Dr Jim McCormick
Disability and Carers Benefits Expert Advisory Group
c/o Scottish Government
27 February 2023
Thank you for your letter dated 20 December 2022 regarding Employment Injury Assistance (EIA). I understand your advice followed constructive discussions with my officials. I very much appreciate the Group’s engagement and the resulting advice. I am grateful for your considered recommendations on what is a complex framework of support.
In your advice, you noted that it would be helpful for me to provide an indication of our timetable for future work on Employment Injury Assistance and I am happy to do so.
As I set out to Parliament on 7 February 2023, it is our intention to undertake a public consultation in the next few months on Employment Injury Assistance and the Scottish Government replacement for Industrial Injuries Disablement Scheme (IIDS) benefits.
Importantly, the engagement which has already been undertaken with stakeholders will closely inform the content of the consultation and influence the policy development which follows.
I acknowledge the work to date of organisations that have an interest in this matter. Employment Injury Assistance is a very complex area, and it is important that we work with stakeholders to decide the right approach, recognising the limits on our devolved powers in relation to issues such as health and safety and employment law. We need to recognise the substantial costs and operational requirements of providing a new benefit and the challenges of moving from what is an antiquated and entirely paper-based UK benefit.
I am pleased to say that the Department for Work and Pensions remains committed to working with the Scottish Government to agree an approach that is practicable, affordable and, of course, in the interests of current recipients of IIDS benefits. It is right that we take appropriate time to consider all those matters thoroughly.
The Group’s thorough consideration of these issues, and advice as to addressing them within the consultation, was extremely helpful. All of the areas outlined by DACBEAG will be explored and our view of these matters explained in the consultation. I therefore intend the consultation paper to serve as a fuller response to your comprehensive recommendations.
Once again, I thank you for your constructive advice as we work to further develop a social security system that delivers with dignity, fairness and respect.
T: 0300 244 4000
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