Scope comment on Employment and Support Allowance (ESA) and welfare reforms
27 October 2008
Commenting on the new Employment and Support Allowance (ESA) and welfare reforms, Alice Maynard, Chair of disability charity Scope, said:
“We broadly welcome the overall aim of the welfare reforms to enable more disabled people to find employment, especially as we know the majority want to work. However, for these reforms to be successful they depend on people receiving the right level of support, at the right time. Introducing more punitive sanctions will do nothing to remove the multiple barriers to employment that disabled people face such as inaccessible transport, inadequate social care and negative attitudes from employers.
“We are concerned that providing employment support on a blanket payment by results basis is likely to mean that employers focus on placing people with less complex impairments first, in order to hit their targets. This runs the risk of leaving some disabled people without the specialist support they need to find work.
“These reforms were put forward during a time of economic prosperity. Britain is now on the brink of recession and we know that disabled people are disproportionately affected when unemployment rises. In these conditions disabled people will find it harder to find employment as competition for jobs increases, so it is even more vital that the level of support promised by the Government is actually delivered and indeed that it actively tackles the other barriers to disabled people’s employment.”
Notes to the Editor:
For more information please contact Julie Burley in the Scope press office on 020 7619 7372 or email email@example.com
For out-of-hours press enquiries please call 020 7619 7200.
- Plymouth Community Resource Service supports disabled people through a system of personal development and basic skills training, building confidence and raising awareness of each person’s abilities. It offer a range of lifelong learning, training and activities based on individuals’ needs and aspirations in a supportive atmosphere.Scope is a disability organisation whose focus is people with cerebral palsy.
- Scope’s mission is to drive the change to make our society the first where disabled people achieve equality. Our Time to Get Equal campaign aims to build a mass movement of one million people to help achieve this.