Select Committee on Work and Pensions Minutes of Evidence


Annexes received in reply to above letter from the Department for Work and Pensions

Annex A

(1)  A CLIENT PROFILE FOR EACH OF THE PILOT AREAS, BROKEN DOWN INTO JSA AND NON-JSA CLIENTS, IF POSSIBLE THE MAKE-UP OF THE LATTER GROUP.

  CLIENT INFLOWS All the figures relate to cases coming onto a ONE benefit for the period April 2001 to September 2001.

Basic Model
Clients into ONE
JSA clients
Non-JSA clients
Clyde Coast and Renfrew
20,317
14,092 (69%)
6,225 (31%)
Essex South East
11,964
7,894 (66%)
4,070 (34%)
Lea Roding
20,111
14,085 (70%)
6,026 (30%)
Warwickshire
13,200
8,499 (64%)
4,701 (36%)
Totals
65,590
44,570 (68%)
21,020 (32%)
The non-JSA clients—32 per cent. of the total comprised:

11,679 (18%) Incapacitated/Disabled

4,288 (7%) Lone Parents

1,330 (2%) Carers

258 (0.4%) Widows

2,012 (3%) HB/CTB only

1,453 (2%) IS only cases
Call Centre
Clients into ONE
JSA clients
Non-JSA clients
Buckinghamshire
16,935
10,905 (64%)
6,030 (36%)
Calderdale & Kirklees
22,147
14,505 (65%)
7,642 (35%)
South East Gwent
14,306
9,306 (65%)
5,000 (35%)
Somerset
13,926
8,910 (64%)
5,016 (36%)
Totals
67,314
43,626 (65%)
23,688 (35%)
The non-JSA clients—35% of the total comprised:

12,877 (19%) Incapacitated/Disabled

5,099 (8%) Lone Parents

1,646 (2%) Carers

221 (0.3%) Widows

1,942 (3% HB/CTB only

1,903 (3%) IS only cases
PVS
Clients into ONE
JSA clients
Non-JSA clients
North Cheshire
21,714
14,715 (68%)
6,999 (32%)
North Nottinghamshire
14,435
9,146 (63%)
5,289 (37%)
Leeds
14,277
9,303 (65%)
4,974 (35%)
Suffolk
30,365
21,052 (69%)
9,313 (31%)
Totals
80,791
54,216 (67%)
26,575 (33%)
The non-JSA clients —33% of the total comprised:

15,376 (19%) Incapacitated/Disabled

5,330 (7%) Lone Parents

1,925 (2%) Carers

454 (0.6%) Widows

1,317 (2%) HB/CTB only

2,173 (3%) IS only cases


(2)  Details of annual staff turnover and sickness absence levels in each of the ONE pilot areas, compared to their relevant control areas.

  There is no consistent way across the variants of managing the sick absence and turnover statistics. Each is locally managed by the ONE manager responsible for the pilot. Staff turn over and sickness levels in certain areas are high due to the environment of the pilot, ie inner city offices. Even though Somerset is a rural district it has a competitive labour market. For comparison the national figure for the Benefits Agency for sickness absences is 5.5 per cent.

Basic Model
Sickness Absence
Staff Turnover
Period
Essex South East
Not available
Not available
December 2000-November 2001
Warwickshire
4.63%
20.22%
October 2000-October 2001
Lea Roding
5.4%
11.11%
April 2001-November 2001
Clyde Coast and Renfrew
6.13%
Not available
December 2000-November 2001
Call Centre
Calderdale and Kirkless
7%
Not available
January 2001-September 2001
Buckinghamshire
7.17%
15.84%
April 2000-March 2001
SE Gwent
9.74%
2.63%
December 2000-November 2001
Somerset
4.1%
55.0%
November 2000-October 2001
PVS
Leeds
41.67%
41.18%
November 2000-October 2001
Suffolk
4.8%
30.00%
November 2000-October 2001
N Notts
2.7%
Not available
December 2000-November 2001
N Cheshire
6.61%
21.31%
April 2001-November 2001


(3)  Details of current ONE performance measures; whether these have changed during the lifetime of the pilots; and if so, the reasons why.

  Success factors, designed to measure the aims of ONE set out in the vision statement, were put in place during the implementation period. ONE was initially implemented without specific performance drivers on the understanding that it would contribute to existing partner Agency targets. Evidence quickly showed that this would result in ONE being driven by those standards rather than ONE's operational vision. To overcome this, a set of key performance indicators (KPIs) were developed and implemented from July 2000. In October 2000 ONE minimum performance standards were established to set performance targets and a baseline for continual performance improvement. In 2001-02 priorities are to improve the effectiveness of getting clients into work or closer to the labour market.

  Pilots focus on:

    —  ensuring clients understand the purpose of a work-focused interview;

    —  the most effective and appropriate use of deferrals;

    —  that all non-JSA clients understand that further assistance to move closer to work (through caseloading and ongoing support) is available, are offered it and receive positive encouragement from ONE staff to take it up;

    —  that benefit issues are handled separately from the work-focussed interview;

    —  the most efficient use of caseloading to support clients who are not, but are capable of becoming job ready.

ONE MINIMUM STANDARDS

  The current KPIs establish minimum standards for:

    —  job entries, JSA and non-JSA;

    —  job sustainability;

    —  call-backs within 24 hours (for call centres);

    —  booking personal adviser meetings within four days;

    —  quality and completeness of evidence gathering.

Job entries and sustainability

  There was no minimum standard for job entries prior to April 2001. The job entries data used pre-April 2001 were the total of all job entries for ONE clients within the pilots.

  From April 2001 minimum standards were introduced for ONE adviser job entries for basic model and call centre variants to provide a benchmark against which ONE managers could agree the individual pilot's contribution towards Employment Service Annual Performance Targets. The standards were set at levels to help ONE managers to incentivise performance, while not discouraging ONE advisers from making referrals to ES counterparts (who may gain `credit' for subsequent job entries) where it would clearly be more appropriate to do so.

  ONE sustainability measures the number of ONE clients placed into and commencing work who do not return to claim the same or any other ONE benefit within 13 weeks of taking up employment. Using accepted ES targets setting methods, actual job entry performance achieved as a result of Start-up and personal adviser activity was analysed against the clients available to be placed into work (the stock plus flow) on a quarterly basis. This provided an average level of the JSA and non-JSA job entries achieved as a result of ONE adviser intervention for each pilot and was used as a benchmark to position the minimum standard. To promote and secure continuous improvement the minimum standard was set at a higher level than the actual performance achieved to date.

Call-backs within 24 hours (call centres)

  The minimum standard is that 90 per cent. of clients will be called back within 24 hours of the initial contact made with the call centre. This measure has remained unchanged throughout the life of the pilots and monitors the effective delivery of a fundamental part of the ONE call centre process.

Booking PA meetings with four days (this is counted from the day after the client calls in. So if they call in on a Monday the four-day count starts from the Tuesday)

  The original minimum standard for clients in the basic model and the call centre pilots was for 50 per cent. of clients to have the first personal adviser meeting booked within three days and 80 per cent. within four days.

  From April 2001 the minimum standard is for 80 per cent. of clients to have their first personal adviser meeting within four days. This was changed because the three day measure, although broadly achievable, has perversely driven speed rather than the quality of the interview, in its length and focus on work issues.

Evidence Gathering

  The minimum standard of a 90 per cent. accuracy rate has existed since October 2000. This measures the quality of collecting information and evidence to support a benefit claim. The aim is for everything possible to be completed before the form is handed over for benefit processing. It provides documentary evidence that the correct and appropriate evidence has been requested if not immediately available.

Standards now withdrawn

Start-up interviews

  The original intention was for clients to have a start-up appointment "on demand". Pilots found that during very busy times the quality of start-up interviews diminished and any chance to prepare the client for a personal adviser meeting, where the focus would be on work-related issues, was lost. The measure was therefore withdrawn and pilots were given the scope to have start-up by appointment. This would maintain the quality of start-up interviews at times of operational pressure while ensuring customer service standards were upheld.

Deferrals

  Prior to April 2001 a measure was used to identify the level of deferrals in basic model and call centre pilots. The minimum standard was for the percentage level of deferrals to be no higher than 15 per cent.

  During an internal review it was found that this measure was driving perverse behaviour resulting in clients having to attend personal adviser meetings when inappropriate. Consequently the measure for deferrals was withdrawn. However, ONE managers monitor all deferrals to ensure that the facility is being correctly adhered to and it is not being used for administrative convenience.

(4)  Information concerning the average times in practice taken in each ONE pilot area for the various stages of the process described:

  (a)  the time taken from reception to start-up interview (basic and PVS models):

  See comment on Start-up interviews above. This measure was withdrawn because it incentivised perverse behaviour.

  (b)  the time taken from initial telephone contact to call-back (call centre models):

  The minimum standard is that 90 per cent. of clients will be called back within 24 hours.

  The ONE pilots are currently working to secure significant improvements in this stage of the process. Various procedures are being put in place to maximise the call-back availability and improve initial contact to call-back performance times. For example:

    —  use of tele-assessment feedback.

    —  ensuring that staff time is utilised more effectively.

    —  managing peaks and troughs of call-back volume by redeploying staff into high priority areas.

    —  use of the FeatureNet MI terminal to monitor the activity of the call-back team using monitor groups to focus on scheduled call-back activity.

  Covering period April 2001 to September 2001

Call Centre
Call-backs
Number within 24 hours
Buckinghamshire
10,551
4,443 (42%)
Calderdale & Kirklees
17,104
8,350 (49%)
South East Gwent
10,755
3,568 (33%)
Somerset
10,389
6,452 (62%)
Totals
48,799
22,813 (47%)
For 2000-01 the results were:

47% within 1 day;

77% within 3 days;

99% within 5 days;


  The figures for call-backs are counted in each pilot. The following figures in the table are taken from the Vantive System (a management system).

  (c)  time taken for initial start-up meeting, broken down into JSA and non-JSA clients (basic and PVS models):

  Based on samples taken in autumn 2000 the time for a start-up meeting (basic model) averaged 16 minutes for JSA clients and 18 minutes for non-JSA. It was decided that it should take 23 minutes to enable more time for an explanation of ONE and jobsearch activity. All pilots are now concentrating on these two key aspects.

  (d)  time taken for call-back interview broken down into JSA and non-JSA clients (call centre models):

  The average time taken for a call-back, in autumn 2000, was 24 minutes for both JSA and non-JSA clients. This was rather short, and further evaluation evidence suggests that call-backs are now generally in the range of 30-40 minutes.

  (e)  time between start-up interview/call-backs interview and first personal adviser meeting;

  From April 2001 the minimum standard is for 80 per cent. of clients to have their first personal adviser meeting within four days.

Basic Model
PA meeting booked
Within 4 days
Clyde Coast & Renfrew
18,523
14,741 (80%)
Essex South East
10,248
7,501 (73%)
Lea Roding
20,121
14,779 (73%)
Warwickshire
11,418
8,524 (75%)
Total
60,310
45,545 (76%)
Call Centre Model
PA meeting booked
Within 4 days
Buckinghamshire
9,917
6,807 (69%.)
Calderdale & Kirklees
19,324
11,829 (61%)
South East Gwent
8,816
8,322 (94%)
Somerset
11,451
7,644 (67%)
Total
49,508
34,602 (70%)
PVS Model
PA meeting booked
Within 4 days
Leeds
24,611
17,733 (72%)
North Cheshire
13,256
10,516 (79%)
North Nottinghamshire
13,879
13,238 (95%)
Suffolk
18,057
15,371 (85%)
Total
69,803
56,858 (81%)
Overall Total
179,621
137,005 (76%)


  During the period the call centres were supporting Calderdale and Kirklees who were transferring over to Jobcentre Plus. This would have effected the performance of the other call centres over the period.

  In the PVS variant the start-up adviser and the personal adviser are the same person so this would influence the performance. There are also variations caused because of rural transport difficulties and infrequent public transport in some areas.

(f)  time taken for first personal adviser meeting, broken down into JSA and non-JSA clients:

BASIC MODEL

  In autumn 2000, the average time was found to be 40 minutes for a JSA client and 32 minutes for a non-JSA client, though these figures are based on a small sample sizes. Evaluation has found that personal adviser meetings vary between 20 and 50 minutes for both client groups.

CALL CENTRE

  The average time taken was 47 minutes for JSA and 39 minutes for non-JSA. Once again there was a considerable variation with the average times due to the small sample size.

PVS

  While the timings for first personal adviser meeting vary depending on clients' individual circumstances (eg clients job readiness, specialist provision), for PVS timings are consistent with that in basic model and call centre variants. PVS contracts list individual activities that should be undertaken and completed by the end of the initial personal adviser meeting which is estimated to be about 1 hour. The PVS Partners are responsible for monitoring this aspect of their business and determining the length of the interviews.

(g)  end-to-end processing times for each of the benefits shown, in each of the ONE pilot areas and in each of the comparable control areas, together with the relevant targets times: Income Support, Jobseekers Allowance, Incapacity Benefit, Invalid Care Allowance, Widowed Parent's Allowance and Bereavement Allowance.

  An analysis of clearance times from April to September 2001 for JSA end-to-end processing indicates that ONE has had no adverse impact on clearance times in either basic model or PVS. In call centre areas the proportion of claims cleared within the target number of days has been around 3 per cent. below that elsewhere (either in basic model, PVS and control areas nationally). There is no evidence of any impact on Income Support and Incapacity Benefit clearance times.

  The key targets for IS, JSA and IB claims clearance are as follows:

      Income Support 12 days

      Jobseekers Allowance 12 days

      Incapacity Benefit 22 days.

  These are measured as actual average clearance times.

  The internal performance indicator for ICA is 95 per cent. clearance in 72 days; for widows mothers allowance and bereavement benefit it is 95 per cent. in 35 days.

  The client survey (published as DWP Research Report number 156) reported that end-to-end times for non-JSA claims were half a week longer in pilot areas. However during the first six months of full participation (when the field survey took place) some pilot areas in both the call centre and PVS did struggle with processing Incapacity Benefit. Performance in these areas has since recovered and improved.

(5)  Details of the performance of the ONE pilots in relation to job placements, compared to their control areas—broken down into JSA and non-JSA clients. If you have not already done so, please give details of any job placement targets for JSA and non-JSA targets in each of the relevant areas.

  The cost benefit analysis will assess the success of ONE in moving people into work. Final results will be available in winter 2002-03. The analysis will take into account any differences in labour markets and clients' characteristics between the pilots and control areas. Interim results on the employment effects were published in In-House Report 88 on the 7th December 2001. Total JSA job placings amount to 17,554 and for non-JSA 2,325 achieved across all ONE pilots for the period April 01 to September 2001.

(6)  Comparison of the number of crisis loans applications in the ONE pilot areas and in their applicable control areas, for April 1999; April 2000; and April 2001 since it has been suggested that crisis loan applications rose in some of the ONE pilot areas, as a result of delays in processing benefits.

  Analysis shows no consistent evidence of an increase in the number of crisis loan applications made to the Benefits Agency.

  When comparing pilot and control areas, it is important to take into account the relative sizes of the areas. Note also that there is considerable variation, between individual pilot and control areas, in the number of crisis loans. When these factors are taken into account, there is no conclusive evidence that ONE has affected the number of crisis loans.

The following table shows Social Fund Crisis Loans per benefit claim, for pilot and control areas. Figures are for April-September 2001. Figures are provisional and subject to revision:

  
  
SF Crisis Loans
JSA, IS and IB Claims
SF Loans per Claim
Basic Model
Pilot
35,635
84,808
0.42
  
Control
30,112
96,772
0.31
Call Centre
Pilot
23,991
68,189
0.35
  
Control
22,854
75,390
0.30
PVS
Pilot
16,137
70,468
0.23
  
Control
15,367
61,287
0.25
Total
Pilot
75,763
223,465
0.34
  
Control
68,333
233,449
0.29


  When the number of Social Fund Crisis Loans is compared with pilot areas' performance, in booking personal advisers' meetings within four days (see table), there is very little correlation. Thus no evidence that poor performance in moving clients through the system has led to larger numbers of crisis loans.

  In-house report 84

  Please see the table at Annex B.

COST BENEFIT ANALYSIS

  The ONE cost benefit analysis has two parts:

      (xv)    measuring the employment effects of ONE and

      (xvi)  measuring the overall cost-effectiveness of ONE.

  This work is being carried out by the National Institute of Economic and Social Research (NIESR). Final results from the cost benefit analysis will be available in winter 2002-03. Interim results on the employment effects of ONE based on NIESR's early research have been published (on 7 December 2001) in In-house report no. 88.

  There are no interim results on measuring the cost-effectiveness of ONE. Measures of cost-effectiveness will be provided along with final results on the employment effects of ONE by NIESR in winter 2002-03. This will cover the full period of the pilots.

ORGANISATIONS INVOLVED IN THE PRIVATE AND VOLUNTARY SECTOR PILOTS

Deloitte:

  RNIB; Remploy; NACRO; Wise Group; Manpower; Instant Muscle; Gingerbread; Daycare Trust and Opportunity America.

Reed:

  Citizens Advice Bureau, DIAL (for disability information), Mansfield Unemployed Workers Centre, Ollerton & District Economic Forum, Ashfield Women's Centre, Salvation Army, Shelter, Probation Service.

A4E:

  Warrington Disability Information Services, Local Law Centres, Citizens Advice Bureau, YMCA, Prince's Trust, Halton Disability Information Services, Lighthouse Foundation, Halton Advocacy Project.


 
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