A drug treatment referral scheme to get drug users off benefits and back into work starts operating across England today, announced Employment and Welfare Reform Minister Tony McNulty.
Heroin or crack cocaine users claiming benefits in England will be able to access advice and referral from their Jobcentre to a drug treatment service so that they can get better and take steps to return to work.
The Welfare Reform Bill, currently before Parliament, includes provisions to pilot a new mandatory employment-support program for problem drug users. They will be required to attend discussions about treatment and agree a rehabilitation plan. The plan will set out the steps they will take to address both their drug problem and any other barriers to work that they face. Failing to comply with the plan could result in benefit sanctions.
Today is the first step in the process that will follow once the Welfare Reform Bill has passed through Parliament.