Session 2010 - 12
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Welfare Reform Bill


Welfare Reform Bill
Part 1 — Universal credit
Chapter 2 — Claimant responsibilities

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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

this Part or any aspect of such a requirement, or

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(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)   

The amount of an award of universal credit is to be reduced in accordance with

10

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)   

fails for no good reason to comply with a requirement imposed by the

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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

particular vacancy for paid work;

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(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)   

It is a failure sanctionable under this section if by reason of misconduct, or

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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

claim by reference to which the award is made, the claimant—

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(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)   

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

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(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)   

the amount of a reduction under this section;

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(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—

 
 

Welfare Reform Bill
Part 1 — Universal credit
Chapter 2 — Claimant responsibilities

13

 

(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)   

for a reduction under this section made in relation to an award that is

5

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)   

The amount of an award of universal credit is to be reduced in accordance with

10

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)   

fails for no good reason to comply with a requirement under section 23.

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(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)   

the period for which such a reduction has effect.

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(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)   

a fixed period not exceeding 26 weeks which is—

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(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)   

a condition that the failure ceases, or

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(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)   

notified to the claimant in such manner as the Secretary of State may

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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)   

the period between such failures.

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(9)   

Regulations may provide—

(a)   

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

 
 

Welfare Reform Bill
Part 1 — Universal credit
Chapter 2 — Claimant responsibilities

14

 

(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      

Hardship payments

5

(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)   

the claimant is or will be in hardship.

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(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

or will be in hardship;

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(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)   

whether hardship payments are recoverable.

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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

for the purpose (an “authorised person”).

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(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)   

unconditionally or subject to conditions.

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(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

exercising the function to which the authorisation relates.

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(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

case may be) an officer of the Secretary of State.

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(5)   

Subsection (4) does not apply—

 
 

Welfare Reform Bill
Part 1 — Universal credit
Chapter 3 — Supplementary and general

15

 

(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

anything done or omitted to be done by the authorised person (or an

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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

authorised person and the Secretary of State as relates to the exercise of

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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).

Chapter 3

Supplementary and general

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Supplementary and consequential

30      

Supplementary regulation-making powers

Schedule 1 contains supplementary regulation-making powers.

31      

Supplementary and consequential amendments

Schedule 2 contains supplementary and consequential amendments.

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32      

Power to make supplementary and consequential provision etc

(1)   

The appropriate authority may by regulations make such consequential,

supplementary, 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.

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(3)   

The appropriate authority is the Scottish Ministers for provision which would

be within the legislative competence of the Scottish Parliament were it

contained 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

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National Assembly for Wales were it contained in an Act of the

Assembly;

(b)   

provision 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

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secondary legislation (whenever passed or made).

 
 

 
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Revised 29 November 2011