This was published under the 2010 to 2015 Conservative and Liberal Democrat coalition government
This report presents findings from a telephone survey of customers in Provider-led (PL) Pathways areas. The is the first report that provides quantitative evidence on customers’ experiences in PL Pathways areas and is aimed to build upon the qualitative evidence from the earlier publications (DWP RR 595, 638, 643, 644). The study was led by the National Centre for Social Research.
There were slightly more men than women and the majority were aged 40 years and over.
A large proportion of customers had health conditions that had a substantial impact on their lives (94 per cent) at the time of their claim. By the time of the survey (13-14 months later), fewer customers reported having an ongoing health condition or disability (75 per cent).
About half (54 per cent) reported having spent substantial amounts of time in paid work prior to their claim for incapacity benefits, whilst the remainder had experienced fluctuating work patterns or a limited amount of paid work.
Only 57 per cent of the customers were qualified to Level 2 (GCSE grades A-C) or above compared to 71 per cent of the working age population.
Contact with Jobcentre Plus and provider
Just over two-thirds (68 per cent) of customers recalled attending an initial WFI at Jobcentre Plus and 41 per cent recalled attending at least one with a provider. Customers in poor health and those who lived alone were more likely to have attended a WFI that those in better health and those with a partner.
In comparison with customers in Jobcentre plus-led Pathways areas, PL Pathways customers were slightly less likely to have attended the initial WFI at Jobcentre Plus (68 per cent compared to 75 per cent) and progressed beyond the initial WFI (41 per cent compared with 50 per cent).
However, Provider-led Pathways customers were more likely to have attended the full five provider interviews beyond the initial WFI at Jobcentre Plus (23 per cent compared with 14 per cent in Jobcentre Plus-led areas who attended the intended six WFIs at Jobcentre Plus).
Customers were generally very positive about the initial meeting at Jobcentre Plus. Three-quarters of customers (76 per cent) said that the Jobcentre Plus adviser was ‘very’ or ‘fairly’ clear about the next steps for the programme at the initial meeting.
Similarly, a majority of customers were positive about how well the Provider’s service met their needs, with 77 per cent saying it met their needs ‘very well’ or ‘fairly well’.
A small proportion of customers used health management services at Providers (eight per cent), assessments were again positive.
Three quarters of customers had not worked at all during the 13 month period following their claim for incapacity benefits.
At the time of the survey interview, 21 per cent of all customers were in paid work, 29 per cent were looking for work or waiting to start work or a business, whilst half were not looking for work. The majority of customers who had found work were in full-time employment.
The majority of customers (86 per cent) reported their health problems as the key factor preventing them from looking for work.
The most important factor, by far, in whether customers had moved into work some months after their start on Pathways was the trajectory of their health conditions. Those with continued poor health or declining health, were the least likely to be in paid work.
Further, customers who lived alone those with a mental health condition, those with a fluctuating work history and those who had no qualification were also less likely to be in paid work at the time of interview.
Notes to Editors:
The DWP research report Provider-led Pathways to Work: the experiences of new and repeat customers in phase one areas is published today on the DWP website.
The authors of this report are Oliver Hayllar and Martin Wood of the National Centre for Social Research.
Telephone interviews were conducted with ‘3095’ new and repeat customers who claimed their incapacity benefits between 1st April 2008 and 30 June 2008 in PL phase one areas. Interviews were conducted on average 14 months after their qualifying claim (June to mid September 2009).