A future Labour Government would reform the controversial Work Capability Assessment (WCA) that they themselves introduced, Shadow Work and Pensions Secretary Rachel Reeves said on Thursday.
Rather than scrap the WCA, which a growing number of critics have demanded, a Labour Government would pay hired contractors a sum based upon the accuracy of their assessments and reduce that amount when they get decisions wrong.
The WCA would also include an analysis of the types of work claimants may be capable of doing, tailored to the individual, rather than a blanket test which only determines whether a person is ‘fit for work’ or not.
Disabled people themselves would be given a greater role in monitoring how well tests perform and suggest possible improvements.
Claimants would receive locally administered support and guidance, designed to help them back into work as soon as they are able.
Rachel Reeves MP told the Independent:
“The Government’s flawed and discredited work capability assessment humiliates thousands disabled people.
“Labour will transform the work capability assessment to ensure disabled people who can work get the help they need to find a job and support those who can’t.”
The move comes after pressure group Spartacus published the report Beyond The Barriers (pdf) which calls for a fundamental rethink on how sick and disabled people are assessed for work readiness.
Spartacus’ report was met with a mixed response among disability rights campaigners,with some saying it did not go far enough, while others hailed it as a definitive analysis on all that is wrong with the current system.
Critics of the report say Spartacus did not go far enough and should have demanded that the hated testing regime be scrapped entirely and replaced with a system which places the NHS, GPs and consultants at its heart.