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Citizens Advice responds to government plans to close the disability employment gap

30 November 2017

Citizens Advice has today responded to the government’s Improving Lives: the Future of Work, Health and Disability paper, which lays out plans to narrow the disability employment gap.

The charity, which published its response to the Work, Health and Disability Green Paper earlier this year, welcomed plans for more integrated services for people who are disabled or have a long term health condition and want to work as good news but stressed that improvements are still needed to Employment Support Allowance (ESA).

In the last year Citizens Advice helped people with over 300,000 problems relating to ESA.

Chief Executive of Citizens Advice Gillian Guy said:

"The Government is right that we need a joined-up approach if we’re going to help disabled people into work, and today's strategy on the future of health, employment and disability is a welcome step towards more integrated services.

“We are also pleased to see recognition of the important role occupational health plays in helping disabled people into work, along with further progress towards providing tailored employment support, including in mental health services.

“However, it is clear that the assessment process for ESA is not working - something the government rightly acknowledges. We remain concerned that many of the people who come to us for advice are facing immediate problems with inaccuracies and stressful experiences that can set them back even further. We will continue to  share our evidence on these issues with the Government to help inform future decisions.

“Ultimately, design and delivery can be as important as policy, so it’s crucial the government gets this right.”

Notes to editors

  1. The Citizens Advice service comprises a network of local Citizens Advice, all of which are independent charities, the Citizens Advice consumer service and national charity Citizens Advice. Together we help people resolve their money, legal and other problems by providing information and advice and by influencing policymakers. For more see the Citizens Advice website.
  2. The advice provided by the Citizens Advice service is free, independent, confidential and impartial, and available to everyone regardless of race, gender, disability, sexual orientation, religion, age or nationality.
  3. To get advice online or find your local Citizens Advice in England and Wales, visit
  4. You can get consumer advice from the Citizens Advice consumer service on 03454 04 05 06 or 03454 04 05 05 for Welsh language speakers.
  5. Local Citizens Advice in England and Wales advised 2.5 million clients on 6.2 million problems in 2014/15. For full service statistics see our publication Advice trends.
  6. Citizens Advice service staff are supported by more than 21,000 trained volunteers, working at over 2,500 service outlets across England and Wales.