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Employment Schemes: Older Workers

Volume 504: debated on Thursday 21 January 2010

To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions with reference to her Department's White Paper on Building Britain's Recovery, whether people currently on (a) incapacity benefit and (b) employment and support allowance will be eligible for the new specialist back to work support for the over 50s; and when she expects that support to be available. (312241)

The White Paper announced five new back-to-work measures for the over 50s, principally designed for those on jobseekers allowance (JSA). However, early access (day one of a claim) to work trials will extend equally to customers on incapacity benefits and employment and support allowance. The new specialist contracted support for over 50s will be delivered as part of the Jobcentre Plus Support Contract (JCPSC), which is an important tool for advisers and an integral part of the JSA customer journey.

The new JCPSC provision for over 50s will be open to people claiming JSA and New Deal for Lone Parents (NDLP), New Deal for Partners (NDP) and Work Focused Support for Carers (WFSC) participants. People in receipt of IB will be able to access the JCPSC provision where they meet the eligibility criteria as a NDLP participant. Partners of customers in receipt of ESA/IB will be able to access the JCPSC provision where they meet the eligibility criteria as a NDP participant.

We are working to introduce the over 50s measures in spring this year.