Posts Tagged ‘dwp. welfare to work’

The Chancellor has acknowledged that the government will not meet its target of cutting the deficit by 2015


however….. Working age benefits will  not be cut but will be uprated by 5.2%…


This is a big win for Iain Duncan Smith who argued vehmently that the poor should not be penalised:


…well done IDS!!


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Welfare to work
The Work Programme

The Government launched the Work Programme nationally in June 2011, ahead of schedule. The Work Programme is the biggest payment by results employment programme we have ever seen and along with the introduction of Universal Credit it is the focus of the Government’s drive to tackle long term unemployment.

The Committee’s report is supportive of most of the principles of the Work Programme but highlights some areas where the Committee have concerns.

Conclusions and recommendations

Read the governments response The Response

See the full select committee report The Full Report

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18 July 2011


ERSA calls for measures to increase the transparency and effectiveness of future Government procurement.


The Employment Related Services Association (ERSA), the trade body for the welfare to work industry, today welcomed the publication of the Government’s response to the Work and Pensions Select Committee Inquiry on Work Programme procurement, but released survey data showing that more could be done to increase the transparency and effectiveness of future Government procurement.


Speaking in response to the publication, ERSA chief executive Kirsty McHugh said ‘This is a useful exchange which places the Government’s commitment to evaluation and transparency of information firmly in the public arena.  ERSA’s membership has always backed the principles of the Work Programme, but our recent survey of ERSA members shows that the speed at which it was conducted has had a range of consequences that need to be taken into consideration by future Government procurement exercises.  In addition, it would be helpful for the Government to publish a statement of intent about future procurement intention to help increase confidence in the market’.


ERSA surveyed its members between 25 May and 16 June 2011 and received a 61% response rate. The survey results show that 71% believed that Government procurement timetables had been difficult and that 40% thought the procurement process allowed providers insufficient scope for introducing innovative ways of delivering welfare to work services.


In addition, there was a call from subcontractors for prime contractors to reduce the bureaucracy of their own procurement processes.  Some potential subcontractors had filled in over 100 Expression of Interest forms, which had presented a substantial opportunity cost to smaller organisations.


ERSA also called for greater transparency from Government on a range of other issues, including:


  1. The extent to which the Government is undertaking a DEL/AME switch.  The Government’s statement in the response to the Work and Pensions Committee report that benefit savings ‘will help pay providers for the results they achieve’ seems to indicate that a full DEL/AME model has not been implemented.  This has implications for the wider roll out of payment by results across the public sector;
  2. Any future adaptations of the payment model need to be undertaken only after close dialogue with the sector, particularly given previous concern among some ERSA members about how the financial model and performance criteria had been arrived at.   Similarly there needs to be close dialogue at an early stage regarding the introduction of the Universal Credit.  The definition of a job outcome payment under the new benefit system is a major concern and contractual variation will only be acceptable after extensive dialogue with the sector; and


  1. A lack of certainty about the interaction of the Work Capability Assessment and the Work Programme, particularly in instances where individual customers are referred to Work Programme providers when unable to work.



Notes to Editors


ERSA is the trade association for the welfare to work industry. Established in 2005, by the industry for the industy, it exists to help members achieve their shared goal – to help people achieve sustainable work.  ERSA’s membership ranges from large multinational corporations to small specialist charities. It represents about 85% of those organisations that have been awarded prime contracts under the Work Programme all Work Choice providers.


Press enquiries should be directed to Kirsty McHugh, Chief Executive, available on 07932 792 435 or Kirsty.mchugh@ersa.org.uk.








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This one-day conference (31st March 2011)  is ‘essential’ for all those organisations looking to be involved in Big Society activities. It builds on the success of our workshops – ‘Introduction to the Big Society’ by introducing plenary speakers who are key players in the practical development of Big Society delivery and sets of practical workshops covering themes, funding, priorities and needs.

The conference will be chaired by Pauline Dye, the Chief Executive of the Princess Royal Trust Coventry Carers Centre

Read More..

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Wednesday’s Guardian ran an interesting piece on Atos and their administration of  the Work Capability assessment…

Is Atos being treated unfairly I wonder…..?

Read the very very long article….. HERE

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Welfare Reform Bill in Brief

Universal Credit is the single state-sponsored payment that will combine all current individual benefits. As a result the following benefits will be abolished when the bill comes into effect:

  • income-based jobseeker’s allowance under the Jobseekers Act 1995;
  • income-related employment and support allowance under Part 1 of the Welfare Reform Act 2007;
  • income support under section 124 of the Social Security Contributions and Benefits Act 1992;
  • housing benefit under section 130 of that Act;
  • council tax benefit under section 131 of that Act;
  • child tax credit and working tax credit under the Tax Credits Act 2002
  • Disability Living allowance

Who’s entitled?

Both single people and couples are able to apply for the Universal Credit if they meet the basic and financial conditions, as an individual or jointly:

  • Over 18
  • Under 65
  • Not receiving education
  • Must accept the DWP Claimant Commitment (Section 62 explanatory notes)

The amount of credit entitlement depends on the claimant/claimants’ needs, including such factors as:

  • the fact that a claimant has limited capability for work;
  • the fact that a claimant has limited capability for work and work-related activity;
  • the fact that a claimant has regular and substantial caring responsibilities for a severely disabled person (35)

Work-related requirements

Depending on personal circumstance, claimants for work-related benefit will be obliged to attend one or all the following (68-77):

  • a work-focused interview requirement (see section 15 of Bill);
  • a work preparation requirement (see section 16 of Bill);
  • a work search requirement (see section 17 of Bill);
  • a work availability requirement, i.e. willing immediately to take up paid work or more paid work or better-paid work (see section 18 of Bill)

The work-related requirements which may be imposed on a claimant depend on which of the following groups the claimant falls into:

  • no work-related requirements (see section 19 of Bill);
  • work-focused interview requirement only (see section 20 of Bill);
  • work-focused interview and work preparation requirements only (see section 21 of Bill);
  • all work-related requirements (see section 22 of Bill).

Sanctions (86-87) will be put in place should a claimant:

  • fails for no good reason to comply with a requirement imposed by the
  • Secretary of State under a work preparation requirement to undertake
  • a work placement of a prescribed description;
  • fails for no good reason to comply with a requirement imposed by the
  • Secretary of State under a work search requirement to apply for a
  • particular vacancy for paid work;
  • fails for no good reason to comply with a work availability requirement
  • by not taking up an offer of paid work;
  • by reason of misconduct, or voluntarily and for no good reason, ceases
  • paid work or loses pay. Universal credit and other benefits

Higher sanctions may cover up to three years of claims.

Those with a limited capacity to work (190) will have to undergo a work capability assessment the details of which are under review following Professor Harrington’s report. Depending on personal circumstance those currently claiming Employment Support Allowance will not have to be reassessed.

Disability Living Allowance

In addition to the Universal Credit, the DWP have also introduced the Personal Independence Payment (337), a non-means tested, non-taxable, cash benefit that will replace Disability Living allowance and mobility support when they are abolished. Claimants under the age of 65, will be able to apply for either or both the daily living component or mobility component. There will be a standard and enhanced rate for this provision which will be determined by medical assessments, details of which will be set out in secondary legislation but the medical examination will determine:

“Whether a person’s ability to carry out daily living activities is limited

a) by the person’s physical or mental condition;

b) whether a person’s ability to carry out daily living activities is severely limited by the person’s physical or mental condition;

c) whether a person’s ability to carry out mobility activities is limited by the person’s physical or mental condition;

d) whether a person’s ability to carry out mobility activities is severely limited by the person’s physical or mental condition” (section 878 of Bill)

The daily living component may fund services such as medical or other treatment which the person is undergoing as an inpatient, accommodation, board, personal care, such other services as may be prescribed (373). Inpatients and those in residential care homes will not be able to apply for the daily living component.

The Government estimates that the introduction of the Universal Credit will cost £2 billion but will result in £7340 million of savings in benefit expenditure between 2012 and 2015.

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The Welfare Reform Bill!

Follow this link: HERE

Explanatory notes:  HERE

Full summary coming up shortly….

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