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← Overview Database of Innovative Social Policies in Europe

New Deal 50 Plus

Country of implementation
United Kingdom
General short description of the innovation
New Deal 50+ was a voluntary programme that aimed to stimulate re-integration into the labour market of older unemployed who were looking for or considering a return to work. Beneficiaries were those aged 50 years or over, who had been on support benefits for six months and more (Jobseekers Allowance, Income Support, Incapacity Benefit Employment and Support Allowance, Severe Disability Allowance or Pension Credit and others), and their dependent partners. They were entitled to several support options: 1) access to one-to-one advice and guidance about finding work through a New Deal Personal Adviser; 2) an increase in their Working Tax Credit. This was a tax free payment to top up the earnings of people on low incomes. It provided 60 a week for those working full time (40 for part time) for a year, provided that recipients? total income is less than 15,000 a year. 3) Furthermore, a Training Grant of up to 1500 may have also been available when work was taken up. 1200 could be used to improve existing skills and up to 300 could be used to learn new skills to help stay in work. The Training Grant could be claimed over two years from the date participants started New Deal 50+. The programme was run by Jobcentre Plus. When joining the programme, individuals had a meeting with a personal adviser to discuss the different options. / / In 2009, the New Deal has been replaced by the Flexible New Deal, which provided welfare-to-work support in a single programme for all ages. /
Target group
Older Workers
Policy Field
  • employment
  • social
Type of Policy
  • public
Duration of the policy
Scope of innovation
  • Scope: structural
  • Spatial coverage: national
Type of innovation
  • new policy, practice or measure
New outputs
  • benefit duration
  • lifelong learning
  • services
  • subsidies/tax-credits
  • training schemes
Intended target group
Older people on benefits ages 50 or over
Working age population
  • employment situation (unemployed)
  • main source of income: social protection (social assistance as well as disability benefits)
Actors involved in policy-making/implementation and/or evaluation
  • agency or national social insurance body (Jobcentre Plus)
  • central state (DWP)
Intended output
  • benefit duration
  • lifelong learning
  • services
  • subsidies/tax-credits
  • training schemes
Clarification of outcomes in terms of impacting resilience and labour market inclusion
According to DWP-commissioned research (2000) the initial survival rates for individuals taking work under the programme were quite high. Among those entering work, 81% were still working six months later. Despite this, few of those receiving an increase of their Working Text Credit (Employment Credit) had significantly increased their earnings, or moved to a better paid job, during their first 12 months of employment. Low take-up of the Training Grant may have added to this pattern of low/no growth in earned income. Around three-quarters of respondents claimed to have received absolutely no training from their employer, and two in three did not feel that they had become more employable as a result of ND50plus. / / About two-thirds of respondents entered full-time work, with one-third working part time. The jobs were mostly unskilled and fairly low paid, and there were a few cases of self-employment. The long-term outcomes of this qualitative work suggest that up to two years after returning to work: Four out of five were still in work, about one in ten were unemployed and claiming benefit; a small number were sick; a small proportion were inactive and on benefit. / / Kodz and Eccles (2001) found in their survey that a quarter of the Employment Credit recipients were self-employed and that one of major concerns was the short duration of the payment to produce long-term employment outcomes for the depending on this payment. The Training Grant was often described as hard to understand and had a very low number of take-ups. One of main barriers for the low take-up was people?s perception to be too old to learn new skills. In some cases eligibility criteria were perceived as too hard since the training had to be relevant to the current job and the time period for which it is available. / / References: / - Atkinson, J., Evans, C., Willison, R., Lain, David and van Gent, M. (2003). New Deal 50plus: Sustainability of Employment. Institute for Employment Studies, DWP Report No. 142. / - Kodz, J. and Eccles, J. (2001). Evaluation of New Deal 50 Plus. Qualitative Evidence from Clients: Second Phase, Research Report ESR70, Employment Service.
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