Committee stage: Clauses 11 and 12, House of Lords

Welfare Reform and Work Bill

The Equality and Human Rights Commission welcomes the aim of the Welfare Reform and Work Bill to encourage and help more people into work (where they can, and are able to), in the context of the Government's commitments to reduce the deficit and reform the welfare system.  However, we have concerns that some of the measures in the Bill could exacerbate, rather than reduce, existing inequalities.

In summary, we are concerned that

  • Clauses 11 and 12 will have a detrimental effect on the living standards of low-income families with more than two children, and could raise concerns about the UK Government’s compliance with international human rights instruments.
  • The proposed changes may have a disproportionate negative impact on people from particular ethnic or religious groups.
  • The impact assessments and human rights memorandum which accompany the Bill do not assess the effect of the Bill on equality and human rights in sufficient detail to enable proper scrutiny of the legislation.

Without proper consideration of the impact of the multiple welfare reform changes on people with particular protected characteristics - such as race or disability - the disadvantage currently experienced by people in some groups is likely to be compounded.

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Last updated: 20 Apr 2016