Session 2010 - 12
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Other Bills before Parliament

Welfare Reform Bill


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

16

 

Universal credit and other benefits

33      

Abolition 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

5

Welfare Reform Act 2007;

(c)   

income 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;

10

(f)   

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

(2)   

In 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

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employment and support allowance entitlement to which is based on

section 1(2)(b) of the Welfare Reform Act 2007.

(3)   

Schedule 3 contains consequential amendments.

34      

Universal credit and state pension credit

Schedule 4 provides for a housing element of state pension credit in

20

consequence of the abolition of housing benefit by section 33.

35      

Universal credit and working-age benefits

Schedule 5 makes further provision relating to universal credit, jobseeker’s

allowance and employment and support allowance.

36      

Migration to universal credit

25

Schedule 6 contains provision about the replacement of benefits by universal

credit.

General

37      

Capability for work or work-related activity

(1)   

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

30

(a)   

the 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

35

activity if—

(a)   

the claimant’s capability for work-related activity is limited by their

physical or mental condition, and

 
 

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

17

 

(b)   

the limitation is such that it is not reasonable to require the claimant to

undertake work-related activity.

(3)   

The 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.

5

(4)   

Regulations under this section must, subject as follows, provide for

determination of that question on the basis of an assessment (or repeated

assessments) 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

10

it to be provided in a prescribed manner or form);

(b)   

require a claimant to attend and submit to a medical examination at a

place, 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.

15

(7)   

Regulations under subsection (6) may provide for a claimant who fails to

comply with a requirement imposed under subsection (5) without a good

reason 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

20

having limited capability for work until—

(a)   

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

(b)   

the claimant is under any other provision of regulations under

subsection (6) treated as not having it.

(9)   

Regulations under this section may provide for determination of the question

25

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.

38      

Information

Information supplied under Chapter 2 of this Part or section 37 is to be taken

30

for all purposes to be information relating to social security.

39      

Couples

(1)   

In this Part “couple” means—

(a)   

a man and woman who are married to each other and are members of

the same household;

35

(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

members of the same household;

(d)   

two people of the same sex who are not civil partners of each other but

40

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

treated as living together as husband and wife were they of opposite sexes.

 
 

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

18

 

(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

together as husband and wife;

5

(c)   

circumstances in which people are to be treated as being or not being

members of the same household.

40      

Interpretation of Part 1

In this Part—

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

10

“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 39;

“disabled” has such meaning as may be prescribed;

15

“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 37(1) and (2);

“prescribed” means specified or provided for in regulations;

20

“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);

“regular and substantial caring responsibilities” has such meaning as may

be prescribed;

25

“responsible carer”, in relation to a child, has the meaning given in section

19(6);

“secondary legislation” means an instrument made under primary

legislation”;

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

30

“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

single person;

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

“work” has such meaning as may be prescribed;

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

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

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

“work-focused interview requirement” has the meaning given by section

15(1);

40

“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;

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

 
 

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

19

 

Regulations

41      

Pilot schemes

(1)   

Any power to make—

(a)   

regulations under this Part,

(b)   

regulations under the Social Security Administration Act 1992 relating

5

to universal credit, or

(c)   

regulations under the Social Security Act 1998 relating to universal

credit,

   

may be exercised so as to make provision for piloting purposes.

(2)   

In subsection (1), “piloting purposes”, in relation to any provision, means the

10

purposes of testing—

(a)   

the extent to which the provision is likely to make universal credit

simpler to understand or to administer,

(b)   

the extent to which the provision is likely to promote—

(i)   

people remaining in work, or

15

(ii)   

people obtaining or being able to obtain work (or more work or

better-paid work), or

(c)   

the extent to which, and how, the provision is likely to affect the

conduct of claimants or other people in any other way.

(3)   

Regulations made by virtue of this section are in the remainder of this section

20

referred to as a “pilot scheme”.

(4)   

A pilot scheme may be limited in its application to—

(a)   

one or more areas;

(b)   

one or more classes of person;

(c)   

persons selected—

25

(i)   

by reference to prescribed criteria, or

(ii)   

on a sampling basis.

(5)   

A pilot scheme may not have effect for a period exceeding three years, but—

(a)   

the Secretary of State may by order made by statutory instrument

provide that the pilot scheme is to continue to have effect after the time

30

when it would otherwise expire for a period not exceeding twelve

months (and may make more than one such order);

(b)   

a pilot scheme may be replaced by a further pilot scheme making the

same or similar provision.

(6)   

A pilot scheme may include consequential or transitional provision in relation

35

to its expiry.

42      

Regulations: general

(1)   

Regulations under this Part are to be made by the Secretary of State, unless

otherwise provided.

(2)   

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

40

(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.

 
 

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

20

 

(3)   

Such 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.

5

(4)   

Each 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.

(6)   

Where regulations under this Part provide for an amount for the purposes of

an award (or a reduction from an award), the amount may be different in

10

relation to different descriptions of person, and in particular may depend on—

(a)   

whether the person is a single person or a member of a couple;

(b)   

the age of the person.

(7)   

Regulations under section 11(4) or 12(3) which provide for the determination

or calculation of an amount may make different provision for different areas.

15

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

under this Part is subject to the negative resolution procedure, subject as

20

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)   

section 4(7) (acceptance of claimant commitment);

25

(b)   

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

(c)   

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

(d)   

section 9(2) and (3) (standard allowance);

(e)   

section 10(3) and (4) (children and young persons element);

(f)   

section 11 (housing costs element);

30

(g)   

section 12 (other needs and circumstances element);

(h)   

section 18(3) and (5) (work availability requirement);

(i)   

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

(j)   

sections 26 and 27 (sanctions);

(k)   

section 28 (hardship payments);

35

(l)   

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

(m)   

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

by virtue of section 41 (pilot schemes), alone or with other regulations, is

40

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

 
 

Welfare Reform Bill
Part 2 — Working-age benefits
Chapter 1 — Jobseeker’s allowance

21

 

(b)   

an 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

5

Parliament;

(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

10

under section 32 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 32 are subject to—

(a)   

the affirmative procedure, if they contain provision amending or

repealing primary legislation, and

15

(b)   

the negative procedure, in any other case.

Part 2

Working-age benefits

Chapter 1

Jobseeker’s allowance

20

Claimant responsibilities for interim period

44      

Claimant 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

25

claimant commitment”.

(3)   

For 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

30

allowance.

(2)   

A 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

35

(d)   

include any other information an employment officer or the

Secretary of State considers it appropriate to include.

(3)   

Information included in a claimant commitment under subsection

(2)(d) may include—

 
 

Welfare Reform Bill
Part 2 — Working-age benefits
Chapter 1 — Jobseeker’s allowance

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(a)   

information in respect of the conditions mentioned in section

1(2)(a) and (c);

(b)   

details of any requirement imposed on the claimant by virtue of

regulations under section 8 or 17A, or under a jobseeker’s

direction;

5

(c)   

details of any consequences of a failure to comply with such a

requirement.

(4)   

A 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

10

with respect to the claimant if he were to act in accordance with, or be

treated as acting in accordance with, the proposed claimant

commitment.

(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

15

State for him to determine—

(a)   

whether, if the claimant were to act in accordance with the

proposed claimant commitment, he would satisfy—

(i)   

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

(ii)   

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

20

(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

included in the proposed claimant commitment under subsection

(3)(a).

25

(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

the reference;

(b)   

may give such directions, with respect to the terms of the

30

proposed claimant commitment, as the Secretary of State

considers appropriate;

(c)   

may direct that, if such conditions as he considers appropriate

are satisfied, the proposed claimant commitment is to be treated

(if accepted) as having been accepted by the claimant on such

35

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

by the Secretary of State in giving a direction under subsection

(7)(c), and

40

(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

section.

45

(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).

 
 

 
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Revised 29 November 2011