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Work, Health and WellbeingThe Challenges of Managing Health at Work$
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Sarah Vickerstaff, Chris Phillipson, and Ross Wilkie

Print publication date: 2011

Print ISBN-13: 9781847428080

Published to Policy Press Scholarship Online: May 2012

DOI: 10.1332/policypress/9781847428080.001.0001

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Re-evaluating trends in the employment of disabled people in Britain

Re-evaluating trends in the employment of disabled people in Britain

Chapter:
(p.79) Five Re-evaluating trends in the employment of disabled people in Britain
Source:
Work, Health and Wellbeing
Author(s):

Ben Baumberg

Publisher:
Policy Press
DOI:10.1332/policypress/9781847428080.003.0005

It has long been established that the employment gap between disabled and non-disabled people arose in the 1980s. This chapter re-examines this finding. It presents evidence that the picture changes completely if we look at ‘work-limiting disability’ rather than the more common disability measure of ‘limiting long-standing illness’ (LLSI). Instead of flat levels of disability, we instead see a sharp rise in disability over the 1990s – even among workers. And instead of a rising disability employment gap, we instead see little change in the employment gap between disabled and non-disabled people. While this does not necessarily mean that the existing consensus around the importance of labour demand is wrong, it does suggest that other explanations should be explored. Given evidence that job strain has risen sharply, the chapter concludes by suggesting that changing working conditions may have been critical – and that further research is necessary to test this.

Keywords:   health, incapacity, employment, work-limiting disability, LLSI, working conditions

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