Universal Credit: Disqualification

Department for Work and Pensions written question – answered on 8th February 2019.

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Photo of Stephen Timms Stephen Timms Labour, East Ham

To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, pursuant to the Answer of 4 February 2019 to Question 213887 on Jobseeker's Allowance: Disqualification, whether it is her Department’s policy to sanction claimants of universal credit who decline to accept a job with a zero hours contract; and if she will make a statement.

Photo of Alok Sharma Alok Sharma The Minister of State, Department for Work and Pensions

Zero-hour contracts can provide a pathway to employment for people who don’t want to be committed to working a set number of hours a week, for example those with caring responsibilities. Universal Credit payments adjust to earnings and hours making a zero-hour contracts, part-time or temporary jobs a viable step towards long-term employment.

Universal Credit claimants who are subject to work related requirements can be expected to accept a job with a zero-hours contract if it is considered suitable for their individual circumstances. A claimant may be sanctioned if they fail to do so without good reason.

Sanctions are only used in a small percentage of cases, and that is when people fail to meet their agreed commitments without good reason. When considering whether a sanction is appropriate, a Decision Maker will take all the claimant’s individual circumstances, including any health conditions or disabilities and any evidence of good cause, into account before deciding whether a sanction is warranted.

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