Bone and Joint Institute

Active labour market policies for people with disabilities in receipt of public income benefits: A scoping review

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© 2019 - IOS Press and the authors. All rights reserved. BACKGROUND: Active labour market policies (ALMP) are used in advanced welfare states to support transitions to work for people who are unemployed or underemployed, including people with disabilities (PWD) in receipt of means-tested disability income support. OBJECTIVE: This study explores the nature, strength, and limitations of ALMP across advanced welfare states (ALMP) for people with disabilities (PWD) in receipt of income benefits from social assistance programs. METHODS: Following the eight steps of a scoping study, we identified 21 documents through a scan of eight databases and consultation with key informants. The majority of these documents are scholarly publications including seven literature reviews, two program evaluations, four social policy analyses, and two longitudinal studies. RESULTS: We extracted key findings related to delivery of labour (re)entry interventions for people with disabilities. Six themes are identified that discuss these ALMP features: 1) welfare ideology and the role of citizenship; 2) conditionality of benefits; 3) work capacity and the need for an appropriate definition of disability; 4) the politics of employment outcomes for PWD; 5) the missing elements of a successful ALMP; and 6) moving beyond ALMP. The findings indicate that while various approaches are used in reintegrating PWD into mainstream employment, there are significant limitations that curtail the impact of these policies. CONCLUSIONS: Regardless of welfare regime, no welfare state provides a policy mix that results in long-term employment success for PWD in receipt of means-tested income benefits.

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