Damian Green, the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, has confirmed that chronically sick benefit claimants will no longer be required to prove they are still ill every six months.

He said that employment support allowance will now continue automatically for those who have lifelong, severe health conditions with no prospect of improvement.

Think Local Act Personal (TLAP) are running the TLAP Care Act survey that asks how much of a difference the Care Act has made in the experience of people with care and support needs, and their carers. There have been many Care Act surveys, but this one will be the first that specifically seeks their views.

DWP has published changes to the procurement process for the Work and Health Programme and issued a revised indicative timetable for the process.

DWP has issued the following statement on the Bravo Solution website:

Thank you for your interest in the Work and Health Programme. DWP is very keen to work with the market and listen to your views, ensuring that we in are in a position to create the most suitable and effective programme for the customer group.

It has been announced that the 1st World Conference on Supported Employment will take place from the 14th to 16th June 2017 in Belfast, Northern Ireland.

It is being co-hosted by EUSE (European Union of Supported Employment) and EASPD (European Association of Service Providers to Persons with Disabilities) and organised by NIUSE (Northern Ireland Union on Supported Employment).

The Local Government Association has issued a press release calling on the Government to ensure it avoids repeating the mistakes of its flagship Work Programme when it's replaced by new Work and Health Programme (WHP). Thousands more disadvantaged jobseekers and people with disabilities and health conditions would be supported into work if funding and responsibility for the new Work and Health Programme (WHP) is devolved to all local areas, councils say today.

More than 120,000 Scottish adults with a learning disability are in need of help finding work, according to a new report from the Scottish Commission for Learning Disability. The estimate, based on the number of school leavers who education authorities say have a recognised learning disability, is a huge increase on previous estimates.

Around 26,000 people with a learning disability are known to Scotland's councils, but they tend to be those with the highest needs in receipt of social services.

The Government is being urged to do more to help people with disabilities secure jobs after new research revealed that one in 10 businesses felt unable to support an employee with a disability or long-term health condition.

Camden Council is consulting on proposals for the tender of ‘Improving Access to Employment within Mental Health’. The intention is to go to tender in late 2016 with a view of the new service commencing in summer 2017. A market engagement event is being planned for early October. Please see the attached letter to providers from Camden Council. The tender opportunity is marketed on where you'll find the attached provider questionnaire.

DWP has published two evaluation reports about pilot projects.

The first report evaluated the Intensive Activity Programme (IAP) trial which aimed to help new benefit claimants move into work sooner.

DWP documents posted on the Bravo Solution website seem to confirm that the new Work and Health Programme (WHP) will only cater for those jobseekers who are considered close to the labour market. BASE is disappointed by the tone of the document which seeks to identify a tool that will categorise people into one of 4 groups:

  1. Willing and able to work
  2. Willing but not able to work
  3. Unwilling but able to work