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Employment Services: Cancer

Volume 486: debated on Monday 12 January 2009

To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what information his Department and its agencies provides on returning to work to those who have had cancer. (242862)

The administration of Jobcentre Plus is a matter for the acting chief executive of Jobcentre Plus, Mel Groves. I have asked him to provide the hon. Member with the information requested.

Letter from Mel Groves:

The Secretary of State has asked me to reply to your question asking what information his Department and its agencies provides to those who have had cancer on returning to work. This is something that falls within the responsibilities delegated to me as Acting Chief Executive of Jobcentre Plus.

People with a health condition or disability, including those people who have had cancer, can get a range of information and support from Jobcentre Plus. Customers in receipt of incapacity benefits or the Employment and Support Allowance can access Pathways to Work, which offers a series of interviews with a specialist personal adviser, a condition management programme and the possibility of financial incentives when the customer returns to work. People making a fresh claim for incapacity benefits will be required to take part in Pathways to Work and existing customers can volunteer for the help available.

Customers in receipt of other benefits or no benefits, who have a disability that affects them in the workplace, can receive information and support from the Disability Employment Adviser. The Disability Employment Adviser can also provide access to a number of specialist programmes that can help them move into paid work, including, Work Preparation, Residential Training and WORKSTEP, a programme of supported employment.

Access to Work may also be available to those customers with a long term disability. Access to Work gives the customer and their employer advice and support with extra costs which may arise because of the customer's needs. The programme can provide grants towards the additional costs of travelling to work; providing Support Workers; adapting work premises, and providing special aids and equipment in the workplace. Disability Employment Advisers can signpost customers to Access to Work.

Customers have access to a variety of leaflets from jobcentres. In addition, information about the help that may be available to people with a health condition or disability is available on the internet at:

www.jobcentreplus.gov.uk or www.direct.gov.uk.

I hope this information's helpful.