Government’s benefits scheme ‘is wrongly passing people as fit to work’
Employers could find themselves open to problems after it was claimed that the government’s new benefits system is declaring people fit to work even when they are not.
A new Employment Support Allowance (ESA) initiative has been launched and all 2.6 million people on incapacity benefits will be assessed to see if they are able to work by October.
However, an investigation by the BBC has found that two-thirds of those applying for the ESA have already been rejected because their disability is ‘not serious enough’.
Experts have insisted that this could mean that thousands of people who are not able to work because of their disabilities will be forced into the workplace, leaving them and their employers struggling to cope.
Professor Paul Gregg, who designed the ESA programme, told BBC Radio 4 that there seems to be a serious problem with the assessments.
“We need to rectify it before it starts being applied to the large stock,” he added.
Earlier this year, the traditional sick note was replaced with a fit note in order to help people return to employment after an illness.
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