Towards a rights-based framework in UK welfare-to-work services

    Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter (peer-reviewed)peer-review


    Given its expansion of employment support to a wider pool of claimants than previous programmes, merging of separate programmes into a single scheme and the large scale use of forprofit providers and payment-by-results contracts, the Work Programme is a step-change in the UK’s welfare-to-work policy. As such, the design, implementation and functioning of the programme has been of great interest to policy scholars, and one of the key emergent themes has been the extent to which the programme offers good quality employment support to claimants most in need of help to return to work. Concerns have been raised that employment programmes which emphasise rapid entry into employment and structure provider incentives accordingly – as the Work Programme does – will poorly serve claimants with complex and/or multiple employment barriers, with evidence of this coming from previous UK programmes and schemes in the USA, Australia and elsewhere in Europe. Organisations representing people with physical disabilities, learning difficulties, mental health issues and other people experiencing labour market disadvantage report poor claimant experiences of the Work Programme and there is evidence of routine ‘parking’ of such claimants, in favour of ‘creaming’ of easier-to-help people.
    Original languageEnglish
    Title of host publicationIn Defence of Welfare 2
    EditorsLiam Foster, Anne Brunton, Christopher Deeming, Tina Haux
    Place of PublicationBristol
    Number of pages3
    Publication statusPublished - 17 Apr 2015


    • welfare-to-work
    • work programme
    • employment
    • disability


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