Employment research

Evidence shows that 66 per cent of blind and partially sighted people of working age are not in employment.

Government schemes fail to place blind and partially sighted people in work and that training and employment opportunities for those furthest from the labour market are dwindling. Research in this area includes a secondary analysis of labour market experiences and detailed analysis of the employment status of registered blind and partially sighted people.

RNIB Research

Work Programme statistics briefing

This briefing contains statistics on the number of blind and partially sighted claimants referred to, and subsequently taken on/attached to the Work Programme between 1 June 2011 and 31 March 2014, and their job outcomes.

The link between sight loss and income

This research briefing highlights key elements relating to household income and gross monthly pay, drawn from three larger reports, which use independent survey data to describe the circumstances of adults with sight loss.

Work Capability Assessment analysis 

RNIB have conducted an analysis of DWP data released under a freedom of information request on the outcomes for blind and partially sighted people undergoing a Work Capability Assessment (WCA). We believe that in its current form, the WCA, which determines a person's eligibility for Employment Support Allowance, discriminates against blind and partially sighted people and wastes public money on avoidable appeals.

Our analysis formed the basis for RNIB's submission to the fifth and final independent review of the Work Capability Assessment, commissioned by DWP.

Labour Force Survey 2014

The statistics in this report provide the results of an analysis of data from the quarterly Labour Force Survey (LFS) that was carried our for RNIB by researchers from the quarterly Labour Force Survey.

Tackling unemployment for blind and partially sighted people.

This is the final report from a three-year, action-based research project to help improve the employment prospects of blind and partially sighted people. Published in 2013.

Investigation of data relating to blind and partially sighted people in the quarterly Labour Force Survey: October 2009 to September 2012

This report provides findings from analysis of the Labour Force Survey and enables us to continue to track the economic activity of blind and partially sighted people since the start of the economic downturn. Published 2013.

Labour force survey and people with sight loss 2011

RNIB commissioned researchers from Birmingham University to undertake statistical analysis of data from the quarterly Labour Force Survey (LFS). The report provided detailed analysis of the profile of people with seeing difficulties and enabled comparison with the general population.

Labour market experiences

A detailed analysis of the national quarterly UK Labour Force Survey (LFS). The results gave a detailed analysis of the employment profile of people with seeing difficulties and the issues they faced.

Network 1,000 - employment

This report presents findings from Network 1,000 Survey 2. The report focuses upon employment status; services received by those currently in work, people who are not in work and barriers and enablers to employment. Published 2009.

External research

Taking Control of Employment Support

Disability Rights UK's report "Taking Control of Employment Support" argues that the government's huge Work Programme is failing disabled people (with at least an 88 per cent failure rate) and is very poor value for money.

Work in progress: Rethinking employment support for disabled people

This report calls for urgent reforms to be made to improve employment prospects for people with disabilities. It was compiled by five members of the Disability Charities Consortium (DCC) coalition, RNIB, Mencap, Mind, Action on Hearing Loss and Scope.

Not working: Citizens Advice Bureau evidence on the ESA work capability assessment

Employment and support allowance (ESA) was introduced in October 2008 to replace the existing incapacity benefit (IB) for new claimants. Citizens Advice (CAB) has been monitoring the impact of the new benefit, and this is their second report since its introduction.

Right first time?: An indicative study of the accuracy of ESA work capability assessment reports

In order to claim benefits, most people who are too ill or disabled to work need to undergo a medical assessment. Employment and support allowance (ESA) was introduced in October 2008, as a replacement for incapacity benefits and a new medical assessment, the work capability assessment (WCA), was introduced alongside it. CAB have undertaken a detailed analysis of the accuracy of WCA reports.

Working for a healthier tomorrow: Dame Carol Black's review of the health of Britain's working age population

The subject of this review is the health of people of working age. At its heart is a recognition of, and a concern to remedy, the human, social and economic costs of impaired health and well-being in relation to working life in Britain.

Opening up work for all: The role of assessment in the work programme

This report, by the Centre for Economic and Social Inclusion and Advanced Personnel Management, identifies the fundamental importance of accurate and individualised assessment in determining the needs of the jobseeker.

Costs and benefits of employing disabled workers

This study, by De Paul University, examines the economic costs and benefits of workers with disabilities within three sectors (healthcare, retail, and hospitality).

Donate now

Right now we can only reach one in three of the people who need our help most. Please make a donation and help us support more blind and partially sighted people.

Donate now