Jobseeker's Allowance and Employment and Support Allowance: Sanctions
A new three tier sanctions regime was introduced and came into force in October 2012 for Jobseeker's Allowance (JSA) and December 2012 for Employment and Support Allowance (ESA) which seeks to broadly align the JSA & ESA sanctions regimes with the model to be introduced under Universal Credit.
For more details see:
Details of the legislation are available at:-
Jobseeker's Allowance Sanctions
- The October 2012 regime features three categories of sanctions to be applied in different situations - "Higher", "Intermediate" & "Lower". It also features an escalating sanction regime - a 1st, 2nd or 3rd offence for each of the categories.
- The revised sanctions regime also introduced changes to the start date of a sanction. Sanctions have previously been applied from the start of the next benefit week after the Decision Maker (DM) made their determination. However, to ensure that claimants see the consequences of their actions/inactions sooner, the revised sanctions legislation will enable DM's to impose sanctions closer to the date of failure. Specifically, the sanction period will begin:
- On the first day of the benefit week in which the failure occurred if the claimant has not been paid JSA for that week; or
- On the first day of the benefit week following the date to which the claimant was last paid JSA.
Prior to October 2012, lower level failures would attract a fixed length sanction of 1, 2, 4,or 26 weeks; intermediate level failures attracted a disallowance for the period they were not available/actively seeking work, but no sanction; whilst higher level failures were given a variable length sanction of between 1 to 26 weeks.
An ad hoc release of the number of Jobseeker's Allowance (JSA) sanctions and disallowances, where a decision has been made, in each month from 1 April 2000 to 21 October 2012 (the last date of the old regulations) by Jobcentre Plus Office and decision is now available at: http://statistics.dwp.gov.uk/asd/index.php?page=adhoc_analysis.
The regime to be followed will be determined by when the sanctionable failure took place. (i.e. all failures after 22 October 2012 would be processed under October 2012 rules).
Further background and commentary on JSA sanctions can be found at: http://statistics.dwp.gov.uk/asd/index.php?page=statistical_summaries, specifically in the latest quarterly Summary document.
Employment and Support Allowance Sanctions
- Under the pre-December 2012 regime, ESA claimants in the Work Related Activity Group (WRAG) who fail to meet requirements are subject to an open ended sanction which is lifted when they re-comply. The sanction amount is 50% of the work related activity component which rises to 100% of the component after four weeks.
- The post-December 2012 scheme changes the approach as follows:
- The sanction has two parts: an open ended period, which will be lifted when the claimant re-engages with requirements, followed by a short fixed period;
- The sanctionable amount will increase to 100% of the prescribed amount for a single claimant; and
- A hardship regime for ESA claimants will be introduced
Coverage: Great Britain
(Similar statistics relating to Northern Ireland are not currently published)
Next release date for Jobseeker's Allowance sanctions: 17 August 2013
Next release date for Employment and Support Allowance sanctions: by August 2013