Responding to a Parliamentary question raised by Stephen Timms MP, Mark Hoban, minister for employment confirmed that an additional 30,000 employment and support allowance (ESA) claimants are being referred to the work programme. He explained the decision to make additional referrals was taken in response to lower than expected numbers of ESA claimants being referred to the scheme.

The Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) began to make these referrals in September. ESA claimants with a three or six month work capability assessment (WCA) prognosis and who had previously received support from the Pathways to Work scheme have been identified for referral. Mr. Hoban stated the DWP “​believes that the time is now right to provide these claimants with the personalised and intensive support that Work programme providers can offer.”​


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