Department for Work and Pensions

All 10 Written Questions max 10 shown

Date Title Questioner
27 Jan 2020, 3:52 p.m. Social Security Benefits: Appeals Gordon Henderson

Question to the Department for Work and Pensions

What steps she is taking with the Secretary of State for Justice to reduce the waiting time for welfare benefit tribunal appeals.

Answer (Justin Tomlinson)

DWP is working with the Ministry of Justice to develop a new digital system with a view to enabling swifter processing of appeals and a better service for all parties to the proceedings. Personal Independence Payment, Employment and Support Allowance and Universal Credit claimants can now submit their appeal online.

27 Jan 2020, 3:44 p.m. Disability: Medical Examinations Holly Mumby-Croft

Question to the Department for Work and Pensions

What steps she is taking to (a) reduce the number of assessments undertaken by people with disabilities and (b) ensure adequate support for those people.

Answer (Justin Tomlinson)

We have made improvements to reduce assessments for Work Capability and Personal Independence Payment. This includes reducing review frequency for pensioners and people with severe or progressive conditions. We are also exploring our manifesto commitment to ensure a minimum award review duration for PIP awards. The planned Green Paper will continue to look at how we can further improve the experience for people with health conditions and disabilities.

23 Jan 2020, 5:39 p.m. Department for Work and Pensions: Climate Change Darren Jones

Question to the Department for Work and Pensions

To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what assessment she has made of the effect of climate change on the work of her Department; and what steps she is taking in response to that effect.

Answer (Mims Davies)

The Department for Work and Pensions assesses climate change as a potential risk to its operational responsibilities.

The UK Government recognises climate change as a material risk to most if not all pension schemes. Therefore, we have clarified trustees’ investment duties in legislation to consider all financially material considerations – including climate change. Trustees have to document a policy on how they take account of climate change. Defined contribution and hybrid benefit schemes are required to publish their policy and defined benefit schemes will be required to publish from 1 October.

With respect to its own operations, the Department applies criteria that considers the effect of climate change, such as flood risk, when deciding on future site strategy.

The Department also undertakes regular reviews of their location specific emergency planning, disaster recovery and business continuity plans.

The Department’s estate supply chain is undertaking site visits which include an assessment of climate change risk with recommendations on investment. Investment in the Departmental estate is focused upon its core assets, with the level of criticality of those assets a key measure. This helps to ensure that its buildings are as resilient as possible. By using data, asset management principles and specialist knowledge we are able to identify assets most at risk of failure and to mitigate accordingly.

The DWP has a dedicated Estates Sustainability and Environment Team. Their purpose is to oversee that from an estate perspective: -

• Our effects on sustainability and the environment from appropriately managed and

• That risks from the environment are proportionately managed.

In terms of sustainability, the Department is committed to tackling climate change and delivering against the Government’s sustainability targets. We are currently exceeding our carbon reduction targets under the Greening Government Commitments (GGC). The GGC requires the Department to reduce carbon emissions by 51% by 2020 against a 2009/10 baseline. As of June 2019, we are currently at a 56% reduction.

13 Jan 2020, 1:23 p.m. Universal Credit Baroness Lister of Burtersett

Question to the Department for Work and Pensions

To ask Her Majesty's Government how many claimants have been moved on to Universal Credit under the managed migration pilot being undertaken in Harrogate.

Answer (Baroness Stedman-Scott)

The Universal Credit (Managed Migration Pilot and Miscellaneous Amendments) Regulations 2019 allow the Department to pilot moving no more than 10,000 claimants across to Universal Credit from legacy benefits and is expected to last until November 2020.

The Move to Universal Credit pilot commenced, as scheduled, in the area served by Harrogate Jobcentre in July 2019. The goal of the pilot is to learn as much as possible about how to safely move people from legacy benefits onto Universal Credit. As a result, we will increase numbers as slowly and gradually as necessary.

We are adapting the design of this service and its processes frequently to ensure we provide the best possible support to those claimants who move to Universal Credit from their legacy benefit claims.

The Department has already committed to updating Parliament and stakeholders on progress. We expect to provide our first update in the Spring. We will also set out an evaluation strategy, developed in consultation with stakeholders, before coming to Parliament in the Autumn with the findings and our proposals for the next phase of the delivery of Universal Credit.

7 Jan 2020, 12:53 p.m. Employment: Disability Lord Shinkwin

Question to the Department for Work and Pensions

To ask Her Majesty's Government what evaluation, if any, they are undertaking into the Disability Confident scheme, including how the scheme is viewed by disabled people.

Answer (Baroness Stedman-Scott)

The Department for Work and Pensions commissioned Ipsos MORI to conduct research with Disability Confident employers to understand the effect that signing up to the Disability Confident scheme has had on their attitudes and practices with regards to disabled people. We published the results of this research on 13 November 2018. The survey suggested the scheme has had a significant impact on disability employment practices, with half of those employers surveyed saying it had led to them taking on at least one disabled member of staff.

The Disability Confident Business Leaders Group is constantly reviewing the scheme to ensure it remains effective in helping employers recruit, retain and develop disabled people. We also receive regular representations from the Disability Charities Consortium and other disabled people’s organisations. These reviews and representations have led to recently announced improvements, including requiring Disability Confident Leader (Level 3) employers to use the Voluntary Reporting Framework to publicly report on their disability employment.

7 Jan 2020, 12:53 p.m. Employment: Disability Lord Shinkwin

Question to the Department for Work and Pensions

To ask Her Majesty's Government what plans they have, if any, to introduce targets for closing the disability employment gap; and if so, what dates they plan to set to meet those targets.

Answer (Baroness Stedman-Scott)

We announced on 2 November that new Disability Confident (DC) Leaders (Level 3) and Disability Confident Leaders applying for re-accreditation will need to use the voluntary reporting framework (VRF) to publicly report on disability employment. A copy of which is attached. Although there is flexibility in how employers can use the VRF, we expect that most DC Leaders would choose to combine it with their annual report and accounts.

We developed the voluntary reporting framework with a group of employers and disability stakeholders. It is deliberately designed to be flexible, recognising that different employers start in different places. It does not require reporting on pay and we have no current plans to require pay reporting.

Disability Confident leaders are now required to publicly report using the voluntary reporting framework and one of the measures the framework encourages is the number of disabled people employed.

The definition of disability in the voluntary reporting framework is self-declared, asking employees if they ‘consider’ themselves to have a disability. The framework is both voluntary and flexible, designed based on feedback from employers and other stakeholders. If we choose to go further in future, we will look at the case for alignment with the definition of disability in the Equality Act 2010.

We are committed to reducing the disability employment gap, and will report on progress regularly. We will consider the case for a target as part of our work on the new National Disability Strategy which we have committed to publish by the end of 2020.

7 Jan 2020, 12:53 p.m. Employment: Disability Lord Shinkwin

Question to the Department for Work and Pensions

To ask Her Majesty's Government what plans they have, if any, to amend the wording in the framework for voluntary reporting on disability, mental health and wellbeing so that it matches the definition of disability in the Equality Act 2010 and the Government Statistical Service's disability disclosure question.

Answer (Baroness Stedman-Scott)

We announced on 2 November that new Disability Confident (DC) Leaders (Level 3) and Disability Confident Leaders applying for re-accreditation will need to use the voluntary reporting framework (VRF) to publicly report on disability employment. A copy of which is attached. Although there is flexibility in how employers can use the VRF, we expect that most DC Leaders would choose to combine it with their annual report and accounts.

We developed the voluntary reporting framework with a group of employers and disability stakeholders. It is deliberately designed to be flexible, recognising that different employers start in different places. It does not require reporting on pay and we have no current plans to require pay reporting.

Disability Confident leaders are now required to publicly report using the voluntary reporting framework and one of the measures the framework encourages is the number of disabled people employed.

The definition of disability in the voluntary reporting framework is self-declared, asking employees if they ‘consider’ themselves to have a disability. The framework is both voluntary and flexible, designed based on feedback from employers and other stakeholders. If we choose to go further in future, we will look at the case for alignment with the definition of disability in the Equality Act 2010.

We are committed to reducing the disability employment gap, and will report on progress regularly. We will consider the case for a target as part of our work on the new National Disability Strategy which we have committed to publish by the end of 2020.

7 Jan 2020, 12:53 p.m. Employment: Disability Lord Shinkwin

Question to the Department for Work and Pensions

To ask Her Majesty's Government what plans they have, if any, to require large employers to publish data on the (1) number, and (2) pay, of disabled employees.

Answer (Baroness Stedman-Scott)

We announced on 2 November that new Disability Confident (DC) Leaders (Level 3) and Disability Confident Leaders applying for re-accreditation will need to use the voluntary reporting framework (VRF) to publicly report on disability employment. A copy of which is attached. Although there is flexibility in how employers can use the VRF, we expect that most DC Leaders would choose to combine it with their annual report and accounts.

We developed the voluntary reporting framework with a group of employers and disability stakeholders. It is deliberately designed to be flexible, recognising that different employers start in different places. It does not require reporting on pay and we have no current plans to require pay reporting.

Disability Confident leaders are now required to publicly report using the voluntary reporting framework and one of the measures the framework encourages is the number of disabled people employed.

The definition of disability in the voluntary reporting framework is self-declared, asking employees if they ‘consider’ themselves to have a disability. The framework is both voluntary and flexible, designed based on feedback from employers and other stakeholders. If we choose to go further in future, we will look at the case for alignment with the definition of disability in the Equality Act 2010.

We are committed to reducing the disability employment gap, and will report on progress regularly. We will consider the case for a target as part of our work on the new National Disability Strategy which we have committed to publish by the end of 2020.

7 Jan 2020, 12:53 p.m. Employment: Disability Lord Shinkwin

Question to the Department for Work and Pensions

To ask Her Majesty's Government what plans they have, if any, to extend the voluntary reporting on disability, mental health and wellbeing framework to include the number or proportion of disabled employees in each pay quartile.

Answer (Baroness Stedman-Scott)

We announced on 2 November that new Disability Confident (DC) Leaders (Level 3) and Disability Confident Leaders applying for re-accreditation will need to use the voluntary reporting framework (VRF) to publicly report on disability employment. A copy of which is attached. Although there is flexibility in how employers can use the VRF, we expect that most DC Leaders would choose to combine it with their annual report and accounts.

We developed the voluntary reporting framework with a group of employers and disability stakeholders. It is deliberately designed to be flexible, recognising that different employers start in different places. It does not require reporting on pay and we have no current plans to require pay reporting.

Disability Confident leaders are now required to publicly report using the voluntary reporting framework and one of the measures the framework encourages is the number of disabled people employed.

The definition of disability in the voluntary reporting framework is self-declared, asking employees if they ‘consider’ themselves to have a disability. The framework is both voluntary and flexible, designed based on feedback from employers and other stakeholders. If we choose to go further in future, we will look at the case for alignment with the definition of disability in the Equality Act 2010.

We are committed to reducing the disability employment gap, and will report on progress regularly. We will consider the case for a target as part of our work on the new National Disability Strategy which we have committed to publish by the end of 2020.

7 Jan 2020, 12:53 p.m. Employment: Disability Lord Shinkwin

Question to the Department for Work and Pensions

To ask Her Majesty's Government what plans they have, if any, to make the framework for voluntary reporting on disability, mental health and wellbeing a mandatory requirement for Disability Confident Leaders.

Answer (Baroness Stedman-Scott)

We announced on 2 November that new Disability Confident (DC) Leaders (Level 3) and Disability Confident Leaders applying for re-accreditation will need to use the voluntary reporting framework (VRF) to publicly report on disability employment. A copy of which is attached. Although there is flexibility in how employers can use the VRF, we expect that most DC Leaders would choose to combine it with their annual report and accounts.

We developed the voluntary reporting framework with a group of employers and disability stakeholders. It is deliberately designed to be flexible, recognising that different employers start in different places. It does not require reporting on pay and we have no current plans to require pay reporting.

Disability Confident leaders are now required to publicly report using the voluntary reporting framework and one of the measures the framework encourages is the number of disabled people employed.

The definition of disability in the voluntary reporting framework is self-declared, asking employees if they ‘consider’ themselves to have a disability. The framework is both voluntary and flexible, designed based on feedback from employers and other stakeholders. If we choose to go further in future, we will look at the case for alignment with the definition of disability in the Equality Act 2010.

We are committed to reducing the disability employment gap, and will report on progress regularly. We will consider the case for a target as part of our work on the new National Disability Strategy which we have committed to publish by the end of 2020.