Universal credit employers insight

Document type
McKee, Sarah; Perry, Luke; Totman, Peter
Date of publication
1 December 2014
DWP ad hoc research report no. 14
Poverty Alleviation Welfare Benefits and Financial Inclusion, Employment
Social welfare
Material type

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This research was commissioned in 2012, prior to the launch of Universal Credit. It was commissioned to ensure feedback from employers were included in the design and delivery of Universal Credit, including communications and preparation activity. The research used a panel of around 25 employers, conducting research in three waves. The first wave tested employer reactions to the overall Universal Credit proposition, its main delivery components and understanding employer propensity to play a supporting role in welfare reform. The second wave focused on the drivers of progressing in the workplace and tested a range of interventions designed to stimulate in-work progression opportunities. The third and final wave explored reactions to a range of communications products targeted at employers and further explored employer propensity to help employees prepare for and adjust to Universal Credit. Beyond answering the specific objectives of each wave the research found that the Department will need to positively engage employers in welfare reform if they are to play any supporting role. This will need to be done by mobilising employers around the societal objectives of the reforms, tapping into the good will and paternalist instincts that employers have towards their employees, and providing them with a wide range of practical tools and support to make it as easy as possible for employers to help employees with any issues they may have with their Universal Credit.