Welfare Reform Act 2009

Document Number:2009 CHAPTER 24
 
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An Act to amend the law relating to social security; to make provision enabling disabled people to be given greater control over the way in which certain public services are provided for them; to amend the law relating to child support; to make provision about the registration of births; and for connected purposes.

[12 th November 2009]

Be it enacted by the Queen’s most Excellent Majesty, by and with the advice and consent of the Lords Spiritual and Temporal, and Commons, in this present Parliament assembled, and by the authority of the same, as follows:—

Part 1 Social security

“Work for your benefit” schemes etc.

1 Schemes for assisting persons to obtain employment: “work for your benefit” schemes etc.

(1) The Jobseekers Act 1995 (c. 18) is amended as follows.

(2) After section 17 insert—

““Work for your benefit” schemes etc.

17 ASchemes for assisting persons to obtain employment: “work for your benefit” schemes etc.

(1) Regulations may make provision for or in connection with imposing on claimants in prescribed circumstances a requirement to participate in schemes of any prescribed description that are designed to assist them to obtain employment.

(2) Regulations under this section may, in particular, require participants to undertake work, or work-related activity, during any prescribed period with a view to improving their prospects of obtaining employment.

(3) In subsection (2) “work-related activity”, in relation to any person, means activity which makes it more likely that the person will obtain or remain in work or be able to do so.

(4) Regulations under this section may not require a person to participate in a scheme unless the person would (apart from the regulations) be required to meet the jobseeking conditions.

(5) Regulations under this section may, in particular, make provision—

(a) for notifying participants of the requirement to participate in a scheme within subsection (1);

(b) for securing that participants are not required to meet the jobseeking conditions or are not required to meet such of those conditions as are specified in the regulations;

(c) for suspending any jobseeker’s agreement to which a person is a party for any period during which the person is a participant;

(d) for securing that the appropriate consequence follows if a participant has failed to comply with the regulations and it is not shown, within a prescribed period, that the participant had good cause for the failure;

(e) prescribing matters which are, or are not, to be taken into account in determining whether a participant has good cause for any failure to comply with the regulations;

(f) prescribing circumstances in which a participant is, or is not, to be regarded as having good cause for any failure to comply with the regulations.

(6) In the case of a jobseeker’s allowance other than a joint-claim jobseeker’s allowance, the appropriate consequence for the purposes of subsection (5)(d) is that the allowance is not payable for such period (of at least one week but not more than 26 weeks) as may be prescribed.

(7) In the case of a joint-claim jobseeker’s allowance, the appropriate consequence for the purposes of subsection (5)(d) is that the participant is to be treated as subject to sanctions for the purposes of section 20 A for such period (of at least one week but not more than 26 weeks) as may be prescribed.

(8) Regulations under this section may make provision for an income-based jobseeker’s allowance to be payable in prescribed circumstances even though other provision made by the regulations would prevent payment of it.

This subsection does not apply in the case of a joint-claim jobseeker’s allowance (corresponding provision for which is made by section 20 B(4)).

(9) The provision that may be made by the regulations by virtue of subsection (8) includes, in particular, provision for the allowance to be—

(a) payable only if prescribed requirements as to the provision of information are complied with;

(b) payable at a prescribed rate;

(c) payable for a prescribed period (which may differ from any period mentioned in subsection (6)).

(10) In this section—

“claimant”, in relation to a joint-claim couple claiming a joint-claim jobseeker’s allowance, means either or both of the members of the couple;

“the jobseeking conditions” means the conditions set out in section 1(2)(a) to (c);

“participant”, in relation to any time, means any person who is required at that time to participate in a scheme within subsection (1).

17 BSection 17 A: supplemental

(1) For the purposes of, or in connection with, any scheme within section 17 A(1) the Secretary of State may—

(a) make arrangements (whether or not with other persons) for the provision of facilities;

(b) provide support (by whatever means) for arrangements made by other persons for the provision of facilities;

(c) make payments (by way of fees, grants, loans or otherwise) to persons undertaking the provision of facilities under arrangements within paragraph (a) or (b);

(d) make payments (by way of grants, loans or otherwise) to persons participating in the scheme;

(e) make payments in respect of incidental expenses.

(2) For the purposes of, or in connection with, any scheme within section 17 A(1)—

(a) the Scottish Ministers, and

(b) the Welsh Ministers,

may make payments (by way of fees, grants, loans or otherwise) to persons (including the Secretary of State) undertaking the provision of facilities under arrangements within subsection (1)(a) or (b) if the following condition is met.

(3) The condition is that the Scottish Ministers or the Welsh Ministers consider that the facilities are capable of supporting the training in Scotland or Wales of persons for employment.

(4) Unless the Scottish Ministers or Welsh Ministers otherwise specify, the payments may be used by the person to whom they are made for the provision of any of the facilities provided under the arrangements.

(5) In subsections (1) to (4) “facilities” includes services, and any reference to the provision of facilities includes the making of payments to persons participating in the scheme.

(6) The power of the Secretary of State to make an order under section 26 of the Employment Act 1988 (status of trainees etc) includes power to make, in relation to—

(a) persons participating in any scheme within section 17 A(1) , and

(b) payments received by them by virtue of subsection (1) above,

provision corresponding to any provision which (by virtue of section 26(1) or (2) of that Act) may be made in relation to persons using such facilities, and to such payments received by them, as are mentioned in section 26(1) of that Act.”

(3) In section 36 (regulations and orders) , after subsection (4) insert—

“(4 A) Without prejudice to the generality of the provisions of this section—

(a) regulations under section 17 A may make different provision for different areas;

(b) regulations under section 17 A may make provision which applies only in relation to an area or areas specified in the regulations.”

(4) In paragraph 3 of Schedule 3 to the Social Security Act 1998 (c. 14) (decisions against which an appeal lies: payability of benefit) , after paragraph (d) insert—

“(da) regulations made under section 17 A of the Jobseekers Act;”.

(5) In section 8(2)(b)(i) of the Social Security Fraud Act 2001 (c. 11) (effect of offence on joint-claim jobseeker’s allowance) , after “is” insert “(or is treated as being)”.

Revised system of working-age benefits

2 Work-related activity: income support claimants and partners of claimants

(1) The Social Security Administration Act 1992 (c. 5) is amended as follows.

(2) After section 2 C insert—

“2 DWork-related activity

(1) Regulations may make provision for or in connection with imposing on a person who—

(a) is entitled to income support, and

(b) is not a lone parent of a child under the age of 3 ,

a requirement to undertake work-related activity in accordance with regulations as a condition of continuing to be entitled to the full amount of income support payable apart from the regulations.

(2) Regulations may make provision for or in connection with imposing on a person (“P”) who—

(a) is under pensionable age, and

(b) is a member of a couple the other member of which (“C”) is entitled to a benefit to which subsection (3) applies at a higher rate referable to P,

a requirement to undertake work-related activity in accordance with regulations as a condition of the benefit continuing to be payable to C at that rate.

(3) The benefits to which this subsection applies are—

(a) income support;

(b) an income-based jobseeker’s allowance other than a joint-claim jobseeker’s allowance; and

(c) an income-related employment and support allowance.

(4) Regulations under this section may, in particular, make provision—

(a) prescribing circumstances in which a person is to be subject to any requirement imposed by the regulations (a “relevant requirement”);

(b) for notifying a person of a relevant requirement;

(c) prescribing the time or times at which a person who is subject to a relevant requirement is required to undertake work-related activity and the amount of work-related activity the person is required at any time to undertake;

(d) prescribing circumstances in which a person who is subject to a relevant requirement is, or is not, to be regarded as undertaking work-related activity;

(e) in a case where C is a member of more than one couple, for determining which of the members of the couples is to be subject to a relevant requirement or requiring each of them to be subject to a relevant requirement;

(f) for securing that the appropriate consequence follows if —

(i) a person who is subject to a relevant requirement has failed to comply with the requirement, and

(ii) it is not shown, within a prescribed period, that the person had good cause for that failure;

(g) prescribing the evidence which a person who is subject to a relevant requirement needs to provide in order to show compliance with the...

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