The Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) is to be bringing in latest rules which is able to see Universal Credit claimants with no earnings or earnings below the Administration Earnings Threshold (AET) be put within the Intensive Work Search regime. The Administration Earnings Threshold is ready to rise next month from £355 to £494 a month for single claimants. For couples, it’s to extend from £567 to £782.
DWP guidance said: “Since its introduction in 2013, the AET has not kept pace with the increases within the National Living Wage, with the result that the variety of hours needed to work to earn the AET has fallen over time.
“The adjustment will bring the AET back to its original parity with the National Living Wage.”
The Government estimate that the change is to maneuver around 114,000 claimants who’re currently within the Light Touch regime across to the Intensive Work Search regime.
A Government document on the regime read: “For claimants who’re in a position to work, our aim is to encourage them to undertake as much work, and earn as much, as they reasonably can do as quickly as possible.”
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People within the Intensive Work Search regime can have to attend mandatory face-to-face work search reviews at their local job centre.
Claimants can have these meetings either weekly or fortnightly.
These will happen for the primary 13 weeks and may also include individuals with health conditions that don’t affect their ability to work.
Claimants may also have to offer evidence of “work searches” and “work preparation activities” of their reviews.
Claimants is also asked to go to skills assessments, develop a marketing strategy or research childcare costs.
The Government document states that if a claimant fails to satisfy their requirements “without good reason” a sanction will apply.
Work and Pensions Secretary, Therese Coffey recently spoke to the Sunday Telegraph in regards to the tightening of the foundations for profit claimants.
Ms Coffey explained: “When you get a job, in the event you’re working fewer than the equivalent of nine hours every week, we still expect you to be coming in and on the lookout for work.
“We’re going to be raising that, I hope, very soon. We just wish to help people get on into work. In order that’s really necessary.”
Within the interview, she said that the edge could eventually be raised even further, but that may require the employment of more job advisers or work coaches.
She said: “We’re still working through that, I believe there’s a chance to do more. So there’s a choice to be taken and I think we are able to go further than that.”
A key change to the DWP policy in January saw a discount within the time given to jobseekers to seek out a position of their chosen/desired field.
Coming into force in February, claimants have now just 4 weeks to seek out a position in comparison with the three months that that they had before.