Action on Disability: The right to independent living framework and action plan was published by the Welsh Government in October 2019. It includes ambitions to ensure “all disabled people having the same freedom, dignity, choice and control as other citizens at home, work, in education and in the community”.

The Employability plan was published in March 2018 by the Welsh Government and committed to “identify[ing] suitable targets” to increase the number of disabled people in work.

In 2020, concerns about the impact of the pandemic on disabled people led the Welsh Government’s Disability Equality Forum to set up an inquiry. Its report, Locked out: liberating disabled people’s lives and rights in Wales beyond COVID-19, was published in July 2021.

The recommendations from the inquiry are wide ranging including calling on the Welsh Government to reaffirm its commitment to the Social Model of Disability, the need for greater involvement of disabled people in decision making and to incorporate the United Nations Convention on the Rights of persons with Disabilities (UNCRPD) into Welsh Law.

The Welsh Government published its response to the inquiry report alongside it and the Minister for Social Justice issued a written statement.

The Government committed to incorporating the UN CRPD into Welsh law and to establishing a Disability Rights Taskforce to address issues raised in the report and to develop actions for a new Disability Rights Action Plan.


In 2016, the Scottish Government published A Fairer Scotland for Disabled People: delivery plan to deliver on rights for disabled people up to 2021. It included ambitions to support independent living, for adequate income, to improve the accessibility of housing and transport, protect rights and support participation in public life.

The associated A Fairer Scotland for Disabled People: employment action plan was published in December 2018. The aim is to increase the employment rate of disabled people to 50% by 2023, and to 60% by 2030. The employment rate of disabled people in Scotland was 45.4% in 2018, compared to 81.2% for non-disabled people. In 2021 employment rate of disabled people in Scotland was estimated at 49.6% compared to 73.2% for non-disabled people.

A Fairer Scotland for Disabled People: progress report 2019 was published in December 2019. This highlighted the increased proportion of disabled people entering apprenticeships and higher education. Areas of concern included the higher likelihood that households with a person with disability would be living in relative poverty after housing costs.

Devolution of disability benefits

The Scotland Act 2016 devolved significant welfare powers to the Scottish Government. This includes disability and carer’s benefits. Further details can be found in section 1.7 of the Library briefing An introduction to social security in the UK.

Northern Ireland

On 24 September 2022, the Minister for Communities in Northern Ireland announced work would begin on new social inclusion strategies, including a disability strategy. An expert advisory panel was set up to make “high level recommendations on the themes, priorities and key actions that should feature in the Strategy”.

The Report from the Disability Strategy Expert Advisory Panel was published in March 2021. There are four core priorities and detailed recommendations for the future strategy. These are:

  • participation and leadership of d/Deaf and disabled people (recognising their multiple identities and spanning the entire spectrum of disability)
  • economic security of d/Deaf and disabled people
  • autonomy of d/Deaf and disabled people
  • resources to achieve the strategy’s objective

The report also emphasises the need for “up to date, consistent and disaggregated data on d/Deaf and disabled people’s experiences of their rights in Northern Ireland; something that continues to be significantly lacking”. The report emphasised the need for a ‘rights-based’ strategy which would be a central tool for implementing the UN CRPD.

The previous Strategy to improve the lives of people with disabilities- 2012 to 2015, was in place until 2017.

Further Information

The Commons Library has a disability page where all the publications relating to disability are available.

Related posts