Public and Commercial Services Union
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Bring support for sick and disabled people in-house after MPs' criticism

Social security support for sick and disabled people should be brought back in-house, PCS says as MPs criticise two government schemes. 

The union welcomes the work and pensions select committee's call for a "fundamental redesign" of employment and support allowance and the controversial work capability assessments (WCA), run by Atos but due to be handed to another contractor.

It also welcomes the call for more powers for DWP staff as part of the WCA process, including the ability to request more evidence from health and social care professionals so the onus is not on claimants to gather and submit it themselves.

The committee is critical of reassessments for people with long term or progressive conditions and the fact Atos has been allowed to build up a 700,000 case backlog.

The union welcomes the committee's recommendation that, instead of retendering the WCA contract, the government could take the opportunity "to consider would be more appropriate for the assessment process to be taken back in house".

The union also supports the recommendation that claimants appealing a 'fit for work' designation should not be subject to conditionality and sanctions.

PCS general secretary Mark Serwotka said: "This government's disgraceful treatment of unemployed, sick and disabled people has been one of the defining features of its time in office.

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