Written Questions are submitted by MPs or Lords to receive information from a Department.
|31 Jan 2018, 4:50 p.m.||Access to Work Programme||Steve McCabe|
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what evidence she has considered in relation to her Department’s plans to introduce a cap on Access to Work grants.
Answer (Sarah Newton)
In March 2015 the former Minister for Disabled People announced a series of reforms to Access to Work, including a cap on high value awards which would be mitigated by transitional protection for existing customers. In May 2015 the DWP published the report ‘Equality Analysis for the Future of Access to Work’, which laid out the data that had been reviewed in formulating those reforms and the considerations we had taken into account in setting the cap level at 1.5 times the median gross annual earnings for full-time employees (as published annually by the ONS).
In 2017/18, the cap amounted to £42,100 per person per year. In April 2018, the cap will rise to £43,100.
Since the cap came into effect in October 2015, we have monitored the progress of deaf and disabled individuals affected by it, including those who have benefitted from transitional protection. As we made clear in the 2015 equality analysis, we will continue to monitor the effects of capping and, if an adverse impact upon equality is identified, we will consider the case for further flexibilities. Ministers and officials have also conducted extensive engagement with customers and organisations including charities, disabled people’s organisations and employers. The most recent engagement was held in January 2018.