Our latest newsletter is out now with all our research updates. Follow the link in the left hand column to see it online, or scroll to the bottom of the page and sign up for your own email copy.
Michael Orton from the University of Warwick organised a series of events on an important social security theme recently. In workshops, participants were asked: ‘What practical, concrete steps would you suggest to put the security back into social security?’ Our WelCond team members Lisa Scullion (University of Salford) and Sharon Wright (University of Glasgow) co-hosted two of the events. In his guest blog Michael summarises the project and invites further responses. Read more
Newly crowned UK Independent Films Best Actor Dave Johns talked to our project’s Janis Bright about the Ken Loach film’s phenomenal impact. Read our interview
In this report from our recent events with Glasgow Homelessness Network and Crisis, Professor Sarah Johnsen of Heriot-Watt University explores the difficult and sensitive issue of the opportunities, challenges and dilemmas in this aspect of homelessness.
A new blog by our project’s Peter Dwyer and Janis Bright considers this week’s National Audit Office report on benefit sanctions. The report finds that only limited evidence exists on the outcomes and effectiveness of benefit sanctions leading to increased participation in paid work.
The authors summarise the first wave findings from our own research, which found extensive evidence on the negative effects of conditionality and benefit sanctions. Our work to date suggests the common thread linking stories of successful transitions into work, or the cessation of problematic behaviour, was not so much the threat or experience of sanction, but the availability of appropriate individual support. Read the blog
This month the Scottish Parliament held a one-hour debate on the issues raised by our project’s first wave findings on social security.
The debate was instigated by Sandra White MSP, Convener of the parliament’s Social Security Committee. She tabled a motion to the parliament noting with concern our first wave findings, including: Read More
Service users interviewed for our study widely reported hardship, anxiety and feelings of injustice from sanctions, report team members Dr Janis Bright and Professor Peter Dwyer. Many people felt support was lacking and some believed they were sanctioned wrongly, they add. The details are in a blog on our project’s first wave research findings written for the Economic and Social Research Council.
The writers add: ‘Our interviewees said they wanted to improve their circumstances and move toward the world of work. Many wanted support to achieve that. So far we are finding that the provision of appropriate support – not sanctions – does seem to make the difference.’ The research project will continue until 2018. Read the full post. See our first wave findings.
This summer we launched our first wave research findings at a series of events. Here’s the story as it happened via Twitter.
And here are the findings in full
Our project gave evidence in March 2016 to the SSAC’s consultation on the important issue of decision making and mandatory reconsideration in the welfare benefits system, which has now reported. A number of respondents in our study who had been sanctioned and took action to initiate mandatory reconsideration or appeal found the process complex, time-consuming, lengthy and costly. Because of these factors the majority did not pursue a mandatory reconsideration or appeal.
The EU referendum result has led to much debate on UK relations with Europe, but what will the effects be within the UK? Our new guest blog by Jed Meers from the University of York argues that the vote’s potential implications on the domestic welfare system should not be ignored. Read his blog ‘Do you believe in life after leave?‘