This report from the Department for Work and Pensions sets out findings from independent research on the effectiveness of the Pathways to Work package of reforms. The aim of the package is to encourage employment among people claiming incapacity benefits.
Pathways has increased the rate of employment entry. Significant employment effects are still found when consideration is limited to jobs of 30 or more hours per week or 16 or more hours per week, indicating that, for some people at least, Pathways is encouraging a substantial re-engagement with the labour market.
Pathways also appeared to increase significantly incapacity benefit exit. For example, those receiving their work focused interview in the first six months following the extension of Pathways to existing customers, had their probability of having left incapacity benefit increased by four to five percentage points.
Overall, the results appear encouraging to the extent that they have identified significant effects on employment entry and benefit exit among a customer group that has been receiving incapacity benefit for some time. Longer term recipients of benefits are harder to help than new claimants.
The report is available from the DWP. http://www.dwp.gov.uk/asd/asd5/rports2007-2008/rrep488.pdf