Posts Tagged ‘work and pensions’




3 February 2012



ERSA releases early indicative performance figures for the Work Programme


The Employment Related Services Association (ERSA), the trade association for the welfare to work industry, today provides the first indicative performance figures for the Work Programme.


Based on data from some of the largest prime contractors of the Work Programme, ERSA figures show that between 18% and 23% of customers who were referred to the Work Programme in June 2011 have already started employment, meaning that one in five customers have already found a job.


Welfare to work providers of the Work Programme have up to two years to help people to gain employment, which means that a figure of around 20% is broadly in line with provider expectations at this stage of the programme.   This compares favourably with the National Audit Office expectations of provider performance released last week, given that around one in five Work Programme customers referred to the programme in June had already found jobs after just six months.


ERSA chief executive, Kirsty McHugh, said:


‘We welcome these early indicative figures of Work Programme performance levels.  The welfare to work industry is working extremely hard to help all customers find sustainable work even in the context of challenging economic conditions.  Although it is far too early to draw firm conclusions on likely performance levels across the life of the contracts, these early figures show that the welfare to work industry is making a real difference to people’s lives.


Clearly, however, the economy is a cause for concern.  ERSA will therefore be tracking provider performance and working with the Department for Work and Pensions to ensure that the Work Programme continues to deliver benefit to all customers. ‘



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 over 90 percent of those organisations that have been awarded prime contracts for the Work Programme, plus a larger number of subcontractors. Approximately half its members are third sector organisations.

Press enquiries should be directed to Kirsty McHugh at kirsty.mchugh@ersa.org.uk or 07932 792 435.


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Latest Access to Work Statistics

New statistics have been produced by the Department for Work and Pensions on the Access to Work programme for the period up to the end of September 2011.

Access to Work is a specialist initiative delivered by Jobcentre Plus to provide advice and support to disabled people and their employers to help them overcome barriers to employment.  For example, funding is provided to help towards the costs of equipment, transport and support workers.

The key points from the latest release are:

  • Number helped: 24,340 individuals helped in the period April 2011 – September 2011.
  • Number continuing to benefit: 15,930 individuals continuing to benefit in the period April 2011 – September 2011.


Access the latest official statistics

Read further information about Access to Work

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Charities delivering on the Work Programme may face financial risk

The National Council for Voluntary Organisations (NCVO) has published research warning that charities delivering on the government’s welfare-to-work programme may be exposed to financial risk.

The research shows that more than half of charities delivering said their prime contractors had not protected them from financial risk; 39 of 72 charities surveyed said they have not been shielded by their prime contractor from risk and a further 14 said their prime had only done so to a small extent. Just 2 reported being protected “extensively”.

Under the Work Programme, charities are required to fund the work themselves and are only paid by the Department for Work and Pensions once a person placed in work has completed six months.

Sir Stuart Etherington, chief executive of NCVO, said: “The prime contractor model is supposed to safeguard small providers from financial risk, but these findings suggest it is currently falling far short of expectations. The Government must take these concerns on board and ensure that no bad practice is allowed to slip through the net.”

Read the full NCVO Work Programme Special Interest Group Survey

Amanda Frewin

Research & Project Support

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Shadow Work and Pensions Secretary, Liam Byrne has called for a radical rethink of the welfare state, arguing that the benefits system has betrayed its founding principles and “skewed social behaviour”.

The Shadow Work and Pensions Secretary argues that the ballooning of the system has provided support that is unearned, and mislaid the original ideal of providing help to those that contribute.

In an article for the Guardian marking the 70th anniversary of the Beveridge report, Byrne identifies;

  • housing benefit budget,
  • benefits for long-term unemployment,
  • the lack of proper incentives to reward responsible long-term savers as three key flaws in the current welfare state.

He writes: “Beveridge would scarcely believe that housing benefit alone is costing the country over £20bn a year. That is simply too high.”


For the last 13 years Labour has presided and supported this system it is clear that Labour now believes that its past record and ambitions were wrong..  not sure that the electorate will buy this 360 degree turn… is labour credible?

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Work and Pensions Committee


Select Committee Announcement

8 December 2011

For Immediate Release:

AN59 2010–12




Proposal to replace DLA with Personal Independence Payment


Monday 12 December 2011, Thatcher Room, Portcullis House

At 4.30 pm


  • Maria Miller MP, Minister for Disabled People, Department for Work and Pensions

  The Work and Pensions Committee has launched an inquiry into the Government’s proposal to introduce Personal Independence Payment (PIP) from 2013, replacing Disability Living Allowance (DLA) for all working age claimants by 2015/16.

PIP will be similar to DLA in that it will be a non-means tested, non-contributory tax-free cash benefit paid to people whose disabilities mean they incur extra costs in everyday life; however, the Government aims to simplify the benefit and reduce expenditure by introducing a new face-to-face assessment for PIP and by changing some of the current rules. The changes include: systematic periodic review of most PIP awards; ending automatic entitlement for specific conditions; replacing DLA’s three rates in the care component with two rates in the new daily living component; and extending the Qualifying Period from 3 months to 6 months.

This is the third, and final, evidence session in the inquiry. The Committee will question the Minister about the Government’s objectives for reform and its assessment of the likely impacts. It will also consider the latest draft of the PIP assessment criteria and plans for the implementation and delivery of the new assessment. The Government’s communication strategy and media coverage of the reforms will also be discussed.

Further information


Written evidence: Interested organisations and individuals were invited to submit written evidence before 2 September 2011. The evidence received has been published on the Committee’s website.

Oral evidence: The Committee heard oral evidence from academics and benefits experts on 19 October 2011 and from disability representative organisations on 23 November. Transcripts are available on the Committee’s website.

Committee membership:  Dame Anne Begg MP (Chair) (Lab, Aberdeen South), Mrs Debbie Abrahams MP (Oldham East and Saddleworth), Harriett Baldwin MP (Con, West Worcestershire), Andrew Bingham MP (Con, High Peak), Karen Bradley MP (Con, Staffordshire Moorlands), Sheila Gilmore (Lab, Edinburgh East),  Mr Oliver Heald MP (Con, North East Hertfordshire), Glenda Jackson MP (Lab, Hampstead and Highgate), Brandon Lewis MP, (Con, Great Yarmouth), Stephen Lloyd MP (Lib Dem, Eastbourne), Teresa Pearce MP (Lab, Erith and Thamesmead).

Specific Committee Informationworkpencom@parliament.uk 020 7219 2839

Media Information: abbottj@parliament.uk 020 7219 0724


Committee Website: www.parliament.uk/workpencom

Watch committees and parliamentary debates onlinewww.parliamentlive.tv


Publications/Reports/Reference Material:

Copies of all select committee reports are available from the Parliamentary Bookshop (12 Bridge St, Westminster, 020 7219 3890) or the Stationery Office (0845 7023474).  Committee reports, press releases, evidence transcripts, Bills; research papers, a directory of MPs, plus Hansard (from 8am daily) and much more, can be found on www.parliament.uk

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Making Work Pay

The original position


The position now

Yesterday Iain Duncan Smith admitted that the Chancellors decision to cutt working tax credits and award a 5.2 per cent increase in unemployment benefits would make it less likely that welfare claimants would seek employment.

The Work and Pensions Secretary said the £1.2million cut by Chancellor George Osborne last week would “reduce” the differential between benefits and a job.

Shadow Work and Pensions Secretary Liam Byrne said the Tories had “broken the cardinal rule of welfare reform that work should pay”.


The question is, what would Labour do and how would it do it?

We now know that the policy difference between Labour and the Coalition government is wafer thin…..

In the meantime please visit this LINK




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Government CIO to retire in the Spring of 2012

Joe Harley, the Chief Information Officer has decided to retire from the Civil Service after a year in the role, and seven years as the CIO for the Department for Work and Pensions. His resignation follows on from the news that deputy CIO Bill McCluggage is to leave the government at the start of the New Year.

Work and Pensions Secretary Iain Duncan Smith said:

“I would like to thank Joe for his significant and exceptional contribution to DWP and the Government – he has been instrumental in building reform and modernising our approach to technology.

“Joe leaves us with our highest regards having secured this Government well-placed to deliver major reform in the future.”

DWP Permanent Secretary Robert Devereux said:

“I want to thank Joe for his enormous contribution to the Department’s performance. He has been pivotal in establishing commercial arrangements which give value for money, and in the delivery of major changes to IT underpinning services which are critical for millions of people every day. The IT for Universal Credit, in particular, is on track.  I wish him well in his retirement.”

The process for selecting his successor, as CIO for DWP, will begin immediately. The Cabinet Office will run a separate process for the next Government CIO along with the process that is already underway to replace his deputy.


Amanda Frewin

Research & Project Support

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