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Failure of Back-to-Work Programme

'Fulfilling Potential?' is a new report by Catherine Hale, co-published by Mind and The Centre for Welfare Reform, it outlines the abject failure of the Government's back-to-work programme.

The report describes the experience of those sick and disabled people who are put into the 'Work Related Activity Group' in order to help them find work. The report found:

  • People didn't get support to find work
  • Were sanctioned for failing to do things that are impossible to do
  • Were left fearful, anxious, depressed, further from work

This the first major report to detail the experience of this part of the programme and it sits alongside a range of other reports which describe the failures in the:

  • Initial Work Capability Assessment (WCA) process by Atos
  • Privatised Work Programme which is supposed to help people into work, but doesn't
  • Whole structure and design of the Employment and Support Allowance (ESA) system

Dr Simon Duffy, Director of The Centre for Welfare Reform, said:

"This whole system is broken. It is based on the false assumption that if a disabled person, or someone who is ill, can't work then the Government can fix this by sending people on training courses or by threatening them with sanctions. This is nonsense. The new system is contrary to common sense and to all empirical research; it is causing great harm to disabled people to those already struggling with illness. A Government with any sense of human decency would close it down as an immediate priority."

You can download the full report here:



You can also read the press release from Mind here:


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