Westminster Social Policy Forum

We are continuing to organise full-scale virtual conferences which retain all the features of physical seminars, including full programmes, presentations with slides, panel discussions and live delegate questions and comments sessions, person-to-person and group networking, and a permanent record provided to all delegates afterwards. New events are coming on to our conference programme all the time, so there are plenty of opportunities to join us if you haven’t already, from wherever you are.
For booking-related queries or information on speaking please email us at info@forumsupport.co.uk, or call +44 (0)1344 864796.

If you’re already booked on, joining instructions can be accessed from five working days before your conference via the booking dashboard. Need help? You can contact our Delegate Relations team at delegate.relations@forumsupport.co.uk or by calling the above number.

The future of social security - adaptation, restructuring, support for vulnerable people, and tackling unemployment

Morning, Tuesday, 1st February 2022

***Full-scale policy conference taking place online***

This conference is bringing together key policymakers and stakeholders to examine policy options for improving the social security system, addressing the impact of COVID-19, evaluating the rollout of Universal Credit, and reducing unemployment.

We are pleased to be able to include a keynote contribution from Dr Stephen Brien, Chair, Social Security Advisory Committee.

It will be a timely opportunity to consider:

  • policy priorities for the future of the social security system
  • progress towards the target of having all households previously claiming other benefits moved across to Universal Credit by September 2024
  • the impact of the phasing out of the £20-a-week uplift to Universal Credit and increased National Insurance Contributions as part of the Plan for Health and Social Care on poverty in the UK
  • the effectiveness of government schemes such as the Kickstart scheme and the Plan for Jobs in supporting young people and adults back into work as the economy recovers from the impact of the pandemic - and further options for policy and stakeholder action

Overall, sessions in the agenda will bring out latest thinking on:

  • emerging issues for the structure of financial support
  • the impact of COVID-19 on social security
  • priorities for the ongoing rollout of Universal Credit
  • reducing unemployment among young people and enhancing skills development
  • supporting job-seekers into work through the social security system


Our forums are known for attracting strong interest from policymakers and stakeholders. Overall, we expect speakers and attendees to be a senior and informed group including Members of both Houses of Parliament, senior government and regulatory officials involved in this area of policy, as well as from representatives from local authorities, housing associations and supported housing providers; landlords and their associations; banks, credit unions and other lenders; income protection insurance providers; debt collection and recovery companies; charities and rights groups; financial advice providers; religious groups; job search and recruitment agencies; childcare providers and associations; business associations; colleges and other training providers; trade unions and groups representing the self-employed; think tanks; and academics, together with reporters from the national and specialist media.

This is a full-scale conference taking place online***

  • full, four-hour programme including comfort breaks - you’ll also get a full recording and transcript to refer back to
  • information-rich discussion involving key policymakers and stakeholders
  • conference materials provided in advance, including speaker biographies
  • speakers presenting via webcam, accompanied by slides if they wish, using the Cisco WebEx professional online conference platform (easy for delegates - we’ll provide full details)
  • opportunities for live delegate questions and comments with all speakers
  • a recording of the addresses, all slides cleared by speakers, and further materials, is made available to all delegates afterwards as a permanent record of the proceedings
  • delegates are able to add their own written comments and articles following the conference, to be distributed to all attendees and more widely
  • networking too - there will be opportunities for delegates to e-meet and interact - we’ll tell you how!

Full information and guidance on how to take part will be sent to delegates before the conference

Keynote Speaker

Dr Stephen Brien

Chair, Social Security Advisory Committee


Debbie Abrahams MP

Member, Work and Pensions Committee

Nigel Mills MP

Member, Work and Pensions Committee


Angela Harrington

Director of Inclusive Economy, Manchester City Council

Gavin Rice

Head of Work and Welfare Policy Unit, The Centre for Social Justice

Robert Joyce

Deputy Director, Institute for Fiscal Studies

Councillor Mufeedah Bustin

Cabinet Member for Social Inclusion and Public Realm, Tower Hamlets Council

Matthew Oakley

Director, WPI Economics

Alison Garnham

Chief Executive, Child Poverty Action Group