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Will the Welfare Reform Bill affect accountants?

Will the Welfare Reform Bill affect accountants?

Vulnerable accountants who are disabled, elderly or suffering long-term health problems could be hit by the coalition’s proposed reforms to the welfare system.

The Chartered Accountants Benevolent Association has pointed out that the government intends to reassess benefits. People currently on incapacity benefit are likely to be transferred to the Employment and Support Allowance and those getting Disability Living Allowance will receive the new Personal Independence Payment.

The Welfare Reform Bill will ensure that claimants undergo more rigorous and regular benefit eligibility assessments. The Disability Living Allowance is to be scrapped and its replacement, the Personal Independence Payment, will be paid to fewer people.

The chief executive of CABA, Kath Haines, said the Association was concerned that the changes laid out in the Welfare Reform Bill would affect accountants with genuine problems.

David Cameron’s Welfare Reform Bill was published last month. It aims to make work pay and cut the cost of the benefits system by £5.5 billion over the next four years.

Disabled people will be encouraged to look for work and employers must be aware that they have obligations to this vulnerable group under the Equality Act 2010. The use of pre-employment health questionnaires will be limited and employers should tread carefully when enquiring about the health of a candidate prior to a job offer being made.

Recruiters and employers will also have to ensure that applicants have the correct paperwork prior to hiring them. Recruiters claiming sick pay or statutory maternity / paternity pay will need to produce a valid work permit when they make their claim. It will no longer be sufficient to quote a valid National Insurance number.

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Image: Sgt. Pepper’s Garden Products
by delphaber

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