Returning/getting disabled people into work
The commonsense argument may be readily acceptable
in principle but presumably will not be treated seriously by Treasury
unless there is hard evidence to back it up.
There are different possible ways to try to
show that overall investment in return-to-work programmes is economically
cost-effective in terms of the social and financial gains of disabled
people working, and thereby influence the argument that greater
investment is required. For example:
Count all the benefits, divide by
number of beneficiaries, as above
Demonstrate through anonymised case
studies the cost-effectiveness of returning individuals to work
(ie a range of examples)
Demonstrate the return on each £
of investment given to Shaw Trust through an example programme
eg Job Broking
1. Work to support the first approach is
complicated by the lack of available disaggregated statistics.
There is no way to separately assess numbers because the same
disabled people are counted in different benefit costs. As a result
it is almost impossible to determine accurately the average benefit
cost of keeping disabled people out of work. At present therefore,
it seems only to be a crude measure and risks being dismissed
because of its easy defeasibility or the difficult of arriving
at anything like a proof.
(NB: Shaw Trust is working with The NAfW to
start the process of disaggregating disability relevant statistics
in Wales, which should give numbers to be tested against populations
in the second stage of the research. First stage of this research
is expected end 2002. This work should provide good indicators
for other parts of GB and is certainly a model expected to be
2. Research expected to take least time.
The argument would focus on examples of what it costs to keep
X, Y and Z disabled individuals out of work, what it costs to
return them to work and the individual cost benefits.
Has the merit of being quick to return, not
dependent on any national average, and relating to real people's
lives. (If any individuals were willing to allow their names to
be used we could personalise their stories to maximum PR effect.)
Longer-term research in 1 to continue in parallel,
because so much can be learned along the way, and we may get the
final proof we prefer.
3. This is a piece of research which could
make the same argument in an extremely powerful way to Treasury,
from a slightly different angle: eg government programmes fund
ST and £ for £ the programmes save £+ (say £1.40
per £ for argument's sake) and what's more, the overall benefit
to the community is £++ (let's say £4.20 per £).
(This another medium-to long-term piece of research
4. Returning (or getting) disabled people
into the labour market is a model of wider economic regeneration.
The essence of the argument is simple enough:
disabled person P is in receipt of
£x of intervention ( x = disability-related benefits; social
services; health services; caring (family/friends/Personal support
workers/other; other benefits (housing, etc))
if returned/entered into the labour
market P stops or significantly reduces benefit uptake; use of
social services intervention; health services (somewhere i have
been hearing that people (disabled or not) who are in work are
healthier/ use fewer HS resources; a range of people providing
support are freed to work themselves (or work elsewhere); dependence
on other income-related benefits is stopped/reduced
the disabled person also becomes
Overall, it seems impossible to argue that keeping
disabled people who want to work out of work makes any economic
sense at all. The assertion that it is better for the economy
(at least, as measured in crude aggregate GDP terms) to have people
in paid workdisabled or notrather than not in work
is true, virtually by definition of GDP.