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Support for all in the UK Work Programme? Differential payments, same old problem...

Rees, James and Whitworth, Adam and Carter, Eleanor (2013) Support for all in the UK Work Programme? Differential payments, same old problem... Working Paper. Third Sector Research Centre (TSRC).

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URL of Published Version: http://www.birmingham.ac.uk/generic/tsrc/documents/tsrc/working-papers/working-paper-115.pdf


The UK has been a high profile policy innovator in welfare-to-work provision that has led in the Coalition government's Work Programme to a fully outsourced, ‘black box’ model with payments based overwhelmingly on job outcome results. A perennial fear in such programmes is providers’ incentives to ‘cream’ and ‘park’ claimants and the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) have sought to mitigate such provider behaviours through Work Programme design, particularly via the use of claimant groups and differential pricing. In this paper we draw on a qualitative study of providers in the programme, alongside quantitative analysis of published performance data to explore evidence around creaming and parking. The combination of the quantitative and qualitative evidence suggests that creaming and parking are widespread and systematically embedded within the Work Programme and we argue that they are driven by a combination of intense cost-pressures and extremely ambitious performance targets, alongside overly diverse claimant groups and inadequately calibrated differentiated payment levels.

Type of Work:Monograph (Working Paper)
School/Faculty:Colleges (2008 onwards) > College of Social Sciences
Department:School of Social Policy, Third Sector Research Centre

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Date:December 2013
Keywords:Welfare-to-work, employment services, creaming and parking, conditionality, Work Programme, payment by results.
Subjects:H Social Sciences > H Social Sciences (General)
Related URLs:
Funders:Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC), Barrow Cadbury Trust
Copyright Holders:Third Sector Research Centre (TSRC)
ID Code:1859

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