some default text...

Welfare Reform Bill (HL Bill 75)

Welfare Reform BillPage 20

43 Regulations: procedure

(1) Regulations made under this Part by the Secretary of State or the Welsh
Ministers are to be made by statutory instrument.

(2) A statutory instrument containing regulations made by the Secretary of State
5under this Part is subject to the negative resolution procedure, subject as
follows.

(3) A statutory instrument containing the first regulations made by the Secretary
of State under any of the following, alone or with other regulations, is subject
to the affirmative resolution procedure—

(a) 10section 5(1)(a) and (2)(a) (capital limits);

(b) section 8(3) (income to be deducted in award calculation);

(c) section 9(2) (amount to be included in award calculation for standard
allowance element);

(d) section 10(3) (amount to be included in award calculation for children
15and young persons element);

(e) section 11 (housing costs element);

(f) section 12 (other needs and circumstances element);

(g) section 19(2)(d) (claimants subject to no work-related requirements);

(h) sections 26 and 27 (sanctions);

(i) 20section 28 (hardship payments);

(j) paragraph 4 of Schedule 1 (calculation of capital and income);

(k) paragraph 1(1) of Schedule 6 (migration), where making provision
under paragraphs 4, 5 and 6 of that Schedule.

(4) A statutory instrument containing regulations made by the Secretary of State
25under this Part by virtue of section 30(1) (pilot schemes), alone or with other
regulations, is subject to the affirmative resolution procedure.

(5) A statutory instrument containing regulations made by the Secretary of State
under this Part is subject to the affirmative resolution procedure if—

(a) it also contains regulations under another enactment, and

(b) 30an instrument containing those regulations would apart from this
section be subject to the affirmative resolution procedure.

(6) For the purposes of subsections (2) to (5)—

(a) a statutory instrument subject to the “negative resolution procedure” is
subject to annulment in pursuance of a resolution of either House of
35Parliament;

(b) a statutory instrument subject to the “affirmative resolution procedure”
may not be made unless a draft of the instrument has been laid before,
and approved by resolution of, each House of Parliament.

(7) A statutory instrument containing regulations made by the Welsh Ministers
40under section 33 may not be made unless a draft of the instrument has been laid
before, and approved by resolution of, the National Assembly for Wales.

(8) Regulations made by the Scottish Ministers under section 33 are subject to—

(a) the affirmative procedure, if they contain provision amending or
repealing primary legislation, and

(b) 45the negative procedure, in any other case.

Welfare Reform BillPage 21

Part 2 Working-age benefits

CHAPTER 1 Jobseeker’s allowance

Claimant responsibilities for interim period

44 5Claimant commitment for jobseeker’s allowance

(1) The Jobseekers Act 1995 is amended as follows.

(2) In section 1 (the jobseeker’s allowance), in subsection (2)(b) for “entered into a
jobseeker’s agreement which remains in force” there is substituted “accepted a
claimant commitment”.

(3) 10For section 9 (the jobseeker’s agreement) there is substituted—

9 Claimant commitment

(1) For the purposes of this Act a “claimant commitment” is a record of a
claimant’s responsibilities in relation to an award of a jobseeker’s
allowance.

(2) 15A claimant commitment shall—

(a) be prepared by an employment officer,

(b) be in such form as the Secretary of State thinks fit,

(c) include any prescribed information, and

(d) include any other information an employment officer or the
20Secretary of State considers it appropriate to include.

(3) Information included in a claimant commitment under subsection
(2)(d) may include—

(a) information in respect of the conditions mentioned in section
1(2)(a) and (c);

(b) 25details of any requirement imposed on the claimant by virtue of
regulations under section 8 or 17A, or under a jobseeker’s
direction;

(c) details of any consequences of a failure to comply with such a
requirement.

(4) 30A claimant shall not be invited to accept a claimant commitment by an
employment officer unless, in the opinion of the employment officer,
the conditions mentioned in section 1(2)(a) and (c) would be satisfied
with respect to the claimant if he were to act in accordance with, or be
treated as acting in accordance with, the proposed claimant
35commitment.

(5) The employment officer may, and if asked to do so by the claimant shall
forthwith, refer a proposed claimant commitment to the Secretary of
State for him to determine—

(a) whether, if the claimant were to act in accordance with the
40proposed claimant commitment, he would satisfy—

(i) the condition mentioned in section 1(2)(a), or

Welfare Reform BillPage 22

(ii) the condition mentioned in section 1(2)(c), and

(b) whether it is reasonable to expect the claimant to have to act in
accordance with the proposed claimant commitment.

(6) A reference under subsection (5) may only relate to information
5included in the proposed claimant commitment under subsection
(3)(a).

(7) On a reference under subsection (5) the Secretary of State—

(a) shall, so far as practicable, dispose of it in accordance with this
section before the end of the period of 14 days from the date of
10the reference;

(b) may give such directions, with respect to the terms of the
proposed claimant commitment, as the Secretary of State
considers appropriate;

(c) may direct that, if such conditions as he considers appropriate
15are satisfied, the proposed claimant commitment is to be treated
(if accepted) as having been accepted by the claimant on such
date as may be specified in the direction.

(8) Regulations may provide—

(a) for such matters as may be prescribed to be taken into account
20by the Secretary of State in giving a direction under subsection
(7)(c), and

(b) for such persons as may be prescribed to be notified of—

(i) any determination of the Secretary of State under this
section;

(ii) 25any direction given by the Secretary of State under this
section.

(9) Regulations may provide that, in prescribed circumstances, a claimant
is to be treated as having satisfied the condition mentioned in section
1(2)(b).

(10) 30For the purposes of this Act a claimant accepts a claimant commitment
if, and only if, the claimant accepts the most up-to-date version of it in
such manner as may be prescribed.

(4) For section 10 (variation of jobseeker’s agreement) there is substituted—

10 Variation of claimant commitment

(1) 35A claimant commitment may be varied by an employment officer.

(2) An employment officer shall not vary a claimant commitment unless,
in the opinion of the employment officer, the conditions mentioned in
section 1(2)(a) and (c) would continue to be satisfied with respect to the
claimant if he were to act in accordance with, or be treated as acting in
40accordance with, the varied claimant commitment.

(3) An employment officer shall, before making a relevant variation of a
claimant commitment, notify the claimant of the proposed variation.

(4) For the purposes of this section a “relevant variation” of a claimant
commitment means a variation which relates to information to be
45included in the claimant commitment in respect of the conditions
mentioned in section 1(2)(a) and (c).

Welfare Reform BillPage 23

(5) The employment officer may, and if asked to do so by the claimant in
prescribed circumstances, shall forthwith refer a relevant variation of a
claimant commitment proposed by the employment officer or
requested by the claimant to the Secretary of State to determine—

(a) 5whether, if the claimant were to act in accordance with the
claimant commitment as proposed to be varied, he would
satisfy—

(i) the condition mentioned in section 1(2)(a), or

(ii) the condition mentioned in section 1(2)(c), and

(b) 10in the case of a variation proposed by the employment officer,
whether it is reasonable to expect the claimant to have to act in
accordance with the claimant commitment as proposed to be
varied.

(6) On a reference under subsection (5) the Secretary of State—

(a) 15shall, so far as practicable, dispose of it in accordance with this
section before the end of the period of 14 days from the date of
the reference,

(b) shall give such directions as he considers appropriate as to—

(i) whether the claimant commitment should be varied,
20and

(ii) if so, the terms on which the claimant is to accept the
varied claimant commitment, and

(c) may direct that, if such conditions as he considers appropriate
are satisfied, the claimant commitment, as proposed to be
25varied, is to be treated (if accepted) as having been accepted by
the claimant on such date as may be specified in the direction.

(7) Regulations may provide—

(a) for such matters as may be prescribed to be taken into account
by the Secretary of State in giving a direction under subsection
30(6)(b) or (c), and

(b) for such persons as may be prescribed to be notified of—

(i) any determination of the Secretary of State under this
section;

(ii) any direction given by the Secretary of State under this
35section.

(5) In section 35 (interpretation), in subsection (1), after the definition of
“employment” there is inserted—

  • “employment officer”, for any purpose of this Act, means an
    officer of the Secretary of State or such other person as may be
    40designated for that purpose by an order made by the Secretary
    of State;.

45 Interviews

In section 8 of the Jobseekers Act 1995 (attendance, information and evidence),
in subsections (1)(a) and (1A)(a) for “attend at such place and at such time”
45there is substituted “participate in an interview in such manner, time and
place”.

Welfare Reform BillPage 24

46 Sanctions

(1) For section 19 of the Jobseekers Act 1995 there is substituted—

19 Higher-level sanctions

(1) The amount of an award of a jobseeker’s allowance is to be reduced in
5accordance with this section in the event of a failure by the claimant
which is sanctionable under this section.

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

(a) through misconduct loses employment as an employed earner;

(b) without a good reason voluntarily leaves such employment;

(c) 10without a good reason refuses or fails to apply for, or accept if
offered, a situation in any employment which an employment
officer has informed him is vacant or about to become vacant;

(d) without a good reason neglects to avail himself of a reasonable
opportunity of employment;

(e) 15without a good reason fails to participate in any scheme within
section 17A(1) which is prescribed for the purposes of this
section.

(3) For the purposes of subsection (2)(b), in such circumstances as may be
prescribed, including in particular where a person has been dismissed
20by his employer by reason of redundancy within the meaning of section
139(1) of the Employment Rights Act 1996 after volunteering or
agreeing to be so dismissed, a person who might otherwise be treated
as having left his employment voluntarily is to be treated as not having
left voluntarily.

(4) 25Regulations are to provide for—

(a) the 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.

(5) 30Regulations under subsection (4)(b) may in particular provide for the
period of a reduction to depend on either or both of the following—

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

(b) the period between such failures.

(6) 35Regulations may provide—

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

(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.

(7) 40During any period for which the amount of a joint-claim jobseeker’s
allowance is reduced under this section by virtue of a failure by one of
the claimants which is sanctionable under this section, the allowance is
payable to the other member of the couple.

Welfare Reform BillPage 25

19A Other sanctions

(1) The amount of an award of a jobseeker’s allowance is to be reduced in
accordance with this section in the event of a failure by the claimant
which is sanctionable under this section.

(2) 5It is a failure sanctionable under this section if a claimant—

(a) without a good reason fails to comply with regulations under
section 8(1) or (1A);

(b) without a good reason fails to comply with regulations under
section 17A;

(c) 10without a good reason refuses or fails to carry out a jobseeker’s
direction which was reasonable having regard to his
circumstances;

(d) without a good reason neglects to avail himself of a reasonable
opportunity of a place on a training scheme or employment
15programme;

(e) without a good reason refuses or fails to apply for, or accept if
offered, a place on such a scheme or programme which an
employment officer has informed him is vacant or about to
become vacant;

(f) 20without a good reason gives up a place on such a scheme or
programme or fails to attend such a scheme or programme
having been given a place on it;

(g)
through misconduct loses a place on such a scheme or
programme.

(3) 25But a failure is not sanctionable under this section if it is also
sanctionable under section 19.

(4) Regulations are to provide for—

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

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

(5) 30Regulations 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) a fixed period not exceeding 26 weeks which is—

(i) 35specified 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) a condition that the failure ceases, or

(b) 40a condition relating to—

(i) future compliance with a jobseeker’s direction or any
requirement imposed under section 8(1) or (1A) or 17A
of this Act, or

(ii) future avoidance of the failures referred to in subsection
45(2)(d) to (g).

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

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

Welfare Reform BillPage 26

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

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

(a) 5the number of failures by the claimant sanctionable under this
section;

(b) the period between such failures.

(9) Regulations may provide—

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

(b) 10for 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.

(10) During any period for which the amount of a joint-claim jobseeker’s
allowance is reduced under this section by virtue of a failure by one of
15the claimants which is sanctionable under this section, the allowance is
payable to the other member of the couple.

(11) In this section—

(a) “jobseeker’s direction” means a direction given by an
employment officer (in such manner as he thinks fit) with a
20view to achieving one or both of the following—

(i) assisting the claimant to find employment;

(ii) improving the claimant’s prospects of being employed;

(b) “training scheme” and “employment programme” have such
meaning as may be prescribed.

19B 25Claimants ceasing to be available for employment etc

(1) Regulations may make provision for reduction of the amount of an
award of a jobseeker’s allowance other than a joint-claim jobseeker’s
allowance if the claimant—

(a) was previously entitled to such an allowance or was a member
30of a couple entitled to a joint-claim jobseeker’s allowance, and

(b) ceased to be so entitled by failing to comply with the condition
in section 1(2)(a) or (c) (availability for employment and
actively seeking employment).

(2) Regulations may make provision for reduction of the amount of a joint-
35claim jobseeker’s allowance if one of the claimants—

(a) was previously entitled to a jobseeker’s allowance other than a
joint-claim jobseeker’s allowance, and

(b) ceased to be so entitled by failing to comply with the condition
in section 1(2)(a) or (c).

(3) 40Regulations may make provision for reduction of the amount of an
award of joint-claim jobseeker’s allowance if—

(a) the couple were previously entitled to a joint-claim jobseeker’s
allowance but ceased to be so entitled by either or both of them
failing to comply with the condition in section 1(2)(a) or (c), or

(b) 45either member of the couple was a member of another couple
previously entitled to such an allowance and that couple ceased

Welfare Reform BillPage 27

to be so entitled by that person failing to comply with the
condition in section 1(2)(a) or (c).

(4) Regulations are to provide for—

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

(b) 5the period for which such a reduction has effect.

(5) The period referred to in subsection (4)(b) must not include any period
after the end of the period of 13 weeks beginning with the day on which
the claimant’s previous entitlement ceased.

(6) Regulations under subsection (4)(b) may in particular provide for the
10period of a reduction to depend on either or both of the following—

(a) the number of occasions on which a claimant’s entitlement has
ceased as specified in subsection (1), (2) or (3);

(b) the period between such occasions.

(7) Regulations may provide for a reduction under this section made in
15relation to an award that is terminated to be applied to any new award
made within a prescribed period of the termination.

(8) During any period for which the amount of a joint-claim jobseeker’s
allowance is reduced under this section by virtue of a failure by one of
the claimants to comply with the condition in section 1(2)(a) or (c), the
20allowance is payable to the other member of the couple.

19C Hardship payments

(1) Regulations may make provision for the making of payments
(“hardship payments”) by way of a jobseeker’s allowance to a claimant
where—

(a) 25the amount of the claimant’s award is reduced under sections
19 to 19B, and

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

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

(a) 30circumstances 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 or will be in hardship;

(c) requirements or conditions to be met by a claimant in order to
35receive hardship payments;

(d) the amount or rate of hardship payments;

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

(f) whether hardship payments are recoverable.

(2) In section 37 of that Act (parliamentary control), in subsection (1), before
40paragraph (b) there is inserted—

(ab) the first regulations to be made under sections 19 to 19C;.

(3) In Schedule 1 to that Act—

(a) in the heading preceding paragraph 14B for “or just cause” there is
substituted “reason”;

Welfare Reform BillPage 28

(b) before paragraph 14B there is inserted—

14AA For any purpose of this Act regulations may provide for—

(a) circumstances in which a person is to be treated as
having or not having a good reason for an act or
5omission;

(b) matters which are or are not to be taken into account
in determining whether a person has a good reason
for an act or omission.;

(c)
in paragraph 14B, in sub-paragraph (1)—

(i) 10for “this Act” there is substituted “paragraph 14AA”;

(ii) for “good cause or just cause” there is substituted “a good
reason”.

(4) In Schedule 3 to the Social Security Act 1998 (decisions against which an appeal
lies), in paragraph 3, paragraphs (d) and (da) are repealed.

47 15Procedure for regulation-making powers

In section 37 of the Jobseekers Act 1995 (parliamentary control), in subsection
(1)(c) (regulations subject to affirmative procedure), “6, 7,” is repealed.

48 Consequential amendments

Schedule 7 contains consequential amendments relating to sections 44 to 46.

20Claimant responsibilities after introduction of universal credit

49 Claimant responsibilities for jobseeker’s allowance

(1) The Jobseekers Act 1995 is amended as follows.

(2) In section 1(2) (conditions of entitlement), paragraphs (a) and (c) are repealed.

(3) For sections 6 to 10 (and the italic heading preceding section 6) there is
25substituted—

Work-related requirements
6 Work-related requirements

(1) The following provisions of this Act provide for the Secretary of State
to impose work-related requirements with which claimants must
30comply for the purposes of this Act.

(2) In this Act “work-related requirement” means—

(a) a work-focused interview requirement (see section 6B);

(b) a work preparation requirement (see section 6C);

(c) a work search requirement (see section 6D);

(d) 35a work availability requirement (see section 6E).

6A Claimant commitment

(1) A claimant commitment is a record of a claimant’s responsibilities in
relation to an award of a jobseeker’s allowance.

Welfare Reform BillPage 29

(2) A claimant commitment is to be prepared by the Secretary of State and
may be reviewed and updated as the Secretary of State thinks fit.

(3) A claimant commitment is to be in such form as the Secretary of State
thinks fit.

(4) 5A claimant commitment is to include—

(a) a record of the requirements that the claimant must comply
with under this Act (or such of them as the Secretary of State
considers it appropriate to include),

(b) any prescribed information, and

(c) 10any other information the Secretary of State considers it
appropriate to include.

(5) For the purposes of this Act a claimant accepts a claimant commitment
if, and only if, the claimant accepts the most up-to-date version of it in
such manner as may be prescribed.

6B 15Work-focused interview requirement

(1) In this Act a “work-focused interview requirement” is a requirement
that a claimant participate in one or more work-focused interviews as
specified by the Secretary of State.