Jobseekers will have to account more clearly for their efforts to find work and will be given a weekly timetable of tasks to complete, as part of the Claimant Commitment which rolls out nationwide from this autumn.
From October, around 100 jobcentres a month will begin using the Claimant Commitment with new jobseekers, until it is in place across the country.
This new form of Jobseeker’s Agreement will set out more fully a benefit recipient’s responsibilities in order to receive state support. Those who fail to comply with their responsibilities risk losing their benefits.
A personal statement setting out what they will do to prepare for and find work will be based on the discussion between the jobseeker and their adviser. They will renew the commitment on a regular basis.
The new commitment is an important part of the cultural transformation that Universal Credit will bring and will place a strong focus on the responsibilities that claimants must fulfil.
Secretary of State for Work and Pensions Iain Duncan Smith said:
This is about redefining the relationship between benefit claimants and the state. The welfare state will support people when they fall on hard times, but in return they need to meet some contracted responsibilities agreed with a Jobcentre Plus adviser.
For those people on Jobseeker’s Allowance, looking for work should be a full time job. It is fair and reasonable for the taxpayer to expect that claimants should do everything within their power to get into work.
It’s a fair deal people will have to sign up to in return for receiving support from the state. Our reforms are ushering in a new culture of conditionality and the Claimant Commitment lies at the heart of this.
The Claimant Commitment is backed by a strict compliance regime to ensure jobseekers do all they can to have the best chance of finding paid work quickly. Those who fail to comply with their responsibilities risk losing benefit.
Building on the current form of the Jobseeker’s Agreement, the Claimant Commitment sets out more details of the requirements of claimants and information about the consequences of failing to meet these.
The Universal Credit Claimant Commitment has been successfully trialled since April this year – as part of the early running of Universal Credit in the Manchester area.
Universal Credit replaces income-based Jobseeker’s Allowance, income-related Employment and Support Allowance, Income Support, Working Tax Credit, Child Tax Credit and Housing Benefit and it will be rolled out nationally by 2017.
For Jobseeker’s Allowance claimants, Jobcentre Plus advisers and claimants agree a Jobseeker’s Agreement Claimant Commitment, based on their individual circumstances, which will clearly set out the jobseeker’s responsibilities to find work.
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