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'Daftie' Duncan Smith before a previous hearing of the Work and Pensions committee.

‘Daftie’ Duncan Smith before a previous hearing of the Work and Pensions committee.

It’s a valid question.

More than a year ago, Work and Pensions Secretary Iain Duncan Smith told us “In work conditionality” within the Universal Credit system could encourage part-time workers and the low-paid to seek additional hours.

But it seems nothing is being done to “encourage” employers to provide the extra work.

So what, exactly, did Duncan Smith think he was playing at?

It seems we may soon find out, because Disability Studies specialist and disability activist Samuel Miller has written to the Secretary-in-a-State and his employment minister, Priti Patel, to find out whether employers will face sanctions for refusing  to offer part-time and low-paid workers additional hours.

“My field of interest is disability,” wrote Mr Miller. “If the British government is truly interested in increasing employment opportunities for the disabled, why doesn’t it follow the U.S. example and compel businesses to significantly increase the number of people with disabilities that they employ?

“The U.S. rule requires most federal contractors to ensure that people with disabilities account for at least 7 percent of workers within each job group in their workforce.

“While officials at the U.S. Department of Labor say they are not establishing a firm hiring quota for contractors, they do expect that businesses servicing the government will work toward achieving the target. Contractors that fail to meet the goal and do not show sufficient effort toward reaching the 7 percent threshold could lose their contracts under the new rule.

“Disability advocates say the added pressure on federal contractors will go a long way—and, in my opinion, Britain should follow suit.”

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