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Work, Health and WellbeingThe Challenges of Managing Health at Work$
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Sarah Vickerstaff, Chris Phillipson, and Ross Wilkie

Print publication date: 2011

Print ISBN-13: 9781847428080

Published to Policy Press Scholarship Online: May 2012

DOI: 10.1332/policypress/9781847428080.001.0001

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The changing profile of incapacity claimants

The changing profile of incapacity claimants

(p.119) Seven The changing profile of incapacity claimants
Work, Health and Wellbeing

Christina Beatty

Fothergill Steve

Policy Press

This chapter considers the changing profile of incapacity benefit claimants. It draws in particular on two surveys, carried out eight years apart, of male IB claimants in Barrow in North West England, an area badly affected by industrial job losses. It shows how a cohort of skilled workers made redundant in the 1990s, often with strong aspirations to return to work, has gradually been replaced by a new group of poorly qualified and low-skill men with health problems who have become thoroughly detached from the labour market and mostly now express little desire to return to work. The chapter also comments on comparisons with women, highlighting the extent to which the men and women on incapacity benefits come from a similar segment of the workforce. The evidence points to the difficulty of moving incapacity claimants back to work, especially in weaker local economies at a time of recession.

Keywords:   incapacity benefits, skills, motivation, unemployment, Barrow-in-Furness

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