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30 November 2017

Clear moral and business case for action on disability employment

Responding to the Government’s strategy on work, health and disability released today, Federation of Small Businesses (FSB) National Chairman Mike Cherry said:

“The Government saves more than £1bn for every 100,000 people on the Employment Support Allowance (ESA) who get into work, so not only is there a clear moral case for action, there is a clear benefit to the taxpayer and the economy, too.

“That’s why today’s commitment to take forward Theresa May’s manifesto pledge to scrap the National Insurance charged on the first year of employing somebody with a disability or mental health condition is crucial. We have raised this directly with the Treasury and the Department for Work and Pensions, and are pleased to see the way forward set out today, and we hope to see this developed in time for the Chancellor’s Spring Statement. Not only will the country benefit, but with more people in work the exchequer will too.

“It’s great to see a new focus on disability within self-employment. Many entrepreneurs have a disability and entrepreneurship is a crucial route to help get more people with disabilities into work. Small businesses would also welcome reforms so sick pay and Access to Work works better for them and their staff.

“Nine out of 10 people starting work after being unemployed do so with a smaller business or by setting up on their own - this must be front and centre in any strategy to increase disability employment.”