CBI: From welfare to work: ensuring it pays to find a job
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From welfare to work: ensuring it pays to find a job

Job centre

'We have got to make being in work more attractive than being on benefits, and make it clear that welfare is not a career path.'

- Katja Hall, CBI Chief Policy Director

With more than five million working age people claiming an out of work benefit, welfare dependency is a pressing challenge. The benefits system currently acts as a deterrent for many people seeking employment. Although the Government is already taking steps to deal with welfare dependency through the Work Programme and Universal Credit, there is much more that could be done. To ensure the welfare system always makes work pay, the CBI is calling for:

  • Jobcentre Plus to be refocused on job search through a new readiness for work assessment and earlier Work Programme support where necessary
  • Reform of benefit rules that act as a disincentive to taking a job by suspending rather than cancelling benefits when someone takes a job.

 Katja Hall, CBI Chief Policy Director, added:

"We have got to make being in work more attractive than being on benefits, and make it clear that welfare is not a career path.

"Understandably many people worry that if they take a low-paid job that doesn't work out they could lose their benefits for weeks while they try to get back into the system.  Suspending benefits payments rather than stopping them completely would help overcome this fear factor in taking a job.

"Job centres should focus more on assessing skills and finding suitable opportunities, rather than just doling out benefits."

With more than five million working age people claiming an out of work benefit, welfare dependency is a pressing challenge. The benefits system currently acts as a deterrent for many people seeking employment. Although the Government is already taking steps to deal with welfare dependency through the Work Programme and Universal Credit, there is much more that could be done. To ensure the welfare system always makes work pay, the CBI is calling for:

·         Jobcentre Plus to be refocused on job search through a new readiness for work assessment and earlier Work Programme support where necessary

  • Reform of benefit rules that act as a disincentive to taking a job by suspending rather than cancelling benefits when someone takes a job.

Katja Hall, CBI Chief Policy Director, added:

"We have got to make being in work more attractive than being on benefits, and make it clear that welfare is not a career path.

"Understandably many people worry that if they take a low-paid job that doesn't work out they could lose their benefits for weeks while they try to get back into the system.  Suspending benefits payments rather than stopping them completely would help overcome this fear factor in taking a job.

"Job centres should focus more on assessing skills and finding suitable opportunities, rather than just doling out benefits."

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