Select Committee on Work and Pensions Minutes of Evidence


Memorandum submitted by the Shaw Trust (EDP 11)

Executive Summary

  1.  Shaw Trust is the United Kingdom's leading provider of employment services for people with disabilities. 2003 will be our 21st anniversary year and over this period of time we have seen a number of positive developments in terms of disabled people being able to exercise their right to work. Despite these positive changes there remains much to do. It is a sad reflection on our national employment policy that at a time when unemployment is at its lowest level for over thirty years and 78% of non-disabled people are now economically active that only 52% of disabled people are able to say the same.

  2.  There is a real cost to this situation, a cost to the exchequer in lost tax and national insurance payments, as well as enormous care costs for keeping people economically inactive (see Annex 1), a cost to the economy in reduced consumer spending power, a cost to employers in lost skills and expertise and a human cost to those disabled people excluded from full participation in society. Shaw Trust welcomes the decision by the Work and Pensions Select Committee to undertake an enquiry into the government's disability employment policy. We are pleased to have this opportunity to submit this written evidence and would welcome an opportunity to amplify this in front of the Committee itself.

  3.  Shaw Trust is working hard to enable disabled people to find and keep employment. During 2002-03 Shaw Trust expects to work with around 14,000 individuals with disabilities or health problems. We currently work with 3,000 disabled people on the Workstep Programme and provide Job Broking services, under the New Deal for Disabled People programme (NDDP), for a further 4,000 clients. In addition we work with nearly 100 Local Authorities and Health Trusts to provide services designed to prepare disabled people for employment.

  4.  During this year Shaw Trust also expects to place close to 2,000 disabled people into employment through the NDDP Job Broking programme. We are achieving a job entry rate of 33.5% which compares well with other New Deals. We will enable a further 600 new participants to enter employment through the Workstep programme and will double our progression rate from Workstep with more than 200 people moving from Workstep into open employment. We also expect to find jobs for a further 100 disabled people through our Work Preparation contracts, and to enable over 100 people with mental health problems to secure employment through the combined efforts of our mental health projects.

  5.  Shaw Trust also works with young disabled people in both mainstream and special education, to enable them to make a successful transition from education to work. Through our Opening Doors Programmes over 40% of young people with special needs have successfully made this transition.

  6.  At the other end of the continuum from welfare to work, we have successfully worked with companies both in the public and private sectors to enable people to retain their employment after the onset of ill health and/or a disability. This year we expect to enable at least 250 people, who might otherwise have moved to Incapacity or other disability benefit, to retain their employment status.

  7.  Shaw Trust is proud of its record in assisting people with enduring health and disability problems to enter, re-enter or maintain their employment, but the numbers that we are currently able to assist are a tiny proportion of the ever-increasing number of economically inactive disabled people.

  8.  3.356 million disabled people are economically inactive, with only 3.43 million disabled people in employment. Four out of five people with a mental health problem are economically inactive, and three out of five people with a learning disability are not working.

  9.  With over 200,000 disabled people claiming Job Seekers Allowance and over 2.7 million people claiming Incapacity Benefits this combined total is greater than the combined total of Lone Parents and non disabled unemployed people on benefits. For a summary of relevant disability statistics, please refer to Annex 1 of this document.

  10.  If the Department for Work and Pensions is to get anywhere near its Public Service Agreement Target by 2006 of increasing the employment rate of disabled people and significantly reducing the difference between the employment rate of that group and the overall rate, Shaw Trust believes a number of key changes are required. Above all we must increase the scale of activity in supporting people with disabilities back into employment. We estimate that in order to halve the difference (currently 26 percentage points) between the employment rates of non-disabled (78%) and disabled people (52%) then somewhere in the order of 900,000 disabled people would need to move from benefit to employment over the next three years. Shaw Trust is confident that with the right employment policy in place this is a realisable objective.

  11.  Key issues which this employment policy should address include:

    —  Significant new investment in employment programmes for disabled people, investment which will over a short period of time be self-financing;

    —  Improved access to government databanks to ensure that providers of those services can successfully reach disabled people;

    —  New incentives to overcome the "benefit trap" problems, which many disabled people face;

    —  Clear leadership to champion the effective and efficient operational delivery of employment services for disabled people;

    —  Rigorous enforcement of the Disability Discrimination Act employment provision combined with a major marketing initiative to help redress the prejudice and discrimination that disabled people face in the employment market; and

    —  Educational initiatives to help overcome the negative conditioning regarding work which many disabled people receive from a wide range of influencers, including doctors, social workers, teachers and parents.

  12.  Our responses to the questions asked by the Select Committee are detailed below This ideas put forward in this submission draw on the proven experience of Shaw Trust in delivering programmes which enable disabled people to move into employment and to remain there. However this experience is not unique to Shaw Trust; we are just one of a number of organisations in the field that do know what works in terms of supporting disabled people into employment; collectively we put this into practical effect day by day. There is a proven body of practical experience to draw on. What is needed now is not some new magic formula or further research pilots but a commitment to sustained and reasonably resourced services which are then robustly delivered.

  13.  We would welcome the opportunity to attend a hearing of the Select Committee so that we are able to expand on the brief responses contained in this paper.

Do the high numbers claiming Incapacity Benefit represent hidden unemployment?

  14.  Entry into Incapacity Benefit is still rising. DWP data shows that at 31 August 2002 there were 2,380,000 IB claimants, an increase of 11,000 from the previous quarter and 1.7% higher than the same point a year earlier.

  15.  It is then clearly right to question a Personal Capability Assessment process which is permitting such an increased take up of Incapacity Benefit.

  16.  It is true that historically a number of people, particularly in "old" industrial areas, moved in significant numbers from unemployment registers on to IB. It is also the case that many of those currently judged as "incapable" of work are in fact able and want to work. The government's own figures suggest that this number is as high as 1.5 million people. However, Shaw Trust does not believe that it is helpful to question whether these figures contain "hidden unemployment" as the implication here can be taken to mean that it is the claimants who have somehow hidden themselves.

  17.  What really matters is that tackling the issue of the large number of economically inactive disabled people becomes a major strategic priority of this government's Welfare to Work policy and is resourced accordingly. The table set out in Annex2 illustrates the spending on the respective New Deals. What is striking about these figures is the imbalance in resources between the New Deals for 18-24 and 25+ compared with those for NDDP. In this current year it is estimated that £656 million will be spent on the former compared to £58 million on NDDP; this is despite the fact that that there are two and half times more IB than JSA claimants. This makes neither political nor economic sense.

  18.  We also believe that there is a need to examine the process by which individuals are deemed to be eligible for Incapacity Benefit. It may be that the process is still measuring an individual's capacity against a previous employment, it may also be that the individual's capacity is being assessed without proper understanding of the various types of support which can be used both to prevent an individual from needing to leave employment and to enable someone to make a rapid return to the world of work if one type of employment proves unsuitable.

  19.  The advent of Jobcentre Plus makes for opportunities to address this. The Personal Capability Assessment process is an opportunity to get claimants thinking about employment right from the start. Some areas are piloting the production of a Capability Report for Personal Advisers which highlights the work an individual can do rather than that which they cannot, this should be developed further. A move away from a purely medical process would be helpful, for example by using more occupational nurses and fewer doctors.

What is, or should be, the role of Jobcentre Plus?

  20.  Shaw Trust believes that Jobcentre Plus has and should continue to have an important role in employment services for disabled people. We do believe that it would be helpful to review the focus of this role. It is our contention that there is a fundamental weakness in the current system which enables Jobcentre Plus to act as both the purchaser and provider of services. This weakness is exacerbated by Jobcentre Plus' role as a referring agent to services where its in-house provision is one of a number of provider options in a geographical area.

  21.  If Jobcentre Plus is to continue to deliver services, it is our contention that another arm of government should take responsibility for the commissioning of those services.

  22.  Shaw Trust also recommends that access to potential client information should be made more freely accessible to all contractors so that gatekeepers within Jobcentre Plus do not restrict access to clients.

Is Jobcentre Plus doing enough to engage people with disabilities in finding suitable work?

  23.  The high number of disabled people who are currently detached from the labour market would suggest that more needs to be done to engage this group in finding work. However, to criticise Jobcentre Plus for this situation would be unfair.

  24.  Staff within Jobcentre Plus who are actively engaged in enabling disabled job seekers to find work are at a quadruple disadvantage.

  25.  Firstly, there is a real lack of trust by disabled jobseekers of the role of Jobcentre Plus. One of the reasons that Shaw Trust is successful in delivering programmes such as NDDP is simply because we are not an arm of government. We have no power to withdraw or re-examine entitlement to disability benefits; we are simply there to help the individual to find and keep work. Perhaps it is simply asking too much for the organisation that administers benefit entitlement to be seen as a genuine "helping hand" by disabled people who have had to fight hard to win and keep their disability benefits.

  26.  Secondly, in the main, Jobcentre Plus tends only to become interested in clients when they are already in receipt of benefits. In many cases, an effective retention service would either prevent an individual who develops a health problem or disability from losing their job or it would rapidly intervene to enable them to move into other, more suitable employment.

  27.  Thirdly, the provision of the appropriate package of support requires the provider to have good contacts with the whole network of specialist services, from within the education system, social services, and health as well as in the area of work. This type of joined up provision is the natural and logical way of working for organisations which have the individual as the focus, rather than a departmental responsibility. It is our experience that staff within Jobcentre Plus simply do not have the necessary range of contacts to put together the right support package for each individual client. Shaw Trust has what we believe to be a unique position providing, as we do, employment services on behalf of national government departments, local authorities, health trusts, local regeneration agencies as well as for commercial employers.

  28.  Finally the recent restructuring within Jobcentre Plus means there is no longer the same range of specialist teams available to work with disabled job seekers. We question whether this leaves them as well placed to respond to the scale of activity required.

Are initiatives such as Workstep successful?

  29.  Shaw Trust believes that the Workstep programme is a successful programme which enables severely disabled people to take their place in the world of work. Shaw Trust is currently operating its Workstep programme to maximum capacity and has a large number of individuals wanting to access this programme.

  30.  In order to respond to the challenges of the Workstep programme, Shaw Trust has completely reinvented its approach to the delivery of its employment provision for severely disabled people. This means that we no longer offer a wage subsidy to employers, preferring to use the Workstep funding to pay for client training and to facilitate natural support mechanisms within the workplace. We believe that this reinvention of the service will enable us to move towards the target set by Jobcentre Plus of having approximately 30% of our Workstep clients moving into Open Employment within a two year timeframe.

  31.  We are enthusiastic about the new look Workstep programme as it enables us to market severely disabled job-seekers to employers in a positive light, as legitimate members of a workforce who happen to be eligible for special assistance because of their disability. This is a real move away from the old system of compensating employers through wage subsidy for employing disabled people.

  32.  Shaw Trust staff have had to work hard to market this new service to employers but we are now exceeding our original contract requirements on a regular basis and would welcome any opportunity to extend this service to the large numbers of severely disabled people who would benefit from this type of support into work.

  33.  We are currently examining whether this different approach to the delivery of Workstep is having an impact on the type of client we are able to support. Previously, under the old Supported Placement programme, we were placing a number of employees with very high support needs into employment. We intend to continue this service under the Workstep programme but our emphasis in the first instance has been to introduce the programme to people who we can expect to succeed in open employment after a two-year support programme. Once we have achieved the targeted 30% progression we will be in a better position to review our marketing of this service.

The New Deal for Disabled People: have the lessons been learned from the earlier pilots?

  34.  Shaw Trust delivered two of the six Personal Adviser pilots that were contracted out to the Private/Voluntary sector. We were also involved in the delivery of three more PVS pilots as well as working with Jobcentre Plus in two of their pilot areas. We are pleased that the original pilot has been extended on a national basis and that some of the features which made the PA pilot a success have been incorporated into this extended pilot. However, a number of other lessons that could have been learned from the earlier pilots appear to have been studiously ignored.

  35.  Firstly, the funding structure whereby more than 98% of the funding is payable on outcomes, ensured that there was a limit, not necessarily to the number of organisations who bid to deliver job broking but to the number who could commit to the sort of investment to ensure that it was delivered effectively. One of the lessons that Shaw Trust drew from our experience of running the Personal Adviser pilot was that, in order to draw in a sufficient quantity of clients into our programme, we would need to invest up front in dedicated premises, in a substantial amount of marketing material and advertising of the service. This level of investment is presumably untenable for organisations who, because of the high risk factor of the Outcome Related Funding, have attempted to "bolt on" Job Broking to other services and existing infrastructure.

  36.  Secondly, the insistence, by Jobcentre Plus, of creating a selection of Job Broking providers for clients to select from has proved to be a choice on paper rather than in reality. It appears that the need to stretch the budget for NDDP to provide a national service, with customer choice in each locality, has inevitably led to an under funded provision in a large part of the country, with many contractors bidding cheaply in order to compete for this business on the grounds of cost rather than quality. As a result there has been a failure to deliver by many contractors.

How might NDDP be made more effective?

  37.  Firstly, there needs to be a demonstrable, united and visible commitment by both government and its civil service to the long term future of this programme. As we have previously stated, NDDP is a low profile and under resourced arm of the government's Welfare to Work agenda. It has appeared to us that, perhaps understandably, Jobcentre Plus and the DWP as a whole have, until now, put much more emphasis on ensuring the success of other New Deals. It is essential that both commitment and resources proportionate to the scale of need are now allocated to NDDP. Appendices 1 and 2 show both the level of need and the current resource allocation.

  38.  Secondly, the insistence on a funding regime, that is so heavily weighted (98%) towards outcomes, needs rapid review. This is particularly the case where contracts have been recently reallocated. The time remaining on these contracts does not allow the opportunity to recoup the upfront investment in premises, staff and marketing which is needed in order for the programme to really have an impact.

  39.  Thirdly, developing critical mass is essential. Successful delivery is most easily achieved through being able to deploy dedicated staff, premises, training programmes and marketing activity in any given area. Delivering such programmes as bolt on provision to existing core activity has been shown not to work in achieving outcomes on any significant scale. This means that providers need to be contracted to deliver sufficient volume of outcomes to justify investment in such resources. Whilst this has implications for national programme budgets the practical issue is that this is only likely to be cost-effective if there is a single contractor per area, along the lines of Employment Zone & PSL New Deal provision. Providers should be closely monitored to ensure that they are fulfilling their contracted targets and contracts reallocated if they are failing.

  40.  Fourthly, a new approach to the client contact strategy is required. The present arrangements for engaging IB claimants with NDDP contractors are inadequate and ignore the experience of the Personal Adviser pilots. Contractors should be able to manage more directly the contact with potential clients. This could be done through direct access to the benefit claimant database. We understand that the Welfare Reform Act makes provision for supply of such data to third parties. There is precedent for such access; in the PSL ONE pilots private sector staff (including seconded Shaw Trust staff) had access to BA and ES systems and client data. We recognise that there are practical implementation issues here and a fall back position would be for mail shots to the database to be carried out by Jobcentre Plus staff, but to an operational plan decided by the contractor.

  41.  Shaw Trust would be happy to expand our proposals for increasing the effectiveness of NDDP, including our suggestions for reshaping the funding arrangements, should we be invited to attend a Select Committee hearing.

The role of the private sector in delivering employment services for people with disabilities and health problems

  42.  There is clearly a role for any organisation which can offer quality provision in this area, whether from the private or voluntary sector. However, a number of private sector organisations were involved in the NDDP and ONE pilots and a significant number have chosen not to continue with this line of business. We believe that some of the most innovative and effective work in the disability and employment area has been carried out by voluntary sector organisations. We would wish to draw the Committee's attention to the importance of the Voluntary Sector in the provision of employment services for disabled people.

Are the needs of particular groups of people with disabilities and health problems adequately catered for?

  43.  Shaw Trust provides a generic work-placement and work support service and we have 20 years experience of working with people with all types of disabilities. We tailor our services to the needs of the individual and over the years have come to recognise that this individual approach, together with the depth and range of experience within our own workforce, ensures that we can cater for the employment needs of individuals with a wide range of different requirements.

  44.  However, there is no doubt that Voluntary Sector organisations which specialise in understanding the very particular needs of people with certain types of disability also have a key role to play. Shaw Trust works with such organisations on a regular basis and access to their expertise is vital in ensuring that all individual requirements are properly understood and well met. We would be concerned if, for whatever reason, such organisations were to become further removed from the provision of employment services to disabled people.

Should employment projects be more inclusive and adapt to individual needs rather than be aimed at people with specific disabilities?

  45.  Our experience has taught us to look at the individual not the disability. It is misleading to assume that because a group of people have the same disability that their individual needs are the same.

  46.  That said it is essential that employment projects are run by people who have a good knowledge of the types of support that individuals who are disabled may need if they are to be successful in the world of work. It is interesting to note the growth in the number of IB claimants who have mental health related conditions and recognition of this in the design of employment policy is important.

The Tax credit and benefit system: is it too complex for the circumstances faced by people with disabilities? And should it be reformed to reduce financial disincentives to find work?

  47.  The biggest single barrier to moving into work is expressed as a fear of losing benefit. This fear is made up of two parts: not being able to get back onto IB if the individual's health or disability deteriorates, (or if the job does not work out), and being financially worse off in work. The 52-week linking rule is helpful in respect of the first part, although there are some anecdotal comments about how it works in practice. The Disabled Persons' Tax Credit has gone some way towards the second but this needs to be taken further. A more robust minimum income guarantee is needed. A major stumbling block remains housing benefit which must now be addressed. If we are to make real in-roads into reducing the number of claimants we must address the significant financial disincentives to work facing those who are receiving care support either in residential or independent settings.

  48.  Shaw Trust has gained a good understanding of how the benefit system impacts on disabled job seekers. Our assessment of a number of the key issues, together with suggestions of changes that could be made, is included as Annex 3 to this written evidence.

How does discrimination hinder the employment of people with disabilities?

  49.  Our experience is that discrimination at the point of job entry is hard to detect and difficult to prove. Our broad observation is that this often happens because employers are fearful of the costs and responsibilities of employing disabled person. Their perception of both is usually significantly greater then the reality. This is why programmes that pave the way into employment for disabled people are so important. Much of the work that is done by organisations like Shaw Trust is about supporting employers as well as disabled employees through the first weeks or months of a new job. We provide the support and advice which gives employers confidence to take the step of employing a disabled person. It is interesting to note that a recent (2002) study carried out for Unum Provident Ltd illustrated that many employers themselves still believe that disabled people are discriminated against in applying for jobs.

What effect does the Disability Discrimination Act have?

  50.  The DDA is important because it sets an enforceable process for employers to follow. It is important, in these still early days of the Act, that is seen by employers to have teeth. Under the old quota system, whereby employers were required to employ a minimum percentage of disabled employees, there were 6 prosecutions in 50 years and a maximum fine of £1,000. This led to employers ignoring the legislation. It is important that the DDA does not fall into such disrepute.

  51.  Much of our work is with small companies who are not covered by the Act. Shaw Trust believes that all employers should be covered by the terms of the DDA and that smaller companies should be eligible for a greater amount of financial assistance, where it is needed, through an Access to Work programme that has an increased budget and that offers a tapering scale of financial support.

What experience do other countries have in tackling the growth in the numbers claiming incapacity-related benefits?

  52.  Shaw Trust has an active network of overseas contacts through our membership of Workability International and our affiliation to Goodwill in the USA. One interesting area to note is the pro-active role many overseas governments take in job creation for disabled people through positive encouragement of social enterprise, for example through their own procurement policies and use of set-aside contracts.

Ian Charlesworth

Managing Director

3 January 2003

Annex 1

DISABLED PEOPLE AND EMPLOYMENT: KEY STATISTICS

  Job outcomes on New Deal for Young People are expected to be 8.5 times those for disabled people, and outcomes for New Deal for Lone Parents are expected to be five times the outcomes on New Deal for Disabled People.

  The cost of benefits for non JSA disabled people in England is £28.44 billion, compared to the benefits for all other people of working age of £12.11 billion and approximately 20% of this group are likely to be people with disabilities.

  Shaw Trust operates 12% of Job Broking programmes, but achieves 23.5% of the job outcomes.

  The Workstep programme at £65 million per year is nearly one third higher than the current finance for all Job Broking programmes.

  In six months Shaw Trust has filled twice as many places as our average annual fill and our progression rate into Open Employment of 7.5% in the first six months of the year is three times our annual average rate.

  Long term sickness is estimated to cost organisations £6 billion a year.

  Residential and Day Care costs in England for people with disabilities are £3.3 billion.

  Day Care in England costs £635 million each year. This is six times higher than the cost of Workstep and Job Broking in the UK.

  With more that 50 contracts with Social Services and Health Trusts, Shaw Trust is uniquely placed to modernise Day Care and meet the challenges of welfare to work.

  6% of pupils with special education needs make the transition from education to employment.

  30% of Shaw Trust Opening Door clients make the transition from education to employment.

  9% of all school leavers do not enter education, employment or training.

  4% of Shaw Trust pupils with special education needs do not enter education, employment or training.

Annex 2

Expenditure on New Deals
£ millions 1997-98
Outturn
1998-99
Outturn
1999-00
Outturn
2000-01
Outturn
2001-02
Estimated
Outturn
2002-03
Plans
2003-04
Plans
Total
New Deal forYoung People43 260370412 301354355 2095
New Deal for 25+34 9760207 3023001000
New Deal for over 50s 35674 119119371
New Deal for Lone Parents
183943 46142175 463
New Deal for Disabled People 12214 125859166
New Deal for Partners 15118 262980
Action Teams 1144 5858171

Annex 3

Benefit and Related Issues Adversely Impacting on NDDP Performances
AreaCurrent Position Impact on NDDPProposed Change Impact of Change
Personal Capability Assessment (PCA)(i)  Client can ascertain when next or even first PCA due

(ii)  Following medical given outcome plus date of next PCA if staying on IB
Prospective customers fear that:

(i)  Being registered with a job broker will trigger an early PCA

(ii)  Working with a job broker will imply "work ready" when going for a PCA and will adversely affect the outcome
Where customer registers with a job broker second or subsequent PCAs are deferred for 12 months (i)  Encourage people to   register for NDDP

(ii)  Removes the "fear"

(iii)  Would make customers and job broker more focused in that they would be working towards a known timescale

(iv)  Reduce the waiting list and overall costs of PCAs

(v)  More customers coming   forward means more going into work with consequential savings on benefit

(vi)  The job broker becomes part of the process
PCA AppealsIf claim rejected from PCA either (INSERT DIAGRAM) (i)  Customer financially penalised if appeal via IS route

(ii)  Customers on IS continue to access NDDP but appeals can be lengthy

(iii)  Customers going onto JSA can only access NDDP for very limited period
Whilst going through the appeals process all customers (both IS and JSA) should be eligible to continue to access NDDP. (i)  Focuses the customer on getting a job

(ii)  Continuity of support from the job broker

(iii)  More people will go into work

(iv)  Reduction in number of appeals being held, due to people going into work, speeds up the process, reduces costs
Work Based Learning for Adults (WBLA)Customers seeking to access WBLA have to come off their IB and go onto a training allowance.

Have to surrender their order book.
(i)  Takes away the security of being on their original benefit plus holding their order book

(ii)  Customers know that ahead of them, they have to link back into their original benefit. Can be a "difficult" process for the customer with delays in the linking back and receiving their benefits

(iii)  Major disincentive to taking up WBLA
Clients remain on their benefit and retain their order book whilst accessing WBLA. (as for Lone Parent) (i)  Customers see the barrier removed and take up what is a valuable training option

(ii)  Better trained customers result in more going into work and sustaining their jobs
Permitted Work(i)  Very positive development. Increasing take up, however customers on "means tested benefits" end up working for very little extra

(ii)  Job brokers are not able to give definitive information to the customer on the amount of earnings disregard
Customers for whom Permitted Work would be a key stepping stone back to full time employment are not accessing the provision A standard earnings disregard of £20 (i)  Amount of earnings disregard would be readily understood

(ii)  Greater take up of Permitted Work with more customers progressing into full time employment

Back to Work Grant for customers on "means tested" benefits who could potentially access Permitted Work No grant paidNo significant financial encouragement for those customers to take up Permitted Work. Proportion of the benefit "clawback" should be retained and paid to the customer when they move into full time employment and leave benefit. (i)  Would increase take up of Permitted Work

(ii)  Would encourage progression to full time employment

(iii)  Would result in more jobs

Starting Work

BA Jobgrant


(i)  Delay in payment
Wide variation in timing of payment of the jobgrant ranging from two-nine weeks. Causes financial hardship to customers Process should ensure clients paid within five working days of making the change.

Options could include:

(i)  Payment made by job broker and reclaimed from JC+

(ii)  Job broker holds supply of Job Grant application forms
Prompt payment to customers
(ii)  EligibilityJobgrant available only to customers aged 25+ Customers under 25 are disadvantaged Withdraw cover age limit of 25. Available to all All customers benefit, supports return to work
Run-On PaymentsOrder book returned immediately. one week/one month before first wage paid

(i)  IS customers get 4 week Run-On for housing benefit and Council Tax Benefit

(ii)  IB customers do not get a Run-On therefore have no income until receipt of first wage (normally one month)

(iii)  Customers in private rented accommodation can lose property if cannot pay rent
Customers can experience sever financial hardship on returning to work

or

will not seek to return to work due to financial position during the first month.

Can impact on customer decision to sustaining employment
(i)  Run-On should apply to both IB and IS clients. Should be qualifying period before eligible—say 26 weeks:

Or

(ii)  Could receive (as for Lone Parents) payment equivalent to two weeks benefit after eligibility period
(i)  Increased take up of jobs

(ii)  Improved numbers sustaining employment

(iii)  "debt" worry removed

(iv)  Could reduce potential for over payment with customers "holding on to" their order books before notifying starting work
Returning to Benefit

52 week linking rule
On returning to benefit customers can experience considerable delays in their claim being processed with consequential delays in their receiving payment of benefits Causes high levels of
stress in client groups which includes a high proportion of people with mental health issues.

Discouraged from applying for further jobs
Fast-track "returning" claims Eases the process.

Customers are more likely to do further rounds of Jobsearch.
Disability Living Allowance (DLA)When someone on DLA goes into work DLA is reviewed.

Payment is suspended pending review of the changed circumstances
(i)  Payment of DLA is immediately stopped. This benefit is crucial to meeting their care and mobility needs which are still there when they start work.

(ii)  Is a clear disincentive to clients accessing NDDP

(iii)  Review process is lengthy
(i)  Fast-tracked and a decision given to the customer within five days of the receipt of the change in circumstances

(ii)  Preferred—Employment is not viewed as a change in circumstances
Positive. Will persuade more customers to come forward to NDDP.




 
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