Meeting dates 2021
Minutes providing a formal record of the committee’s scrutiny of the social security regulations presented to it by the Department for Work and Pensions, the Department for Communities (Northern Ireland) or Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs (HMRC) are published below.
Please note that regulations are not necessarily presented to the committee every month.
If you have any questions about the most recent meeting that has taken place, please contact the secretariat at firstname.lastname@example.org for clarification.
Minutes of meetings
Go to the National Archives for older SSAC minutes.
Members of the committee
Dr Stephen Brien – chair of the committee
Dr Stephen Brien was appointed as Chair of the Social Security Advisory Committee (SSAC) from 14 September 2020.
The committee members are as follows.
Liz Sayce OBE – vice-chair
Liz Sayce OBE was the interim chair of the Social Security Advisory Committee (SSAC) from August 2019 until August 2020.
She was the Chief Executive of Disability Rights UK until 31 May 2017, leading work to achieve equal participation for all, through programmes on independent living, career opportunities and shifts in cultural attitudes and behaviour. With a background in mental health and disability policy, previous roles include:
- Director of Policy and Communications at the Disability Rights Commission
- Policy Director of Mind
Liz led an independent review into disability employment programmes for government in 2011 and has published widely on mental health, disability and social participation. Liz is also:
- a Non-Executive Director of the Care Quality Commission
- a member of the committee of Healthwatch England
- a member of the Disability Advisory Committee of the Equality and Human Rights Commission
She chairs a Commission on Equality in Mental Health, convened by the Centre for Mental Health.
Bruce is a trustee of the Avenues Group, a charity specialising in supporting people with complex needs. He was for many years a senior official in the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) in a wide range of roles. He ended his civil service career as the director in the Department of Health responsible for policy on mental health, disability and equality. In this role he led the team which created the 2010 to 2015 coalition government’s mental health strategy and its review of services for learning disabled people following the Winterbourne View scandal. He has been an instructor in Mental Health First Aid for the Armed Forces Community. He is currently the chair of Avenues South East, a charity which supports people with learning difficulties and autism. He is also a Specialist Adviser to the Care Quality Commission.
Carl is Deputy Director of the Institute for Fiscal Studies (IFS). He is an editor of the annual IFS Green Budget, and his research includes analysis of the UK public finances and the design of the tax and benefit system, in particular relating to state and private pensions. He has previously served as a specialist adviser to the House of Commons Work and Pensions Select Committee.
Chris is Director of Impact and Evidence at Youth Futures Foundation. He was previously Deputy Director of Evidence and Impact at the Joseph Rowntree Foundation, and is a former social researcher at the Home Office and Cabinet Office.
Chris has also been a cancer researcher in the NHS, a member of the UK Commission for Employment and Skills Policy Expert Group and of the Social Research Association Board. He has a masters degree in social research methods from South Bank University.
Kayley is the Head of Policy for Families, Welfare and Work at Citizens Advice. Prior to joining the national Citizens Advice team Kayley was a frontline adviser at Leeds Citizens Advice where she gave advice on all issues including benefits, debt and housing. She has continued to volunteer as an adviser alongside her policy roles. Kayley has also spent time on secondment to DWP where she worked to bring frontline experience into the early design of Universal Credit.
Phil has been the Director of Prince’s Trust Cymru since June 2016. Previously, Phil was the Wales Area Manager for The Royal British Legion during the time of the charity’s transformation. Before that, he served in the Armed Forces for over 25 years as an officer in The Royal Welsh.
Professor Gráinne McKeever
Gráinne is a Professor of Law and Social Justice at Ulster University and teaches social security law and policy to undergraduate and postgraduate law students. She is an executive director and former chair of the Law Centre, Northern Ireland, a not-for-profit specialist advice organisation. Gráinne has published widely in the areas of social security law and access to justice and is the assistant editor of the Journal of Social Security Law. She is also the Co-director of Ulster University’s Law Clinic, through which postgraduate law students provide employment and social security advocacy for members of the public. She is the Northern Ireland representative on the Committee.
Dom has advised senior decision makers and military commanders in strategy and change management on welfare’s frontline and in war zones. His passion for welfare reform is a deeply personal one. Serious illness forced Dom to give up flying in the RAF. Living with chronic pain, he started his work in the welfare system with the Prince’s Trust and Millennium Volunteers getting young people back in to work. Such was the effect on him that he stood for Parliament, advocating the need to get welfare reforms right in order to get more young people into work and tackle the disability employment gap.
Seyi Obakin OBE
Seyi is the Chief Executive of Centrepoint, a leading national charity working with young people who have experienced homelessness. He is a chartered accountant and has worked in corporate banking and a wide range of social housing provision. He has also been involved in research and inquiries into family life and the support families need, lifelong literacy and youth enterprise. He is currently a Non-executive Director of HM Prison and Probation Service.
Charlotte (Charlie) Pickles is Director at Reform. She was previously Reform’s Deputy Director and Head of Research. Prior to returning to Reform, Charlie was Managing Editor at UnHerd.com, the comment and current affairs site.
Charlie has worked in a variety of roles covering:
- working age welfare and pension reform
- criminal justice
- poverty and social exclusion
- service delivery
During the coalition government she was Expert Adviser to Rt Hon Iain Duncan Smith MP, then Secretary of State for Work and Pensions. Before that she was Policy Director at the Centre for Social Justice. Charlie has also spent time working as a management consultant in the public sector practice of a global consultancy firm.
Charlie is also a member of the NHS Assembly.