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6 November, 2020 Open access

DWP’s conditionality and sanctions policies continue to be tailored ‘in light of the ongoing public health situation’, says Employment Minister

Written parliamentary answer confirms that guidance also takes account of the 'national working environment' and the claimant's health condition in ensuring any requirements are reasonable

The DWP's conditionality and sanctions policies continue to be tailored 'in light of the ongoing public health situation', Employment Minister Mims Davies has said.

Responding yesterday to a written question in parliament on what recent assessment the DWP has made of the potential effect of reintroducing (a) benefits sanctions and (b) welfare conditionality for disabled claimants during the COVID-19 outbreak, Ms Davies said  -

'In response to the COVID-19 outbreak, we are financially supporting an unprecedented number of new and existing benefit claimants and have made a number of changes to the benefits system. At the start we switched off conditionality for all claimants, supporting people during very uncertain times. After 1 July, we began to reintroduce Claimant Commitments. Any work related activity which may be agreed by disabled people as part of this Commitment, continues to be tailored in light of their health condition to ensure it is reasonable.'

However, Ms Davies added that those with more serious medical conditions and disabilities are exempted from any form of conditionality and sanctions, and that -

'Our guidance continues to be tailored in light of the ongoing public health situation, the national working environment and of their health condition to ensure it is reasonable.'

Ms Davies' written answer is available from parliament.uk