A study of work and health transitions: Analysis of Understanding Society

Sergio Salis, Stefan Speckesser, Lea Samek, Paul Bivand

Research output: Book/ReportCommissioned report


Disabled people typically fare worse in the labour market. Between April and June 2018, while the UK employment rate reached a historic high of 75.6%, only half of disabled people were in work. Although the disability employment gap (the difference between the employment rates of disabled and non-disabled people) has narrowed by 5 percentage points from 34 to 29 percentage points since 2014, the prevalence of disability and ill-health among the working-age population has been rising over time. Working age ill-health, which prevents people attending work or being in a job due to illness or disability, comes at a considerable cost to the UK economy of around £100 billion a year (Work and Health Unit, 2017).

To provide contextual evidence for the Government’s strategy for improving employment among disabled people or people with health conditions, this study examines transitions (changes) in health and work status experienced by working age people (16-64 years old). It uses a large-scale longitudinal survey, Understanding Society (USoc), to provide fresh empirical evidence on the complex relationship between health and work transitions, which is arguably under-explored
Original languageEnglish
PublisherDepartment for Work and Pensions
Number of pages136
ISBN (Print)9781786592736
Publication statusPublished - 21 Jul 2021

Publication series

NameDWP research report
PublisherDepartment for Work and Pensions


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