Welfare Reform: Disability


Disability has a significant impact on an individual’s ability to engage with the labour market. Disabled people experience significant lower employment levels, in Glasgow, Scotland and the UK. This would suggest people with disabilities are more vulnerable to the effects of Welfare Reform.

This section will explore these issues in more depth. However, this information should also be viewed with specific consideration to the characteristics covered within welfare reform:

Due to the overlapping issues which contribute to poverty, this section should also be viewed in conjunction with the following:


Key Facts and Figures

Glasgow reports slightly higher levels of disability than all major cities and the national average within Scotland:

  • Glasgow – 24.3%
  • Dundee – 22.6%
  • Aberdeen – 19.5%
  • Edinburgh – 15.4%
  • Scottish Average – 22.4%

    Source: ONS. 2012. Scotland Census 2011.

    In 2012, 45.6% of disabled people were in employment within Scotland, compared to 70.6% of non-disabled people.

    In Glasgow, the employment figure for disabled people drops to 33.5%, compared to 59.7% of non-disabled people.

    Source: Local Area Labour Markets In Scotland, May 2013, Scottish Government

    The rate of Employment & Support Allowance (ESA) is a good indicator of those who cannot work due to illness or disability. Although not an exclusive indicator of disability (only those unable to work), it does serve as a guide.

    Glasgow represents 2.2% of the overall ESA caseload within the whole UK with roughly 44,000 ESA cases. Again as Glasgow City represents approximately 1% of the UK population it is noticeable the rate of caseload reflects the higher prevalence of disability in the City.

    Source: Welfare Reform Committee, 5th Report, 2014 (Session 4) Report on Local Impact of Welfare Reform, Scottish Parliament, June 2014