The local authority is set to write to the permanent Secretary for the Department for Communities calling for the vital checklist – compiled by The Right to Work: Right to Welfare Group (R2W) – to be rolled out as guidance to all social security decision makers.
Councillor Karen Douglas said: “I’m delighted Ards and North Down has thrown its support behind what is essentially a human rights checklist designed to deliver a right to due process for all those who need the system.
“The People’s Proposals are based on more than three years of action research carried out by people not in work, with those impacted by the changes in social security outside the various social security offices across Belfast, as well as with sick and disabled people in receipt of ESA and DLA/PIP. The research identified that due process and impact assessments were absent in every case.
“Not only is the People’s Proposal approach endorsed by the United Nations, but it’s an essential next step as our current social security decision making is not human rights compliant, with support for the scheme already strong across Northern Ireland – including with the NI Children’s Commissioner and a wide range of advice and community sector organisations.
“In backing this motion, Ards and North Down is taking the next steps in ensuring the most vulnerable in our Borough are treated with respect and dignity, ensuring any changes to social security evidence due process and diligence.”