June 2014

The Department for Work and Pensions has appointed Paul Gray to undertake the first independent review of the Personal Independence Payment (PIP) assessment. This is the first independent review as required by Section 89 of the Welfare Reform Act 2012.

The review includes all stages of the PIP process – from making a claim, the face to face consultation, the daily living and mobility criteria and getting a decision.

EUSE, the European Union of Supported Employment, has issued a newsletter giving an update on the development of its Toolkit for Diversity.

IPPR North has published a report, Alright for Some that makes recommendations for the replacement for the Work Programme. It proposes that a new national programme for mainstream jobseekers is established alongside a localised programme for those facing greater barriers to finding and sustaining work. Recommendations

Employees on zero hours contracts will have the freedom to find work with more than one employer after Business Secretary Vince Cable announced plans to ban exclusivity clauses. Exclusivity clauses prevent an individual from working for another employer, even when no work is guaranteed.

The ban, set to benefit the 125,000 zero hours contract workers estimated to be tied to an exclusivity clause, is part of a bid to clamp down on abuses in the workplace by less scrupulous employers. It will allow workers to look for additional work to boost their income.

The Public Accounts Committee has published a critical report following its inquiry into the implementation of Personal Independence Payments (PIP).

Margaret Hodge MP, Chair of the Committee of Public Accounts, said: "The implementation of Personal Independence Payment has been nothing short of a fiasco. The Department of Work and Pensions has let down some of the most vulnerable people in our society, many of whom have had to wait more than 6 months for their claims to be decided.

DWP has published official statistics to 31 March 2014 on Work Programme referrals, attachments, validated job outcome payments and sustainment payments. Cohort outcome rates remain very low for ESA customers though they are slowly improving for new ESA customers. Cohort analysis for ESA claimants referred in March 2013 shows the following job outcomes after 12 months on the programme: * ESA new claimants (Payment group 6) - 9% Customers with a 12 month prognosis - 3.3% * ESA volunteers (Payment group 5) - 3.8% * ESA ex-Incapacity Benefits (Payment group 7) - 1.9%

Preparing for Adulthood has published a guide for local authorities around implementing the employment aspects of the SEN reforms. http://www.preparingforadulthood.org.uk

A report launched today has found that the back to work support provided through the Work Programme and Jobcentre Plus is causing severe anxiety for people with disabilities and pushing them further from the job market.

The Department for Work and Pensions has announced the launch of a call for evidence for the 5th Independent Review of the Work Capability Assessment (WCA). The call for evidence runs until 15 August 2014. Visit WCA on GOV.UK for more information, including the questions, previous independent reviews and the government responses to previous reviews.

The Men's Health Forum and Work Foundation have published a report on men's health and unemployment. The report features a case study on Status Employment's collaboration with Charlton Athletic FC.

Summary of recommendations