Work and Pensions Committee Press Notice

29 February 2008: For Immediate Release

Select Committee to inquire the Government's carers' strategy

The Work and Pensions Committee today announced an inquiry to examine the effectiveness of the Department for Work and Pensions' existing approach to carers. Key areas likely to be covered by the inquiry are:

  • Information, guidance and advice. Are carers sufficiently aware of their benefit entitlements and the support available to them? Is the Department providing high quality guidance and advice to carers? How is the Department working across Government to avoid unnecessary bureaucracy for carers when seeking guidance, advice and financial support?
  • Income and Carer's Allowance. What is the impact of caring on carers earning potentials? Do carers receive sufficient support with additional costs as a result of caring? Are benefits and allowances adequate in minimising the financial impact of caring? Do benefits and allowances impact on barriers and incentives to work or carers' ability to engage in education and training, if so how? Do benefits and allowances impact on carers' pension entitlements, if so how?
  • Employment strategy and training opportunities. Is the Department doing enough to address barriers to employment and training for carers? Is the Department's welfare reform and employment strategy addressing the needs of carers? How is the Department working collaboratively with employers and other Departments to improve carers' job retention or return to work? How is the Department working together with employers and other Departments to improve support in education, training and skills for carers?
  • Equality, recognition and discrimination. Are there barriers to equality for carers? What are the possible implications for equality legislation in the UK following the current EU legal case on disability discrimination by proxy? Does a carers' profile impact upon their opportunities (e.g. carer of a disabled child, or elderly carer of a partner)?

The Committee seeks written contributions on this issue from interested organisations and individuals. The deadline for written evidence is Wednesday 03 April 2008. Oral evidence sessions will take place in the summer.

Please note

Each submission should:

  • aim to be no more than 10 sides of A4 in length;
  • begin with a short summary in bullet point form;
  • have numbered paragraphs; and
  • be in Word format with as little use of colour/logos as possible.

A copy of the submission should be sent by e-mail to and marked " Carers Inquiry". An additional paper copy should be sent to:

Emily Gregory, Work and Pensions Select Committee, House of Commons, 7 Millbank, London, SW1P 3JA.

It would be helpful, for Data Protection purposes, if individuals wishing to submit written evidence send their contact details separately in a covering letter. You should be aware that there may be circumstances in which the House of Commons will be required to communicate information to third parties on request, in order to comply with its obligations under the Freedom of Information Act 2000.

A guide for written submissions to Select Committees may be found on the parliamentary website at:

Please also note that:

  • Material already published elsewhere should not form the basis of a submission, but may be referred to within a proposed memorandum, in which case a hard copy of the published work should be included.
  • Memoranda submitted must be kept confidential until published by the Committee, unless specifically authorised.
  • Once submitted, evidence is the property of the Committee. The Committee normally, though not always, chooses to make public the written evidence it receives, by publishing it on the internet (where it will be searchable), by printing it or by making it available through the Parliamentary Record Office. If there is any information you believe to be sensitive you should highlight it and explain what harm you believe would result from its disclosure. The Committee will take this into account in deciding whether to publish or further disclose the evidence.