Changes to Employment and Support Allowance must be for the better
25 August 2015
by Andy Cole
Yesterday the work and pensions secretary, Iain Duncan Smith, announced changes to the Employment and Support Allowance, including reforms of the fit-for-work test (Work Capability Assessment) with the aim of helping more people keep in contact with the world of work.
Any measures that support disabled people into work are welcome. The government’s pledge to halve the disability employment gap over this parliament will mean more than a million disabled people will be better off.
It is vital that any changes actively help those who are able to work find meaningful employment, but also ensure that those who are not, are given the time they need to recover without worrying about cuts to their financial support.
The fit-for-work test is not working for disabled people. Too often those who are too ill to work are wrongly being found fit to do so. And our own research found that as many as seven in 10 people going through the assessments said it had a negative impact on their health.
We would welcome working with the government to ensure that any new assessment provides a better experience for disabled people.
Andy Cole is campaigns director at Leonard Cheshire Disability.