HC Deb 10 March 1998 vol 308 c158W
Mr. Sarwar

To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster what plans he has to improve the opportunities for employment and career development of disabled people in the Civil Service. [33215]

Dr. David Clark

My Department has established a number of initiatives to improve opportunities for disabled staff in the Civil Service.

The Programme for Action to Achieve Equality of Opportunity for Disabled People in the Civil Service provides a framework to help departments and agencies to recruit, develop and promote people on merit regardless of whether they have a disability. It is complemented by a good practice guide, "Focus on Ability", which gives practical advice.

Progress made under the Programme for Action is monitored by my department and reported to Parliament in the biennial Progress Report on Equal Opportunities in the Civil Service.

Overall numbers of disabled staff in the Civil Service have risen. Action to increase the number of disabled staff at senior levels is being taken primarily through the implementation of the recommendations made by an independent Advisory Panel on Equal Opportunities in the Senior Civil Service.