Charities Withdraw Placements as Disabled are Added to Work Scheme
- 14 Dec
The Work Programme is having more placements withdrawn by charities as they add sick and disabled people on benefits to the scheme.
People with disabilities and with long term illness could now be forced to work indefinitely for their out-of-work benefits, as a result of new government rules.
The Work Programme is the workfare scheme which offers "tailored support" to people who have been out of work for a long time.
Those who fail to co-operate with the periods of work experience arranged for them could have their benefits cut, and adding people receiving Employment and Support Allowance to this has brought anger and criticisms.
Charities such as Age UK, the British Heart Foundation and Cancer Research UK have already stopped offering mandatory placements in their shops, and now Scope has also been added to the list of withdrawals.
Richard Hawkes, chief executive of Scope, said:
We have always been very conscious of concerns about mandatory work experience.
The news that ESA claimants, often out-of-work disabled people who need specialist support to get back into work, are now being included in the scheme, has forced us to once again review our involvement.
These moves do not feel like they have been designed around what disabled people need to find work. Added to that, we also have concerns about the test that disabled people go through to establish how fit they are for work.
Labour's Margaret Hodge, chair of the Public Accounts Committee, says that including ESA claimants shows that the programme is failing:
The Work Programme was specifically designed to incentivise providers to assist those furthest from the work place, but the appalling performance for ESA ex-incapacity claimants demonstrates how this experiment simply is not working.
Between June 2011 and July 2012, of the some 9,500 ex-incapacity claimants referred to providers, I am astonished that only 20 people have been placed in a job that has lasted three months.
The work programme has also received criticism this week for taking advantage of local charities and unemployed people.
Following the governments progress report, Joe Irvin, chief executive of the local infrastructure body NAVCA, has called on the government to undertake an urgent review of the Work Programme:
The paper acknowledges difficulties with the Work Programme for civil society organisations. We believe urgent action is needed to stop some of the large companies who are prime contractors from abusing local charities and short- changing unemployed people.
- 10 Sep
Young people with learning disabilities more likely to be abused
A group of children’s charities have said that young people with disabilities have the “same vulnerabilities” as all young people but face extra “barriers” to getting protection or support,...
- 07 Sep
Success for a disability sport programme
The programme ran for three weeks and included multi-sport camps at Aberdeen Sports Village, reports the Mearns Leader. Chair of Aberdeenshire Council’s Education, Learning and Leisure Committee...
- 21 Jul
Hartlepool to open a disability centre
Work has begun on the Hartlepool Borough Council project which aims to provide the Centre for Independent Living on the site of the current Havelock Centre in Burbank, reports The Hartlepool Mail.It...
- 14 Jul
Reform for care of adults with learning disabilities criticised for being slow
Following the care home abuse scandal at Winterbourne, Sir Stephen Bubb headed a review into care home abuse, which was published in November, reports the BBC.England's chief nursing officer said...
- 18 Jun
Campaigners warn that people with disabilities are losing rights due to government cuts
Charities are concerned that the rights of people with learning disabilities to live independent lives are slipping due to government cuts to benefits and social care, reports the Guardian. A letter...
- 11 Jun
Concern over disability benefits following council change
On the 30th of June a £500m Independent Living Fund will be in the control of local authorities, leaving people fearing how the benefit allowance for disabled adults will be affected, reports the...
- 21 May
Victims of disability hate crime are being let down
Police, prosecutors and probations services have failed to bring in need change over the past two years, a report by the Criminal Justice Inspectorate has found, reports the BBC.The CPS, police and...
- 08 May
New initiative to support young people with disabilities
Liberty Staffordshire Community Interest Company have been developed to maximise opportunities for young people due to growing concern they could be left isolated following the withdrawal of...
- 05 May
How technology is helping people with disabilities
At the exhibit people presented all-terrain wheelchairs, adapted smartphone for people whose fingers can't cope with normal devices, wheelchairs that allow the user to become level with the people...
- 01 May
Charities call for action on accessible housing
Leonard Cheshire Disability charity has told The Yorkshire Post that the lack of housing which is accessible for people with disabilities must become and election issue and is calling for the...
Responding to the DWP Consultation: Housing Benefit Reform - Supported Housing "I found the event informative and timely it helped me to complete our response to DWP without which I would have struggled." S.S. - Safe House