A recent report by the ERSI has found that people living with disabilities are four times less likely to be employed in Ireland, this has led to disability activists calling for more to be done to address the problem.
The report has found that despite wanting to work, people with a disability are less likely to get a job and more likely to leave employment even when their impairment does not create difficulties with everyday activities.
In a study commissioned by the National Disability Authority, the authors of Employment Transitions among People with Disabilities in Ireland draw on the Quarterly National Household Survey for the years from 2010 to 2015 to explore the movements of working-age (20-59) people with a disability into and out of employment, as the economy moved from recession into early recovery. By comparing them to the general population, the report points to a number of areas where policy intervention may usefully contribute to increasing the proportion of people with a disability who are able to work.
Comparing people with and without disabilities
- 31 per cent of working-age people with a disability were at work compared to 71 per cent of those without a disability.
- Most people with a disability had worked at some stage (82 per cent either currently at work or worked in the past), but it was often more than 4 years ago (35 per cent of people with disabilities).
- Across the period, people with a disability were more likely to exit than enter employment. For those without a disability, the rate of job entry picked up in the recovery period and the rate of exit dropped. However, there was little sign of a recovery for people with a disability by 2015.
Dorothy Watson, an author of the report, commented:
“Efforts to ensure jobs for all of those with a disability who want to work need to proceed on two fronts: both increasing the capacity of those not at work to get jobs and ensuring that those currently at work can retain their jobs.”
Development manager of the Disability Federation of Ireland (DFI) Joan O’Donnell said that the report is yet again more evidence that not enough is being done to help those with disabilities enter and, more importantly, remain in employment.
“People with disabilities were forgotten about during the recession and they’re being forgotten about now. There needs to be an attitude change in Ireland. There are so many options for employers which are not being utilised. There are grants which they can avail of. But sometimes there is fear on their part, fear of saying the wrong thing and other things along the same lines.
To read the full report click here