Memorandum submitted by Remploy
1. Remploy is a Non-Departmental Public
Body working for the Department of Work and Pensions to help people
with all kinds of disabilities and health conditions to find and
keep work. Each year we support over 10,000 disabled people in
this way both through our job-broking Interwork services across
the UK and also through our network of 82 factories.
2. We are the largest provider of the Government's
Workstep programme and also one of the biggest providers of New
Deal for Disabled People.
3. In the last few years we have continuously
increased the numbers of people we have helped into work and also
the numbers of people we have helped to progress into open, unsupported
4. In 2005-06 we will to help over 4,600 people into
work and help an additional 1,800 progress to unsupported employment.
5. Through our Interwork business we have been able to
achieve this at an average cost of £3.5k per person placed
into a job with a mainstream employer. The cost of supporting
our factory employees is much higher, at an annual cost of around
£18k per person.
6. We fully support the Government's initiative to help more
people access work through the Pathways to Work initiative. We
want to play a major role in giving people the opportunity to
re-engage with society and making Pathways more effective for
those clients with the higher support needs. There are so many
people on Incapacity Benefit at present that the Pathways to Work
pilots are only able to scrape at the surface, and this often
means that only those with the least support needs receive help.
There is an opportunity to support many more people with more
complex needs if the right service can be offered to them.
7. There are over one million people on Incapacity Benefit
who want to work and would be able to work with the right help
and support. The initial successes of the pilots are indicative
of what can be done when this group of people is engaged in job
8. However, we believe that those with the most support
needs could be helped by making better use of existing provision.
The Workstep programme, delivered as a flexible programme of pre-
and post-employment support in mainstream employment would enable
more people to enter, and remain in work from the Pathways to
Work pilots and provide a base for future achievement as part
of the IB reforms.
Are People with different disabilities and health conditions,
in both pilot and non-pilot areas, given appropriate support by
9. Remploy believes that the majority of people being
supported by the Pathways to Work pilots are those who are closest
to the labour market and who are making a recent claim to Incapacity
Benefit. Evidence from DWP research report 278 Incapacity Benefit
ReformsThe personal adviser role and practices:
"Job entry targets could influence IBPAs (Incapacity
Benefit Personal Advisers) increasingly" to prioritise customers
likely to give a quick win, above those needing longer term support
to return to work.
10. This is understandable given the large volumes of
people on Incapacity Benefit coming through the pilots and the
pressures on Jobcentre Plus to deliver within an ever-tighter
resource constraint. (The above report puts caseload levels for
IB Personal Advisers at up to 60 people each.)
11. Many people on Incapacity Benefit need more intensive
support both to help them secure employment and to retain it and
the options available to IB Personal Advisers do not allow for
this (with the exception of one pilot area in Wales) as they are
unable to refer an individual to Workstep which could provide
that level of support.
12. We believe that a service offering more intensive
pre and post employment support can help both individuals and
employers to overcome health and disability related barriers.
This includes those with more complex barriers which IB Personal
Advisers are currently inclined to screen out or defer in preference
of concentrating on the easier to help customers. IBPA role Stage
13. There are a number of individuals missing out from
receiving real job broking support because they are perceived
as being at too great a distance "Some concerns were expressed
about the potential misuse of discretion around waivers and deferrals
to help" IBPAs manage heavy caseloads or to avoid prolonged
contact with reluctant or "difficult" customers from
the labour market.
NDDP IS AN
Is there a tendency to help those perceived as closer to the
14. New Deal for Disabled People offers support to those
deemed by the IB Personal Adviser as either job-ready or with
minimal barriers to the labour market. These customers will often
have a reasonable work history or have received more intensive
support through other IB Personal Adviser "Choices"
such as Condition Management. The funding regime, with such a
concentration on job outcomes, also encourages brokers to cherry
pick the easiest to help but this comes at a very high unit cost.
In some cases the cost can be as much as £6,000 per sustained
COMPLICATED . . .
15. This means that those with more complex needs are
missing out from early support to help them find work. The current
process for referral to support is complicated for those furthest
away from the labour market. For example, a customer with a complex
health condition may need initial support followed by Condition
Management, followed by referral to DEA, then to Work Preparation,
then NDDP or Workstep with an element of Access to Work Support.
Speedier access for providers to people with more complex support
needs could be enable by direct referral from IB Personal Adviser
to Workstep. This would allow the provider to develop a personalised
package of support, it could reduce the amount of "treading
water" a customer would need to do in their journey back
to work and, by earlier intervention, significantly increase the
chances of a successful outcome.
16. Speedier access to provider support could also encourage
people on Incapacity Benefit to engage in more meaningful job-search
as it would overcome some of the perceived barriers of IB claimants
that the work focused regime is merely another check on them by
the "Benefit Police". We believe the referral process
could be significantly simplified by direct referral to Remploy.
A demonstration of this is given in the two suggested profiles
|Current Process ||Simplified Process
|Fail Personal Capability Assessment||Fail Personal Capability Assessment
|Receive letter re Work focused Interview
||Receive letter re Work focused Interview|
|Receive telephone call re meeting with JC+
||Receive telephone call re meeting with JC+
|Meet IBPA||Meet IBPA|
|Meet IBPA||Meet IBPA|
|Attend 3 day Confidence Building course
|Meet IBPA||Meet Workstep Provider
|Attend 6 week condition management programme
||Attend Vocational Training Programme|
|Meet Job Broker||Attend Job Action Groups
|Meet Job Broker||Get a Job
|Meet Job Broker||Meet IBPA
|Meet IBPA||Job Coaching support from Workstep
|Meet DEA||Workstep Provider support visits
|Meet Workpreparation provider Meet IBPA
||Open Unsupported Employment|
|Complete 6 week workpreparation placement
|Meet Workstep Provider||
|Attend Vocational Training Programme||
|Attend Job Action Groups||
|Get a Job|
|Job Coaching support from Workstep||
|Workstep Provider support visits||
|Open Unsupported Employment||
IB CLAIMANTS BACK
17. The purpose of Workstep is to help those with significant
disability related barriers to find and sustain work. IB Personal
Advisers' understanding of Workstep as a programme of support
for people on Incapacity Benefit is very limited at present and
often DEAs will perceive it as the last option on their list because
they believe the costs are prohibitive. We have proved, through
our delivery of the Workstep programme that in mainstream employment
it can achieve large volumes of job entries (we helped 2,400 people
last year to find a job in open employment by supporting them
on Workstep) at a cost of around £3.5k per person. As stated
earlier this is less costly, and more intensive, than some NDDP
18. The support they receive includes in-depth pre employment
support to overcome disability related barriers and also to prepare
the employer to enable them to put in place natural supports.
This is followed by tailored in-work support for a period of time
between six months and indefinitely depending on the person. This
has proved to be a very successful approach for us in placing
people with a wide range of disabilities into work. In particular,
this has proved to be a successful approach in supporting people
with Learning Disabilities back into work. Over the past two years
we have helped 1,686 people with Learning Disabilities into work
19. We believe that even more people could be helped
into work using Workstep type support if there was greater freedom
to utilise Workstep provision to support people in jobs for less
than 16 hours per week. However this issue is outside of the scope
of the Select Committee's considerations.
. . .
We welcome the IB reforms and the Pathways to Work Pilots
as a major step in the right direction to helping disabled people
and people with health conditions back to work.
People with more complex needs would benefit from the more
substantive support offered by Workstep, delivered as a dynamic
programme that helps people to progress to open employment. This
would include helping more people with learning disabilities.
Significant financial savings could be made by giving people
access to this more in-depth support through direct referral from
IB Personal Adviser to Workstep Provider.
What is the Experience of those who have taken part in different
aspects of the Pathways to Work pilots; what are the barriers
in accessing support offered through Pathways; what is their awareness
of the support available;
To further support the Select Committee's inquiry, we have
included two case studies of people we are helping in Pathways
to Work Pilot areas.
Customer A was referred to Remploy via his IBPA, who asked
our adviser to attend a meeting to discuss the customer's support
needs and what programme would be best suited to him. Customer
A is Autistic and likes very set routines, he receives Incapacity
Benefit and was eligible for both NDDP and Workstep due to the
extent of his disability.
The IBPA and our Adviser agreed that Workstep would be the
better option of the two due to the intensive support the customser
would require once in work with regular monitoring and support
for the employer etc.
Our adviser arranged a face-to-face meeting with the Customer
and his father, to discuss the Workstep programme in more detail.
When it was realised that the programme was for 16 hours plus
and that the customer would come off his benefits once in work,
his father did not feel this programme was suitable as they wanted
Permitted Work to allow the customer to keep his benefits for
a period of up to 12 months. The customer's father was adamant
that Permitted Work was what they would continue to look for due
to it being a "Benefit Safety Net" if things did not
work out for A whilst in work.
Although A does require the support of Workstep, Permitted
Work can only be done under NDDP; therefore we registered A on
NDDP so we could look for Permitted Work, so that he can be transferred
onto Workstep eventually or after the first six months of Permitted
Work. This means another stage in the process before giving the
customer the support he needs.
Customer B has been out of work for a few years, he came
to Remploy via a referral from his Incapacity Benefit Personal
Advisor who felt that he was not yet work ready and job search
activities needed to be taken slowly. The customer felt he was
work ready and eager to get back into work.
The customer is 28 years old and has controlled Schizophrenia,
he has had three nervous breakdowns, this has caused him to have
low confidence and self esteem. He can become extremely nervous
which results in a speech impairment. He finds it difficult to
contact employers for information on a job, and would require
support at interviews, he also requires a lot of support with
job search activities such as CVs, cover letters and application
forms. Although this support can be offered on both NDDP and Workstep,
significant in work support was needed.
Ideally when the Customer starts work, he will require a
supportive employer who understands his needs especially when
he is having a "bad" day and regular monitoring at his
place of work (weekly/fortnightly at least to begin with). Workstep
would be able to offer this support.
When discussed with the IBPA they were keen to put the individual
through NDDP because this would help them meet their own job entry
targets. If the customer went on to Workstep the job entry points
would be awarded to the Disability Employment Adviser. With Jobcentre
Plus targets rising and numbers dwindling, all Advisors need the
full job entry points. The Customer is not yet back in work.
3 October 2005