DWP crackdown forces Universal Credit claimants to look for more jobs or be sanctioned

News / Thu 27th Jan 2022 at 07:48am

UNIVERSAL Credit claimants will be forced to look for more jobs or have their benefits stopped in a Tory crackdown reports the Daily Mirror.

Hundreds of thousands of people will be told to search for a wider range of work more quickly or face a benefit sanction in a rule change announced today.

Currently claimants can look for jobs in their “preferred sector” for three months before widening their search.

Now this will be slashed to just four weeks after their initial Universal Credit claim.

That could, for example, mean ex-chefs are asked to look for jobs in construction or offices after only a month.

It is part of a new ‘Way to Work’ target to help 500,000 Universal Credit claimants into work by June.

The campaign also includes “more time spent face to face with a Work Coach” – but officials did not say how much.

Work and Pensions Secretary Therese Coffey boasted support from firms including Reed, Balfour Beatty and Whitbread.

She said: “Way to Work is a step change in our offer to claimants and employers, making sure our jobcentre network and excellent work coaches can deliver opportunities, jobs and prosperity to all areas of the country.”

But charities warned the “forceful approach” could “create huge amounts of anxiety and stress” while Labour accused Boris Johnson of launching the move to save his own skin. 

The Prime Minister made a surprise announcement at PMQs yesterday about the “fantastic idea”, saying: “We are launching a plan to get half a million people off welfare and into work.” 

Despite the PM’s boast, it’s thought the plan is only to get 500,000 people into jobs – not off Universal Credit.

Around two-fifths of Universal Credit claimants have a job. They still claim benefits because they have poor wages or work part time.

DWP figures show 1.7million Universal Credit claimants were searching for work in December, of which 179,000 had been on the benefit for less than three months.

Ministers insisted the demand for workers was there, with 1.2 million vacancies – 59% higher than pre-pandemic.

But Stephen Evans, Chief Executive of the Learning and Work Institute, said: “This ‘crackdown’ won’t make a significant impact on those numbers and it’s not where the real challenges lie.

“People who’ve recently lost their jobs are the most likely to find work quickly. To tackle current labour shortages, we need a more ambitious plan for people who have left the labour market, with support increasing the longer someone is out of work.”

Chancellor Rishi Sunak said: “It’s important that everyone has the opportunity and support to find a good job to help them get on in life. That’s why we’re doubling down on our Plan for Jobs with this new campaign to harness the talent of jobseekers and support employers to fill vacancies, find work and create new opportunities.” 

But Shadow Employment Minister Alison McGovern said: “This announcement has more to do with trying to save the Prime Minister’s job than supporting people into work.

“It’s just tinkering at the edges – long-term unemployment is 60% higher than before the pandemic.”

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7 Comments for DWP crackdown forces Universal Credit claimants to look for more jobs or be sanctioned:

2022-01-27 07:55:51

There are plenty of jobs ,even temporary job is better than claiming benefits, for economy and your well-being. Government has to stop giving ppl money for nothing.So there will be enough money for sectors that really needs it.

2022-01-27 08:17:38

Sorry Mari I really don’t agree with you. People have server disability’s which means they can’t work or they have server mental health. So you can’t just look at that everyone should have a job. You don’t know their reasons.

Michael Hatton
2022-01-27 11:01:45

Sir - It's about time that the majority of claimants for U C were shown the front door to hand out's and an overall dislike of the thought and idea of working for their money. As I've mentioned several times before, a friend of our family operates a coffee and accessories business, and cannot find enough people to employ, the reason is that nearly everyone that she has spoken to on the phone, mostly enquire if she will pay cash in hand, because, " if they know that i'm working they'll stop my benefits".

2022-01-27 13:57:59

If parasitical vermin choose not to work of their own volition, if physically able to do so, then they should be placed in labour camps to engage in hard labour. Every parish in the town is full of these layabouts shuffling around dinking strong lager. They appear to want nothing and have what working people work long hours to afford.

2022-01-27 15:21:57

Perhaps you should see how my son works to support his family, Long hours and reasonable pay for the job but living in private rented accommodation is expensive and this is before the energy cap hike in March, I agree that plenty just take but putting them in labour camps. Seriously.

2022-01-28 12:06:04

My brother in law has been living on benefits for over 30 years, receives 100% rent and council tax rebate has a Motability car renewed every 3 years, all paid for by the taxpayer. He claims to be disabled and unable to walk but when offered jobs "cash in hand" all his so called disabilities vanish only to return when he is being interviewed by the DWP.

2022-01-28 12:22:24

Myself and My Children have all worked and never taken one penny from DWP. My son after just leaving college was told that he would have to work for NO PAY in Curry's to be entitled to any DWP.... that was a fair few years ago, but WHY are others not made to do this? Find them a job and tell them to work OR lose their benefits. There are far to many people who ARE ABLE to work, but play the system. Far too many making out they are carers for elderly parents, yet won't even go around and clean or cook for them (I know many of them, I was even asked whether my sister who was recovering from Cancer would like to do the cleaning), yet even during her Cancer treatment, DWP were on her constantly to look for work or lose her benefits!!! The system is crooked and it's about time DWP looked at all applicants and their ACTUAL ABILITY TO WORK

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