Welfare Reform Bill (HL Bill 75)

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(2) The Secretary of State may, subject to this Part, impose a work-focused
interview requirement on a claimant falling within this section.

(3) The Secretary of State may not impose any other work-related requirement on
a claimant falling within this section (and, where a claimant falls within this
5section, any other work-related requirement previously applying to the
claimant ceases to have effect).

21 Claimants subject to work preparation requirement

(1) A claimant falls within this section if the claimant does not fall within section
19 or 20 and—

(a) 10the claimant has limited capability for work, or

(b) the claimant is of a prescribed description.

(2) The Secretary of State may, subject to this Part, impose a work preparation
requirement on a claimant falling within this section.

(3) The Secretary of State may also, subject to this Part, impose a work-focused
15interview requirement on a claimant falling within this section.

(4) The Secretary of State may not impose any other work-related requirement on
a claimant falling within this section (and, where a claimant falls within this
section, any other work-related requirement previously applying to the
claimant ceases to have effect).

(5) 20Regulations under subsection (1)(b) must prescribe a claimant who is the
responsible carer for a child aged 3 or 4 if the claimant does not fall within
section 20.

22 Claimants subject to all work-related requirements

(1) A claimant not falling within any of sections 19 to 21 falls within this section.

(2) 25The Secretary of State must, except in prescribed circumstances, impose on a
claimant falling within this section—

(a) a work search requirement, and

(b) a work availability requirement.

(3) The Secretary of State may, subject to this Part, impose either or both of the
30following on a claimant falling within this section—

(a) a work-focused interview requirement;

(b) a work preparation requirement.

Work-related requirements: supplementary

23 Connected requirements

(1) 35The Secretary of State may require a claimant to participate in an interview for
any purpose relating to—

(a) the imposition of a work-related requirement on the claimant;

(b) verifying the claimant’s compliance with a work-related requirement;

(c) assisting the claimant to comply with a work-related requirement.

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(2) The Secretary of State may specify how, when and where such an interview is
to take place.

(3) The Secretary of State may, for the purpose of verifying the claimant’s
compliance with a work-related requirement, require a claimant to—

(a) 5provide to the Secretary of State information and evidence specified by
the Secretary of State in a manner so specified;

(b) confirm compliance in a manner so specified.

(4)
The Secretary of State may require a claimant to report to the Secretary of State
any specified changes in their circumstances which are relevant to—

(a) 10the imposition of work-related requirements on the claimant;

(b) the claimant’s compliance with a work-related requirement.

24 Imposition of requirements

(1) Regulations may make provision—

(a) where the Secretary of State may impose a requirement under this Part,
15as to when the requirement must or must not be imposed;

(b) where the Secretary of State may specify any action to be taken in
relation to a requirement under this Part, as to what action must or
must not be specified;

(c) where the Secretary of State may specify any other matter in relation to
20a requirement under this Part, as to what must or must not be specified
in respect of that matter.

(2) Where the Secretary of State may impose a work-focused interview
requirement, or specify a particular action under section 16(1) or 17(1)(b), the
Secretary of State must have regard to such matters as may be prescribed.

(3) 25Where the Secretary of State may impose a requirement under this Part, or
specify any action to be taken in relation to such a requirement, the Secretary
of State may revoke or change what has been imposed or specified.

(4) Notification of a requirement imposed under this Part (or any change to or
revocation of such a requirement) is, if not included in the claimant
30commitment, to be in such manner as the Secretary of State may determine.

(5) Regulations must make provision to secure that, in prescribed circumstances,
where a claimant has recently been a victim of domestic violence—

(a) a requirement imposed on that claimant under this Part ceases to have
effect for a period of 13 weeks, and

(b) 35the Secretary of State may not impose any other requirement under this
Part on that claimant during that period.

(6) For the purposes of subsection (5)—

(a) “domestic violence” has such meaning as may be prescribed;

(b) “victim of domestic violence” means a person on or against whom
40domestic violence is inflicted or threatened (and regulations under
subsection (5) may prescribe circumstances in which a person is to be
treated as being or not being a victim of domestic violence);

(c) a person has recently been a victim of domestic violence if a prescribed
period has not expired since the violence was inflicted or threatened.

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25 Compliance with requirements

Regulations may make provision as to circumstances in which a claimant is to
be treated as having—

(a) complied with or not complied with any requirement imposed under
5this Part or any aspect of such a requirement, or

(b) taken or not taken any particular action specified by the Secretary of
State in relation to such a requirement.

Reduction of benefit

26 Higher-level sanctions

(1) 10The amount of an award of universal credit is to be reduced in accordance with
this section in the event of a failure by a claimant which is sanctionable under
this section.

(2) It is a failure sanctionable under this section if a claimant falling within section
22—

(a) 15fails for no good reason to comply with a requirement imposed by the
Secretary of State under a work preparation requirement to undertake
a work placement of a prescribed description;

(b) fails for no good reason to comply with a requirement imposed by the
Secretary of State under a work search requirement to apply for a
20particular vacancy for paid work;

(c) fails for no good reason to comply with a work availability requirement
by not taking up an offer of paid work;

(d) by reason of misconduct, or voluntarily and for no good reason, ceases
paid work or loses pay.

(3) 25It is a failure sanctionable under this section if by reason of misconduct, or
voluntarily and for no good reason, a claimant falling within section 19 by
virtue of subsection (3) of that section ceases paid work or loses pay so as to
cease to fall within that section and to fall within section 22 instead.

(4) It is a failure sanctionable under this section if, at any time before making the
30claim by reference to which the award is made, the claimant—

(a) for no good reason failed to take up an offer of paid work, or

(b) by reason of misconduct, or voluntarily and for no good reason, ceased
paid work or lost pay,

and at the time the award is made the claimant falls within section 22.

(5) 35For the purposes of subsections (2) to (4) regulations may provide—

(a) for circumstances in which ceasing to work or losing pay is to be treated
as occurring or not occurring by reason of misconduct or voluntarily;

(b) for loss of pay below a prescribed level to be disregarded.

(6) Regulations are to provide for—

(a) 40the amount of a reduction under this section;

(b) the period for which such a reduction has effect, not exceeding three
years in relation to any failure sanctionable under this section.

(7) Regulations under subsection (6)(b) may in particular provide for the period of
a reduction to depend on either or both of the following—

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(a) the number of failures by the claimant sanctionable under this section;

(b) the period between such failures.

(8) Regulations may provide—

(a) for cases in which no reduction is to be made under this section;

(b) 5for a reduction under this section made in relation to an award that is
terminated to be applied to any new award made within a prescribed
period of the termination;

(c) for the termination or suspension of a reduction under this section.

27 Other sanctions

(1) 10The amount of an award of universal credit is to be reduced in accordance with
this section in the event of a failure by a claimant which is sanctionable under
this section.

(2) It is a failure sanctionable under this section if a claimant—

(a) fails for no good reason to comply with a work-related requirement;

(b) 15fails for no good reason to comply with a requirement under section 23.

(3) But a failure by a claimant is not sanctionable under this section if it is also a
failure sanctionable under section 26.

(4) Regulations are to provide for—

(a) the amount of a reduction under this section, and

(b) 20the period for which such a reduction has effect.

(5) Regulations under subsection (4)(b) may provide that a reduction under this
section in relation to any failure is to have effect for—

(a) a period continuing until the claimant meets a compliance condition
specified by the Secretary of State,

(b) 25a fixed period not exceeding 26 weeks which is—

(i) specified in the regulations, or

(ii) determined in any case by the Secretary of State, or

(c) a combination of both.

(6) In subsection (5)(a) “compliance condition” means—

(a) 30a condition that the failure ceases, or

(b) a condition relating to future compliance with a work-related
requirement or a requirement under section 23.

(7) A compliance condition specified under subsection (5)(a) may be—

(a) revoked or varied by the Secretary of State;

(b) 35notified to the claimant in such manner as the Secretary of State may
determine.

(8) A period fixed under subsection (5)(b) may in particular depend on either or
both the following—

(a) the number of failures by the claimant sanctionable under this section;

(b) 40the period between such failures.

(9) Regulations may provide—

(a) for cases in which no reduction is to be made under this section;

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(b) for a reduction under this section made in relation to an award that is
terminated to be applied to any new award made within a prescribed
period of the termination;

(c) for the termination or suspension of a reduction under this section.

28 5Hardship payments

(1) Regulations may make provision for the making of additional payments by
way of universal credit to a claimant (“hardship payments”) where—

(a) the amount of the claimant’s award is reduced under section 26 or 27,
and

(b) 10the claimant is or will be in hardship.

(2) Regulations under this section may in particular make provision as to—

(a) circumstances in which a claimant is to be treated as being or not being
in hardship;

(b) matters to be taken into account in determining whether a claimant is
15or will be in hardship;

(c) requirements or conditions to be met by a claimant in order to receive
hardship payments;

(d) the amount or rate of hardship payments;

(e) the period for which hardship payments may be made;

(f) 20whether hardship payments are recoverable.

Administration

29 Delegation and contracting out

(1) The functions of the Secretary of State under sections 13 to 25 may be exercised
by, or by the employees of, such person as the Secretary of State may authorise
25for the purpose (an “authorised person”).

(2) An authorisation given by virtue of this section may authorise the exercise of a
function—

(a) wholly or to a limited extent;

(b) generally or in particular cases or areas;

(c) 30unconditionally or subject to conditions.

(3)
An authorisation under this section—

(a) may specify its duration;

(b) may be varied or revoked at any time by the Secretary of State;

(c) does not prevent the Secretary of State or another person from
35exercising the function to which the authorisation relates.

(4)
Anything done or omitted to be done by or in relation to an authorised person
(or an employee of that person) in, or in connection with, the exercise or
purported exercise of the function concerned is to be treated for all purposes as
done or omitted to be done by or in relation to the Secretary of State or (as the
40case may be) an officer of the Secretary of State.

(5) Subsection (4) does not apply—

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(a) for the purposes of so much of any contract made between the
authorised person and the Secretary of State as relates to the exercise of
the function, or

(b) for the purposes of any criminal proceedings brought in respect of
5anything done or omitted to be done by the authorised person (or an
employee of that person).

(6) Where—

(a) the authorisation of an authorised person is revoked, and

(b) at the time of the revocation so much of any contract made between the
10authorised person and the Secretary of State as relates to the exercise of
the function is subsisting,

the authorised person is entitled to treat the contract as repudiated by the
Secretary of State (and not as frustrated by reason of the revocation).

30 Regulations: piloting

(1) 15Regulations under sections 13 to 28 may for the purpose in subsection (2) be
made so as to have effect for a period not exceeding three years.

(2) The purpose is that of testing the extent to which the provision made by the
regulations is likely to promote—

(a) people remaining in work, or

(b) 20people obtaining or being able to obtain work (or more work or better-
paid work).

(3) Regulations made by virtue of subsection (1) are referred to in the rest of this
section as a “pilot scheme”.

(4) A pilot scheme may provide that it applies only to—

(a) 25one or more areas;

(b) one or more classes of person;

(c) persons selected—

(i) by reference to prescribed criteria, or

(ii) on a sampling basis.

(5) 30A pilot scheme may make consequential or transitional provision in relation to
its expiry.

(6) A pilot scheme may be replaced by a further pilot scheme making the same or
similar provision.

CHAPTER 3 Supplementary and general

35Supplementary and consequential

31 Supplementary regulation-making powers

Schedule 1 contains supplementary regulation-making powers.

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32 Supplementary and consequential amendments

Schedule 2 contains supplementary and consequential amendments.

33 Power to make supplementary and consequential provision etc

(1) The appropriate authority may by regulations make such consequential,
5supplementary, incidental or transitional provision in relation to any provision
of this Part as the authority considers appropriate.

(2) The appropriate authority is the Secretary of State, subject as follows.

(3) The appropriate authority is the Scottish Ministers for provision which would
be within the legislative competence of the Scottish Parliament were it
10contained in an Act of that Parliament.

(4) The appropriate authority is the Welsh Ministers for—

(a) provision which would be within the legislative competence of the
National Assembly for Wales were it contained in an Act of the
Assembly;

(b) 15provision which could be made by the Welsh Ministers under any other
power conferred on them.

(5) Regulations under this section may amend, repeal or revoke any primary or
secondary legislation (whenever passed or made).

Universal credit and other benefits

34 20Abolition of benefits

(1) The following benefits are abolished—

(a) income-based jobseeker’s allowance under the Jobseekers Act 1995;

(b) income-related employment and support allowance under Part 1 of the
Welfare Reform Act 2007;

(c) 25income support under section 124 of the Social Security Contributions
and Benefits Act 1992;

(d) housing benefit under section 130 of that Act;

(e) council tax benefit under section 131 of that Act;

(f) child tax credit and working tax credit under the Tax Credits Act 2002.

(2) 30In subsection (1)—

(a) “income-based jobseeker’s allowance” has the same meaning as in the
Jobseekers Act 1995;

(b) “income-related employment and support allowance” means an
employment and support allowance entitlement to which is based on
35section 1(2)(b) of the Welfare Reform Act 2007.

(3) Schedule 3 contains consequential amendments.

35 Universal credit and state pension credit

Schedule 4 provides for a housing element of state pension credit in
consequence of the abolition of housing benefit by section 34.

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36 Universal credit and working-age benefits

Schedule 5 makes further provision relating to universal credit, jobseeker’s
allowance and employment and support allowance.

37 Migration to universal credit

5Schedule 6 contains provision about the replacement of benefits by universal
credit.

General

38 Capability for work or work-related activity

(1) For the purposes of this Part a claimant has limited capability for work if—

(a) 10the claimant’s capability for work is limited by their physical or mental
condition, and

(b) the limitation is such that it is not reasonable to require the claimant to
work.

(2) For the purposes of this Part a claimant has limited capability for work-related
15activity if—

(a) the claimant’s capability for work-related activity is limited by their
physical or mental condition, and

(b) the limitation is such that it is not reasonable to require the claimant to
undertake work-related activity.

(3) 20The question whether a claimant has limited capability for work or work-
related activity for the purposes of this Part is to be determined in accordance
with regulations.

(4) Regulations under this section must, subject as follows, provide for
determination of that question on the basis of an assessment (or repeated
25assessments) of the claimant.

(5) Regulations under this section may for the purposes of an assessment—

(a) require a claimant to provide information or evidence (and may require
it to be provided in a prescribed manner or form);

(b) require a claimant to attend and submit to a medical examination at a
30place, date and time determined under the regulations.

(6) Regulations under this section may make provision for a claimant to be treated
as having or not having limited capability for work or work-related activity.

(7) Regulations under subsection (6) may provide for a claimant who fails to
comply with a requirement imposed under subsection (5) without a good
35reason to be treated as not having limited capability for work or work-related
activity.

(8) Regulations under subsection (6) may provide for a claimant to be treated as
having limited capability for work until—

(a) it has been determined whether or not that is the case, or

(b) 40the claimant is under any other provision of regulations under
subsection (6) treated as not having it.

(9)

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Regulations under this section may provide for determination of the question
of whether a claimant has limited capability for work or work-related activity
even where the claimant is for the time being treated under regulations under
subsection (6) as having limited capability for work or work-related activity.

39 5Information

Information supplied under Chapter 2 of this Part or section 38 is to be taken
for all purposes to be information relating to social security.

40 Couples

(1) In this Part “couple” means—

(a) 10a man and woman who are married to each other and are members of
the same household;

(b) a man and woman who are not married to each other but are living
together as husband and wife;

(c) two people of the same sex who are civil partners of each other and are
15members of the same household;

(d) two people of the same sex who are not civil partners of each other but
are living together as civil partners.

(2) For the purposes of this section, two people of the same sex are to be treated as
living together as if they were civil partners if, and only if, they would be
20treated as living together as husband and wife were they of opposite sexes.

(3) For the purposes of this section regulations may prescribe—

(a) circumstances in which the fact that two persons are husband and wife
or are civil partners is to be disregarded;

(b) circumstances in which a man and a woman are to be treated as living
25together as husband and wife;

(c) circumstances in which people are to be treated as being or not being
members of the same household.

41 Interpretation of Part 1

In this Part—

  • 30“assessment period” has the meaning given by section 7(2);

  • “child” means a person under the age of 16;

  • “claim” means claim for universal credit;

  • “claimant” means a single claimant or each of joint claimants;

  • “couple” has the meaning given by section 40;

  • 35“disabled” has such meaning as may be prescribed;

  • “joint claimants” means members of a couple who jointly make a claim or
    in relation to whom an award of universal credit is made;

  • “limited capability for work” and “limited capability for work-related
    activity” are to be construed in accordance with section 38(1) and (2);

  • 40“prescribed” means specified or provided for in regulations;

  • “primary legislation” means an Act, Act of the Scottish Parliament or Act
    or Measure of the National Assembly for Wales;

  • “qualifying young person” has the meaning given in section 10(5);

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  • “regular and substantial caring responsibilities” has such meaning as may
    be prescribed;

  • “responsible carer”, in relation to a child, has the meaning given in section
    19(6);

  • 5“secondary legislation” means an instrument made under primary
    legislation”;

  • “severely disabled” has such meaning as may be prescribed;

  • “single claimant” means a single person who makes a claim for universal
    credit or in relation to whom an award of universal credit is made as a
    10single person;

  • “single person” is to be construed in accordance with section 1(2)(a);

  • “work” has such meaning as may be prescribed;

  • “work availability requirement” has the meaning given by section 18(1);

  • “work preparation requirement” has the meaning given by section 16(1);

  • 15“work search requirement” has the meaning given by section 17(1);

  • “work-focused interview requirement” has the meaning given by section
    15(1);

  • “work-related activity”, in relation to a person, means activity which
    makes it more likely that the person will obtain or remain in work or be
    20able to do so;

  • “work-related requirement” has the meaning given by section 13(2).

Regulations

42 Regulations: general

(1) Regulations under this Part are to be made by the Secretary of State, unless
25otherwise provided.

(2) A power to make regulations under this Part may be exercised—

(a) so as to make different provision for different cases or purposes;

(b) in relation to all or only some of the cases or purposes for which it may
be exercised.

(3) 30Such a power includes—

(a) power to make incidental, supplementary, consequential or
transitional provision or savings;

(b) power to provide for a person to exercise a discretion in dealing with
any matter.

(4) 35Each power conferred by this Part is without prejudice to the others.

(5) Where regulations under this Part provide for an amount, the amount may be
zero.