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MPs launch yet another benefit sanctions inquiry

13 April 2018

The Work and Pensions Committee has launched an inquiry into benefit sanctions.

The inquiry will examine how sanctions operate, recent developments, and what the evidence is that they work - either to deter non-compliant behaviour or to help achieve the policy objectives of getting people off benefits and into work. Read more

The Committee invites evidence on any or all of the following questions, from benefit recipients with experience of the system, or experts in the field: 

  1. To what extent is the current sanctions regime achieving its policy objectives?

  2. Is the current evidence base adequate and if not, what further information, data and research are required?

  3. What improvements to sanctions policy could be made to achieve its objectives better?

  4. Could a challenge period and/or a system of warnings for a first sanctionable offence be beneficial? If so, how should they be implemented?

  5. Are levels of discretion afforded to jobcentre staff appropriate?

  6. Are adequate protections in place for vulnerable claimants?

  7. What effects does sanctions policy have on other aspects of the benefits system and public services more widely? Are consequential policy changes required?

  8. To what extent have the recommendations of the Oakley review of Jobseekers’ Allowance sanctions improved the sanctions regime? Are there recommendations that have not been implemented that should be?

The deadline for written submissions is 25 May 2018.

Earlier inquiries

Disability Rights UK submission to National Audit Office study: Benefit Sanctions - June 2016

Disability Rights UK submission to the Work and Pensions Select Committee Inquiry into benefits sanctions policy - October 2014