Did you know? Employment and Support Allowance is failing disabled people and their desire to work: DWP shoots self in foot. There was quite a flurry in the media this week about the Work and Pensions Select Committee report on this benefit - and, over recent years, criticism of its integral Work Capability Assessment has become toxic.  My reading of the report is that the WCA just isn't good enough to identify the adjustments and support that people with health conditions/disabilities will need in order to work.  Even when there is some information, it isn't reaching the people who are assisting them back in to employment. The Select Committee is recommending that the whole benefit should be re-designed – let’s hope that DWP uses the knowledge and experience of disabled people and their organisations to do this.  After all, we all have the same goal and want a system that helps rather than hampers. Even more alarming elements within the report are the experiences of disabled people: described as de-humanising and distressing, stressful, confusing and more.  One wonders how these policies, practices and procedures can be squared with the protection afforded by equality legislation and the UN Convention on the Rights of Disabled People?  Bouquet of the week. This goes to Theresa, my office support worker for nearly seven years.  She's been an absolute brick in keeping me sane amongst inaccessible documents and websites, helped me keep the Work for Yourself programme (www.businessability.co.uk) on track and been wonderfully cheerful throughout.  She has grown and developed great professional skills and is ready to move on to her new career in education: helping more of us with extra challenges and needs. Yours supportedly, Penny Melville-Brown penny@laylands.co.uk
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