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Disability Employment (Gap) Bill

A Bill to require the Secretary of State to introduce proposals to halve the disability employment gap; and for connected purposes.

A

BILL

TO

Require the Secretary of State to introduce proposals to halve the disability employment gap; and for connected purposes.

Be it enacted by the Queen’s most Excellent Majesty, by and with the advice and consent of the Lords Spiritual and Temporal, and Commons, in this present Parliament assembled, and by the authority of the same, as follows:—

1 Proposals to halve the disability employment gap

(1) The Secretary of State must, by the end of the period of six months beginning with the day on which this Act is passed, present to Parliament proposals to halve the gap in the employment rate of disabled and non-disabled people (“halving the disability employment gap”).

(2) The proposals must set out—

(a) how the Secretary of State interprets “halving the disability employment gap”;

(b) what steps the Secretary of State will take to halve the disability employment gap of people at working age (as defined by the Secretary of State) with—

(i) a learning difficulty;

(ii) autism;

(iii) mental health problems;

(iv) visual impairments; and

(v) any other disability as the Secretary of State may specify by regulations made by statutory instrument on the grounds that people with the disability are marginalised from the labour force and require specific focus.

(3) Regulations may not be made under this section unless a draft of the statutory instrument containing the regulations has been laid before, and approved by a resolution of, each House of Parliament.

2 Training

The proposals under section 1 must provide for—

(a) the development of training for disabled people to support them in acquiring the skills needed to maximise their employment potential; and

(b) the development of training for employers aimed at enabling them to support disabled people in the workplace.

3 Job coaches

The proposals under section 1 must make provision for ensuring the availability of suitably qualified job coaches for disabled people.

4 Consultation

The Secretary of State must consult the following groups before presenting proposals under section 1—

(a) disabled people;

(b) organisations representing disabled people;

(c) employers;

(d) each of the national devolved administrations; and

(e) the Greater London Authority.

5 Best practice

Before publishing proposals under section 1, the Secretary of State must review policies aimed at reducing the gap in the employment rate of disabled and non-disabled people, proposed or adopted by—

(a) other European Union member states,

(b) the European Parliament, and

(c) the European Commission.

6 Extent, commencement and short title

(1) This Act extends to the whole of the United Kingdom.

(2) Sections 1 to 5 of this Act come into force—

(a) in England, on the day on which this Act is passed; and

(b) in Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland, on such day as Welsh, Scottish or Northern Irish Ministers may by order appoint.

(3) This section comes into force on the day on which this Act is passed.

(4) This Act does not affect the power of the Scottish Parliament, the National assembly for Wales, and the Northern Ireland Assembly to pass Acts of Parliament which have the effect of amending this Act, on any areas which fall within their legislative competence.

(5) This Act may be cited as the Disability Employment (Gap) Act 2016.


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