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Welfare Reform and Pensions Act 1999

The ONE service

An important focus of this section is to facilitate the introduction of the ONE service (see also section 57). ONE will be administered by staff from the Employment Service, the Benefits Agency and local authorities, as well as private or voluntary organisations. In this last case, staff will be contracted to carry out parts of the ONE process.

This section does two main things to facilitate the process:

  • First, it will allow staff from any organisation administering ONE to use and disclose information relating to a person’s claim for any benefit involved.

  • Second, it will allow staff who are administering ONE to use and disclose information about a claimant’s employability.

    For example, it will enable information which is collected at the “registration and orientation” stage of the service – such as information about the client’s previous work experience, skills and educational attainment – to be passed on to the client’s personal adviser, who will conduct the interview and may be from a different organisation.

The use and disclosure of information under this section will be limited to persons who are prescribed in regulations.

It is intended that information which is needed to assess the benefit claim will be passed on to the appropriate agency for processing, and that information about the client’s employability will be passed on to their personal adviser.

In the course of the work-focused interview, the personal adviser may identify a source of help or support that is available to the client, and which would improve his capacity to become more independent.

For example, the client might benefit from help with literacy skills. However, since any action other than participation in the interview will be voluntary, any passing of information beyond this stage will be voluntary too. So if the personal adviser makes a suggestion which the client wishes to take up, he would ask the client to sign a disclaimer, allowing the personal adviser to pass a specific piece of information to that specific specialist provider. There is no provision in this Act for this to take place, since it will happen on a purely voluntary basis.

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Explanatory Notes

Text created by the government department responsible for the subject matter of the Act to explain what the Act sets out to achieve and to make the Act accessible to readers who are not legally qualified. Explanatory Notes were introduced in 1999 and accompany all Public Acts except Appropriation, Consolidated Fund, Finance and Consolidation Acts.

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