Latest Public Sector News


Just 8% of people with schizophrenia able to find work

The Government must address barriers to employment for people living with schizophrenia, a new report by The Work Foundation urges.

Rates of employment for people with schizophrenia are at 8% compared to the national average of 71%, with stigma and discrimination preventing people from finding or keeping work.

However, those in employment are over five times more likely to achieve functional remission than those who are unemployed or in unpaid employment. The Work Foundation suggests that the employment rate could be raised to 25% within a decade through greater support and understanding.

Adjustments to work to support employees with schizophrenia can be both beneficial to the workplace and inexpensive, the report states. It calls for health professionals to raise high-skilled employment as a potential outcome for patients, employers to give supportive line management and occupational health therapists and for carers to be able to access support to help more people into work.

The report was recently presented at a parliamentary launch with Charles Walker MP, chair of the APPG on mental health.

Walker said: “The report focuses our attention on the true nature of the barriers to work for people with schizophrenia and how they might be overcome. Key early interventions, such as the Individual Placement and Support (IPS) service, are very effective. We must ensure funding continues so that more people living with schizophrenia can access the workplace and carers can also return to work.”

Sir Robin Murray, chair of the Schizophrenia Commission added: “The picture of the jobs market, and the way it works against people with severe mental illness in the UK, is not pretty.

“But the report is ultimately optimistic because it indicates very clearly that the solutions to this problem are known, and that good practice exists.”

Professor Stephen Bevan, director of the Centre for Workforce Effectiveness at The Work Foundation said: “The Government must prioritise the Health and Work Assessment and Advisory Service, as set out in its response to the Sickness Absence Review and expand the focus of the Independent Review of Sickness Absence to include severe mental health conditions.

“It must also review the Work Capability Assessment to make it more sensitive to the needs of people with fluctuating conditions like schizophrenia and adapt the Access to Work Scheme so that funds can be spent on interventions and job retention.

“Finally, we must see a national plan developed which includes ministers from the Department of Health and Department of Work and Pensions to boost employment rates amongst people with schizophrenia by 25% within ten years.”

Tell us what you think – have your say below, or email us directly at [email protected]


There are no comments. Why not be the first?

Add your comment

public sector executive tv

more videos >

last word

Prevention: Investing for the future

Prevention: Investing for the future

Rob Whiteman, CEO at the Chartered Institute of Public Finance (CIPFA), discusses the benefits of long-term preventative investment. Rising demand, reducing resource – this has been the r more > more last word articles >

public sector focus

View all News


Peter Kyle MP: It’s time to say thank you this Public Service Day

21/06/2019Peter Kyle MP: It’s time to say thank you this Public Service Day

Taking time to say thank you is one of the hidden pillars of a society. Bei... more >
How community-led initiatives can help save the housing shortage

19/06/2019How community-led initiatives can help save the housing shortage

Tom Chance, director at the National Community Land Trust Network, argues t... more >


Artificial intelligence: the devil is in the data

17/12/2018Artificial intelligence: the devil is in the data

It’s no secret that the public sector and its service providers need ... more >