Sunday, November 9, 2014

Benefits: Tightening rules does not help people into work, say Scottish researchers

Increasing the conditions placed on people claiming benefits is unlikely to get more people into work, a new report suggests.

Researchers looking at the impact of the UK Government's welfare changes in Scotland say strengthening conditionality does not address the barriers some people face in trying to find a job.

Reforms have increased the requirements for certain people claiming out-of-work benefits, including lone parents and those unemployed due to a health condition or disability.

Professors at the Employment Research Institute at Edinburgh Napier University and the University of Stirling are following dozens of people from across Scotland to see how changes to the system are affecting them.

They interviewed 43 people between September last year and January, with 35 taking part in a second round of in-depth interviews between April and July.

A report on the findings concluded: "Participants with a health condition or a disability, and those who were lone parents, reported that they wanted to be in work but faced considerable barriers to doing so, which were unlikely to be addressed by increasing conditionality.

"According to the views of participants, stronger conditionality is unlikely to get more people into work, due to a lack of suitable work and barriers in the areas of education, skills, employability, childcare and health...