Presentation: Progress, Challenges and the "Claimant Commitment"

Report
Welfare Reform
Where are we now ?
Progress, Challenges
and the “Claimant Commitment”
Andrew Noble
Welfare Reform Implementation Support
Programme
Improvement Service
Purpose of day
To enable elected members to:
• review the progress of Welfare Reform to date
• consider the potential impact and challenge of the new
Claimant Commitment and sanctions policy
• Hear about ongoing work to mitigate and respond to
Welfare Reform
• consider the specific roles and challenges for elected
members in responding to the reform agenda to date,
and in the future
Welfare Reform- the story so far
Implementation and impact of key reforms• Universal Credit
• Personal Independence Payment
• Under occupancy- “the bedroom tax”
• Discretionary Housing Payments (DHP) expansion
• Benefit Cap,
• Scottish Welfare Fund
• Council Tax Reduction Scheme- National scheme in
place.
Welfare Reform- the story so far
• Delay in roll out of Universal Credit (UC) and Personal
Independence Payments(PIP)- the cornerstone Reforms.
• UC will not now roll out in Scotland till early 2016, beyond a
single Jobcentre in Inverness
• PIP roll out has started on a phased geographic basis in
Scotland
• Significantly diverging approaches between Scottish
Government and UK Government/ DWP- Funding to mitigate
in Scotland
• Negotiations ongoing between CoSLA and DWP over a range
of issues- LSS, SFIS, HB administration costs etc.
• Growing evidence impact on Local Authorities, RSLs and
partners
Welfare Reform Impact on Scotland
Cumulative proportion
of total
Profile of Total Changes to Scottish Welfare
Budget 2010-11 to 2014-15
100%
100%
80%
55%
60%
40%
20%
24%
1%
7%
0%
2010-11
2011-12
2012-13
2013-14
2014-15
Financial impacts
Total Changes to Scottish Welfare Budget 2010-11 to 2014-15
(£M)
Notes: ‘Other’ category includes Benefit Cap, DLA, ESA, etc.
All figures derived from HMT/DWP forecasts, which estimate over £4.5 billion worth of cuts in Scotland
-2,000
-1,500
-1,000
-500
Underoccupancy charge
Tax Credits
1,000
-1,770
-590
-1,700
State pension & pension credit
Other
500
-70
Child Benefit
Uprating changes
-
590
-1,150
Group Discussion 1:
How is your local authority responding to Welfare
Reform?
What are the significant challenges you face?
Session 2
Claimant Commitment and
Sanctions
Background- Conditionality and Sanctions
• Conditionality has always existed in the Welfare system rules have
been increasingly tightened since 2008
• Sanctions have increased in duration and severity since the 1990s
(1995 Jobseekers Act)
• Introduction of the Claimant Commitment in October 2013 for JSA
• Building on the conditionality regime introduced for JSA and ESA in
October 2012.
Claimant Commitment
How it works
• Each Claimant Commitment is to be individually tailored to the
needs of the claimant- agreed between the claimant and their
jobcentre advisor/ Job coach
• Claimant Commitment determined by an initial assessment by JC+
• Intended by DWP to make it absolutely clear what is required of
them in return for their benefits.
• Policy change in advance of the introduction of Universal Credit
• Major feature of DWP’s drive to change “behaviour and culture”
Claimant Commitment
• What is expected of the Claimant:
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
Actively look for work
Attend JC+ Interviews
Participate in mandatory employment programmes
Ready for work immediately
Work full time
Take a job at minimum wage
Prepared to travel up to 90 minutes from home to work
Sanctions
• What happens if you don’t meet the Conditionality
requirements of your benefit claim:
• Potential to be “sanctioned”- lose your benefit payments
for a period of time
• Three levels of sanction- low medium and high
• Can lose benefit for anything between 4 weeks and 3
years.
• Sanctions can be reconsidered, appealed and claimants
can receive a hardship payment
Types of Sanction
Sanction level
Reason
Low
• Failure to attend an adviser/ job coach interview
• Refusal to carry out a jobseeker direction
• Failed to participate in a mandatory employment
programme (the Work Programme)
Intermediate
• Not actively seeking work
• Not being available for work
High
• Losing employment voluntarily
• Losing employment through misconduct
• Refusal of employment
• Refusal to participate in mandatory work activity
Example of a JSA sanction
Claimant “A” refused an offer of employment, which is
classified as a “high” level failure. As this is the second
failure within a 52 week period, Claimant “A” receives a
sanction of 26 weeks removal of JSA.
Sanctions
•
Scottish Government analysis of the research shows:
•
Claims who face sanctions are often unable rather than unwilling to comply
with sanctions.
Those particularly vulnerable to sanctions are the most disadvantaged
Younger people tend to receive a higher proportion of sanctions
Impact of Sanctions is mixed- may improve short term outcomes in terms of
leaving unemployment and entering employment
However research suggests that these individuals tend not to enter
sustainable employment and the tend to have low incomes. Also a range of
related negative outcomes
•
•
•
•
•
What has actually been happening?
JSA Sanctions in Scotland 2012-13
•
DWP has released data on JSA sanctions which cover the period October
2012- September 2013:
•
•
•
177,449 JSA sanction decisions in Scotland during this time period
75,329 (42%) of these decisions were “adverse”.
43,705 (25%) sanctions decisions were “cancelled decisions”
•
•
•
41,112 (54%) were low level sanctions
26,820 (36%) were intermediate level sanctions
7,360 (10%) were high level sanctions
•
•
•
48,951 separate individuals were subject to an adverse sanction decision
28,623 adverse decisions were asked to be reconsidered, 38% of the total
1,751 adverse decisions were appealed against, 2% of the total.
JSA Sanctions Oct.12-Sept.13
West Lothian
West Dunbartonshire
Stirling
South Lanarkshire
South Ayrshire
Shetland Islands
Scottish Borders
Renfrewshire
Perth & Kinross
Orkney Islands
North Lanarkshire
North Ayrshire
Moray
Midlothian
Inverclyde
Highland
Glasgow City
Fife
Falkirk
Eilean Siar
Edinburgh, City of
East Renfrewshire
East Lothian
East Dunbartonshire
East Ayrshire
Dundee City
Dumfries & Galloway
Clackmannanshire
Argyll & Bute
Angus
Aberdeenshire
Aberdeen City
7197
4550
3344
9373
3235
169
2171
6057
JSA Adverse
Sanction
Decisions
3458
194
5559
All JSA Sanction
Decisions
14706
5194
1944
3250
3255
4559
27166
15038
6922
393
15280
1608
2732
2038
4060
9035
3633
3214
2170
3908
3119
6052
0
5000
10000
15000
20000
25000
30000
% of JSA sanction decisions resulting in an adverse
decision (Oct 2012-Sept 2013)
56
56
Shetland Islands
Inverclyde
East Renfrewshire
South Ayrshire
Renfrewshire
North Ayrshire
East Ayrshire
Dumfries & Galloway
Highland
West Dunbartonshire
East Dunbartonshire
Eilean Siar
Glasgow City
Argyll & Bute
Clackmannanshire
Moray
Aberdeenshire
Midlothian
Scottish Borders
Angus
Falkirk
South Lanarkshire
Perth & Kinross
West Lothian
Fife
East Lothian
Dundee City
North Lanarkshire
Edinburgh, City of
Aberdeen City
Stirling
Orkney Islands
53
50
50
50
49
49
48
48
47
47
44
43
43
43
42
42
41
40
40
40
40
39
39
38
38
38
37
37
36
36
0
10
20
30
40
50
60
JSA Sanctions- UK analysis
•
Some findings emerge from the published data from October 2012 September 2013
•
•
UK analysis- University of Glasgow (D Webster, 19/2/14)
Total number of JSA sanctions in this period- 874,850, the highest since JSA
introduced in 1996.
527,574 individuals received a sanction. Again the highest level of individual
sanction since 1996.
JSA claimants sanctioned at a rate of 5.11% per month, and in the 3 months to
September 2013 the rate was 6% per month. Highest rate since JSA introduced.
Failure to participate in training/ employment schemes and “not actively seeking
work” are now the main reasons for JSA sanctions.
Twice as many people on the Work Programme are getting a sanction as opposed to
a job outcome
Tribunals are upholding almost 9 out of 10 appeals against DWP. Only 2.44% of
those sanctioned are going to tribunal however.
•
•
•
•
•
Impact
• What does this mean
• Increased claimant work search activity and requirement to find
work
• Increased service demand for Councils across a wide range of
services- response to Claimant Commitment
• Increasing number and severity of sanctions- hardship, crisis,
negative outcomes?
• Policy change in advance of UC- in advance of any funding package
around the Local Support Service Framework- Council’s and
partners taking the financial and demand hit
Key challenges
• How do local authorities work with Jobcentre Plus/ DWP to
minimise negative impact of a tougher sanctions regime?
• Effects of more people looking for and getting work?
• Is the help available for the people who need it most?
• What outcomes are we trying to achieve? getting people off
benefit or getting them into work is not the same thing
• Local authorities and their partners picking up the service
demand and the crisis- direct challenge to early intervention,
prevention model of public service delivery?
• In-Work conditionality is a feature of Universal Credit- will
effect millions of low pay/ part time employees as UC is rolled
out.
Group Discussion 2:
• What is the Elected Member role in relation to
conditionality and sanctions?
• Are there other key challenges?
• How can Local Authorities work most effectively to
minimise potential negative outcomes from
sanctions?
Session 3
Responding to Welfare Reform
Scottish Government ResponseMitigation
• £258 million in mitigation funding in the period 2013-14
to 2015-16
In 2013-14 this included:
• £20m for Discretionary Housing Payments
• £23m for Council Tax Reduction Scheme
• £33m for Scottish Welfare Fund (£23.8m transferred by
DWP, £9.2m in SG funding)
• £7m for advice, support and anti-poverty projects
Conditionality and Sanction
Working with CoSLA and Scottish Government:
• Survey of all 32 local authorities
• Trying to get a clearer idea of the impact and effect of claimant
conditionality and sanctions on the ground
• On-line survey with 4 themes:
• Impact on service demand
• Information and data collection
• Impact on client experiences
• Council responses
Survey will underpin the ongoing discussions around policy and
practice in this area. Discussions at a regional and national level with
the DWP
Local Authority Pilots
3 Scottish Government pilots during 2013-14,
• Aberdeenshire, Dundee City, South Lanarkshire
Draft evaluation findings include:
• Substantial deficit in IT skills, experience and confidence among
benefit claimants
• Ongoing commitment on the part of Council’s required to support
people through online claiming process
• Important to work closely with trusted 3rd sector/ community
organisations
• Training and information for front line staff is key
• Need to promote new/ changed services effectively
• Some citizen’s will always require substantial support
• Focus on restructuring and aligning key service areas
Welfare Reform Resilience Fund
• Scottish Government £600,000 fund available to local authorities
during 2014-15. Principles of prevention, early intervention
1. Innovative and transformational projects with the potential to inform
development/ service redesign
2. Projects which will mitigate negative impacts of welfare reform
3. Projects which demonstrate a partnership approach
•
Application closing date, 24th April. Projects start May 2014
Local Support Services
• DWP term to describe additional services that will be
required for Universal Credit (and that they are prepared
to fund as a result)
– Triage
– Online access
– Personal budgeting
• LA’s and other agencies deliver services such as
employability, which are LSS but not in the DWP
framework
• DWP to undertake “trialling and testing” with local
Local Support Services
• UK wide agreement that DWP will work with LA’s to
develop LSS
• Scotland will have its own OPA(Overarching Partnership
Agreement) with DWP
• LA’s will have DPA’s with JC+ Districts (Delivery
Partnership Agreement)
• LSS will be designed, delivered and managed through
CPP structures with Jobcentre+
• Negotiations ongoing at a national level around this and
the associated funding for LSS
Welfare Reform Data Dashboard
Neighbourhood Level Map
Group Discussion 3:
How do Councils their partners and Councillors best
mitigate the impact of Welfare Reform?
What are the main opportunities from Welfare Reform and
how do we progress these?
What further support do Elected members require to
appropriately respond to Welfare Reform
Conclusions, final reflections,
feedback and evaluation
Welfare Reform Implementation Support Programme
[email protected]

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