People with disability twice as likely to quit job

The odds are also against them getting work in the first place, reveals ESRI...

People with disability twice as likely to quit job

Picture by: Chris Young/PA Archive/PA Images

Irish people with a disability are less likely to get a job and more likely to leave employment even when their disability does not create difficulties with everyday activities, according to a new report from the Economic and Social Research Institute.

The analysis of employment transitions among people with a disability in Ireland found that just 31% of working-age people with a disability were at work. This is compared to 71% without, meaning that the odds of employment entry are nearly 4 times lower for people with a disability.

For those in work, the odds of employment exit are twice as high for people with a disability.

Across the period, people with a disability were more likely to exit than enter employment. For those without a disability, the rate of job entry picked up in the recovery period and the rate of exit dropped. However, there was little sign of a recovery for people with a disability by 2015.

Exit rates are higher among people with deafness, learning or psychological/emotional disabilities.

When the severity of the disability is taken into account, the gap still persists, but is smaller: people with a disability who are not affected in terms of daily activities still have odds of employment exit that are over 50% higher.

Most people with a disability had worked at some stage (82% either currently at work or worked in the past), but it was often more than 4 years ago (35% of people with disabilities).

The ESRI report, commissioned by the National Disability Authority, drew on the Quarterly National Household Survey of people of working age (20-59) for its information.


It calls for flexibility when it comes to hours and tasks, retention of medical cards once in employment, equal access to services, and support for additional costs from the disability itself. 

Marie Schenk, who is visually impaired, sits at a desk with her Australian Shepherd dog 'Paula' in Ingolstadt, Germany. Picture by: Armin Weigel/DPA/PA Images

Dorothy Watson, ESRI associate research professor and an author of the report, commented:

"Efforts to ensure jobs for all of those with a disability who want to work need to proceed on two fronts: both increasing the capacity of those not at work to get jobs and ensuring that those currently at work can retain their jobs."

Angela O'Connor of Train Ability, a company which provides disability awareness training for staff in the private sector, said that help is available:

"I think it's important to point out that there are actually grants available, under, which is run by the Department of Social Protection in order to facilitate companies in the private sector to obtain grants in relation to actual training with disability awareness. But also supporting adults with disabilities in employment."