July 2008

The Secretary of State for Work and Pensions has announced a wide ranging review of conditionality to look at how more people can be helped off benefits and into work. The review, which will run alongside the welfare reform green paper consultation, will look at what DWP should expect people to do and the role sanctions can play in motivating individuals to engage in the back-to-work support provided. The review will be led by Professor Paul Gregg of the University of Bristol.

From the 26 July 2008, a new European regulation on air travel will mean airports will have to provide services that enable disabled passengers to board, disembark and transit between flights. The rights will also apply to people with reduced mobility, such as someone with a broken leg, and will give a right to assistance once on the plane. This is the second stage of measures designed to protect disabled passengers when travelling by air and creating a consistent standard across Europe.

The Welsh Assembly is considering proposals for radical change to mental health and learning disability services in Wales. It has been written by Michael Williams, a special advisor to the Minister in Wales, it proposes that all mental health and learning disability services currently provided by the NHS and Local Authorities are brought together into one organisation within the NHS, Iechyd Meddwl Cymru (IMC).

DWP has published research into the extent to which those applying for disability living allowance understand the purpose of the benefit and the qualifying conditions. It presents the findings from 100 face-to-face interviews with applicants of working age whose claims were disallowed. More...

James Purnell has launched the Government's Green Paper on welfare reform, No-one Written Off - reforming welfare to reward responsibility. The ambitious programme envisages major change over the coming few years and a consultation exercise will run until 22 October. Headlines include a doubling of the Access to Work budget and a commitment to an additional several million pounds to ease the transition to the new specialist disability programme. The reforms include the following five strands:

The Work and Pensions Commons Select Committee has announced its intention to examine the DWP Commissioning Strategy and employment programme market. The Committee is taking written submissions before 22 September and BASE will be submitting evidence. They will be looking at contracting models, long term effectiveness, regional differences, the customer experience and performance management. More...

The Office for Disability Issues has published a new study that provides a unique snapshot of the lives of nearly 2000 disabled people in Great Britain. Experiences and Expectations of Disabled People reports their views on a range of issues, including employment, education, transport, health and discrimination. Commissioned by the Office for Disability Issues, the study actively involved disabled people throughout the research process.

This report presents findings of a qualitative research project commissioned by the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) to investigate the relationship between mental health and employment. The study was designed to address a gap in knowledge about the circumstances that lead people to claim Incapacity Benefit because of a mental health condition and what factors contribute to people with mental health conditions returning to work after a period on Incapacity Benefit.