Welfare Reform Bill (HL Bill 75)

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11B Work-focused interview requirement

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

(2) 5A work-focused interview is an interview for prescribed purposes
relating to work or work preparation.

(3) The purposes which may be prescribed under subsection (2) include in
particular that of making it more likely in the opinion of the Secretary
of State that the person will obtain paid work (or more paid work or
10better-paid work).

(4) The Secretary of State may specify how, when and where a work-
focused interview is to take place.

11C Work preparation requirement

(1) In this Part a “work preparation requirement” is a requirement that a
15person take particular action specified by the Secretary of State for the
purpose of making it more likely in the opinion of the Secretary of State
that the person will obtain paid work (or more paid work or better-paid
work).

(2) The Secretary of State may under subsection (1) specify the time to be
20devoted to any particular action.

(3) Action which may be specified under subsection (1) includes in
particular—

(a) attending a skills assessment;

(b) improving personal presentation;

(c) 25participating in training;

(d) participating in an employment programme;

(e) undertaking work experience or a work placement;

(f) developing a business plan;

(g) any action prescribed for the purpose in subsection (1).

(4) 30The action which may be specified under subsection (1) includes taking
part in a work-focused health-related assessment.

(5) In subsection (4) “work-focused health-related assessment” means an
assessment by a health care professional approved by the Secretary of
State which is carried out for the purpose of assessing—

(a) 35the extent to which the person’s capability for work may be
improved by taking steps in relation to their physical or mental
condition, and

(b) such other matters relating to their physical or mental condition
and the likelihood of their obtaining or remaining in work or
40being able to do so as may be prescribed.

(6)
In subsection (5) “health care professional” means—

(a) a registered medical practitioner,

(b) a registered nurse,

(c) an occupational therapist or physiotherapist registered with a
45regulatory body established by an Order in Council under
section 60 of the Health Act 1999, or

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(d) a member of such other profession regulated by a body
mentioned in section 25(3) of the National Health Service
Reform and Health Care Professions Act 2002 as may be
prescribed.

11D 5Persons subject to no work-related requirements

(1) The Secretary of State may not impose any work-related requirement
on a person falling within this section.

(2) A person falls within this section if—

(a) the person has limited capability for work and work-related
10activity,

(b) the person has regular and substantial caring responsibilities
for a severely disabled person,

(c) the person is a single person responsible for a child under the
age of 1,

(d) 15the person is of a prescribed description.

(3) Where a person falls within this section, any work-related requirement
previously applying to the person ceases to have effect.

(4) In this section—

  • “regular and substantial caring responsibilities” has such meaning
    20as may be prescribed;

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

11E Persons subject to work-focused interview requirement only

(1) A person falls within this section if—

(a) the person is a single person responsible for a child who is aged
25at least 1 and is under a prescribed age (which may not be less
than 3), or

(b) the person is of a prescribed description.

(2) The Secretary of State may, subject to this Part, impose a work-focused
interview requirement on a person entitled to an employment and
30support allowance who falls within this section.

(3) The Secretary of State may not impose a work preparation requirement
on a person falling within this section (and, where a person falls within
this section, a work preparation requirement previously applying to
the person ceases to have effect).

11F 35Persons subject to work preparation and work-focused interview
requirement

(1) A person who does not fall within section 11D or 11E falls within this
section.

(2) The Secretary of State may, subject to this Part, impose a work
40preparation requirement or work-focused interview requirement on a
person entitled to an employment and support allowance who falls
within this section.

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11G Connected requirements

(1) The Secretary of State may require a person entitled to an employment
and support allowance to participate in an interview for any purpose
relating to—

(a) 5the imposition of a work-related requirement on the person;

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

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

(2) 10The 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 a person’s
compliance with a work-related requirement, require the person to—

(a) provide to the Secretary of State information and evidence
15specified 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 person to report to the Secretary of
State any specified changes in their circumstances which are relevant
to—

(a) 20the imposition of work-related requirements on the person;

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

11H Imposition of requirements

(1) Regulations may make provision—

(a) where the Secretary of State may impose a requirement under
25this Part, as 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) 30where the Secretary of State may specify any other matter in
relation to a 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 11C(1), the
35Secretary of State must have regard to such matters as may be
prescribed.

(3) Where 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
40specified.

(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 commitment, to be in such manner as the Secretary of State
may determine.

(5) 45Regulations must make provision to secure that, in prescribed
circumstances, where a person has recently been a victim of domestic
violence—

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

(b) the Secretary of State may not impose any other requirement on
that person during that period.

(6) 5For 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 domestic violence is inflicted or threatened (and
regulations under subsection (5) may prescribe circumstances
10in 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.

11I 15Compliance with requirements

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

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

(b) 20taken or not taken any particular action specified by the
Secretary of State in relation to such a requirement.

11J Sanctions

(1) The amount of an award of an employment and support allowance is
to be reduced in accordance with this section in the event of a failure by
25a person which is sanctionable under this section.

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

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

(b) fails for no good reason to comply with a requirement under
30section 11G.

(3) Regulations are to specify—

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

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

(4) Regulations under subsection (3)(b) may provide that a reduction
35under this section in relation to any failure is to have effect for—

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

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

(i) specified in the regulations, or

(ii) 40determined in any case by the Secretary of State, or

(c) a combination of both.

(5) In subsection (4)(a) “compliance condition” means—

(a) a condition that the failure ceases, or

(b) a condition relating to future compliance with a work-related
45requirement or a requirement under section 11G.

(6) A compliance condition specified under subsection (4)(a) may be—

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

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

(7) A period fixed under subsection (4)(b) may in particular depend on
5either or both the following—

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

(b) the period between such failures.

(8) Regulations may provide—

(a) 10for 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;

(c) for the termination or suspension of a reduction under this
15section.

11K Delegation and contracting out

(1) The functions of the Secretary of State under sections 11 to 11I may be
exercised by, or by the employees of, such person as the Secretary of
State may authorise for the purpose (an “authorised person”).

(2) 20An 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) unconditionally or subject to conditions.

(3)
25An 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
exercising the function to which the authorisation relates.

(4)
30Anything 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 case may be) an officer of the Secretary of
35State.

(5) Subsection (4) does not apply—

(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) 40for the purposes of any criminal proceedings brought in respect
of anything 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

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(b) at the time of the revocation so much of any contract made
between the authorised 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
5the Secretary of State (and not as frustrated by reason of the
revocation).

(3) In section 19 (pilot schemes), in subsection (3), for the words from
“ascertaining” to the end there is substituted “testing the extent to which the
provision made by the regulations is likely to promote—

(a) 10people remaining in work, or

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

(4) In section 24 (interpretation), in subsection (1)—

(a) at the appropriate places there is inserted—

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

  • ““single person” means an individual who is not a member of a
    couple (within the meaning of Part 1 of the Welfare Reform Act
    2011);”;

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

  • 20““work-focused interview requirement” has the meaning given by
    section 11B;”;

  • ““work preparation requirement” has the meaning given by
    section 11C;”;

  • ““work-related requirement” has the meaning given by section
    2511;”.

(b) for the definition of “work-related activity” there is substituted—

  • “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 able to do so;.

(5) 30In section 25 (regulations), in subsection (6), for “to 15” there is substituted “to
11J”.

(6) In section 26 (parliamentary control), in subsection (1), after paragraph (a)
there is inserted—

(aa) the first regulations under section 11D(2)(d) or 11J,.

(7) 35In Schedule 2 (supplementary)—

(a) in the heading preceding paragraph 10A, for “cause” there is
substituted “reason”;

(b) before paragraph 10A there is inserted—

10ZA Regulations may for any purpose of this Part provide for—

(a) 40circumstances in which a person is to be treated as
having or not having a good reason for an act or
omission;

(b) matters which are or are not to be taken into account
in determining whether a person has a good reason
45for an act or omission.;

(c) in paragraph 10A (good cause), in sub-paragraph (1)—

(i) for “section 11, 12 or 13” there is substituted “paragraph 10ZA”;

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

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(8) In that Schedule, after paragraph 10A there is inserted—

Responsibility for children

10B Regulations may for any purpose of this Part specify circumstances
in which a person is or is not responsible for a child.

(9) 5In that Schedule, in paragraph 13 (information), for “13” there is substituted
“11K”.

CHAPTER 3 Income support

57 Entitlement of lone parents to income support etc

(1) The Welfare Reform Act 2009 is amended as follows.

(2) 10In section 3(1), in paragraph (b) of subsection (1A) to be inserted into section
124 of the Social Security Contributions and Benefits Act 1992 (lone parents
with a child under 7 to be included in regulations as a category of person
entitled to income support), for “7” there is substituted “5”.

(3) In section 8 (parliamentary procedure for regulations imposing a requirement
15on lone parents with a child under 7 to undertake work-related activity), in the
heading and in subsection (1), for “7” there is substituted “5”.

58 Claimant commitment for income support

(1) The Social Security Contributions and Benefits Act 1992 is amended as follows.

(2) Section 124 (income support) is amended as follows—

(a) 20in subsection (1), after paragraph (e) there is inserted—

(ea) he has accepted a claimant commitment;;

(b) after subsection (1B) there is inserted—

(1C) Regulations may prescribe circumstances in which a person
may be entitled to income support without having accepted a
25claimant commitment.

(3) After section 124 there is inserted—

124A Claimant commitment

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

(2) 30A 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) A claimant commitment is to include—

(a) 35any prescribed information, and

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

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(5) For the purposes of section 124 and this section 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.

(6) Regulations may provide that in prescribed circumstances, a claimant
5is to be treated as having satisfied the condition mentioned in section
124(1)(ea).

(4) In section 2F of the Social Security Administration Act 1992 (directions about
work-related activity), in subsection (3)(b), for the words from “by” to “2E”
there is substituted “in such manner as the Secretary of State thinks fit”.

(5) 10In section 2G of that Act (contracting out), in subsection (1), at the end there is
inserted—

(d) any function under section 124A of the Social Security
Contributions and Benefits Act 1992 in relation to a claimant
commitment.

CHAPTER 4 15Miscellaneous

Claimants dependent on drugs etc

59 Claimants dependent on drugs etc

(1) Section 17C of, and Schedule A1 to, the Jobseekers Act 1995 (persons
dependent on drugs etc: jobseekers allowance) are repealed.

(2) 20Section 15A of, and Schedule 1A to, the Welfare Reform Act 2007 (persons
dependent on drugs etc: employment and support allowance) are repealed.

(3) In the Welfare Reform Act 2009, section 11 and Schedule 3 (which includes
provision for review of the provisions repealed by this section) are repealed.

Entitlement to work

60 25Entitlement to work: jobseeker’s allowance

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

(2) In section 1 (jobseeker’s allowance), in subsection (2), before paragraph (a)
there is inserted—

(za) is entitled to be in employment in the United Kingdom;.

(3) 30In that section, after subsection (3) there is inserted—

(3A) For the purposes of subsection (2)(za), a person is entitled to be in
employment in the United Kingdom if, and only if—

(a) the person does not under the Immigration Act 1971 require
leave to enter or remain in the United Kingdom, or

(b) 35the person has been granted such leave and—

(i) the leave is not invalid,

(ii) the leave has not for any reason ceased to have effect,
and

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(iii) the leave is not subject to a condition preventing the
person from accepting any employment.

(4) In Schedule 1 (supplementary provisions), after paragraph 8 there is inserted—

8ZA Regulations may prescribe circumstances in which a person may be
5entitled to a jobseeker’s allowance without being entitled to be in
employment in the United Kingdom.

61 Entitlement to work: employment and support allowance

(1) The Welfare Reform Act 2007 is amended as follows.

(2) In section 1 (employment and support allowance), in subsection (3), before
10paragraph (a) there is inserted—

(za) is entitled to be in employment in the United Kingdom,.

(3) In that section, after subsection (3) there is inserted—

(3A) For the purposes of subsection (3)(za), a person is entitled to be in
employment in the United Kingdom if, and only if—

(a) 15the person does not under the Immigration Act 1971 require
leave to enter or remain in the United Kingdom, or

(b) the person has been granted such leave and—

(i) the leave is not invalid,

(ii) the leave has not for any reason ceased to have effect,
20and

(iii) the leave is not subject to a condition preventing the
person from accepting any employment.

(4) In Schedule 2 (supplementary provisions), after paragraph 4A (as inserted by
section 53 of this Act) there is inserted—

25Entitlement to work in the United Kingdom

4B Regulations may provide that in prescribed circumstances a person
who is not entitled to be in employment in the United Kingdom may
nevertheless be entitled to an employment and support allowance.

62 Entitlement to work: maternity allowance and statutory payments

(1) 30The Social Security Contributions and Benefits Act 1992 is amended as follows.

(2) In section 35 (state maternity allowance)—

(a) in subsection (1), at the end there is inserted “and

(e) at the commencement of the week referred to in
paragraph (a) above she was entitled to engage in the
35employment referred to in paragraph (b) above.;

(b) in subsection (3), before paragraph (a) there is inserted—

(za) for circumstances in which subsection (1)(e) above does
not apply;.

(3) In section 164 (statutory maternity pay)—

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(a) in subsection (2), after paragraph (a) there is inserted—

(aa) that at the end of the week immediately preceding that
14th week she was entitled to be in that employment;;

(b) in subsection (9), after paragraph (d) there is inserted—

(da) 5provide for circumstances in which subsection (2)(aa)
above does not apply;.

(4) In section 171ZA (ordinary statutory paternity pay: birth)—

(a) in subsection (2), after paragraph (b) there is inserted—

(ba) that at the end of the relevant week he was entitled to be
10in that employment;;

(ba) after subsection (3) there is inserted—