Employment support for long term incapacity benefit claimants
Employment Support for long term
Incapacity Benefit Claimants
Economic Development Manager
Royal Borough of Kensington
Nationally 2.6 million people on Incapacity Benefit/ESA ,
7% of the working age population.
Average duration of claim is 8 years.
“Once a claimant has been on IB for over 2 years they are
likely to retire or die than return to work”
Health and Work, HM Government, 2005.
Gain a deeper understanding of claimants’ employment
support needs across central London.
Enable shared understanding amongst commissioners
and providers of the employment support needs.
Understand the use of new media and the internet and
Identify opportunities and mechanisms to coordinate
and rationalise support across central London.
Project Overview - Methodology
Contacting long-term IB claimants who have not received
31 face-to-face interviews with long-term IB claimants
4 focus groups with long-term IB claimants
3 days observing employment support
Focus group with community stakeholders
Two groups of people:
Mobile and active respondents
Immobile and inactive respondents
Mobile and active respondents still often had very severe
barriers to employment
Respondents typically happier when out of the house
Support for Claimants
Where do IB claimants receive support currently?
Voluntary and community organisations, CAB, health services
What support do IB claimants want?
Employment support often mentioned, but other support at least as
Barriers to employment
Main barriers are:
Skills – including literacy and numeracy
But important to note many other barriers were found:
Time out of labour market
Views of employers
Lack of confidence
Fear of addiction relapse
Housing and finance
Customer Typology – Intensive Support Needs
Unsure about return to work
Multiple barriers to employment
Support needs to:
Focus on ‘soft’ skills as well as health and vocational skills
Be offered holistically by a trusted intermediary
Be available on a daily basis
Customer Typology – Mid Level Support Needs
Strong or tentative desire to work
Barriers include low confidence and skills
Support needs to be of a similar kind as the intensive
support group, but less will be needed
Likely that work experience / volunteering will be
important for this group
Customer Typology – Low Intensity Support Needs
Fewer respondents in this group
Likely to be younger, on IB for shorter periods, with
relevant and recent work experience
Strong desire to return to work
Lack of confidence key barrier, and concerns about
finding the ‘right’ job
Require confidence building and practical job search
Claimants and use of internet/social media
Those with health conditions one of the least likely
groups to have ever used the internet...
...but the internet can be empowering for people with
Most participants had used internet
Email, entertainment, shopping/banking/bills
But limited use of social media
Develop a clearer picture of the support available.
Support networking between local organisations in the
design and commissioning of services.
Ensure intensive and long-term support is available.
Ensure service provision is located close to areas with
high IB claimant rates.
Tailor support to individual needs, and take into account all
barriers to employment that claimant's face.
Offer a combination of face-to-face, and one-to-one support
as well as group support and online information advice and
Provide ‘in - work’ support as well as ‘pre - work’ support.
Encourage voluntary work as a way of keeping clients close
to the labour market.
Challenges and lessons learned
Recruiting and engaging with current IB claimants challenging:
A fear that involvement in research about “work” and “benefits”
may affect the outcome of their IB reassessment. Many turning
down a £20 incentive to take part.
Community and voluntary organisations impacted by cuts and
reductions reticent to help a research project being funded by local
Hinweis der Redaktion
Welcome to the IT Community Launch Event. I’m David Tidey, Head of Information Systems (Or ISD) and joining me today is Peter Henderson. ICT Manager in the Family and Children’s Business Group. In this organisation we often get together in meetings of this nature – but they are usually in our comfortable silos – so I thought it would be good to get everyone together, who has a role to play in delivery IT services for a pre-Christmas event. At Kensington and Chelsea we have a lot to be proud of. You should all be aware that we are one of the top Council’s in the country and I firmly believe that IT has underpinned this superb performance.
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