Supplementary evidence submitted by Remploy
after the publication of the Welfare Reform Green Paper
1. We welcome the Government's commitment,
in the Welfare Reform Green Paper, to getting one million people
off Incapacity Benefits and back into work and commend them for
setting a clear target. However it is important that, in the drive
for targets, people with more complex needs are also properly
supported. Social inclusion demands that people with complex needs
who want to work be given the chance to do so.
2. The operational implementation of the
personal capability assessment (PCA) needs to ensure that all
disabled people who want to work are encouraged to take up the
very positive support available under Pathways and that no one,
who wants to work, is assumed to be unable to do so.
3. As part of the Welfare Reform proposals,
the Government is proposing to roll out the Pathways to Work initiative
across the country. We are of course in favour of extending this
level of support. However many of those with the most complex
support needs such as those with mental health conditions and
learning disabilities risk losing access to this support as many
will have been screened out through their personal capability
4. The latest Pathways to Work evaluation
("Incapacity Benefit reformsPathways to Work pilots
performance and analysis" DWP working paper no 26) demonstrates
that over 37% of candidates are screened out of the process due
to their disability or health condition as assessed at their PCA.
We endorse the Government's view that all people who want support
should have access to it and encourage them to ensure that the
detailed processes deliver this in practice and do not perpetuate
one of the problems with the existing welfare regime; that work
is not seen to form part of an individual's rehabilitation and
that certain conditions are seen as making work unsuitable for
5. For example, many people with mental
health conditions and learning disabilities do workand
very successfully. But very many do not. Only 20% of the 675,000
people with mental health conditions and barely 25% of the 160,000
people with learning disabilities work. These people face the
greatest barriers to work and we should be seeking ways of breaking
down these barriers. Remploy has demonstrated that it can be done.
Last year we found over 1,500 jobs in mainstream employment for
people with learning disabilities or mental health conditions.
We are committed to working with Jobcentre Plus and other job
brokers to do even more.
6. This is exactly why Remploy alongside
RADAR, Mencap, Mind, Sainsbury Centre for Mental Health, Disability
Rights Commission, Employment Opportunities, Work Directions and
Papworth Trust have jointly created a unique taskforce to identify
and promote proven strategies for raising the employment levels
of these two client groups. Collectively the taskforce members
have helped thousands of people with mental health conditions
and learning disabilities into inclusive mainstream employment.
We also recognised however that despite our collective success
the overall numbers in employment for these two groups was unacceptably
7. The taskforce is committed to finding
more effective routes to sustainable employment for people with
mental health conditions and learning disabilities. That commitment
will mean implementing effective strategies across taskforce members
as well as suggesting policy changes within the context of Pathways
to Work and the current Green Paper.