MPs call for jobcentre reforms

Jobcentres need to make improvements in the way they assess claimants' potential barriers to employment at an early stage of the claim process, says a new report published by the House of Commons Work and Pensions Select Committee.

Key points

  • Key performance indicators should be immediately revised to incentivise more clearly the support of jobseekers into work, rather than merely removal from receipt of benefits.
  • The Department for Work and Pensions should formulate performance measures to promote sustained job outcomes.
  • There should be an independent review of the consistency, accuracy and fairness of the application of conditionality and sanctions.
  • Local authorities urgently need central guidance allowing them to design and commission services in time for the national roll out of universal credit.

Dame Anne Begg MP, Chair of the Work and Pensions Committee, said: 'The processes by which JCP [Jobcentre Plus] currently establishes claimants' needs are haphazard and prone to missing crucial information about a person's barriers to working, including homelessness and drug dependency. A more thorough and systematic approach to assessing claimants' needs is required'.

SourceThe Role of Jobcentre Plus in the Reformed Welfare System, Second Report (Session 2013-14), HC 479, House of Commons Work and Pensions Select Committee, TSO
LinksReport | Additional written evidence | Committee press release | Gingerbread press release | BBC report | Guardian report | Public Finance report

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