Read the minutes of our monthly meetings and find out about the members of the committee.

Meeting dates 2021

  • 3 November
  • 8 December

Meeting dates 2022

  • 26 January
  • 16 March
  • 27 April
  • 25 May
  • 22 June
  • 20 July
  • 14 September
  • 12 October
  • 9 November
  • 7 December

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 for clarification.

Minutes of meetings


8 December 2021 minutes (PDF, 296 KB, 26 pages)
3 November 2021 minutes (PDF, 231 KB, 10 pages)
13 October 2021 minutes (PDF, 228 KB, 9 pages)
8 September 2021 minutes (PDF, 991 KB, 16 pages)
21 July 2021 minutes (PDF, 386 KB, 25 pages)
7 July 2021 minutes (PDF, 2.07 MB, 20 pages)
16 June 2021 minutes (PDF, 154 KB, 4 pages)
19 May 2021 minutes (PDF, 97 KB, 16 pages)
21 April 2021 minutes (PDF, 245 KB, 13 pages)
31 March 2021 minutes (PDF, 314 KB, 22 pages)
27 January 2021 minutes (PDF, 263 KB, 16 pages)


December 2020 minutes (PDF, 225 KB, 16 pages)
November 2020 minutes (PDF, 103 KB, 5 pages)
October 2020 minutes (PDF, 382 KB, 24 pages)
September 2020 minutes (PDF, 296 KB, 24 pages)
July 2020 minutes (PDF, 229 KB, 13 pages)
June 2020 minutes (PDF, 213 KB, 13 pages)
May 2020 minutes (PDF, 280 KB, 32 pages)
April 2020 minutes (PDF, 136 KB, 4 pages)


July 2019 minutes (PDF, 181 KB, 10 pages)
June 2019 minutes (PDF, 150 KB, 7 pages)
May 2019 minutes (PDF, 149 KB, 6 pages)
March 2019 minutes (PDF, 170 KB, 11 pages)
January 2019 minutes (PDF, 145 KB, 17 pages)


July 2018 minutes (PDF, 163 KB, 10 pages)
June 2018 minutes (PDF, 569 KB, 14 pages)
January 2018 minutes (PDF, 175 KB, 13 pages)


December 2017 minutes (PDF, 179 KB, 13 pages)
November 2017 minutes (PDF, 259 KB, 27 pages)
July 2017 minutes (PDF, 142 KB, 8 pages)
May 2017 minutes (PDF, 137 KB, 9 pages)
March 2017 minutes (PDF, 180 KB, 16 pages)
January 2017 minutes (PDF, 210 KB, 21 pages)


December 2016 minutes (PDF, 156 KB, 13 pages)
November 2016 minutes (PDF, 212 KB, 22 pages)
October 2016 minutes (PDF, 173 KB, 13 pages)
September 2016 minutes (PDF, 120 KB, 4 pages)
July 2016 minutes (PDF, 150 KB, 10 pages)
June 2016 minutes (PDF, 197 KB, 21 pages)
May 2016 minutes (PDF, 146 KB, 10 pages)
April 2016 minutes (PDF, 204 KB, 7 pages)
March 2016 minutes (PDF, 148 KB, 9 pages)
January 2016 minutes (PDF, 185 KB, 18 pages)

Older minutes

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 member of the Disability Advisory Committee of the Equality and Human Rights Commission
  • a Trustee of Action on Disability and Development

She chairs a Commission on Equality in Mental Health, convened by the Centre for Mental Health.

Bruce Calderwood

Bruce Calderwood 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 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 is a specialist adviser on inspections of mental health trusts for the Care Quality Commission.

Matthew Doyle

Matthew holds a number of non-executive roles across commercial, not for profit and charitable sectors which have provided him with knowledge and experience on how the social security system is accessed by individuals and families. He also consults on ESG and corporate governance to asset owners.

His areas of interest include:

  • financial inclusion
  • digital access
  • social care and housing
  • mental health and wellbeing

Previously he had an executive career in financial services across corporate finance, corporate recovery, asset management and pensions developing analytical and relationship skills.

This expertise and experience allows Matthew to contribute to the work of the committee providing scrutiny and advice to the government on social security matters and the impact on workers.

Carl Emmerson

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 Goulden

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 Hignell

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 Jones

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 McKeever is a Professor of Law and Social Justice at Ulster University and has published widely in the areas of social security law and access to justice. She is the assistant editor of the Journal of Social Security Law and currently teaches social security law and policy to undergraduate and postgraduate law students. Gráinne is the director of Ulster University’s Law Clinic, through which postgraduate law students provide social security advocacy for members of the public. Gráinne is also a former executive director and Chair of the Law Centre, Northern Ireland, a not-for-profit specialist advice organisation.

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 Pickles

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, 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.