A Stepping-Stone to Employment?

An Evaluation of the Permitted Work Rules - Wave 2

Dewson S, Davis S, Loukas G | Research Report W214 | Department for Work and Pensions | Nov 2004

Incapacity-related benefits provide people who have to stop working because of illness or disability with a measure of earnings replacement.

Under the permitted work rules (introduced in April 2002), incapacity-related benefit claimants may work up to 16 hours per week and earn a set amount each week but for a limited period of time only (a maximum of 52 weeks).

The rules are intended to encourage claimants, where they are able, to plan a gradual return to the world of work. The research:

  • investigated the characteristics and experiences of the people who make use of the new rules
  • looked at who does and does not make use of the new permitted work rules
  • explored the extent to which the new rules provide a 'stepping stone' to employment for clients
  • explored the use of the new rules by Jobcentre Plus staff.

The findings have implications for future incapacity-benefit policy.