Social Security Benefits

Department for Work and Pensions written question – answered on 7th October 2019.

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Photo of Ruth Jones Ruth Jones Labour, Newport West

To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what assessment her Department has made of the effect of (a) sanctions and (b) conditionality on the (i) health and well-being of claimants and (ii) the ability of claimants to enter employment.

Photo of Mims Davies Mims Davies The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Work and Pensions

Evidence from international studies indicates that benefit systems supported by conditionality are effective at moving people into work and that sanctions are a key part of conditionality. Transitions into work typically increase following a sanction.

The Department has committed to doing an evaluation of the effectiveness of Universal Credit sanctions at supporting claimants to search for work in response to the Work and Pensions Select Committee’s report on benefit sanctions. The Department will look to publish this by the end of 2019.

With regards to health and well-being, the Department has not made such assessment. We engage at a personal and individual level with all claimants; Legislation already enables work coaches to tailor conditionality, apply easements, set ‘voluntary’ work-related requirements (therefore, there is no risk of a sanction) or even switch off work-related requirements altogether where it is more appropriate for the individual, in light of their circumstances, including health conditions or disability.

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