New Three Year Sanction For Jobseekers Who Refuse Work

Jobseekers who repeatedly refuse to take up job offers or quit work without good reason face losing their benefit for three years under tougher rules introduced on Monday.

The announcement, to be made by the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP), increases the amount of time by which the jobseeker's allowance can be docked, from a current maximum of six months.

It does not however affect other payments such as housing benefit.

Announcing the rule change employment minister Mark Hoban will say: "Choosing a life on benefits when you're able to work is not an option. These rules send out a clear message to jobseekers. We will offer them the support they need to find work, but in return for receiving benefits they have responsibilities too. People cannot expect to keep their benefits if they do not hold up their end of the bargain."

Under the new rules there will be three levels of sanction. For "low and intermediate level" issues, such as failure to actively look for a job or be available to work, claimants would lose their benefit for one month for the first offence and three months for subsequent events. The higher level of sanction for people who refused a job or left one without good reason would be three months for the first time, six months the second time, and three years subsequently.


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