From Quotas to Sanctions: The Political Economy of Rehabilitation in the UK
This chapter situates UK rehabilitation services within a wider welfare and social policy context. It overviews the historical evolution of UK social policy regarding the employment of people with a disability or chronic condition, considering changes in approach across four key phases: passive welfare of the 1970s (typified by compulsory employment quotas and passive welfare benefits); active welfare of the 1990s and 2000s (including antidiscrimination legislation, welfare to work, and active welfare benefits); the workfare approach of the mid-2000s (typified by benefit sanctions and compulsory work-for-benefit); and the austerity phase since 2011. These significant social policy shifts are analysed from a political economy perspective, encompassing wider changes to the UK welfare state, including the effects of austerity. The chapter also examines the effects of these policy shifts on the employment of people with a disability or chronic condition, as well as on social inequalities. It concludes by reflecting on future UK policy trajectories.
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