§ 43. Mr. Janner
To ask the Minister for the Civil Service how many registered disabled people are employed in each of the top seven grades of the civil service.
§ Mr. Renton
There are 21 registered disabled staff at grades 1 to 6, 30 at grade 7 level and many more who choose not to register. A more detailed breakdown of the top six grades is not available servicewide. A report on progress in the employment of people with disabilities in the civil service is being published this week in the magazine "Independent". I am arranging for copies to be placed in the Library.
§ Mr. Janner
Does the Minister accept that the number of people employed in the top grades of the civil service who are either registered or not registered as disabled is insufficient and sad? In view of his personal concern about such matters, what positive steps will he take to improve the prospects for disabled people to compete on a fair and equal basis, which is all that they ask?
§ Mr. Renton
I agree with the hon. and learned Gentleman in many ways. This week, we are publishing the magazine "Independent"—I have a copy here, but it is an advance copy, so I cannot give it to him—which deals specifically with how to encourage more disabled people either to apply for jobs in the civil service or, once they have joined, how to make their needs better known so that they can be trained and properly promoted. I was talking just last week to those members of my staff who are especially concerned with disabled people. We are anxious to ensure that the civil service remains a lead employer in helping the disabled not only to take jobs but to be promoted as far as they possibly can be.