Why Serco chose Policy in Practice’s Benefit and Budgeting Calculator to deliver key work programme contractual commitment
One of the conditions of Serco’s minimum service offer for the DWP Work Programme contract is an undertaking that all customers get the opportunity to have a benefit calculation. Read why it chose Policy in Practice’s software to deliver this commitment via its supply chain.
As one of the UK’s leading outsourcing companies in the government services market, Serco delivers crucial business processes for local government. It is one of the current suppliers of the Work Programme for DWP.
Work Programme contracts are outcome based and they are paid on their effectiveness at getting people into work. As such, one of the conditions of Serco’s minimum service offer for the DWP Work Programme contract is an undertaking that all customers are given the opportunity to have a calculation.
Serco identified that part of the journey to sustainable employment involves removing the barriers to employment, one of which is that quite often people don’t think they’re going to be financially better off in work.
In order to deliver on its minimum service promise Serco knew that it needed an effective better off in work calculator if it was to successfully challenge misconceptions of customers.
Serco delivers its contracts via fully subcontracted supply chain of thirty service providers. Research carried out by Serco revealed that many contractors feared that, in order to deliver frontline services really well, their advisors needed to have detailed and expert knowledge of the welfare system.
Many subcontractors were relying on free in work benefit calculators or specialist benefits advisors to help have conversations with customers about in work benefit entitlement.
Many staff didn’t feel confident talking directly with customers about benefits or the calculations because they weren’t always experts in the welfare system and what benefits customers could get.
Typically, meetings with customers were long and ineffective, often complicated rather than helped by benefit calculators that weren’t user friendly. Reliance on specialist benefit advisors meant that the learning wasn’t being brought in house.
The rollout of Universal Credit added extra complexity to the mix, and a tool that was also fully adaptable to Universal Credit was needed.