The British Association for Supported Employment (BASE) claim that the new programme will only cater for those jobseekers who are considered close to the labour market, and exclude those with learning disabilities.
The report states that “The budget for the programme is considerably less than its predecessors (such as Work Programme and Work Choice), and so DWP needs to ensure that only those claimants who can benefit the most from this provision are referred to it. Taking this together with ministerial priorities, the WHP aims to target those claimants with health conditions and the long term unemployed… To ensure that we refer the correct claimants, we need to develop an effective tool to identify them.”
However, the diagnostic tool produced by the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) has been criticised for its tone, particularly in its attempt to categorise jobseekers into one of four groups:
Willing and able to work
Willing but not able to work
Unwilling but able to work
Unwilling and not able to work
BASE took issue with the use of the phrase “not able” and its negative connotations, as well as the ‘risk that those with the most significant disabilities will be automatically categorised as “willing but not able to work”. Click here to read BASE’s response to the report.