Consultation launched on Sayce Review

The Government has published a consultation into employment services for disabled people and seeking views on the recommendations put forward by Liz Sayce's review, Getting In, Staying In, Getting On.

The Government is also publishing its response to the Sayce Review. The review recommends that employment support should be focused on the individual rather than the institution and says that many more people could be supported into work using the existing funding more effectively.

The closing date for submissions is 17 October 2011. BASE will be canvassing member views before responding to the consultation.

The questions asked by the consultation are:
1. Do you agree that funding should follow the individual so they can work where they choose, rather than the Department funding specific workplaces or facilities?

2. Do you agree that any funding released from reforms to specialist disability employment programmes should be used to expand the Access to Work programme?
If not, please say how you think the money should be spent to help more disabled people into work.

3. As resources are limited, it may not be possible to implement all of the recommended improvements to Access to Work straight away. Which ones do you think should be the priority as funding becomes available?
• Paying for a temporary replacement worker for a small- or medium-sized business when a disabled person is off sick because of their disability.
• Creating a system so that disabled people could know the value of Access to Work support they could get before they get a job
• Training Jobcentre Plus advisers to give more support and advice to employers.
• Helping customers to develop independent travel skills so that some people will need Access to Work travel support for a shorter time.
• Working more closely with user-led organisations to improve the service.
• Extending Access to Work support to cover more work-related training, for example unpaid work experience.

4. Do you agree that change is needed to Remploy, as part of an overall approach of redistributing available funds? Do you agree that the best way to achieve this is to allow viable parts of Remploy to leave the public sector and for direct government funding of Remploy to be phased out?

5. Do you agree that disabled people working within Remploy’s Enterprise Businesses should be given the opportunity to own and run these businesses free of government control and funding? Do you have any views on how to support this transition?

6. Do you agree that Remploy’s Employment Services should be sold and transformed into a mutual, social enterprise or other model? Do you have any views on how to support this transition?

7. If you do not agree with the proposals in the Sayce Review, please tell us your ideas for the future of Remploy.

8. Do you agree with the recommendation that the Department for Work and Pensions should not directly fund Residential Training College as a distinct facilities-based programme?

9. If you agree that the Department should no longer fund the Residential Training Colleges directly, how do you think that a transition to alternative sources of funding should be achieved?

10. Do you agree that supported business places should not receive special protection after the current Work Choice contracts expire?

11. Do you agree that in the longer term Work Choice and Access to Work should be merged into a single programme, delivered through individual budgets?

12. Do you have any other suggestions for improving or changing specialist disability employment support not covered by any of the above questions?

DWP published Liz Sayce's independent review of disability employment programmes in June 2011. The report, Getting In, Staying In, and Getting On, contains a number of recommendations about Access to Work, Remploy, residential training colleges and the future direction for funding specialist employment support services.

The report has called for:
• specialist disability employment support to be made available through individual budgets so that individuals can select the support that best meets their needs.
• a doubling of the numbers of people able to use the government's £98m-a-year Access to Work scheme, which helps employers adapt jobs and provide support for disabled employees.
• DWP to end funding of supported businesses and residential colleges

Sayce Review
BASE response to the Review