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30 May 2008
A report commissioned by the DWP shows that the Pathways to Work programme has had very limited success in relation to long-term incapacity benefit claimants.

A further DWP report suggests that Pathways primarily helps those who would have moved off incapacity benefit within a year in any case.

The report 'Evidence on the effect of Pathways to Work on existing claimants' looked at claimants who had been receiving incapacity benefit for at least a year and who were put onto the Pathways programme in pilot areas. It found that after 18 months only three to four percent had entered employment of any sort, whilst even fewer had done so when only jobs of 30 hours or more were taken into account. Moreover, there has yet to be any examination of how long these claimants remain in work.

The full report 'Evidence on the effect of Pathways to Work on existing claimants' can be downloaded from this link.

A further report, ‘A cost-benefit analysis of Pathways to Work for new and repeat incapacity benefits claimants’ claims that the exchequer saves £515 per incapacity claimant as a result of the Pathways to Work programme, because of the number of people moving off incapacity benefits and into work. However, the authors admit that this is based on an assumption that former claimants stay in work for at least 70 weeks, an assumption for which there is no supporting evidence. They also admit that Pathways seems to have ‘increased employment primarily among those who would have left incapacity benefits within a year even in the absence of the programme’.

The full report ‘A cost-benefit analysis of Pathways to Work for new and repeat incapacity benefits claimants’ can be downloaded from this link.