The number of disabled people working in the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) has apparently leapt by nearly 50 per cent in just one year.
The figures were published this month, as part of an annual report on Civil Service diversity, staffing and earnings.
They show the proportion of DWP staff who say they are disabled, as a proportion of those who have declared their disability status*.
Most large government departments showed little change in the proportion of disabled employees over the last year, with the Ministry of Defence increasing from 12 per cent in 2018 to 12.1 per cent in 2019; the Department for Education rising from 13.3 to 13.5 per cent; the Department of Health and Social Care rising from 7.0 to 7.5 per cent; and the Home Office remaining at 8.9 per cent in 2019.
But the number of disabled people working for DWP has apparently leaped from 5,670 in 2018 to 8,430 in 2019, or an increase of 49 per cent.
The proportion of DWP staff who say they are disabled has shot up from 7.5 per cent in 2018 to 11.3 per cent in 2019.
The figures were published by the Cabinet Office, although a Cabinet Office spokesperson refused to comment on the figures.
A DWP spokesperson denied that the department had changed the way it measures its disability employment figures.
DWP said there were many factors which contribute to rising disability employment both nationwide and within the department, including DWP’s status as a Disability Confident employer, its active membership of the Business Disability Forum, and the setting of “ambitious targets” for disabled entrants to the Civil Service.
And DWP said the department was continually improving how it collates data on the number of DWP employees with a self-declared disability.
The DWP spokesperson said in a statement: “We want everyone to have the opportunity to find fulfilling work and are proud to support an increasingly diverse workforce.
“Disability employment in the UK is at a record high of 4.1 million and our own workforce reflects that, with the number of staff employed by the Department for Work and Pensions declaring a disability rising by almost 50 per cent in the past year to over 8,000.
“We have not changed the way we measure our disability employment figures, and we continue to encourage all of our employees to disclose any disability or health condition so that we can provide the best support possible.”
*The disability status of about 10 per cent of DWP staff remains either undeclared or unreported
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