Welfare Rights Conference 2016

Universal Credit - next steps

Welfare Rights Conference 2016

North (Manchester) Thursday 8 September 2016
South (London) Friday 16 September 2016 

Our 2016 Welfare Rights Conference focuses on the challenges facing families as the roll out of Universal Credit accelerates.

The next few years will bear witness to a huge change in the welfare rights environment, with the full Universal Credit service set to be rolled out to over one hundred local authority areas during 2016-17, and across all 381 local authorities by June 2018.

Increasingly, families and the advisers working with families will need to understand how Universal Credit is supposed to work, who wins and who loses, and the lessons to learn from the early implementation of the new system.

With expert speakers, a range of focused workshops and the opportunity to network and share ideas with welfare rights workers, policy workers and other advisers from across the country, the conference is not to be missed. With both conferences expected to sell out, please book early to avoid disappointment.

For more details on the planned workshops and programme, together with instructions on how to book your place, please see below.


09.15 - 10.00    Arrival, registration, coffee and exhibition stand viewing

10:00 - 11.15    Host welcome and keynote speakers (tbc)

11.15 - 11.30    Refreshment break and viewing of exhibition stands

11.30 - 12.45   Workshops – morning session

12.45 - 13.30   Lunch and viewing of exhibition stands

13.30 - 14.45   Workshops – afternoon session

14.45 - 15.00   Refreshment break and viewing of exhibition stands

15.00 - 16.00   Panel discussion and Q&A


You can attend two workshops from the list below.

Universal Credit Housing Costs 
David Simmons, Welfare Rights Worker at CPAG

This workshop will examine issues arising from the replacement of Housing Benefit (HB) with a Universal Credit (UC) housing costs element, including:

• The transfer of claimants from HB onto UC

• Eligibility for, and calculation of, UC housing costs

• Forthcoming cuts to entitlement

• Administrative issues, including direct payments to landlords


Universal Credit: the full service (previously titled UC Digital Roll-Out)
Simon Osborne, Welfare Rights Worker at CPAG

Universal Credit is being rolled-out to all new claimants, via the introduction of the ‘full-service’ (formerly referred to as the ‘digital service’).

This workshop will look at the latest plans and legislation, and consider what the full service means for claimants. Topics covered will include:

• Roll-out plans and timetable

• Navigating UC legislation

• Consequences: lobster pots, problems and practicalities


Employment and Support Allowance and Universal Credit - 'substantial risk'
Dan Norris and Nizam Ahmed, Welfare Rights Workers at CPAG

This workshop examines the provisions in the Employment and Support Allowance and Universal Credit regimes that allow claimants to be treated as having limited capability for work-related activity on the grounds of ‘substantial risk’ to health.

Topics covered will include the legislative framework for the ‘substantial risk’ provisions, significant case law and tactical issues.


Human Rights Challenges
Sophie Earnshaw, CPAG Trainee Solicitor and Martin Williams, Welfare Rights Worker at CPAG

In several recent high profile cases, the Courts have considered the application of the Human Rights Act 1988 to welfare reform, including the bedroom tax, the benefit cap, the past presence test and the Work Programme.

This workshop will provide an overview of these cases and a guide on using human rights arguments effectively in tribunal proceedings.



Polly Mackenzie, Director of the Money and Mental Health Policy Institute (London only)

Polly was Director of Policy for the Deputy Prime Minister, working in Number 10 and the Cabinet Office, from 2010-2015.

Polly graduated from Cambridge in 2002 and started her career as a business journalist focusing on the property sector. She joined the Liberal Democrats in 2004 as a policy adviser, helped run Nick Clegg’s leadership campaign and coordinated policy throughout his leadership. Polly is a visiting fellow at the Policy Institute at Kings College London.


Clare Ludlow, Director of Innovation at Timewise (Manchester & London)

Clare Ludlow is the Director of Innovation at the multi award-winning Timewise Foundation. Clare has spent the last 15 years shaping and delivering services to support people out of work into decently paid, progressive jobs.

Prior to her role at Timewise, she ran some of the country’s largest and most successful employment programmes. Clare is a mother to three young boys and works part time herself.


Megan JarvieHead of Policy and Public Affairs at the Family and Childcare Trust (London only)

Megan is the Head of Policy and Public Affairs Family and Childcare Trust. Megan leads on policy and government relations for FCT, including the All Party Parliamentary Group for Parents and Families.

Before joining the organisation she worked in campaigns at Child Poverty Action Group and Diabetes UK and in policy and strategy for local government and the NHS.


Anne DanksOperations Manager at The Trussell Trust (Manchester only)

Anne Danks has worked for the Trussell Trust for over 6 years, having begun her career in teaching modern languages. She currently oversees the foodbank network and staff team in England for the Trust, as Operations Manager. She manages a team of 9 regional officers and supports around 280 foodbank projects.

The Trussell Trust supports a national foodbank network of 420+ projects in all, many of which now also offer financial triage, clothing banks, holiday clubs and welfare advisors in addition to the emergency food they provide.


Rose Doran, Senior Adviser at the Local Government Association (Manchester & London) 


Our Manchester venue is the University of Manchester Innovation Centre, Core Technology Facility, 46 Grafton Street, Manchester, M13 9NT

Our London venue is Resource for London, 356 Holloway Road, London, N7 6PA

Exhibition Space

We will have an exhibition space at both conferences hosting exhibitors showcasing their work, products and services. If you are interested in exhibiting at our conference, please email Sebastien at sclark@cpag.org.uk.

Booking a place

Delegate tickets, which include a choice of four expert workshops, teas, coffees, buffet lunch and conference materials, are £130 for a voluntary organisation and £175 for statutory and lawyers.

To book place(s) please complete our online booking form here.

Please note that bookings cannot be processed until you have selected your workshops, and workshops will be filled on a first-come, first-serve basis.


Welfare Rights Conference 2015

Welfare Rights Conference 2015