As some of you will know, I sit on the Work and Pensions Select Committee, this Committee examines the expenditure, administration and policy of the Department for Work and Pensions. On the 24th March, we published our fifth report on benefit sanctions policy.
Benefit sanctions involve the suspension of benefit payments for a set period, where claimants fail to meet certain conditions, such as attendance at Jobcentre appointments or participation in mandatory work schemes. The sanctions regimes for both Jobseekers Allowance (JSA) and Employment and Support Allowance (ESA) were strengthened by the Welfare Reform Act 2012.
This report considers ESA sanctions, including whether the current ESA regime is appropriate and proportionate for jobseekers with ill health and disabilities. It also considers whether the JSA and ESA regimes are achieving their policy intentions; the wider impacts on claimants; and possible alternatives.
You can read the report here.