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Parliamentary debates and questions

S5W-09953: Alex Cole-Hamilton (Edinburgh Western)

Scottish Liberal Democrats

Date lodged: 26 June 2017

To ask the Scottish Government what action it is taking to (a) incentivise companies to hire and (b) reduce discrimination experienced by people with musculoskeletal conditions.

Answered by: Aileen Campbell 19 July 2017

As part of our disability action plan published in December last year we have committed to run a disability employment media campaign. This was launched on 6th July 2017 and is specifically targeted at Small and Medium-sized Enterprises. The campaign highlights the benefits of employing disabled people, and signposts employers, as well as potential employees, to the Employability in Scotland website where they can find advice, guidance and support, as well as information of which organisations provide this, and where employers can find financial support to employ someone with a disability. The campaign will include new video materials to promote these messages, as well as a radio campaign and other media including social media.

In our action plan we also committed to holding a major congress on disability employment, which is likely to take place early in 2018. We will work closely with partners to deliver this, and that will include also employers and employer trade organisations and bodies. We will also work with trade unions, disabled people and organisations supporting disabled people.

The Scottish Government funds the Scottish Centre for Healthy Working Lives, part of NHS Health Scotland, to provide information and advice on workplace health and wellbeing. The Centre, and the network of advisers in territorial NHS Boards, offer free and confidential advice on a wide range of issues relating to health and safety in the workplace. This includes promoting wellbeing in the workplace, managing sickness absence and supporting employees to return to work.

The Centre's advice includes how employers can meet their obligations under the Equality Act and how they can make reasonable adjustments to support employees with long term, limiting health conditions and disabilities.