Devolve certain benefits to improve social outcomes, IPPR report argues

The Institute of Public Policy Research (IPPR) has published a report calling for the devolution of several aspects of social security provision. The report argues that giving devolved nations more control over certain benefits will improve economic growth and boost social outcomes.

Councils are using controversial lie detector tests to catch benefit fraudsters

Freedom of Information requests have revealed that 24 local authorities have used, or plan to use controversial lie detector tests in attempt to catch fraudulent benefit claimants; despite the government no longer using the technology as it is considered unreliable.

European Commission welcomes final adoption of new fund for aid to the most deprived

The European Commission has welcomed the adoption of regulation on the new Fund for European Aid to the Most Deprived (FEAD). The fund will give member states valuable support in their efforts to help Europe's most vulnerable people, who have been worst affected by the on-going economic and social crisis.

European Commission welcomes final adoption of new fund for aid to the most deprived

The European Commission has welcomed the adoption of regulation on the new Fund for European Aid to the Most Deprived (FEAD). The fund will give member states valuable support in their efforts to help Europe's most vulnerable people, who have been worst affected by the on-going economic and social crisis.

Funding changes put apprenticeships at risk, warn employers

Reforms to apprenticeship funding will cut the number of vocational training places available to vulnerable young people, the Association of Employment and Training Providers (AELP) has warned. It is feared that Government proposals to only part-fund apprenticeships for 16-18 year olds, and make employers pay a contribution towards training, will result in smaller firms (that currently offer 75 percent of apprenticeships) being less likely to offer places.

Changes to council tax benefit have weakened work incentives for ‘up to 225,000 people’ in England, according to committee

The Chair of the Public Accounts Committee, Margaret Hodge, has called the changes to Council Tax Benefit ‘fundamentally perverse’ because they have weakened work incentives for up to 225,000 people – the opposite of the government’s intention to ‘make work pay’.

Minimum wage to increase to £6.50 an hour

The government has announced that, from October, the national minimum wage will increase by 19p an hour to £6.50. The Business Secretary, Vince Cable said that he had accepted a recommendation from the Low Pay Commission that the minimum wage should increase by 3 percent. It is expected to benefit one million workers, and is the first time in six years that the rise will be higher than inflation.

Quarter of payday lenders may quit under tougher rules

The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) is to investigate the way that payday lenders treat borrowers struggling to repay loans when it takes over regulation of the consumer credit sector in April. Several other plans to toughen regulation in the high-cost short-term loans market have already been outlined, as more than a third of all payday loans are repaid late or not at all, according to the FCA.

Shelter exposes true scale of 'revenge evictions'

Nominations deadline approaches for ERSA Employabillty Awards

The competition is hotting up as the deadline for the ERSA Employability Awards approaches on 14 March 2014.

The awards, sponsored by Shaw Trust, aim to celebrate and champion best practice from across the employment related services sector, highlighting the day to day hard work and dedication of individuals and organisations in the industry who are supporting jobseekers to find employment and often making a genuine difference in people’s lives.

Youth Contract evaluation findings published

The Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) has published research and statistics on its Youth Contract measures. DWP introduced the Youth Contract in April 2012 to provide additional support for unemployed young people between the ages of 18 and 24.

MP’s and children’s charities condemn Iain Duncan Smith’s long awaited child poverty announcement

Charities and pressure groups have expressed anger that the government’s long-running review of child poverty lacks a coherent strategy to tackle the problem. Work and Pensions Secretary, Iain Duncan Smith was forced to drop his plans to introduce a new set of targets to tackle the problem, thus the document recycled previous announcements, including the reduction of domestic energy bills by £50 per year.

Delays to disabled people’s benefit eligibility tests causing distress and financial difficulties, says government’s independent auditor

The Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) introduced Personal Independence Payments (PIPs) to replace disability living allowance for working-age people in a small number of areas in April 2013 as part of the government’s welfare reform programme. The National Audit Office (NAO) has said claimants were having to wait longer than expected for assessments, with the Department for Work and Pensions making just 16 per cent of the number of decisions it had expected by the end of October last year.

DWP launch new jobs pilot to tackle black and ethnic minority employment gap in Haringey

Iain Duncan Smith, the Work and Pensions Secretary, has launched the ‘Job Fit’ pilot in Haringey. It aims to get more young people from black and ethnic minority groups into work, and it has been developed after survey results showed that young people want more mentoring and work experience opportunities.

DWP launch new jobs pilot to tackle black and ethnic minority employment gap in Haringey

Iain Duncan Smith, the Work and Pensions Secretary, has launched the ‘Job Fit’ pilot in Haringey. It aims to get more young people from black and ethnic minority groups into work, and it has been developed after survey results showed that young people want more mentoring and work experience opportunities.