July 2013

DWP is holding a consultation about its commissioning strategy for welfare-to-work outcomes and services. The consultation closed on 27 September 2013. You'll find BASE's response at the bottom of this page. BASE has met with DWP's Commissioning Team and a workshop was presented by DWP at our national conference in Bristol.

As part of the ongoing process of improving the Work Capability Assessment (WCA), the DWP is to bring in additional providers to carry out assessments, Minister for Employment Mark Hoban announced today.

I am committed to ensuring the Work Capability Assessment process is as fair and accurate as possible, with the right checks and balances to ensure the right decision is reached. Where our audits identify any drop in quality, we act decisively to ensure providers meet our exacting quality standards.

The Government kicked off its new campaign to get employers to recruit more disabled workers at a major conference in London yesterday. Attended by over 500 people, many of them representing large employers, a range of politicians and chief executives issued a rallying cry to promote the new Disability Confident campaign.

Work and Pensions Committee announces forthcoming evidence session for inquiry into the role of Jobcentre Plus in the reformed welfare system
The Work and Pensions Select Committee has announced the second of six planned oral evidence sessions for its inquiry into the role of Jobcentre Plus (JCP) in the reformed welfare system. All meetings will be in a House of Commons Committee room and will be held in public.

Time/date: Wednesday 17 July at 9.45 am
Location: Grimond Room, Portcullis House

Disability Charities Consortium calls for urgent rethink on employment support for people with disabilities The report – Work in Progress: Rethinking employment support for disabled people – recommends to Government that:

  • There needs to be greater involvement of employers in the design and delivery of employment support;
  • The Government should incentivise greater localisation of employment support for disabled people in order to stimulate innovation;

Disabled people on traineeships, supported internships, work trials and work academies to get additional help through Access to Work.

Disabled people on traineeships, supported internships, work trials and work academies will for the first time get additional help through the Access to Work scheme – which provides funding towards the extra costs disabled people face in work, such as travel costs, specially adapted equipment or support workers.

DWP Press Release 8th July 2013
Help for people on sickness benefits to address barriers to work

DWP has published the long awaited evaluation of Work Choice. The evaluation, undertaken by Inclusion, recommends the continuation of specialist disability employment support as a separate specialist area of provision but also recommends a review of the commissioning approach used for specialist disability provision.

The Office for Disability Issues has published an evaluation of the Right to Control initiative. The evaluation found little evidence of a positive impact from Right to Control. Regarding employment, it started that "the analysis found no evidence that the Right to Control has had an impact on customers’ economic activity levels, or their perceived likelihood of taking up paid work in the future. This was both across all customers, and for Work Choice customers specifically."

The Department of Health has published a discussion paper outlining reforms to the social care eligibility criteria. The proposed changes would come into force in 2015 and would set a minimum national threshold to access to care and support services. At the moment, local authorities each have the power to vary eligibility under the Fair Access to Care Services (FACS) procedures. Because of financial cutbacks, local authorities are increasingly offering services only to people who they deem to be in critical need of them.