HC Deb 10 February 1998 vol 306 cc176-7W
Mrs. Ballard

To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Employment if he will make a statement on his Department's policy on encouraging employers to employ disabled staff. [27255]

Mr. Alan Howarth

The Disability Discrimination Act makes it unlawful for employers with 20 or more employees to discriminate against disabled employees and job applicants. It ensures that, if a disabled person has a particular disadvantage in doing a job, the employer may have to help to overcome it. We are consulting on the small firms threshold to see whether it should be reduced. We are also looking at how to secure comprehensive and enforceable civil rights for disabled people through the establishment of a Disability Task Force which will look at, among other issues, the setting up of a Disability Rights Commission.

There is a wide range of help available from the Employment Service to employers to help them employ and retain disabled people.

Employers who make positive efforts to recruit disabled people are able to demonstrate their commitment to good practice through the use of the disability symbol in their recruitment advertisements and other literature.