best practice information;
- Action being undertaken by Scottish Government and partners to contribute to achieving the ambition to at least halve the disability employment gap;
- Annual progress updates towards achieving this ambition.