Incapacity Benefit Green Paper

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2006 National Disabled Members' Conference
6 July 2006

Conference welcomes the Governments commitment to supporting disabled people into work. However, conference is concerned that the proposals on welfare reform focus on sanctions, rather than on removing the barriers that disabled people face in accessing the labour market. High levels of unemployment and discrimination make it hard for disabled people to gain and retain work. Conference believes that many of the welfare reform proposals will cause disabled people hardship and stress. Additionally, Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) budget cuts and underfunding will have a serious impact on the service, support and advice that will be provided to disabled people.

Conference calls on the National Disabled Members Committee to secure the support of the NEC and Labour Link as necessary to campaign for;

1)Pathways to Work and all services to be properly funded, publicised and to be retained and provided for by the public sector

2)A national occupational health service which will assess people’s capability for work independently of the DWP

3)The Government to honour its commitment not to force disabled people into work sanctions

4)A statutory right to be paid disability leave

5)The power of employment tribunals to order reinstatement and re-engagement

6)More funding and publicity for the Access to work scheme, its retention for public sector workers and its extension to volunteers. Access to work must also meet the full costs of the provision of British Sign Language Interpreters.

7)Fully accessible transport is also essential. The provision of concessionary fares, which provide free travel in peak hours, across all modes of transport and local authority boundaries, are also essential. Where mainstream public transport is not accessible concessionary fares passes must provide free transport on door-to-door alternatives.

8)The Government to work in partnership with employers, trade unions and other stakeholders to increase awareness of disability issues.