Fran Bennett

Associate Fellow at the Department of Social Policy and Intervention


Fran Bennett was a Senior Research and Teaching Fellow in the Department of Social Policy and Intervention and is now an Associate Fellow.

Her research focuses on social security policy, gender issues, and poverty and income distribution. She is also an independent consultant, and has written extensively on social policy issues for the UK government, NGOs and others. She is currently one of the UK independent experts on social protection and social inclusion for the European Commission.

Fran is a Fellow of the Academy of Social Sciences. She is a member of the policy advisory group of the Women's Budget Group (which carries out gender analysis of government Budgets, expenditure and policies).

Before coming into academia, Fran Bennett worked for the Child Poverty Action Group as deputy director and then director, and for Oxfam as policy advisor on UK/EU poverty issues. She maintains links with a number of NGOs, including being an active member of the local group Oxford and District Action on Child Poverty.


  • Welfare reform, benefits, social security policy (largely UK), especially universal credit
  • Women and benefits, women and welfare reform, women and social security policy, gender analysis of social security provision (largely UK)
  • Poverty, child poverty, policy/strategy on poverty (largely UK)
  • In work poverty / living wage
  • Resources within the household

Media experience

Fran Bennett has extensive media experience, across television, national and local radio, and print. Some recent examples listed opposite.


Oral evidence to inquiry into in-work poverty (as member of Women’s Budget Group) to All Party Parliamentary Group on Poverty, reproduced as blog on WBG website (2021).

Participant in ResPublica seminar on Rethinking Social Security (2021)

Blogpost with Marilyn Howard for the Institute for Policy Research (University of Bath), ‘Continuing confusion about Universal Credit and Couples’ (2021)

Speaker in ‘Universal Credit and Couples: policy issues’ webinar (podcast), with response by Neil Couling (then Senior Responsible Owner, Universal Credit, Department for Work and Pensions), 2020

Blogpost on Coronavirus and Universal Credit, initially for IPR, University of Bath and reproduced for DSPI, University of Oxford, (2020)


English, some French