Disabled People: Work Capability Assessments

House of Lords written question – answered on 16th December 2010.

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Photo of Lord German Lord German Liberal Democrat

To ask Her Majesty's Government what legislative requirements are needed to implement the recommendations of the Harrington review, broken down by recommendation.

Photo of Lord Freud Lord Freud The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Work and Pensions

We are fully committed to implementing the recommendations of the Harrington review, so that we can make the system fairer and more effective. The recommendations made within the review relate to procedural rather than legislative changes to the work capability assessment, so current implementation proposals do not include the requirement of additional legislation.

However, the proposed programme of work that Professor Harrington is taking forward as part of the second independent review includes the following recommendations:

Mind, Mencap and the National Autistic Society to provide recommendations on refining the mental, intellectual and cognitive descriptors. The review looks forward to receiving these recommendations in late November and will make any recommendations it sees fit to Ministers; andexamine the descriptors, in particular how they account for other fluctuating conditions and, possibly, generalised pain and provide any recommendations necessary.

As a result of this work, there may be a requirement to revise the existing work capability assessment descriptors. Should this be the case, secondary legislation would be required to achieve this.

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