ERSA and Community links are asking welfare to work providers to fill in a survey designed to examine the effectiveness of conditionality in encouraging people into work.
A new conditionality regime for JSA and ESA claimants was introduced in December 2012 under the Welfare Reform Act, with broad aims of being clearer and tougher on claimants with job seeking requirements.
The Government states that the purpose of conditionality is to make it clearer to claimants what they are expected to do in return for their benefits, and to make people comply with a set regime of job seeking activity outlined in the claimant commitment at Jobcentre Plus, or the action plan on contracted out provision. Both Jobcentre Plus advisers and welfare-to-work advisers have the discretion to use good cause and recommend a Labour Market Decision Maker to revoke the sanction.
This survey is intended to further investigate the issues previously raised by welfare-to-work providers, and to collect evidence about how effectively sanctions and conditionality within the benefit system is currently engaging and moving people into work. The results will be used to support the development of an ERSA briefing on the role of conditionality in contracted out employment support provision.
Community Links will be using the findings to contribute to a short report, authored by a collection of organisations, which will look at a range of issues around sanctions and conditionality (for example: the particular impact of sanctions on certain groups such as young people; the evidence base for different sanctions periods; the importance of training for JCP staff about the claimant commitment). The report will be jointly submitted to employment minister Esther McVey as part of a compilation of evidence.
The survey can be found here. It will close on May 30.
For more information about this work, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.