Epilepsy Action calls for disability employment data breakdown

Published: May 14 2024
Last updated: May 14 2024

Kami Kountcheva | Epilepsy Action is calling on the DWP and the ONS to publish an up-to-date breakdown of disability employment data.

People waiting for an interviewEpilepsy Action is calling on the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) and the Office for National Statistics (ONS) to publish an up-to-date breakdown of disability employment data.

Today, the ONS published its ‘Labour market overview, UK: May 2024’. It shows a reduced rate of employment in 16-64-year-olds between January and March 2024 (74.5%) compared to a year ago. It shows unemployment rates have also risen (4.3%).

The overall rates of unemployment in disabled people aged 16-64 in the UK have increased since last year, too, the data show (360 or 3.6% in 2023; 460 or 4.5% in 2024).

However, Epilepsy Action says there hasn’t been a breakdown of employment statistics by disability since 2022.

In previous years, these data have shown that epilepsy has some of the lowest rates of employment (42% in 2022) and highest rates of economic inactivity in the UK.

Daniel Jennings, Epilepsy Action’s senior policy and campaigns manager, said: “It’s disappointing to see the latest unemployment figures.

“People with epilepsy struggle to find, and stay in work, but with the lack of data from the ONS, we are in the dark about the true picture of the situation. So, we don’t know if people with epilepsy are doing better or worse than before.

“What we do know is that people are less likely to have a paid job, and when they do so, they earn less.

“We want to see the employment rate for people with epilepsy increase to over 60% but we need the data to understand if action from the government to encourage more people into work is actually happening.”

There is more information on epilepsy and employment on the Epilepsy Action website.