101. Deputy Robert Troy asked the Minister for Justice and Equality if the public service is meeting its obligation to employ a certain percentage of persons in receipt of a disability payment; and the statistics for same for 2017 and 2018. [15948/19]
Minister of State at the Department of Justice and Equality (Deputy Finian McGrath): As the Deputy will be aware, Part 5 (section 47) of the Disability Act 2005 requires public sector bodies to ensure, unless there is good reason to the contrary, that 3% of the persons employed by that body are persons with disabilities. This does not necessarily mean those employees are in receipt of a disability payment.
Implementation of Part 5 of the Act is monitored on an ongoing basis by the National Disability Authority. The Authority reports each year on progress made towards the statutory 3% target for employment in the public sector.
The Authority's most recent report on compliance shows that at the end of 2017, 3.5% of staff employed in public sector bodies were people identifying with disabilities, this was the seventh successive year of exceeding the statutory 3% target. A copy of the Report is available from the Authority’s website: http://www.nda.ie. As the Authority is currently in the process of compiling statistics for 2018, they are not yet available.
The Deputy will also be aware of the Government's Comprehensive Employment Strategy (CES) for Persons with Disabilities 2015 - 2024. This strategy sets out a ten-year cross-Government approach to ensuring that people with disabilities who are able to, and want to, work are supported and enabled to do so, with different Departments and State agencies acting in a concerted effort to address the barriers and challenges that impact on employment of people with disabilities.
One of the key priorities of the Comprehensive Employment Strategy is to increase the statutory target of persons with disabilities employed in our public services from 3% to 6% on a phased basis by January 2024. To give effect to this commitment, legislative proposals are currently being progressed through the Oireachtas as part of the Disability (Miscellaneous Provisions) Bill 2016.