Universal Credit

Department for Work and Pensions written question – answered on 11th January 2019.

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Photo of Stephen Timms Stephen Timms Labour, East Ham

To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what steps her Department is taking to support in-work progression by universal credit claimants.

Photo of Alok Sharma Alok Sharma The Minister of State, Department for Work and Pensions

A key transformational element of Universal Credit is that it gives us the opportunity to support claimants to progress in work and earn more.

We have already completed a large-scale randomised controlled trial which ran between April 2015 and March 2018, testing the application of varied levels of support and conditionality for current in-work claimants. While this was a crucial first step to help us to understand what works for this group, we are continuing to build a strong evidence base to understand how we can make a difference for this group. At Autumn Budget 2017, we secured £8m of targeted funding to develop a programme of research, Proofs of Concept and trials to develop and test our in-work services. An important first stage is research to better understand the future in-work cohort in Universal Credit. This will show, amongst other things, what the key barriers to progression might be, and how personal and household circumstances may influence a claimant’s ability to progress, ensuring DWP can design and provide the most effective in-work support.

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