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Archive for October, 2010

Organisational Design Manager

Our client is going through a massive organisational restructure in order to realise more efficiencies by eliminating any duplicate roles within the organisation.

They are looking to recruit an Organisational/Structure Design specialist for a 1 year contract to be based in London. This person will be responsible for mapping the existing organisational structure and then redesigning the structure, to enable the organisation to work in a more efficient and cost effective manner.

Send CV in confidence to Dr Floyd Millen

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Today new support was put in place to assit lone parents with children aged seven and over to look for work rather than stay on benefits. Maria Miller stated, “We know that work is the best route out of poverty. This is why lone parents with younger children will now be able to have access to help and support to look for work through Jobcentre Plus.”

Lone parents whose child is aged seven or over will claim Jobseeker’s Allowance (JSA) if they are able to work, rather than Income Support. On JSA they will benefit from a comprehensive range of support including training opportunities, job application advice and other financial grants to help them return to work.

They will receive advice on childcare, benefits and part-time or family friendly working from specialist lone parent advisors at Jobcentre Plus. The Work Programme is also being introduced to give flexible support to get people in jobs alongside other back-to-work measures including Work Clubs.

Those with a health condition or disability which limits their capability for work will be able to claim Employment and Support Allowance (ESA).

  • Lone parents with children of 12 or under will be able to specify school-hours only jobs without it affecting their benefits.
  • lone parent’s availability for work must take into account their childcare responsibilities.
  • A lone parent on JSA will not be expected to take up a job if appropriate childcare is not available.
  • Jobcentre Plus staff will ensure that every lone parent is contacted before the changes affect them to give them enough time to claim another benefit or find paid work.
  • Some lone parents will continue to receive Income Support if they have a child in receipt of the middle or highest rate care component of Disability Living Allowance; receive Carer’s Allowance, or; are Fostering.

Background

  • International evidence indicates that, in the majority of cases, countries with higher lone parent employment rates have lower poverty rates for lone parent households.
  • A child of a lone parent that works part-time is over 2.5 times less likely to be living in poverty than a child of a lone parent who is not working. This increases to over 4 times less likely if the lone parent works full time.

See full DWP press release here

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There are numerous challenges including the need for employers to be flexible; however, given the heightened competition for jobs and the relatively low wages that abound…. how realistic is it for large numbers of Lone Parents to find work that is local enough and flexible enough to support their childcare responsibilities?

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– Work Choice is launched!!

Work Choice, the employment programme for those with severe disabilities, was launched by the Minister for Disabled People Maria Miller today.

The programme will support approximately 23,000 severely disabled people each year – more than any of its predecessor Government programmes.

Across the country the help previously available has been patchy and fragmented with over 200 separate contracts.  Work Choice will operate more efficiently, with just 28 contracts with Prime Providers.

The programme is available on a voluntary basis, and open to anyone who meets the eligibility criteria. It will sit alongside the new Work Programme which becomes available early next year.

Work Choice, which has been developed in close consultation with disability groups and disabled people, will greatly improve the effectiveness of current programmes by tailoring support to the needs of each person to help them find employment and then progress and stay in work.

Providers will also have the flexibility to agree with the customer what kind of support they need. This can include help with CV writing and applying for jobs. It can also progress to supporting people as they get used to going to work and will offer coaching in specific tasks as well as working with employers and co-workers to teach them how to adapt tasks so that a disabled person can continue to be employed.

Contracts have been awarded across 28 Contract Package Areas (CPAs) in England, Scotland and Wales to:

  • Shaw Trust
  • Working Links
  • The Pluss Organisation
  • Advance Housing and Support
  • SEETEC
  • Ingeus UK Ltd
  • CDG-WISE Ability Ltd
  • Momentum
  • Remploy Employment Service in 24 CPAs across England, Scotland and Wales.

See full DWP press release here

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The Spending Review, unveiled by George Osborne on 20th October 2010, has announced reforms which will tackle the fundamental drivers of welfare dependency by delivering a simplified system in which work always pays.  The working age welfare budget in 2009/2010 was £87 billion and the Spending Review aims to make fundamental changes to the system.

Notable to the welfare to work industry is the phased introduction, from 2013, of an integrated payment that will sharpen work incentives and reduce fraud and error of a Universal Credit that will simplify the benefits system and make work pay for the poorest. And second, the introduction of a new Work Programme, which will see expert personalised support for those with the greatest barriers to employment, alongside a major incapacity benefit reassessment with £7 billion further welfare savings, over and above the measures in the Emergency Budget in June, saving £17.5 billion per annum by 2014-15.

Of note:

By 2014-15, welfare spending will be falling in real terms over the next four years, in contrast to the 45 per cent real increase over the last decade. DWP will reduce its corporate overheads by 40% in real terms, through centralisation of support services and rationalisation of strategy and policy functions and following on from the June Budget there are planned net savings of £11 billion a year.

Over the next two Parliaments, the Universal Credit will replace the current complex system of means-tested working age benefits and tax credits with a single tapered payment to ensure work always pays, improving work incentives and to reduce the scope for fraud and error. £2 billion has been set aside in DWP’s DEL settlement over the next four years to fund the implementation of the Universal Credit and further details will be outlined in a forthcoming White Paper from the DWP later this Autumn and put to Parliament in a Welfare Reform Bill next year.

Reforms will be made to the existing welfare system, with the aim of delivering net AME savings of £7 billion a year by 2014-15, including:

  • Personalised back-to-work support through the Work Programme for the long term unemployed and disabled people, delivered by private, voluntary and third sector specialists who will be paid on the basis of the additional benefit savings they secure. Support for the short term unemployed will continue to be provided through Jobcentre Plus.
  • The introduction of a new Enterprise Allowance, which will offer people who are out of work and entering self-employment a weekly payment linked to the value of their benefit for a period of up to six months.
  • Capping household benefit payments from 2013 at around £500 per week for couple and lone parent households and around £350 per week for single adult households. All Disability Living Allowance claimants, War Widows, and working families claiming the working tax credits will be exempt from the cap.
  • From January 2013, child benefits will be withdrawn from higher rate taxpayer families so that people on lower incomes are not subsidising those who are better off. The Government’s longer-term strategy for tackling child poverty will be set out by the end of March 2011, and will take into account the conclusions of the Frank Field review.
  • From April 2011, the percentage costs that parents can claim through the childcare element of the Working Tax Credit (WTC) will be reduced by 10 per cent to 70 per cent.
  • From April 2012, to be eligible for Working Tax Credit couples with children must work at least 24 hours a week between them, with one partner working at least 16 hours a week in order to qualify for WTC.
  • Freezing the basic and 30 hour elements of the WTC for three years from 2011-12 and increasing the child element above indexation by a further £30 in 2011-12 and £50 in 2012-13. The 30 hour element is currently worth £790 per annum and the basic element is currently worth £1,920 per annum.
  • Time limiting contributory Employment and Support Allowance for those in the Work Related Activity Group to one year. Around 1 million claimants will be affected.
  • Increasing the age threshold for the Shared Room Rate of Housing Benefit from 25 to 35. Around 88,000 claimants will be affected, all of whom will be single, aged 25-34, living in private rented accommodation, and not in receipt of severe disability premium in Housing Benefit.
  • Reducing spending on Council Tax Benefits by 10 per cent and localising it. In addition, the Government will provide greater flexibilities to local authorities to manage pressures on council tax from the 2013-14. LAs will be given flexibility to tailor the scheme to meet local priorities and to manage spending within lower limits.
  • Removing the mobility component of Disability Living Allowance for people in residential care from 2012-13. Those who fully self-fund their own care would be unaffected by the change. It will affect the estimated 58,000 DLA claimants in care homes who are in receipt of the mobility component. These customers receive on average £33.40 per week
  • Freezing the maximum Savings Credit award in Pension Credit for four years from 2011-12. This measure will freeze the maximum award paid to those aged over 65 on modest incomes who have some retirement savings in addition to their State Pension until 2015. The maximum award is £20.52 for a single pensioner and £27.09 for pensioner couples. Around 1.8m households will be affected.
  • Extending the temporary change to the Support for Mortgage Interest scheme for another year from January 2011, to reduce the waiting period for new working age claimants to 13 weeks and increase the limit on eligible mortgage capital to £200,000. 85,000 claimants will benefit from the waiting period remaining at 13 weeks, and about 14,000 will benefit from the increased capital limit.
  • Cold Weather Payments are to be made permanent; so that eligible households will receive £25 for each seven day cold spell recorded or forecast where they live. Around 4.2 million households are currently eligible for payments.
  • The basic State Pension will be uprated by a triple guarantee of earnings, prices, or 2.5%, whichever is highest.
  • Speeding up the pace of State Pension Age equalisation for women from April 2016 so that Women’s State Pension Age reaches 65 in November 2018.  The State Pension Age will then increase to 66 for both men and women from December 2018 to April 2020.

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The state pension is to rise to around £140 a week per person – an increase of more than 40% – under government plans that will benefit women in particular

The Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) says the aim of the reform will be to provide a “decent” pension for everyone in the UK.

Means testing will be swept away and the money saved will pay for the increases.

At present the basic state pension is £97.65 for a single person and £156.15 for a couple with a means-tested top-up for the poorest.

This ensures single pensioners have an income of at least £132.60 and couples get £202.40.

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– Newsletter 21st October 2010

Newsletter CSR 2010:  The Critical changes in 2010

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– CSR …. & BIS

Department for Business, Innovation and Skills

* In order to focus spending on frontline services, BIS will reduce spending on administration by £400 million a year by 2014-15. The number of Arms Length Bodies will be reduced from 57 to 33, with 9 still under consideration. This includes abolishing Regional Development Agencies as announced in the Budget, saving £1.5 billion a year by 2014-15, some of which will be reinvested elsewhere.

* Colleges will be freed from bureaucracy by simplifying the funding system, streamlining Arms Length Bodies and abolishing central targets. The Government will also improve the quality of information and advice for students, including through the development of an all-age careers service. Alongside these greater freedoms and reductions in bureaucracy, colleges will be expected to make savings including through greater efficiencies and pay restraint.

* The Government will significantly lower the overall cost of the further education system by abolishing Train to Gain and by reducing spending on budgets which do not directly support learners. Meanwhile, the balance of funding will be shifted from the taxpayer towards the individuals and employers who benefit, including though the introduction of student loans, and by exploring mechanisms to increase employer contributions such as voluntary training levies.

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