I noticed that in the draft AEB Funding Rule 19-20 para 151.2 one of the unemployed criteria is “receive Employment and Support Allowance (ESA)” while the ILR Specification is saying “Learner is in receipt of Employment and Support Allowance – Work Related Activity Group (ESA WRAG)”. A little bit confused as to which one to follow. I know it is WRAG in 18-19.
I noticed the same thing so I logged a support call with the ESFA about it, still not had a response from them. In the 18/19 funding guidance it specifically mentioned that learners in receipt of ESA in one of the work related activity groups were classed as ‘unemploye’, in 19/20 it only refers to ESA (not the WRAG part). In the ILR specification doc the benefit status indicator value 2 still refers to ESA WRAG. Also there is no mention of this change to policy in the summary of changes. I would like confirmation from the ESFA that learners are considered ‘unemployed’ if they are in receipt of ESA regardless of whether they are in a work related activity group or not. The same applies to learners who receive Universal credit and where their earnt income from employment is less than £338/£541. In 18/19 this was only where Jobcentre Plus determined the learner as being in one of the work related/preparation/focused groups. Again it does not mention this in the 19/20 guidance and only refers to universal credit and the earnt income part.
There are only two groups for those who receive ESA, WRAG and support, while both are classed as unemployed those in the support group are not required to undertake work related activities.
Do not confuse the requirements of the funding rules and the ILR specifications as these are not intended for the same purpose.
For the AEB learners are considered ‘unemployed’ if they are in receipt of ESA regardless of whether they are in a work related activity group or not.