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EHRC investigation of DWP

24 May 2024

Department for Work and Pensions under investigation for treatment of disabled benefits claimants

The Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC) has launched an investigation into the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions over concerns about the treatment of some disabled benefits claimants.


The investigation has been launched due to suspicions that successive Secretaries of State may have broken equality law in their roles as Minister responsible for the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP).


The focus of the investigation will be whether the DWP has failed to make reasonable adjustments for disabled people with learning disabilities or long-term mental health conditions during health assessment determinations.


As part of the investigation process there is a call for evidence:


Call for evidence opened on 22 May 2024

Closes 23.59 on 22 July


The EHRC is not accepting evidence from individuals, but is accepting evidence from:

·       Charities, third sector and advocacy organisations

·       Welfare benefits advisors

·       Legal professionals

·       Medical professionals

·       Academics and researchers


As well as whistleblowers, which are defined by EHRC as:

·       Current or former Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) employees

·       Current or former employees of third-party organisations who carry out health assessments on behalf of DWP including Atos (also known as Independent Assessment Services or IAS), Capita, Maximus (also known as Centre for Health and Disability Assessments), Serco, Ingeus

 

In line with the EHRC Terms of Reference, they are only able to consider information which affects people who have a 'mental impairment' which may constitute a disability as defined under Section 6 of the Equality Act 2010: an impairment which has a substantial and long-term adverse effect on a person's ability to carry out normal day-to-day activities.


EHRC can only currently accept submissions about reasonable adjustments for:


·       Personal Independence Payments (PIP), and

·       Work Capability Assessments (WCA), for both Employment and Support Allowance (ESA), and Universal Credit (UC)

 

To provide evidence to the investigation complete the online survey:


https://www.smartsurvey.co.uk/s/Investigation-and-Assessment-Call-for-evidence/


Or if you are not able to complete the survey and need reasonable adjustments you can

Call EHRC on 0161 829 8100

Or email correspndence@equalityhumanrights.com

 

For more information on the investigation including the Terms of Reference of the investigation visit:

 

https://www.equalityhumanrights.com/our-work/inquiries-and-investigations/investigation-and-assessment-secretary-state-work-and

 

Terms of Reference:

https://www.equalityhumanrights.com/our-work/inquiries-and-investigations/investigation-and-assessment-secretary-state-work-and-0

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