To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, pursuant to her Written Statement of 21 February 2019 on Employment and Support Allowance, Official Report HCWS 1348, which work streams the 1,200 staff working on underpayment cases have been taken from; and how many of those staff have been (a) moved from other areas of her Department and (ii) newly recruited.
Over the course of 2018/19, across the Department we increased our resources by 4,209 FTE to manage all demands including LEAP exercises. This included the recruitment of an additional 400 staff, on a fixed term appointment basis, directly to support the ESA underpayment exercise. The remainder of the 1,200 staff were deployed onto the exercise as a result of reducing demand on ESA and JSA benefits. This approach has meant that we have not had to stop or deprioritise other customer activity in order to complete this review.