“The Government’s Social Security Advisory Committee (SSAC), in its 2012 review of conditionality and sanctions in the benefits system, concluded that for conditionality to work it was essential that there was: (1) good communication; (2) personalisation; and (3) fairness.
“The evidence of this survey is that none of these conditions is currently being met.”
Says it all, doesn’t it?

Politics and Insights

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Benefits sanctions are financial penalties that are given to people who are deemed to have not met the conditions for claiming benefits. The social security system has always been based on people meeting certain conditions – this has  been true for all working-age benefit claimants, with sanctions applicable to those who fail to observe those conditions. This has been the case since its inception.

However, the Coalition changed the conditions and increased the application, duration and severity of sanctions that apply to those claiming Job Seekers Allowance (JSA) and extended the application of sanctions to those in the Work Related Activity Group of those claiming Employment and Support Allowance (ESA). Since 2012, benefit payments can be suspended for a minimum of four weeks and for up to three years where a person “fails to take sufficient steps to search for work”, to “prepare themselves for the labour market” or where they…

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