Employment & Support Allowance:

Evaluation of pilots to support Work-Related Activity Group customers

Find out more about Department of Work and Pensions pilots to support Employment and Support Allowance (ESA) work-related activity group claimants with 18 to 24 month re-referral periods.

This report presents findings from the evaluation of pilots to support ESA (Employment and Support Allowance) WRAG (Work-Related Activity Group) customers with an 18 to 24 month re-referral or ‘prognosis’ period. The pilots aimed to test the effectiveness of enhanced support to these customers, delivered over the course of two years.

Three distinct models were piloted:

  • the Jobcentre Plus (JCP) model;
  • the Work Programme (WP) model; and
  • the Healthcare Provider (HCP) model.

An internal DWP impact assessment estimates the impacts of the pilots on employment and benefit outcomes, while this report explores the delivery of support, participants’ experiences of this, softer outcomes from the pilots and participants’ perceptions of pilot impacts.

Findings suggest that the Jobcentre Plus pilot had a small impact on employment outcomes measured in the survey, and also had an impact on soft outcomes such as feelings about leaving ESA and starting work. The HCP pilot also appeared to have a positive effect on these soft  outcomes, while the WP pilot did not have an impact on the outcomes observed in the survey.