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Industrial Injuries Disablement Benefits Advisory Group minutes: December 2016

Minutes of the meeting of the Industrial Injuries Disablement Benefits Advisory Group, which took place on 12 December 2016.

Attendees and apologies

Present:

  • Rosemary McGowan, Citizens Advice Airdrie
  • Tommy Gorman, MacMillan Cancer Support
  • Scott Donohoe, STUC
  • Dr Anne Braidwood, Medical Advisor
  • Barbara Donegan, CPAG
  • Ellen Searle, Social Security, Scottish Government (Chair)
  • Andy Park, Scottish Government, Senior Economist
  • Claire McDermott, Social Security, Scottish Government
  • Roddy Duncan, Scottish Government, Creating Health
  • Liz Davidson, Social Security, Scottish Government
  • Nicola Dickie, COSLA

Apologies:

  • Nikola Plunkett, Scottish Government, Social Security Policy
  • Elinor Owe, Scottish Government, Justice
  • Phyllis Craig, Clydeside Action on Asbestos
  • Ian Tasker, STUC
  • Adam Reid, Scottish Government, Employability

Items and actions

Welcome and minute

1. The Chair welcomed new members Rosemary McGowan, Citizens Advice Bureau Airdrie and Barabara Donegan, Child Action Poverty Group to the meeting, and thanked Scott Donohoe for attending as the STUC representative in place of Ian Tasker

2. The minutes of meeting on 2 October 2016 were agreed, including sign off of the IIDB social security outcomes. All action points were cleared with the exception of analysts obtaining figures on the number of successful appeals.

Action:

Members to send in any further evidence to be added to the list collated to support IIDB policy development at the previous meeting

Policy Update

3. The social security consultation ended on 28 October 2016 and over 500 responses had been received, they are being analysed and the report is due for publication in early 2017. Consultation responses have already been published on the SG website. The Social Security Bill will be introduced to parliament by late spring/early summer, and be supported by a 4 year programme of work. The new Social Security Agency will be up and running within this parliamentary term, with Ministers prioritising a safe and secure transition.

4. There was some discussion of the scrutiny that would be applied to SG proposals. The chair advised that although the consultation had closed, engagement will continue as proposals develop. In addition, when the Bill is introduced the parliament will seek written submissions and invite a variety of stakeholders to give evidence on policy proposals. It was suggested that input should be sought a wider range of Welfare Rights Advisers.

Action:

Scottish Government to consider how to best engage with Welfare Rights Advisers.

Consultation summary and feedback (paper IIDBAG 5/2016)

5. An overview of the paper IIDBAG/5 was provided. Members made the following points to support policy development.

6. Members reiterated that the scheme should be reformed to include those who are self-employed, many of whom are employed within the construction industry and trades, which are deemed as high risk occupations. Members would also like the Scottish scheme to be user-friendly and advice and information available to advisors made clear and user friendly. There is currently no certificated training on the UK IIDB scheme for welfare advisors, it was suggested that this is something that the SG should consider.

7. There was some discussion about updating the prescribed list of diseases to rectify the gender balance and to reflect the current workplace. It was suggested that the threshold could be considered. However, there was some concern that moving to a ‘case by case’ approach could be expensive, become adversarial and lack consistency in decision making.

8. Members advised that it would be helpful to see the note of the consultation event hosted by the STUC.

Action:

Scottish Government to circulate the written note of the consultation event

Future engagement and workshops

9. The chair advised that the SG were considering hosting a number of seminars between now and March 2017 to consider topic specific issues in more detail, potentially covering a ‘Scottish’ IIAC, prevention and occupational health and safety, and employability.

10. Members suggested that a short piece of work could be undertaken to consider diseases that, if added to the list of those prescribed, could assist in addressing the focus of the scheme on heavy industry and the gender imbalance. It was also suggested that there could be a workshop on lump sum payments.

Action:

Scottish Government to circulate a list of proposed topics and progress over winter/spring for workshops

11. The risk of raising unrealistic expectations on IIDB through engagement was raised, particularly with users. It was agreed that it would be helpful to agree an approach to avoid this.

Action:

Scottish Government to draft a paper on future engagement for Members’ comments.

Disability and Carer Expert Advisory Group

12. Since the last meeting, Minsters had formally announced the establishment of a Disability and Carer Expert Advisory Group (previously the Disability Benefits Assessment Commission). Carers Benefits have been added to the remit of the group to provide parity with disability benefits. This would include advising on recommendations and guidance on assessments, automatic or lifetime awards and eligibility criteria. Ministers are in the process of appointing a Chair with a view to announcing membership in early 2017. The remit of the group is being developed but not yet agreed.

Options Appraisal

13. Scottish Government analysts gave a presentation on the paper ‘Multi-criteria analysis of Social Security Delivery System Options’ issued at the meeting. The paper does not focus on IIDB specifically but looks at the options for delivering social security in Scotland. The analysis will be published in the New Year.

14. Members considered the 6 options for delivery from an IIDB perspective and made the following points:

  • important to consider services for rural and isolated communities
  • existing advice organisations should be incorporated into any new model
  • consideration should be given to a local model/adapting the services provided by Local Authorities, as this could more easily link to local support for individuals
  • consideration should be given to emerging multi–disciplinary Health and Social Care models i.e. co-location of services.
  • choice of contact is important to individuals

Action:

Member to submit any further comments on the paper to Scottish Government analysts by Friday 16/12/16.

Actions

  • to obtain figures on IIDB appeals – SG Analysts – next meeting
  • send in any further suggestions for the IIDB evidence base – members – ongoing
  • widen engagement with Welfare Rights Advisors – SG Analysts/ Policy – next meeting
  • circulate note of IIDB consultation event – SG Policy – 31/12/16
  • circulate list of proposed topics for workshops – SG Policy – 31/12/16
  • circulate paper on future engagement – SG Policy – next meeting
  • send in any further comments on the options appraisal paper – members – 16/12/16

Contact

Email: Claire McDermott

Published:
12 May 2017
Industrial Injuries Disablement Benefits Advisory Group minutes: December 2016