Predicting policy performance: can the Work and Health Programme work for chronically ill or disabled people? 2018
Many developed countries consider that disability benefit receipt is too high and more disabled people should be in paid work. Employment programmes designed to achieve this have tended towards less financial support and more requirement to engage in activity. But emphasis on social inclusion through paid work coupled with inadequate benefits and mandated activity can cause distress and worsened health. It is therefore vital that politicians understand the likely impact of employment programmes before introducing them. In this article, a new framework based on five ‘Ds’ (diagnosis, destination, development, design and delivery) is used to analyse the UK’s Work and Health Programme. It is shown that the programme is likely to fail: it includes measures that do not work, and may cause harm, whilst ignoring measures that are known to work. Based on this, it is recommended that this programme be scrapped and the government start listening to disabled people.
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