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DWP should not be responsible for helping disabled people into work

21 January 2019

Pathways from Poverty: A case for institutional reform – Demos discussion paper

Demos website

Our view

This paper, written by Tom Pollard, questions whether the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) is the right place to start helping those with a disability or long-term health condition into work.

About 4 percent of those on Employment and Support Allowance (ESA) are moved into work each year by the DWP. The Demos paper suggests that this is due to the DWP trying to apply the same approach to disabled people as to those without a disability, who need less support to find work.

It recommends that proper employment support be given rather than bullying disabled people. To do this, responsibility for helping ‘harder-to-help’ groups should be taken away from the DWP, who would just pay the benefit. Instead support would be provided by the Department for Health and Social Care, NHS England and the Department for Education.