Claimants in the work-related activity group of employment and support allowance who are a long way from recovery are to be obliged to attend an information session about the work programme, as evidence mounts that the programme is failing to meet its targets.

Employment minister Chris Grayling announced on 24 October that all claimants in the work-related activity group who are eligible to volunteer for the Work Programme, including those whose health is not expected to improve within the next six months, will be forced to attend an information session.

Earlier this month Benefits and Work revealed that more ESA claimants were being forced onto the work programme by changing the rules so that claimants with a prognosis of improving within six months, rather than three months, are now to be enrolled.

This followed revelations that private sector companies involved in the work programme are failing to pass on clients to the voluntary sector, almost certainly because there are too few to go around.

Combined with the DWPs decision to gag charities so that they cannot reveal how many people they are getting into work, all the evidence points to the programme being in serious difficulties as the UK economy continues to shrink.

Grayling’​s full statement is here.


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