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UC reg 97(4)-(5) - work search requirement limitation: cannnot understand!


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Tax and Welfare Rights Officer, Equity

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Can anyone help in interpreting what regulation 97(5)(b) UC regs means:-

97(4) Where a claimant has previously carried out work of a particular nature, or at a particular level of remuneration, a work search requirement and a work availability requirement must be limited to work of a similar nature, or level of remuneration, for such period as the Secretary of State considers appropriate, but only if the Secretary of State is satisfied that the claimant will have reasonable prospects of obtaining paid work in spite of such limitation.

(5) The limitation in paragraph (4) is to apply for no more than 3 months beginning with—

(a) the date of claim; or

(b) if later, the date on which the claimant ceases paid work after falling within section 19 of the Act by virtue of regulation 90 (claimants subject to no work-related requirements - the earnings thresholds).

I have looked at section 19 of the Welfare Reform Act 2012 and reg. 90 of the UC regs. 

Does 5(b)  this mean that you have been subject to no work related requirements and been paid more than NMW x however many hours work per week required in your claim, then you can have a limitation imposed again once you cease this paid work?  And is this only allowed if you haven’t already has the initial 3 month limitation from the date of claim? 

Any clarification gratefully received.  I attach all the regs for reference, with some commentary from Sweet & Maxwell which I don’t understand either.

Many thanks in advance,



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Billy Durrant
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The Brunswick Centre, Kirklees & Calderdale

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At a glance I think that this is the same as the JSA Reg which allows you to only have to search for and apply for similar work to you were previously doing at a similar level of pay rather than have to apply for any old job. So if I got made redundant tomorrow and went to sign on I could limit my jobsearch to Welfare Rights jobs paid roughly the same as I am now for 3 months rather than have to apply for shelf stacking jobs at Tesco, etc, if the WC agreed that I would have a realistic chance of getting a WR job paid at the same rate in the local job market.