Welfare Conditionality: Sanctions, Support and Behaviour Change project leader Professor Peter Dwyer gave evidence to the Work and Pensions Select Committee today. He was one of 10 witnesses asked to appear before the MPs to assist their inquiry into benefit sanctions and support. The inquiry follows last year’s Oakley Review with a remit to inquire beyond the scope of that report.
Read our written evidence submission here.
View the evidence session here.
Read the transcript here.
Read our new blog which comments on the latest DWP statistics for sanctions on benefit claimants. Is there a connection to the growing use of food banks?
Read our latest blog and briefing paper on the ongoing attempt to ‘rewrite the welfare contract’ for disabled people and the arguments on this controversial topic within UK welfare policy.
The Sustainable Housing & Urban Studies Unit (SHUSU) at the University of Salford has an exciting opportunity for a researcher to support our research activities for a fixed term period and help shape and deliver its growing portfolio of work. A significant component of the role will be to engage, as the University of Salford partner, with the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) funded project Welfare Conditionality: Sanctions Support and Behaviour Change.
We are pleased to announce an opportunity for a funded PhD at the University of Salford.
Exploring the impact of welfare conditionality on Roma migrants in the UK
Supervisor: Dr Lisa Scullion
Successive Governments have sought to extend the use of welfare conditionality, as a defining feature of many recent welfare reforms. At the same time, successive Governments have also increasingly curtailed migrants’ rights to welfare in the UK. Literature that explores welfare to work policy in relation to migrants and ethnicity suggests that discriminatory attitudes may be significant in influencing both higher levels of sanction and lower quality of support for migrant communities.
Today marks the launch of a number of publications by the research team. We have a round-up paper, commissioned by the Joseph Rowntree Foundation, which considers how effective welfare conditionality is, what the impacts are, how different groups fare, and to what extent it can be morally justified. The report can be downloaded from the Joseph Rowntree Foundation website, and you can read more about the findings in a blog by authors Dr Beth Watts and Prof Suzanne Fitzpatrick.
We have also published eight briefing papers, each outlining the ‘state of play’ in a particular area of policy. These policy areas are being examined closely as part of the research, and the papers lay out the current status of conditionality for each group of people. The papers can be downloaded from our Publications section.
Share your views: we invite your comments and thoughts on our papers through the comments sections on each page.
Watch an interview with team member Dr Beth Watts as she discusses the impact Scotland’s legal rights to housing have on homeless people and the outcomes of homelessness policy.
This interview comes from a series of videos highlighting plenaries given at the European Network for Housing Research Conference. Further information and videos can be found on the I-SPHERE Research and Policy Blog.
This Monday, the third expert seminar as part of the ESRC ‘Welfare Conditionality: Sanctions, Support and Behaviour Change’ research project took place in Sheffield. A range of experts, speaking from diverse perspectives (economics, human geography, sociology and psychology) were invited to give their take on the role of welfare conditionality in changing the behaviour of welfare recipients.
For me, a key theme during the day was that making access to welfare benefits and services conditional is only one of a multitude of tools and mechanisms that might be used to shift people’s behaviour:
Last week, the first event of our research project ‘Welfare Conditionality: Sanctions, Support and Behaviour Change’ took place at the University of York. This five year (2013-2018) programme aims to create an international and interdisciplinary focal point for social science research on welfare conditionality, that is, the linking welfare benefits and services to ‘responsible’ behaviour.
The project brings together teams of researchers working in six English and Scottish Universities and has two core aims:
1. Effectiveness: to develop an empirically and theoretically informed understanding of the role of welfare conditionality in promoting and sustaining behaviour change among a diversity of welfare recipients over time;
2. Ethicality: to consider the particular circumstances in which the use of conditionality may, or may not, be ethically justified.
International expert panel discuss welfare conditionality
The first event of the research project ‘Welfare Conditionality: Sanctions, Support and Behaviour Change’ takes place on Wednesday 11th December. The international expert panel includes Professor Lawrence Mead (New York University), Professor Doctor Sigrid Betzelt (Berlin School of Law and Economics), Dr Chris Grover (Lancaster University) and Professor Hartley Dean (London School of Economics). The panel will be presenting their views on ‘Conceptualising and Justifying Conditionality?’. The event is designed to bring together a range of international experts with differing perspectives on the justification of welfare conditionality, in order to inform and critically interrogate the project team’s thinking before fieldwork commences. Read More