After Atos Healthcare: is the Employment and Support Allowance fit for purpose and does the Work Capability Assessment have a future?

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Colleges, School and Institutes


In June 2014 the BBC reported that it had seen a number of UK Department for Work and Pensions documents relating to the Employment and Support Allowance (ESA). These documents, which included six memos written by civil servants and government advisers, tell us very little that we did not know already; namely that the ESA is in crisis, and that waiting lists for assessment and appeals are unacceptable. However, what is significant is that these concerns are being raised within the Department for Work and Pensions itself. The underlying drift is that the question of whether the current model of ESA and Work Capability Assessment is sustainable is now firmly on the UK government’s radar.


Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1319-1323
Number of pages5
JournalDisability & Society
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - 8 Sep 2014


  • welfare reform, surveillance and monitoring, employment support allowance, outsourcing of public services