Work, health and disability: consultation

Closed 17 Feb 2017

Opened 31 Oct 2016


This government wants to help everyone to be able to enjoy the independence, security and good health that being in work can bring.

We know that the right type of work is good for an individual’s physical and mental health. Work can bring other benefits - introduce a sense of purpose, raise self-esteem, and allow people to build relationships.

Many disabled people and people with long-term health conditions already work and many more want access to the benefits that work can bring. We want to understand how to improve the system to make this possible.

We are committed to financially supporting those with the most severe or life-limiting disabilities and conditions who are unable to work.

Closing the disability employment gap

The UK employment rate is the highest since records began, but there are fewer than 5 in 10 disabled people in employment, compared with 8 in 10 non-disabled people, and this has been the case for several years.

Why we are consulting

We need to understand why disabled people and people with health conditions might be unable to get a job or keep one, and to recognise the wide range of conditions and circumstances they face.

We want to hear views from a range of respondents:

  • people with health conditions and disabled people
  • both large and small employers
  • employability professionals 
  • health and care professionals
  • families, friends, teachers and carers 
  • local leaders and commissioners in health, social care and local authorities
  • voluntary and community organisations

We also want to hear from people who work or would like to work. Improving the way we all look after our health, plan to be well and recover from illness in the workplace is something that will have an impact right across society.

How to respond

There are now 46 questions in this consultation. On 16 December we added an extra equalities impact section.

To make it easier for people to respond to the questions that are relevant for them we have split them into broad audience groups – please select the audience group that most closely applies to you.

If more than one audience group applies to you, you can return to the contents page and select another audience group.

When you select a group you will only see numbered questions that will be relevant to you.

It’s also possible to see all the questions should you wish to do so.

Your answers

You don’t have to answer all the questions in any section. Please leave blank those questions you don’t have a view on.

You don’t need to complete the survey all at once. You can save your answers at any point and then return to the consultation.

Improving lives: work, health and disability green paper 

The questions are part of the Improving lives: work, health and disability green paper and we’ve provided links to relevant sections within that document for more context. A plain English version of the green paper is also available.

What Happens Next

Thank you for your interest in this consultation.

Your views will be used by the Department of Work and Pensions and the Department of Health, and the partner organisations we work with, to consider how we can transform the employment prospects of disabled people and people with long-term health conditions.


  • Voluntary groups
  • Community groups
  • Charities
  • Advocacy or support organisations
  • GPs
  • Nurses
  • Health visitors
  • Clinicians
  • Managers
  • Commissioners
  • Directors of Public Health
  • Pharmacists
  • Doctors
  • Midwives
  • Healthcare scientists
  • Occupational therapists
  • Physiotherapists
  • Allied Health Professionals
  • Care-Givers
  • Foundation Trusts
  • NHS Commissioning Board
  • Tribunal Service
  • Clinical Commissioning Groups
  • NHS quality improvement leads
  • NHS patient experience leads
  • clinical staff
  • patient groups and patient advocates
  • Academic/ Professional institution
  • Employer representatives
  • Employee representatives
  • Trade union
  • Royal Colleges
  • Local authority
  • Social care provider
  • Directors of Adult Social Care Services
  • Members of the public
  • Patients
  • individuals and families with experience of clinical investigations
  • Patients
  • Carers
  • Service users


  • Physical health
  • Health inequalities
  • Alcohol misuse
  • Drug misuse
  • Public health
  • Health protection
  • Health improvement
  • Public mental health
  • Well-being
  • Primary care
  • Mental health
  • GP consortia
  • Patient safety
  • Clinical investigations
  • Adult social care
  • Carers
  • Innovation
  • Education
  • Health and well-being boards
  • Funding
  • Commissioning
  • Accountability
  • Transition
  • NHS Commissioning Board
  • Clinical Governance