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Employment Schemes: Disability

Question for Department for Work and Pensions

UIN HL5940, tabled on 18 June 2020

To ask Her Majesty's Government what improvements have been made to measuring the outcomes since 2017 of nationally contracted programmes that support disabled people to work.

Answered on

2 July 2020

The new nationally contracted employment programmes for disabled people since 2017 are the Work and Health Programme (WHP), which began in November 2017, and Intensive Personalised Employment Support (IPES), which began in November 2019. Both of these programmes are being delivered as Randomised Control Trials to enable us to measure the average impacts they have on participants’ employment. Both include full evaluations which will also capture the impact on wider health and wellbeing outcomes.

Separately, both of these programmes also have defined job outcomes which are used for the provider payment models and for performance management purposes.

In the Work and Health Programme, a participant is classed as achieving a job outcome when they have reached a specified level of earnings once in employment, or reach six months of being in self-employment. The specified level of earnings varies across the different regions. The national WHP and the majority of Local Government Partners have an earning threshold as 16 hours per week for 26 weeks at the National living wage. However, for the West London Alliance this is at the London Living Wage and for Greater Manchester Combined Authority at the Real Living Wage. Job outcome rates are published in the Work and Health Programme statistical publication attached.

For IPES, there are two job outcome measures used; a lower threshold income measure, which is defined as earnings equivalent to eight hours per week for 26 weeks; and a higher threshold, which is the equivalent to 16 hours per week for 26 weeks. There is not currently a statistical publication for IPES as the programme has not been running for long enough.

WHP was the first programme to utilise HM Revenue & Customs Real Time Information data in its identification, payment and validation of employment programme outcomes. This use of earnings has ensured that only sustained outcomes are paid for with participants having to acquire a pre-defined level of earnings synonymous with six months in employment, rather than a durational outcome. This has had significant advantages in terms of speed and reducing the resource required by the Department for Work and Pensions and contracted providers in tracking and evidencing outcomes.