Social Security Advisory Committee - Committee Member

Body: Social Security Advisory Committee
Appointing Department: Department for Work and Pensions
Sector: Charity & Public Sector
Location: Nationwide
Number of Vacancies: 2
Remuneration: The daily fee payable is £256.80
Time Requirements: Members are required to commit to 2-3 days work per month. The flexibility to work more than this on occasion would be helpful


An announcement has been made on the outcome of this appointment.

Kayley Hignell appointed to the Social Security Advisory Committee (SSAC).

Social Security Advisory Committee (SSAC) appointments

Kayley Hignell appointed to the Social Security Advisory Committee (SSAC).

The Minister for Work and Pensions, the Baroness Deborah Stedman-Scott OBE DL, has appointed Kayley Hignell to the Social Security Advisory Committee (SSAC).

Baroness Stedman-Scott said:

“I am delighted to appoint Kayley to the Social Security Advisory Committee. Her expertise and experience will enrich further the advice that the Committee provides to the DWP ministerial team. ”

Liz Sayce, SSAC interim Chair, said:

“Kayley is a very welcome addition to the Committee. She will bring excellent knowledge and insight to our work on a broad range of issues that affect many people in our society who find themselves in vulnerable situations. I look forward to working with her.

Date: 01/06/2020

View Announcement

Campaign Timeline

  • Competition Launched


  • Closed for Applications

    17/05/2019 at 18:00

  • Panel Sift


  • Final Interview Date


  • Announcement

    01/06/2020 at 12:00


Assessment Panel

Vacancy Description


The Social Security Advisory Committee (SSAC) is an independent statutory body, funded by the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP). It is the UK Government’s advisory body on social security matters. In addition to providing advice and assistance to the Secretary of State, it performs mandatory scrutiny of most secondary legislation laid before Parliament that underpin the welfare system. Thus, much of the Department’s policy and service delivery activity, including the welfare reform agenda, comes before the Committee.

In addition to the scrutiny of proposals for secondary legislation, the Committee’s general advisory functions are deployed to:

  • inform the Committee’s work, improving members’ ability to scrutinise regulations and provide independent advice to Ministers;
  • add value to the debate on a topic that is of current interest to Government and stakeholders; and
  • stimulate debate of a specific topic within the Committee and amongst stakeholders.

The Committee responds to the Department’s public consultation exercises where appropriate, and Ministers may also seek views on specific issues. The Committee may also select issues itself which it wishes to research and report upon. The Chair and Committee members meet regularly with Ministers and senior officials to discuss topical issues and also meet front-line staff and customers in the course of their visits to operational sites.

The Committee is independent of Government, the Department and sectional interests. It has a strong track record in offering informed, expert advice. Members come from a variety of backgrounds, but collectively they have a considerable depth of knowledge and expertise in social security policy, law and the wider social policy agenda.


The role of Committee Members

  • Members are expected to:
  • Maintain and continuously develop an understanding of complex social security and welfare reform issues, taking into account Government policies, the financing of the welfare system and the broader economic social context;
  • Fully prepare for all meetings by reading papers in advance and carrying out any other necessary preparatory work;
  • Attend Committee meetings and make an effective personal contribution;
  • Work constructively and collaboratively with the Chair and members of the Committee on all aspects of the Committee’s work; including its independent work programme and broader activities; and
  • Represent the Committee at external events on occasion.



SSAC meets ten times every year at Caxton House, Tothill Street, London, SW1H 9NA. Members also have an opportunity to visit other locations, for example visits to operational sites.


Person Specification


Essential Criteria

Candidates should demonstrate the following skills and experience (essential requirements for all candidates):

  • a strong understanding of the objectives of, current thinking on, and issues affecting the benefit system;
  • a deep understanding of the political and financial context in which the social security system operates and of the Committee’s advisory role;
  • an ability to understand and analyse the details of complex proposals and evaluate and advise objectively on the basis of that analysis;
  • understanding of the impact of social security regulations and implementation on claimants and families;
  • the ability to work effectively as part of a team, and to operate constructively and collaboratively with a diverse range of colleagues;
  • the ability to deal appropriately with confidential material shared with the Committee, and manage potential conflicts of interest (or perceived conflicts of interest) in a responsible manner.

In addition, candidates must also demonstrate one or more of the following areas of experience:

  • Detailed knowledge of social security law: primary legislation, regulations and implications for implementation;
  • Current and detailed insight of issues relating to the benefits system in Scotland, including those aspects that have been devolved to the Scottish Government and able to represent credibly a wide range of communities and stakeholders in Scotland.

Desirable Criteria

  • Expertise in addressing the challenges of effective communication with large and diverse customer groups and/or the media.
  • In-depth knowledge of the experience of different groups of claimants, especially those who may face particular disadvantage.
  • Experience of large scale organisational strategic change



How to Apply


In order for us to progress your application please submit the following completed documentation:

1. A CV (maximum 2-3 pages) with your education and professional qualifications and full employment history.


2. An accompanying Supporting Letter (maximum 2 pages) – this is your opportunity to demonstrate how you meet each of the criteria. You should aim to provide specific examples that demonstrate how your knowledge and experience matches each of the criteria, and which describe what your role was in achieving a specific result. Please ensure your full name, the post for which you are applying and the corresponding reference number for the post are clearly noted at the top of your letter.

Please ensure your full name and the post for which you are applying is clearly stated at the top of your CV and Supporting Letter.


3. Personal Information Form. Most of the information requested is not seen by the panel assessing your application (though the panel will consider any declaration of interests).


4. Diversity Monitoring Form. Collecting and analysing candidate data will help us improve our diversity strategy. It will allow us to run more successful recruitment exercises in the future and ensure that competitions are fair for all. This form is not part of the selection process and will be treated in strictest confidence. It will be kept separate from your application and not be seen by the selection panel.


5. If relevant, please also submit a completed Guaranteed Interview Scheme Form if applying under this scheme.


Reasonable Adjustments

If you have a disability and require reasonable adjustments to enable you to attend for interview, please advise us when you return your application.

Please email your application to:

If you are unable to apply by email you may send your application by post to:

Carmela Keogh, ALB Public Appointments Team, Department for Work and Pensions | Private Pensions and Stewardship | 1st Floor, Caxton House | Tothill Street | SW1H 9NA.

If you have any difficulty in sending your application or need the application pack in an alternative format (e.g. Braille, large print, audio CD, tape or e-text), please contact the ALB Public Appointments Team on 0207 7449 7181 or 020 7449 7437.


SSAC Member Candidate Pack - April 2019 FINAL
SSAC Members PIF
SSAC Members DIV
SSAC Members GIS
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