Archive for August, 2010

Numerous employers are confused about how they should respond to the medical advice from GPs on the new Fit Note.

According to the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP)

Doctors are able to advise people who are on sick leave for over 7 days whether, with extra support from their employer, they could return to work earlier”.  However, according to the Scottish occupational health and safety advice service, Healthy Working Lives (HLW), employers have been confused as to “…whether or not an employee can return to work before the end date stated on Med 3”.

HLW advice published in August states that

“if your employee agrees with you that it is appropriate to return to work, and you are able to support them to do so, they do not have to wait until the end of the period stated to return. This is unchanged by the fit note and was the case with the previous Med 3”.

Personnel Today


Read Full Post »

In its emergency budget the government announced that it will need 100,000 single parents to secure employment in 2011, when their youngest child reaches five as opposed to the current age of 10.  Additionally, 120,000 single parents whose youngest child is seven will be required to source employment.

However, the findings in a new report ‘Changing the Workplace’ by the charity Gingerbread suggest that over 500 lone parents felt that there were few jobs that offered them flexible working arrangements; partially indicating the impracticality of the government’s aforementioned employment plans.

The Chief Executive of Gingerbread, Fiona Weir, claimed that recent policy alterations were pressurising single parents to find employment or risk benefit cuts, and argued that this is not what is needed.  She said: “Nationally, nearly 60% of single parents are already in work and most of those on benefits say they want a job. A workplace that works better for single parents is the missing part of the jigsaw. Without action from government and employers many single parents will remain trapped in poverty”

See the Full report

Read Full Post »

This summer has seen a considerably high proportion of students achieving exceptional GSCE and A Level results.  This coupled, with the shortage of higher education places means that colleges will be saturated with high achieving GCSE students and prospective university students who have been unable to secure a place at their chosen institution.


The University College Union (UCU) have issued a warning in response to this situation saying that the pressure on colleges to meet performance targets means that they will be more selective about their intake, which could force poorly performing GCSE pupils “out of college and into a competitive job market or onto the dole”.

The union’s Senior Further Education Policy Officer, Dan Taubman, said:

This is particularly worrying when we consider the number of young people already Not in Education, Employment or Training and the current job market. We see little economic or social benefit in forcing more young people onto the dole and believe the government has to look seriously at funding more places in further and higher education as part of the forthcoming spending review”.

See the full release here

Read Full Post »

The June 2010 Emergency Budget set out a number of tax and benefit changes to be introduced by 2014-15.

For the first time, the Budget documentation contained distributional analysis of the changes by household income, which showed that the measures to be introduced between June 2010 and April 2012 were progressive relative to household income, and in his Budget speech the Chancellor used this as evidence that it was a ‘progressive Budget’.

In their post-budget briefing, the Institute for Fiscal Studies cast doubt on this claiming that many of the progressive tax rises that will be introduced over the next two years were announced by the previous Government, and that the Budget measures scheduled to come in between 2012 and 2014 would be generally regressive.

Moreover, the distributional analysis in the Budget documentation did not include the effects of some cuts to housing benefit, Disability Living Allowance and tax credits that are likely to affect the poorer half of the income distribution more than the richer half.

James Browne, senior research economist at the IFS, told the Today programme that measures coming into effect in 2012-2014 and changes to housing benefits, disability living allowance and tax benefits will mean the “poorest tenth of the population will lose more as a percentage of their income than the richest tenth”.

Mr Browne added it was “very difficult to see” how the combination of 20% tax rises and 80% spending cuts could not affect the poor more than the rich.

The report in brief

The full report


I suppose Karen Buck MP  and Simon Hughes MP will have a lot to say about this.  See our previous posting.

As far as providers are concerned; careful attention needs to made to ensure that in-work calculations are effectively and correctly undertaken and that claimants are clearly advised of the parameters of receiving their benefits and the level of participation required!!

Read Full Post »

Newsletter 24th November 2010, DWP tender opportunities, Serco on the Work Programme, Neets and much much more…

Read Full Post »

The latest CIPD and KPMG Labour Market Outlook survey has found that nearly 600 employers are experiencing difficulties in recruiting skilled people from the UK as the country’s economy slowly stabilises.  This has compelled them to turn to offshoring and recruiting migrant workers to fill in the shortfall in ‘home-grown’ talent.

Results from the survey show that approximately 10 per cent of private sector firms intend to offshore UK jobs between now and June 2011.  Of those planning to do this around 65 per cent said that they will be offshoring to India, 36% per cent to China and 29 percent to Eastern Europe.

CIPD Public Policy Advisor, Gerwyn Davies, warned that “employers running global operations will be forced to offshore skilled jobs to other countries if the right skills mix in the UK cannot be found”.

Read the full survey here


It is quite remarkable that companies are seeking talent from abroad when unemployment is at an all time high and we have increasing numbers of young people and graduates seeking work – not to mention the reams of people who have been made redundant. This appears to be an excuse by some companies to cut costs by going abroad:

Maybe I’m being cynical?

Read Full Post »

DWP Tendering Opportunities

There are currently two main tendering opportunities available to access on the DWP website.  The first of these consists of delivering ‘Low Value Welfare to Work Training’.  Your organisation may currently provide or want to provide Low Value Provision (LVP) for welfare to work related training.  DWP defines LVP as ‘one-off training requirements up to the value of 50K’.  In order to bid for and supply LVP, providers are asked to complete an online application form which can be accessed on the DWP website by clicking here and following the instructions.  The there is no closing date for this tender.



The second opportunity available revolves around facilitating the delivery of a new framework for the provision of employment related services.  The framework will last for four years and is expected to be the default vehicle for identifying all DWP employment related support services.  Once the framework is established, no further organisations will be accepted to assist with its delivery.  Please click here to view the relevant documentation needed to apply for this tendering opportunity.  The closing date for this tender is 27th September, 2010.

Source: Department for Work and Pensions

Read Full Post »

Older Posts »