As part of the CIPD’s public policy work, we regularly respond to government and government agency consultations and calls for evidence, as well as inquiries being held by Parliamentary committees.

After a busy few months responding to a wide variety of consultations and inquiries, the CIPD is not preparing any further responses at present. If you would like more information on these consultations or if you have any questions about the Public Policy work of the CIPD more widely, please contact Paddy Smith, Public Affairs Officer, at p.smith@cipd.co.uk

Member input is invaluable to writing a response which is both balanced and practical, and we actively encourage our members' contribution.

See below for links to our responses to recent consultations.

2016

26 Oct - Corporate governance

On 16 September 2016, the House of Commons’ Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy Select Committee opened its inquiry into corporate governance. The focus of the inquiry was on executive pay, directors’ duties and the composition of boardrooms, including worker representation and gender balance in executive positions.

The inquiry was launched because of the high-profile failings highlighted by the Committee’s recent inquiries into BHS and Sports Direct, and in the wake of commitments from the Prime Minister to overhaul corporate governance.

26 Oct - Introducing a pensions advice allowance

The pension flexibilities introduced in April 2015 offered savers the ability to access their pension savings early, once they were over the age of 55, as best suited their needs. These changes meant that consumers had a wider range of options to consider once they reached retirement.

To support savers with high quality, affordable financial advice, therefore, the Government announced during the 2016 Budget that it would open a consultation on introducing a Pensions Advice Allowance. This would allow consumers to take £500 tax free from their defined contribution pension to redeem against the cost of financial advice.

This consultations set out the Government’s preferred design for this allowance, inviting comments on the design and outstanding policy questions.

19 Oct - Salary sacrifice for the provision of benefits in kind

During the 2016 March Budget, then-Chancellor of the Exchequer, George Osborne, announced that HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) would consider limiting the range of benefits-in-kind that attract Income Tax and National Insurance Contributions advantages when provided as part of salary sacrifice arrangements.

The purpose of this consultation was to explore potential impacts on both employers and employees should the Government decide to change the way that the benefit code applies when a benefit-in-kind is provided in conjunction with a salary sacrifice or flexible benefit scheme.

Employer pension contributions, employer-provided pension advice, employer-supported childcare and provision of workplace nurseries, as well as cycles and cyclist’s safety equipment provided under the ‘cycle to work’ scheme would remain unaffected by any measures taken by HMRC as a result of this consultation.

30 Sep - Closing the public sector pay gap

On 18 August 2016, the Government Equalities Office (GEO) launched a consultation on proposals to extend mandatory gender pay gap reporting – due to be introduced for private and voluntary sector organisations of 250 or more staff early next year – into the public sector.

The CIPD has been a key stakeholder for the GEO in formulating these proposals, and you can see our previous responses to the initial consultations on mandatory gender pay gap reporting from 8 September 2015 and 1 March 2016 below.

27 Sep - Industrial strategy

On 1 August 2016, the House of Commons’ Business, Innovation and Skills Select Committee – since renamed the Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy Select Committee – opened its inquiry into the Government’s forthcoming industrial strategy.

The Committee’s inquiry was to consider what the Government means by industrial strategy and questions how interventionist in the free market it should be, such as whether it should prevent foreign takeover of UK companies.

Priorities for the private sector, in terms of what businesses want from a revamped industrial strategy, the pros and cons of a sectorial approach and possible geographical emphasis were also explored.

The inquiry also wanted to look at the industrial strategies of previous governments and of other countries to see if there are any lessons to be learnt.

On Tuesday 8 November 2016, CIPD’s Head of Public Policy, Ben Willmott, was invited to give oral evidence to the committee. Read a transcript of that session.

13 Sep - National Living Wage and National Minimum Wage: 2016 evidence

In August 2016, the CIPD responded to the Low Pay Commission’s call for evidence on the National Living Wage and National Minimum Wage. The submission draws on the CIPD’s Summer 2016 Labour Market Outlook, a survey of 1,050 CIPD member employers carried out in the second half of June 2016. The submission covers the following:

  • Outlook for the UK economy, including employment and unemployment levels
  • Wage growth and inflation in the last year and forecast for the next two years
  • Impact of the National Living Wage (e.g. effects on employment, hours, earnings, pay structures, benefits etc.)
  • Rate of increase in the National Living Wage through to 2020

12 Sep - The EU referendum result and its implications for Scotland

In September 2016, the Scottish Parliament’s European and External Relations Committee opened an inquiry into the impact of the EU referendum result of 23 June on Scotland.

The remit of the European and External Relations Committee was to consider and report on:
  • Proposals for European Union legislation
  • The implementation of European Communities and European Union legislation
  • Any European Communities or European Union issue
  • The development and implementation of the Scottish Administration’s links with countries and territories outside Scotland, the European Union (and its institutions) and other international organisations
  • Co-ordination of the international activities of the Scottish Administration

5 Sep - Employment opportunities for young people

The House of Commons’ Work and Pensions Select Committee launched its inquiry into employment opportunities for young people in July 2016. It was prompted by the fact that unemployment for people aged 18-24, despite having fallen over the past year, still stands considerably higher than the UK’s unemployment rate across all ages.

The committee was looking for submissions that addressed the following areas:

  • To what extent does getting young people into work and supporting them in work require an approach distinct from that of other groups?
  • How effective is Jobcentre Plus Support for Schools likely to be in enhancing young people's career prospects?
  • How can Jobcentre Plus services for young people be more effectively integrated with other local services, especially around education and skills?
  • What is likely to be the impact of any forthcoming economic uncertainty on young people, and how should the Government best seek to protect them from this?

31 Aug - Developing black and minority talent – call for evidence

Baroness McGregor-Smith is leading an independent review to look at the obstacles faced by Black and Minority Ethnic (BME) individuals when trying to progress at work. The key issues under consideration are:

  • What is the impact on the UK economy as a whole of having more BME people represented at every level of the workforce?
  • What are the obstacles that BME people face?
  • What data currently exists on BME people in the workplace and how do employers use it?
  • What are some of the examples of best practice across the UK?

26 Aug - Scottish Government response to the Apprenticeship Levy: CIPD Scotland submission

This consultation asked for views on options for the use of funding from the forthcoming Apprenticeship Levy., due to be introduced in April 2017.

The consultation asked for responses to the following questions:

  • Should the Government’s commitment to 30,000 Modern Apprenticeships starts a year by 2020 a) be maintained or b) be increased?
  • Should Apprenticeship Levy funding support growth in the number of Graduate Level Apprenticeships in Scotland?
  • Should Apprenticeship Levy funding be used to establish a flexible skills fund to support wider workforce development?
  • Should Apprenticeship Levy funding be used to support the expansion of Foundation Apprenticeships?
  • Should Apprenticeship Levy funding be used to help unemployed people move into employment, and to help meet the workforce needs of employers?
  • Are there any additional suggestions on how Apprenticeship Levy funding might be used?

The Scottish Government issued its response to the consultation on 11 November 2016.

21 Apr - Inquiry into pregnancy and maternity discrimination

Pregnant women and new mothers are more likely to face negative treatment at work than they were a decade ago, according to research published by the Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC) and Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS). In response to the report, the Women and Equalities Committee opened an inquiry looking into the action being taken to address the problem. It focused particularly on whether the Government proposals to tackling pregnancy and maternity discrimination are sufficient, or whether tougher action is required to ensure that pregnant women and mothers are treated fairly.

In its report, the EHRC recommended six areas of action for tackling the issue: leadership for change; improving employer practice; improving access to information and advice; improving health and safety management in the workplace; improving access to justice and monitoring progress.

The inquiry invited submissions from employers, policy organisations and individual women, focusing on solutions. It placed a particular emphasis on the following areas:

  • The likely effectiveness of the Government’s proposals for action
  • How the Government can work with employers to drive behaviour change and improve outcomes for women
  • Whether particular groups or types of employers need more support to achieve this
  • How to help women and their employers find the information they need
  • Reasons for the reported rise in discrimination in the past decade
  • The extent to which changes in the labour market in the past decade have affected levels of discrimination
  • What improvements could be brought about by better inter-departmental working in the Government
  • Whether some areas of existing legislation could be implemented more effectively
  • Effectiveness of tribunals as a deterrent, and whether this has been affected by the introduction of fees in 2013
  • Health and safety
  • Whether increased financial support for small business would help to reduce discrimination
  • What can be learned from best practice in the UK and elsewhere

21 Apr - Why are there so few women at the top?

On 24 February 2016, the Women and Equalities Select Committee opened its investigation into what can be done to improve gender diversity in executive positions in the UK companies. It invited submissions addressing the following points:

  • What definition should be used by both business and Government to monitor female participation in the executive layer?
  • What is the current situation of women in senior roles / executive positions?
  • What are the barriers to women achieving senior positions?
  • What measures can companies take to increase the number of women in executive positions?
  • What should the Government be doing to improve the situation?
  • Should quotas be introduced?

21 Apr - Closed recruitment practices in the public sector

On 25 January the Government announced that it wanted to open up public sector recruitment, to ensure that the best people can be hired for the job.

It opened a call for evidence to gather information on the use of internal-only recruitment in the public sector, including where it is ever ineffectively or inappropriately used. It also sought views on the role for government in encouraging more open recruitment.

In informing its response to the call for evidence, CIPD surveyed 374 of its members.

1 Mar - Mandatory gender pay gap reporting

On 12 February 2016, the Government Equalities Office (GEO) published its draft regulations for mandatory gender pay gap reporting for private and voluntary sector employers in England, Scotland and Wales with at least 250 employees. Its consultation asked for thoughts on the draft regulations.

This was in follow up to the GEO’s initial consultation on closing the gender pay gap.

1 Mar - Apprenticeships

On 12 February 2016, the Sub Committee for Education, Skills and the Economy announced its inquiry into apprenticeships. The inquiry wanted to look at issues such as the Government’s target of three million apprenticeship starts by 2020, how the Government proposes to achieve this, and this may affect the ‘skills gap’ in the UK. The Sub Committee also wanted to focus upon the forthcoming Apprenticeship Levy, the proposed Institute for Apprenticeships, and routes to achieving higher level apprenticeship qualifications.

It invited written submissions that addressed:

  • the target of three million apprenticeships by 2020, how the Government proposes to achieve this and how this may affect the ‘skills gap’
  • the proposal for an Apprenticeship Levy and how this may be implemented
  • the institutional architecture of current provision and how this may be affected by the proposed Institute for Apprenticeships
  • take-up of apprenticeships amongst 16-19 year olds and steps that can be taken to make more young people aware of available opportunities
  • the process of applying for apprenticeships
  • routes for progression to higher qualifications for current apprentices
  • the quality of, and minimum standards for, apprenticeships, and how standards can be enforced
  • lessons from other countries’ approaches to apprenticeships.

1 Feb - Pensions automatic enrolment

On 14 December 2015 the Work and Pensions Select Committee announced its inquiry into the progress made on automatic enrolment.

Submissions were invited that addressed the following points:

  • The effectiveness of the automatic enrolment and lessons learnt so far
  • The impact of automatic enrolment on smaller employers and how they plan to mitigate any negative effects
  • The suitability of the automatic enrolment earnings threshold and minimum contribution rates
  • The interaction between automatic enrolment and other pension reforms, including the new state pension and pension freedoms

1 Feb - Employment opportunities for Muslims in the UK

On 25 January 2016 the Women and Equalities Select Committee announced its inquiry considering the barriers and discrimination faced by Muslims in employment and the workplace, and what can be done to overcome them.

Of all religious groups, Muslims have the lowest employment rate at 47.2%, and the highest pay gap compared with those of no religion, earning 22.5% less. Only 16% are in managerial and professional roles, against an average of 30% of the general population.

The committee invited submissions that addressed the following points:

  • How prevalent are direct and indirect discrimination towards Muslims in the workplace?
  • How effective are current formal and informal remedies for cases involving discrimination against Muslims in the workplace?
  • What are the specific challenges facing Muslim women in employment and the workplace?
  • What barriers to accessing training and employment support exist for Muslims?
  • How effectively are employers accommodating the needs of Muslim employees?
  • What are the barriers to recruitment, retention and progression for Muslim employees in professional and managerial roles?
  • What initiatives have been successful in tackling barriers to employment faced by Muslims?

13 Jan - Fulfilling our potential: teaching excellence, social mobility and student choice

The Department for Business, Innovation and Skills opened a consultation on 6 November 2016 on proposals to change the higher education landscape.

Views were sought on proposals to:

  • Introduce a Teaching Excellence Framework that will deliver better value for money for students, employers and taxpayers
  • Increase access and success in higher education participation for those from disadvantaged and under-represented groups
  • Create a new single gateway for entry and create a common system for all providers
  • Establish a new Office for Students to promote the student interest and ensure value for money, and to reduce the regulatory burden of the sector

The consultation also considers the implications of the proposals on the research landscape.

13 Jan - Careers advice, information and guidance

The Sub-Committee on Education, Skills and the Economy announced its Inquiry on 8 December 2015, and focused in particular on developments since the publication of the Education Committee report Careers guidance for young people: The impact of the new duty on schools in 2013.

Submissions were invited to address the following points:

  • The quality and impartiality of current provision
  • How careers advice in schools and colleges can help to match skills with labour market needs
  • The role of the new Careers and Enterprise Company and its relationship with other bodies, such as the National Careers Service
  • The balance between national and local approaches to careers advice
  • Careers advice and apprenticeships
  • The potential for employers to play a greater role in careers advice

2015

13 Dec - The gender pay gap

The Women and Equalities Select Committee announced on 4 November 2015 its inquiry into the Government’s the Government’s strategy for reducing the gender pay gap. In particular, it was to focus on women over 20.

The gap between all male and female employees currently stands at 19.1% (2014), measured by median gross hourly pay, excluding overtime. For all full time employees the gender pay gap is 9.4%, but there are wide variations by age and sector.

Younger women, from 18-39, in full-time work experience a very low or even reversed gender pay gap. ONS data shows the gap for hourly earnings growing from the age of 40 onwards. It is greatest for women in their 50s. This is partly due to the fact that half of women over 50 work part-time, and hourly wages for part-time workers are significantly lower than those for full-time employees.

The gender pay gap is not confined to those working part-time though. Women over 50 working full-time earn 82% of what men of the same age working full-time earn. Some of this discrepancy is down to occupational segregation. At present, two-thirds of women aged over 50 are employed in just three sectors: education, health and retail.

The inquiry focused on three particular areas:

  • How effective will the Government’s proposals announced so far be in reducing the gender pay gap faced by women aged over 40?
  • Are there changes to these proposals that would help to reduce the gender pay gap for this group more quickly or effectively?
  • What could be done to improve the position of women aged over 40 regarding recruitment, retention, promotion and training?

In particular, submissions were invited that addressed the following points:

  • How adequate are the Government’s proposals for tackling the pay gap faced by women over 40? What additional measures would be most effective in reducing the pay differentials faced by this group?
  • What actions would be most effective in improving recruitment, retention and re-training for women aged over 40?
  • Is there any evidence that women aged over 40 face particular barriers to promotion? If so, what could be done to address this problem?
  • Are there particular difficulties in narrowing the gender pay gap for women working in predominantly female sectors and non-professional roles? Are there any evidence-based measures which could effectively address these issues?
  • Should the regulations on gender pay reporting be extended to organisations with fewer than 250 employees?
  • Would voluntary measures regarding what employers do with gender pay gap information be sufficient to create change within organisations? What could be done to ensure that information about an organisation’s pay gap is translated into action?
  • Which mechanisms would most effectively ensure that policies designed to narrow the gender pay gap are fully complied with? Is there evidence from other countries or policy areas of what might work best?

The Women and Equalities Committee published its report on Tuesday 22 March 2016, in which the CIPD’s submission was referenced on a number of occasions. Access the committee’s response.

13 Nov - Review of Tier 2

The Migration Advisory Committee launched a call for evidence on 2 July 2015 relating to the commission from the government to review the Tier 2 route.

Tier 2 of the points based system is the route for skilled workers from outside the European Economic Area (EEA) who have an offer of skilled employment in the UK.

The MAC has been asked to look at:

  • options to re-focus the route on areas where there are genuine skills shortages
  • how to limit the time that sectors can remain on a shortage list
  • the implementation of a levy on Tier 2 visas, to fund apprenticeships
  • restrictions on the automatic right of Tier 2 dependants to work
  • tightening up on the intra-company transfer (ICT) route, including applying the immigration health surcharge to ICTs
  • raising the minimum salary levels that migrants have to be paid

The MAC published its response to the consultation on 19 January 2016 - View the consultation response from MAC.

Review of Tier 2

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7 Oct - National Minimum Wage: 2015-16

The Government is making major changes to the National Minimum Wage and has asked the Low Pay Commission (LPC) to report to it twice in relation to the new arrangements. Firstly, it has asked the LPC to report on the future level of the existing National Minimum Wage (NMW) rates, by as early as possible in February 2016. Secondly, it has asked the LPC to report on the future level of the new National Living Wage (NLW) rate, which is introduced in April 2016 and applies to workers over the age of 25. On this, the LPC has been asked to make recommendations, by October 2016, for the rate in April 2017.

In informing its recommendations, in July 2015 the LPC asked for submissions of evidence to its consultation. The LPC was seeking views on the existing rates and initial evidence on the potential impact of the NLW. It also invited interested groups to provide evidence into a number of different areas. The CIPD’s response directly addressed the following:

  • Economic outlook
  • Impact of the National Minimum Wage
  • Future rates of the NMW
  • The National Living Wage
  • Compliance and enforcement

7 Oct - Apprenticeships levy: employer owned apprenticeships training

In the Summer Budget in July 2015, the Chancellor announced the introduction of a levy on large employers to help fund its target to deliver 3 million new apprenticeships over the course of this Parliament. The levy is proposed to support the development of the skills base and help to drive productivity over the longer-term.

In August 2015 the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS) opened a consultation on the proposal, inviting evidence from those with a vested interest in the apprenticeship levy. In particular, BIS wanted to hear views on:

  • How the levy should be paid
  • How the levy should work for employers who operate across the whole of the UK
  • How to ensure that employers paying the levy have the opportunity to get out more than they put in
  • How to give employers control of apprenticeships

In informing its response to the Government, the CIPD conducted a survey of 275 large employers to gauge their views on the levy. In addition, the CIPD also held a number of interviews with senior HR and recruitment specialists within large organisations.

7 Oct - Strengthening the incentive to save: a consultation pensions tax relief

Over the previous Parliament, the Government introduced a series of wide-ranging reforms to the pensions system.

One further aspect of pension reform that the Government is now considering is ensuring that the right incentives are in place to encourage individuals to save into their pensions.

In July 2015, HM Treasury therefore opened a consultation to investigate whether there was a case for reforming the system of pensions tax relief in order to strengthen incentives to save and offer savers greater simplicity and transparency, or whether it would be best to keep with the existing system.

In informing its response, the CIPD launched a survey of its membership which received 115 responses. It also held a specialist focus group of senior HR practitioners, pay and reward experts and academics.

7 Oct - Work, wages and well-being in the Scottish labour market

In June 2015, the Scottish Parliament’s Economy, Energy and Tourism Committee launched a call for evidence to inform its inquiry on work, wages and wellbeing in the Scottish labour market. The Head of CIPD Scotland, Dr John McGurk, was also invited to provide oral evidence to the Committee.

The object of the inquiry was to explore job quality in the Scottish labour market, specifically how employment has changed since the 2008/09 recession. The inquiry was to consider the characteristics and contrasting qualities of different jobs by looking at areas such as wages, hours, contract types, worker autonomy, training and development opportunities and task variation.

The Committee is also particularly interested in the health, social and economic impacts of low pay and low quality work, and the extent to which Scottish Government policies can improve the quality of work and wellbeing of workers in Scotland.

Dr John McGurk sat before the Committee giving oral evidence on Wednesday 30 September 2015.

14 Sep - Tackling intimidation of non-striking workers

In July 2015, the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills opened a consultation on its proposals to tackle intimidation of non-striking workers during industrial action.

The Government was seeking views on:

  • whether the code of practice on picketing should cover use of social media, and whether it should be extended to include guidance on protests linked to industrial disputes
  • whether there are other practices for picketing that should be legally enforceable
  • whether there are gaps in the current legal framework that applies to picketing and associated protests
  • proposals that aim to improve union transparency and accountability for picketing and associated protests.

The CIPD’s response to the Government was informed by two focus groups held with members; one in Manchester and the other in London.

14 Sep - Ballot thresholds in important public services

In July, the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills opened a consultation on its proposals to introduce a new ballot threshold for holding industrial action in important public services.

The proposed regulations were:

  • A new 50% participation threshold to all trade union ballots for industrial action.
  • A new 40% important public services threshold, meaning ballots in those sectors will need the support of at least 40% of those entitled to vote.

The new 40% threshold will apply to six sectors: fire, health, education, transport, border security and nuclear decommissioning. The consultation was seeking views on who, within those sectors, should be subject to that threshold.

The CIPD’s response to the Government was informed by two focus groups held with members; one in Manchester and the other in London.

14 Sep - Hiring agency staff during strike action: reforming regulation

In July 2015, the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills opened a consultation seeking views on the impact of the Government’s proposal to remove Regulation 7 of the Code of Employment Agencies and Employment Businesses Regulations (2003). Currently, Regulation 7 prohibits employment businesses from providing agency workers to:

  • cover the duties normally performed by an employee of an organisation who is taking part in a strike or other industrial action
  • cover the work of an employee covering the duties of an employee taking part in a strike or other industrial action.

he Government proposes removing this regulation, thereby allowing employers facing industrial action to hire temporary agency workers from employment businesses to perform some of the functions not being carried out due to the industrial action.

The CIPD’s response to the Government was informed by two focus groups held with members; one in Manchester and the other in London.

11 Sep - The transition from school to work for 14-24 year olds

The House of Lords’ Social Mobility Select Committee opened an inquiry into the transition from school to work for those aged 14-24.

The Committee chose to focus specifically on those who are not, who do not intend to follow, or who did not follow the A-Level to Higher Education pathway.

The Committee wanted to establish:

  • who the young people are in this group
  • what other disparate, and possible disadvantaged, groups fall within it.

The Committee intended to examine the school-to-work route for these young people, and whether, in its current state, it provides good employment outcomes and opportunities for them to move up the social ladder.

11 Sep - The Government's Productivity Plan

In July 2015, the House of Commons’ Business, Innovation and Skills Select Committee announced an inquiry into the Government’s Productivity Plan, which was published shortly after the Summer Budget on 10 July 2015. The Committee invited submissions that addressed the following questions:

  1. Do you agree with the Government’s assessment of the reasons for the UK’s productivity slowdown? Has the Government acknowledged all of the main causes of the UK’s poor productivity growth?
  2. One pillar of the Government’s Plan is to increase “long term investment”. It outlines eight areas with specific measures to increase productivity.
    • a) Why has the UK’s long term investment been so low up to now?
    • b) How can we ensure that the measures relating to long-term investment in the Plan will contribute to productivity growth?
  3. The second pillar of the Government’s Plan is to encourage a “dynamic economy”. It outlines seven areas with specific measures to increase productivity.
    • a) What are the main weaknesses of our economy, in terms of dynamism, which are suppressing our productivity?
    • b) Do the measures introduced under in the plan address those weaknesses and are they appropriate?
  4. Overall, does the Plan adequately address the main causes of low productivity in the UK, and will it have the desired results?

8 Sep - Closing the gender pay gap

In July 2015 the Government Equalities Office opened a consultation on its proposals for regulations that would require companies in private and voluntary sectors with over 250 staff to publish gender pay information.

The proposed regulations have far-reaching implications for larger companies on what pay information should be collected and how it should be used to help close the gender pay differential between men and women.

In particular, the Government Equalities Office were seeking views on four areas:

  • the gender pay gap and its causes
  • gender pay transparency and its benefits
  • making legislation for publishing gender pay information
  • wider work to close the gender pay gap.

Read the Government Equalities Office’s consultation document, Closing the Gender Pay Gap.

In response, the CIPD surveyed over 300 employers, HR & payroll professionals and leading diversity experts to find out what they thought about the plans in order to further inform our reply to the Government Equalities Office on this issue.

8 Sep - Investing in a productive future: submission to the Spending Review 2015

In July 2015 the CIPD responded to HM Treasury’s request for suggestions for new ideas for policies or reforms that would form part of its annual Spending Review, to be delivered in November 2015.

In developing suggestions, HM Treasury requested that all representations addressed:

  • likely effectiveness and feasibility
  • public spending implications and value for money
  • wider macroeconomic implications (for economic stability and growth)
  • legislative and operational requirements
  • sectoral and distributional impacts
  • administrative and compliance costs and issues.

Read HM Treasury’s accompanying document A country that lives within its means: Spending Review 2015.

8 Sep - Welfare to Work programme

In July 2015, the newly appointed House of Commons Work and Pensions Committee launched an Inquiry into the Department for Work and Pension’s contracted ‘welfare-to-work’ provision. The Department’s main contracts (Work Programme and Work Choice) will expire in 2017, and the DWP will begin a re-tendering process next year.

The Committee is exploring options for the future, with a particular focus on promoting a broader range of specialist provision, including through innovative or community-level approaches, and how to support people who have the most difficulty finding employment, such as young people with weak educational attainment, older people, ex-incapacity benefits claimants and people with mental health problems.

In particular, the Committee is interested in exploring possible recommendations for reform which:

  • reflect the contemporary labour market
  • address any deficiencies in the Work Programme
  • consider more personalised, innovative or community-level provision
  • support the hardest to help unemployed people.

The CIPD was invited to provide a submission to the Inquiry from Mark Field MP, Chair of the Work and Pensions Select Committee, following on from the publicity the CIPD received following its report Over-qualification and skills mismatch in the graduate labour market.

The CIPD focuses on the first point of the Inquiry – to reflect the contemporary labour market.

Welfare to Work

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8 Sep - Pension freedom guidance and advice

In July 2015, the newly appointed House of Commons Work and Pensions Committee launched an Inquiry into the guidance and advice on offer to people navigating the “choice and flexibility” changes to pensions introduced in April of this year.

The Committee was investigating whether people are adequately supported in making good, informed decisions about their retirement savings in light of the changes on access to pensions and pension drawdown, introduced in April 2015.

The reforms gave people more freedom in choosing what to do with their retirement savings. The Work and Pensions Committee, therefore, invited written evidence on:

  • take-up, suitability, affordability and independence of the advice, guidance and information available to those approaching retirement
  • recommendations for improvement.
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