February 2018

Down’s Syndrome Awareness Week runs from 19 to 25 of March. This year’s theme is “What I Bring To My Community” and BASE member, WorkFit, will be playing an important role in the week.

The Work and Pensions Committee is looking at the future of the European Social Fund within the context of Brexit. A one-off oral evidence session was held on 28 February and participants discussed a wide range of issues including the demographic and geographic targeting of funds, how support is commissioned and linkages to wider policy initiatives. The hearing also discussed the level of flexibility and bureaucracy within the administration of the European Social Fund.

Microsoft have produced a website showing their journey towards a more inclusive workforce. The website describes the measures taken to introduce more inclusive recruitment practices within the company.

You can view the site at https://sway.com/ZIetX05BXMPoBLHk


The Work and Pensions Committee has published its report looking into how PIP (Personal Independence Payments) and ESA (Employment and Support Allowance) assessments are conducted. The report says public contract failures have led to a loss of trust that risks undermining the operation of major disability benefits.

The decision to contract out PIP and ESA assessments in the first instance was taken to introduce efficient, consistent and objective tests for benefit eligibility. 

NHS England has launched a new transformation fund for Individual Placement and Support (IPS) services. It aims to support the expansion of IPS services so that more people who experience serious mental illness (SMI) can find and retain employment. This investment is part of NHS England’s objective to double access to IPS by 2020/21 as outlined in the implementation plan for the Five Year Forward View for Mental Health