Major change to benefits revealed if Labour win power – but plan is slammed as ‘cynical’

File photo dated 06/06/22 of Shadow work and pensions secretary Jonathan Ashworth, who is promising a package of welfare reforms to get people back into the workforce and end a ???monumental waste of human potential???. Issue date: Tuesday January 10, 2023. PA Photo. Ashworth will set out plans including measures aimed at making it easier for people out of work on sickness benefits to return to work. The need for benefits claimants to have their ability to work reassessed would be removed for potentially thousands of people under the plan. See PA story POLITICS Ashworth. Photo credit should read: Beresford Hodge/PA Wire

SICKNESS benefit claimants who want to work will be allowed straight back on the dole if they cannot do the job, Labour has pledged if it wins power.

It means someone on illness or disability welfare can take employment without the fear of losing their funding if they later quit.

Jonathan Ashworth wants to encourage people on benefits into work

Shadow Work and Pensions Secretary Jonathan Ashworth says it would “derisk” the process for people who want to work.

Currently people must complete another work capability assessment if they bail out of the job, which can take weeks.

Mr Ashworth described this as a “stressful and arduous” process that deters people entering the workplace. 

Speaking at the Centre for Social Justice he said: “Let’s take away that fear and distrust which prevent so many from engaging with employment support and attempting a move into work.

“A Labour government would guarantee that people in this position who do move into employment with the help of employment support will be able to return to the benefits they were on without the need for another lengthy assessment process.”

Labour would also task Job Centres with finding flexible or part-time work for the droves of over-50s who are economically inactive.

HOAR revealed recently government plans to stop people retiring early and exacerbating the country’s huge labour shortage.

Pension providers could soon be required by law to tell people not to start claiming unless they can absolutely afford to quit their income.

Tens of thousands of over-50s left the workplace during Covid and forced bosses to hire overseas workers to plug crippling vacancies.

A Tory spokesman said: “These are yet more cynical announcements from Labour, a party that has never left office with unemployment lower than it was when they were elected.”

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