Welfare Rights Conference 2017

Universal Credit – Understanding and Managing the Risks for Families

Manchester Thursday 7 September 2017
London Thursday 14 September 2017

 (Booking has now closed for both of our conferences)

This year's conference focuses on the very real risks facing families as the roll out of Universal Credit continues. 

The full Universal Credit service will replace new claims for a number of benefits across all 381 local authorities by June 2018. The migration of claimants on ‘legacy’ benefits is not due to be completed until 2022, at the earliest. This represents a prolonged period of huge change to the welfare rights environment. Increasingly, families and the advisers working with families will need to understand how Universal Credit is supposed to work, how it has changed since it was first launched, who the winners and losers are, and the lessons to learn from the early implementation of the new system. 

A number of reports from CPAG and others have put forward concerns that Universal Credit’s funding levels, policy design and implementation are introducing a number of risks for families with children which advisers need to understand and help mitigate. CPAG’s #fitforfamilies campaign has highlighted the problems for families of the cuts to work allowances, the six-week wait and the two-child policy. 

Our conference will help you provide the best possible advice and representation for families on or about to go on Universal Credit. 

Hear from speakers about the latest developments in policy, practice and the law and, in the workshops, talk directly to our sector-leading experts on the key Universal Credit issues. 


9.15 - 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 


Keynote Speakers

Cllr Jane Corbett, Cabinet Member, Liverpool City Council

Charley Gibbons, Orbit Housing

Panel Speakers

Daisy-Rose C. Srblin, Gingerbread

Ros White

Emma Cross, Macmillan

Prof. Peter Dwyer and Kate Andersen, University of York

Keynote Speakers

Charley Gibbons, Orbit Housing

Sumi Rabindrakumar, Gingerbread

Panel Speakers

Ros White, CPAG

Emma Cross, Macmillan 

Alan Markey, National Association of Welfare Rights Advisers (NAWRA)



Universal credit - strictly full service 

Martin Williams, Welfare Rights Worker, CPAG

Universal credit full service is rolling out at an increasing rate. Advising claimants or potential claimants in full service areas poses several practical issues for advisers.

We will consider some of these issues:

  • UC Journal- the standard method of interaction with the universal credit system- what issues arise for advisers in accessing the journal? Troubleshooting other issues with the journal.
  • Problems with disclosure of information to advisers.
  • Mandatory reconsideration gatekeeping.
  • DWP misadvising claimants to claim UC.

Universal credit and work capability

Simon Osborne, Welfare Rights Worker, CPAG

With the roll-out of the full service, increasing numbers of new claimants who are too ill to work are required to claim universal credit, as well as those transferring from employment and support allowance.

This workshop looks at some key rules and processes, including:

  • the work capability assessment in the UC system
  • transition from ESA to UC
  • recent and forthcoming changes and case law.

Universal credit and conditionality 

Nizam Ahmed and Dan Norris, Welfare Rights Workers, CPAG 

Universal credit introduces a harsher regime of labour market requirements. Sanctioned claimants may end up subsisting on money intended for payment of rent. This workshop considers some of the problems and potential solutions.

We focus on:

  • The requirement to perform a certain number of hours of jobsearch each week (35 hours default)
  • Work search requirements whilst waiting to be assessed for ‘limited capability for work'
  • Removal of rule based exemptions for those in certain situations (such as carers of young children during the summer holidays where no child care arrangements can be made)

The two-child limit

Ros White, Head of Advice and Rights, CPAG

This workshop will examine the two-child limit in tax credits, universal credit, housing benefit, income support and income-based jobseeker’s allowance. It will cover the detail of how the two-child limit is being implemented, who is affected and the intended exceptions and will also examine potential legal challenges.



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 include a choice of four expert workshops, teas, coffees, buffet lunch and conference materials.

The conference will carry 3 continuing professional development (CPD) hours.

 (Booking has now closed for both of our conferences)


Welfare Rights Conference 2015

Welfare Rights Conference 2015