Scope of this response
The Equality and Human Rights Commission is responding to the Welfare Reform Bill in line with its statutory duties and powers, under the Equality Act 2006, and responsibilities as a National Human Rights Institution (NHRI), as set out in the Paris Principles.
There is strong evidence to show clear links between having a protected characteristic, not being in employment and having a low income. Groups within our remit are therefore likely to be overrepresented amongst those who require welfare support.
The following evidence supports this view:
- Lone parent households with dependent children had the highest percentage of workless households at 39.7 per cent . 90 per cent of lone parent households are headed by women.
- Families with a disabled member, lone parent households, and some ethnic minorities are also at greater risk of persistent poverty .
- The employment rate for disabled men without qualifications halved between the mid-1970s and early 2000s.
House of Lords committee stage briefing: Welfare Reform Bill, 17 October 2011
House of Commons committee stage briefing: Welfare Reform Bill, 21 April 2011
Appendix 1: Advice in the matter of the Welfare Reform Bill’, Karon Monaghan QC, 04 April 2011