February 2013

The Government has indicated that it would like to exempt earned income from residential care charge calculations. People in employment who are supported by local authorities in residential care currently have all of their earned income charged to pay for care. This creates a disincentive for individuals to take up employment since the individual is financially no better off working than not working. Government intervention is required to remove the current legislative barriers to people in residential care taking up employment.

Senior occupational physician Dr Paul Litchfield has been appointed to carry out the fourth independent review of the Work Capability Assessment.

He will continue as Chief Medical Officer and Director of Health, Safety and Wellbeing for BT, a post he has held since 2001, while carrying out the review. His fields of expertise include mental illness and the impact it can have on work prospects. As a member of the World Economic Forum's Global Agenda Council, he has also played a key role in raising the profile of the economic impact of chronic disease.

The Public Accounts Committee publishes its 33rd Report of this Session which, on the basis of evidence from the Department for Work and Pensions, examined the performance of the Work Programme. The Rt Hon Margaret Hodge MP, Chair of the Committee of Public Accounts, today said: "The Work Programme is absolutely crucial for helping people, especially the most vulnerable, get into and stay in work. However its performance so far has been extremely poor.

New research into the Work Programme, released by the Third Sector Research Centre, casts further doubt on the quality of services being delivered, particularly to those furthest from the labour market The research, which involved interviews with Primes and providers, highlights that tier 2, ‘specialist’ providers, appear to be receiving no or very few referrals. This raises concerns about what is happening to those in need of specialist provision.

BASE is delighted to announce that our 2013 national conference will take place at the Marriott Royal Hotel in Bristol on 11-12 September. We are now able to take early delegate bookings.

This year's conference is kindly sponsored by Shaw Trust.

BASE is inviting expressions of interest from individuals and organisations that would like to present a workshop at the event. We anticipate around 20 workshops and we're approaching speakers to present to the conference.

This DWP working paper presents the views of 12 disabled young people regarding their interactions with the education system, the Department for Work and Pensions, support services and third party organisations as they come to the end of their education and start the process of seeking and gaining work.

DWP has published an evaluation of Employment Advisers in the Improving Access to Psychological Therapies (IAPT) programme.

DWP has published the latest statistics for Work Choice. The figures cover the programme's performance up to the end of December 2012. The overall job outcome rate has improved to 27.5% with all prime providers showing improved outcomes. CDG-WiseAbility and Momentum have achieved overall outcome rates of over 30%. Pluss, Working Links and Shaw Trust aren't far below the 30% threshhold. Overall outcome rates for individual package areas vary between 14.8% (CPA21 - Central London) to 33.3% (CPA28 - Devon and Cornwall).

The Government has published ‘Fulfilling Potential: Building a deeper understanding of disability in the UK today’. The aims of ‘Fulfilling Potential: Building Understanding’ are: * to provide an analysis of the current evidence on disability in the UK to inform the development of the next stage of work on Fulfilling Potential – the development of actions, outcomes and indicators * to inform public understanding and prompt debate about disability and the issues faced by disabled people

The government's back-to-work schemes have suffered a setback after Appeal Court judges agreed with a university graduate's claim that unpaid schemes were legally flawed. Cait Reilly, 24, claimed that requiring her to work for nothing breached laws on forced labour.

A three-judge panel at the royal courts of justice ruled that the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions had acted unlawfully by not giving the unemployed enough information about the penalties they faced and their rights to appeal against being made to work unpaid for, in some cases, hundreds of hours.