Research and analysis

Universal Credit: understanding how it influences employment behaviour

This report explores how Universal Credit has influenced employment behaviour, and how it may shape employment behaviour in the future.

Documents

Understanding how Universal Credit influences employment behaviour: findings from qualitative and experimental research with claimants

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Summary: Understanding how Universal Credit influences employment behaviour: findings from qualitative and experimental research with claimants

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Details

Universal Credit aims to:

  • strengthen incentives to enter paid work
  • increase hours or earnings amongst those who are already in work
  • remove barriers to temporary, flexible and part-time work, while also ensuring claimants are not worse off in work
  • encourage a wider range of employment-seeking behaviours to diversify the types of roles considered by claimants

This research sought to deepen the Department for Work and Pensions’ understanding of how far the principal components of Universal Credit were driving behaviour change and had the potential to shape labour market behaviours in the future. The research explored the experiences of the different claimant groups in scope within Universal Credit at the time. This included people with single, couple and family claims.

The findings from this report will be used to improve the delivery and design of Universal Credit by:

  • informing the ongoing design of Universal Credit processes and policy
  • providing insight into improving the service for claimants, employers and other stakeholders
  • providing understanding of performance, allowing for improvements in policy and service development, leading to business transformation
  • providing understanding of awareness of the service, both from claimants and employers

Authors: Nilufer Rahim (NatCen), Jenny Graham (ResearchAbility), Zsolt Kiss (ZK Analytics) and Malen Davies (NatCen).

Published 15 September 2017