HC Deb 17 July 1986 vol 101 cc588-9W
Mr. Boyes

asked the Paymaster General what information he has as to which countries in western Europe and north America which have a quota system for the employment of handicapped persons as to the level of the quota as a percentage of the work force and the penalties imposed on companies in both the private and public sector which do not reach the quota.

Mr. Lang

Comprehensive information is not readily available in the form requested. I understand, however that within the European Community, Belgium, Eire, France, Greece, the Federal Republic of Germany, Italy, Luxembourg and the Netherlands have some form of quota scheme and that there is no quota scheme in Denmark. I also understand that neither Canada nor the United States of America has a quota scheme.

Summaries of the quota arrangements in those countries listed above as having quota schemes, except Greece, were published in 1979 in the Manpower Services Commission's discussion document on the quota scheme, a copy of which is in the Library. It was confirmed in 1981 that the position remained substantially unchanged, but we have no more up-to-date information. Information from Greece in 1981 showed that a proportion of posts in certain occupations in the public sector are reserved for disabled people.

Mr. Boyes

asked the Paymaster General what is the latest estimate of the unemployment rate of handicapped persons in the United Kingdom; what is the latest unemployment rate for the United Kingdom; and if he will provide comparable figures for each year from 1979 to the present.

Mr. Lang

The information is not available in the precise form requested.

The available information on those unemployed affected by ill health or disability is from the labour force survey in Great Britain for the years 1984 and 1985 only:

Percentage of economically active population of working age* unemployed and actively seeking work
Spring 1984 Spring 1985
Persons limited by† health problems or disabilities 21.6 23.4
All persons 11.2 10.7
* 16–64 years for men, 16–59 years for women.
† Those limited by health problems or disablement as to the kind of paid work they could do.

The following table shows the level of unemployed claimants in the United Kingdom at June each year from 1979 to 1986 as a percentage of the working population. Figures before 1983 relate to estimates, The comparison are affected by the 1983 Budget provisions for certain older men, and by the change in the timing of compilation of unemployment statistics in March 1986.

Per cent.
June 1979 4.6
June 1980 5.6
June 1981 9.0
June 1982 10.4
June 1983 11.1
June 1984 11.2
June 1985 11.5
June 1986 11.7