Manifesto 2019:Tackle Poverty and Inequality - Women and Equalities - Disability with Dignity

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Disability with Dignity

Over the last 10 years, through a catalogue of punitive welfare policies, the dignity of people with disabilities has been degraded by the Conservatives. Not one, but two UN reports describe the government having committed ‘systematic violations’ of the rights of disabled people – while their families have been ‘driven to breaking point’ by cuts to social care.

More disabled people are now living in poverty, and people have died because of this government’s choice to make the most vulnerable pay for tax cuts for the few. Labour will end this cruelty, restoring the protections that disabled people and their families – many of whom shoulder the cost of their care – should expect in one of the richest countries in the world. Labour supports the principle of ‘nothing about us without us’.

We will:

  • Champion the social model of disability throughout government. Through our new Department for Women and Equalities, we will ensure that disabled people can be independent and equal in society, with choice and control over their own lives.
  • Transform the workplace for disabled people by requiring that all employers be trained to better support them, while introducing mandatory disability pay-gap reporting for companies with over 250 employees.
  • End disability discrimination and update the Equality Act to introduce new specific duties including disability leave, paid and recorded separately from sick leave.
  • Recommend that the Equality and Human Rights Commission prepare a specific code of practice on reasonable adjustments to supplement existing codes. This will provide an appropriate balance between flexibility and clarity on how ‘reasonable’ cost is determined. The code will also set timescales for implementation of reasonable adjustments to end the long and distressing delays experienced by disabled workers.
  • Reinstate the Access to Elected Office Fund to enable disabled people to run for elected office.
  • Adopt a British Sign Language Act, giving BSL full legal recognition in law. We will work with employers, trade unions and public services to improve awareness of neurodiversity in the workplace and in society.