Chapter J3: Work-related requirementsContents
|J3031:||What a work-focused interview is|
|J3042:||Types of action|
|J3043:||Claimants with limited capability for work|
|J3053:||Expected hours of work|
|J3055:||Exceptions to the expected number of hours of work|
|J3063:||All reasonable action|
|J3075:||claimant's expected hours of work|
|J3076:||Examples of reasonable action|
|J3078:||Any particular action|
|J3080:||Best prospects of obtaining work|
|J3086:||Community orders, community disposals or anti-social behaviour orders|
|J3087:||Skills, qualifications, abilities and limitations|
|J3091:||Action taken in previous weeks|
|J3112:||Willing and able immediately to take up paid work|
|J3128:||Forbidden by law to take paid work|
|J3142:||Treated as having complied with a work availability requirement|
|J3150:||Employed under a contract of service|
|J3163:||Previous paid work|
|J3165:||Physical and mental impairments|
|J3170:||Expected hours of work|
|J3180:||Claimants with no requirements imposed on them: domestic violence|
|J3188:||Victims of domestic violence|
|J3192:||Circumstances in which requirements must not be imposed|
|J3194:||Attending a court or tribunal|
|J3197:||Temporarily absent from GB|
|J3200:||Within six months of a death|
|J3203:||Structured recovery orientated course|
|J3204:||Protection of persons involved in investigations and proceedings|
|J3207:||Engaged in a public duty|
|J3215:||Unfit for work|
Chapter J3: Work-related requirements
J3001 IntroductionDepending on which work-related group a claimant falls into, the Secretary of State
can impose work-related requirements on a claimant (1). ADM Chapter J2 provides
guidance on the work-related groups.
1 WR Act 12, s 13(1) & (3)
J3002If a claimant, without good reason, does not comply with their work-related
requirements then their UC may be reduced (1). ADM Chapters K1 - K9 provide
guidance on the sanctions which may apply to claimants who do not comply with a
1 WR Act 12, s 26 & 27
J3003The work-related requirements are (1) the
1. work-focused interview requirement (see J3030 et seq)
2. work preparation requirement (see J3040 et seq)
3. work search requirement (see J3050 et seq)
4. work availability requirement (see J3110 et seq).
1 WR Act 12, s 13(2)
J3004A work-related requirement when imposed on a claimant can be subject to change
and can be revoked. The Secretary of State has the power to change or revoke what
has been specified or imposed on a claimant (1).
1 WR Act 12, s 24(3)
J3005The claimant has to be aware of any work-related requirement that has been
imposed on them. Where a claimant is subject to a work-related requirement then
this should be recorded on the claimant's claimant commitment. If not, it should be
notified to the claimant in a manner that the Secretary of State sees fit. This includes
where a work-related requirement has been changed or revoked (1).
1 WR Act 12, s 24(4)
J3006A claimant may be subject to one or more work-related requirements across all four
categories. It depends on which work-related group the claimant is in. The work-
related groups are
1. no work-related requirements
2. work-focused interview requirement only
3. work preparation requirement and work-focused interview
4. all work-related requirements.
See ADM Chapter J2 for guidance on the work-related groups and to whom they
1 WR Act 12, s 13(3)
J3007Any reference in this guidance to obtaining paid work includes (1)
1. more paid work or
2. better paid work.
Work includes self-employment.
1 UC Regs, reg 87
J3020 GeneralThe Secretary of State can require (1) that a claimant participate in an interview for any
purpose relating to any or all of
1. the imposition of a work-related requirement on a claimant
2. verifying the claimant's compliance with a work-related requirement
3. helping the claimant to comply with a work-related requirement.
1 WR Act 12, s 23(1)
J3021The Secretary of State may specify (1)
1. how and
2. when and
the interview should take place. This applies to claimants where interviews form part
of their conditionality regime.
1 WR Act 12, s 23(2)
J3022Failure by the claimant to participate without good reason in the interview may
result in a sanction (1).
1 WR Act 12, s 27(2)(b)
J3023In order to verify that the claimant has complied with a work-related requirement, the
Secretary of State can require (1) a claimant to
1. provide information and evidence as specified and
2. confirm compliance as specified.
ADM Chapters K1 - K9 provide guidance on the sanctions which may apply to
claimants who do not comply with a work-related requirement.
1 WR Act 12, s 23(3)
ExampleGillian is in receipt of UC and she is subject to all work-related requirements. As part
of her work-search requirement, she was asked to draw up an up to date CV. This
action was recorded on Gillian's claimant commitment. Gillian's adviser at the
Jobcentre arranges an interview for Gillian to attend to discuss her work search and
to bring with her the up-dated CV. The adviser asks Gillian to bring the up to date CV
with her to the interview so that compliance with that work-related requirement can
J3028A claimant can be required (1) to report to the Secretary of State any specified changes
in their circumstances which are relevant to either or both of the
1. imposition of work-related requirements on them
2. claimant's compliance with a work-related requirement.
1 WR Act 12, s 23(4)
J3029The work-focused interview requirement
J3030 Introduction « J3003The work-focused interview requirement is a requirement that a claimant take part in
one or more work-focused interviews as specified by the Secretary of State (1).
1 WR Act 12, s 15(1)
J3031 What a work-focused interview isA work-focused interview is an interview for the prescribed purposes set out in
J3032which the claimant is required to participate in and which relates to work or
work preparation (1). The Secretary of State may specify
a work-focused interview is to take place (2).
1 WR Act 12, s 15(2); 2 s 15(4)
ExampleChris is in receipt of UC. He is in the work-focused interview requirement group.
Chris is notified by an officer of Jobcentre Plus to attend a work-focused interview on
15.7.13 at 10 a.m. in person at his local Jobcentre Plus office. J3032 The
purposes (1) of a work-focused interview for a claimant are any or all of
1. assessing the claimant's prospects for remaining in or obtaining work
2. assisting or encouraging the claimant to remain in or obtain work
3. identifying activities that the claimant may undertake that will make remaining
in or obtaining work more likely
4.1 training or
4.2 educational or
opportunities that may make the claimant more likely to remain in or obtain
work or be able to do so
5. identifying current or future work opportunities that are relevant to the
claimant's needs and abilities
6. ascertaining whether a claimant is in gainful self-employment or meets the
conditions of the S/E start-up period (see ADM Chapter H4).
1 WR Act 12, s 15(2), 15 (3) & UC Regs, reg 93
ExampleChris attends his work-focused interview at his local Jobcentre Plus office. At the
interview Chris's adviser discusses obtaining the paid work that fits within Chris's
capabilities and circumstances and whether there are any issues which require
addressing in order for Chris to be able to successfully find work. Chris says that he
would like to work in an office environment but has little recent experience of this.
Chris and his adviser discuss the activities that will make it more likely that Chris will
be successful in obtaining paid work. These include a programme of work
experience and also a basic IT course.
J3033The activities discussed in a work-focused interview are activities that will make it
more likely that the claimant will obtain
1. paid work or
2. more paid work or
3. better-paid work.
The activities may be actions to be taken by the claimant immediately or in the
Note: Paid work includes self-employment.
J3034Examples of such activities include
1. employment programmes
2. work experience
3. voluntary work
4. gaining relevant qualifications.
[J3035-J3039]The work preparation requirement
purpose of making it more likely that the claimant will obtain
1. paid work or
2. more paid work or
3. better paid work (1).
This is known as the work preparation requirement.
Note: It is the Secretary of State's opinion that matters as to whether the particular
action will enable the claimant to obtain 1., 2. or 3..
1 WR Act 12, s 16(1)
J3041The amount of time that has to be spent on any particular action can be specified by
the Secretary of State (1). See J3053 et seq and J3065.
1 WR Act 12, s 16(2)
J3042 Types of action « J3098The kinds of action which may be specified by the Secretary of State include (1)
1. attending a skills assessment
2. improving personal presentation
3. taking part in training
4. taking part in an employment programme
work experience or
a work placement
6. developing a business plan
7. any other prescribed action.
Note: The MWA scheme is prescribed as a work placement for and 7. and 5.22
1 WR Act 12, s 16(3); 2 UC Regs, reg 114(1)
Joan works for a few hours a week on a S/E basis as a free-lance web designer and
wishes to make this work her main employment. At the moment, the work is ad-hoc.
For the purposes of UC, she has not been determined to be gainfully S/E (see ADM
Chapter H4 for guidance on gainful self-employment). Joan's adviser at the
Jobcentre advises that in order to have a better chance of getting more of this work,
Joan should develop a business plan setting out who she sees as her potential
clients, how these clients should be approached, how her work can be marketed and
how her resources should be best employed. This is Joan's work preparation
requirement and is recorded on her claimant commitment. If Joan doesn't develop
this business plan within timescales agreed with her adviser then her UC could be
Norman has claimed UC following his release from prison. His employment history is
made up mainly of temporary jobs and casual work. Upon making his claim for UC, it
was agreed with his adviser at the Jobcentre that Norman undertake a skills
assessment in order to clarify what work Norman would be best placed to look for.
This is part of a work preparation requirement and is recorded on Norman's claimant
Diane is homeless and has been sleeping rough for the last week. Diane's adviser
has decided to temporarily lift the requirement to comply with her work availability
and work search requirement. Having reviewed Diane's circumstances, her adviser
also concludes that the fact Diane has no fixed address is making it difficult for her
to find paid work. In order to improve her chances of finding paid work, Diane's
adviser at the Jobcentre advises her that she should register with the LA on the
housing waiting list. This is Diane's work preparation requirement and is recorded on
her claimant commitment.
J3043 Claimants with limited capability for workWhere a claimant has LCW, a work preparation requirement can include taking part
in a WFHRA (1).
1 WR Act 12, s 16(4)
J3044A WFHRA is an assessment carried out by a HCP approved by the Secretary of
State for the purpose of assessing
1. the extent to which the claimant's capability for work can be improved by
taking steps with regard to their
1.1 physical or
mental condition and
2. any other matters with regard to their
2.1 physical or
condition and the likelihood of obtaining or remaining in work or being able to
do so as may be specified in regulations (1).
Note: Nothing has yet been specified in regulations under 2.
1 WR Act 12, s 16(5)
J3045A HCP means (1)
1. a registered medical practitioner or
2. a registered nurse or
3.1 occupational therapist or
registered with a regulatory body established under relevant legislation (2) or
4. a member of such other profession registered with a body established under
relevant legislation (3) as may be specified in regulations.
1 WR Act 12, s 16(6); 2 Health Act 1999, s 60;
3 National Health Service Reform and Health Care Professions Act 2002, s 25(3)
[J3046-J3049]The work search requirement
1. all reasonable action and
2. any particular action that has been specified by the Secretary of State
to obtain paid work or more paid work or better paid work (1).
Note: Paid work includes self-employment (see ADM Chapter H4).
1 WR Act 12, s 17(1)
J3051The amount of time that a claimant has to spend on any particular action can also be
specified by the Secretary of State (1). See J3053 et seq and J3065.
1 WR Act 12, s 17(2)
J3052When deciding if the work search "all reasonable action" requirement has been met,
DMs should have regard to the
1. time spent by the claimant searching for work and
2. quality of the claimant's work search including the range of actions that they
have taken (for example, contacting employers, registering with employment
agencies, investigating self-employment opportunities etc).
to have regard to the expected number of hours of work per week.
J3054The general rule is that, unless an exception applies, the expected number of hours
of work per week is normally 351.
1 UC Regs, reg 88(1)
ExamplePete is a single unemployed man. He has made a claim for UC and he is subject to
all work-related requirements. Pete's expected hours of work are normally 35 per
week. This is recorded on his claimant commitment. Pete is normally expected to
spend 35 hours per week on his work search.
1. who is a
1.1 relevant carer or
1.2. responsible carer or
1.3. responsible foster parent and
2. where the Secretary of State is satisfied that the claimant has reasonable
prospects of obtaining paid work
are the number of hours that the Secretary of State considers is compatible with
those caring responsibilities (1).
1 UC Regs, reg 88(2)(a)
J3056When considering whether a claimant has reasonable prospects of obtaining paid
work for the hours that meet their caring responsibilities, circumstances which
should be taken into account include
1. the type and number of vacancies within 90 minutes normal travelling distance
of their home
2. their skills, qualifications and experience
3. how long it is since they last worked
4. the job applications that they have made and the outcomes.
J3057Where there are no current vacancies which fit the claimant's caring responsibilities
in their particular locality, it should be considered whether the claimant has done all
that they can (and continue to do so) to give themselves reasonable prospects of
finding work when it is available in their locality.
J3058Where a claimant is a responsible carer for a child aged under the age of 13, the
expected hours of work are the lower number that the Secretary of State considers
is compatible with the child's normal school hours (including the normal time it takes
the child to travel to and from school)1. The claimant does not have to show that they
have reasonable prospects of obtaining paid work.
1 UC Regs, reg 88(2)(b)
ExampleJermaine is the responsible carer for his son who is aged 12 years old. It has been
agreed with Jermaine's adviser at the Jobcentre that Jermaine's expected hours of
work should be 28 hours a week because this fits in with his son's normal school
hours including the time it takes for Jermaine's son to travel to and from school.
J3059Where a claimant is the responsible carer of a child aged 13 or over, the claimant's
work search and work availability requirements can be limited to fit in with those
caring responsibilities. The DM should take into account any mental or physical
impairments of the child (see J3055). The claimant has to show reasonable
prospects of obtaining work notwithstanding those limitations (1).
1 UC Regs, reg 88(2)(a)
J3060The expected hours of work for a claimant who has a
1. physical or
impairment are the lower number of hours that the Secretary of State considers is
reasonable as a result of the impairment (1). The claimant does not have to show that
they have reasonable prospects of obtaining paid work.
1 UC Regs, reg 88(2)(c)
ExampleCarl has claimed UC. He suffers from rheumatoid arthritis which can cause him a
degree of pain and discomfort but he does not have LCW. Carl's adviser considers
the evidence and decides that Carl cannot be expected to work for 35 hours a week
but that it is not unreasonable for him to work for ten hours a week. Carl's expected
number of hours a week for the purposes of UC are therefore ten per week.
J3061A claimant may have their hours of work limited in any way provided the limitations
are reasonable in the light of their physical or mental condition.
ExampleCliff suffers from emphysema. He asks that the type of work that he can do should
1. to avoid working in smoke or fumes
2. regarding the number of hours of work in a week or the number of hours in a
shift due to fatigue/limitations.
This is determined to be reasonable in the light of Cliff's condition.
J3062 « J3170Where it is agreed with the claimant that there are acceptable limitations due to their
physical or mental impairments then they do not have to show they have reasonable
prospects of getting paid work. However, the claimant must show that all the
limitations are reasonable and are directly connected with their physical or mental
J3063 All reasonable actionA claimant who has not taken all reasonable action to obtain paid work has to be
treated as not having complied with a work search requirement (1).
1 UC Regs, reg 95(1)
J3064In order to meet the requirement to take all reasonable action in any week
1. a claimant must
1.1 take action to get paid work for their expected hours of work per week
minus any relevant deductions (1) or
1.2 satisfy the Secretary of State that they have taken all reasonable action
despite the time spent doing this being less than the claimant's
expected hours of work (2) and
2. the claimant's action must be action which gives them the best prospects of
obtaining work (3).
1 UC Regs, reg 95(1)(a)(i); 2 reg 95(1)(a)(ii); 3 reg 95(1)(b)(1) the total of any time agreed by the Secretary of State
for the claimant to
1. carry out in that week
1.1 paid work or
1.2 voluntary work or
1.3 a work preparation requirement or
1.4 voluntary work preparation or
2. deal with
temporary childcare responsibilities or
a domestic emergency or
funeral arrangements or
other temporary circumstances.
Note 1: Voluntary work preparation in 1.4 is action taken by the claimant and
agreed by the Secretary of State for the purpose of making it more likely they will
obtain paid work but which has not been specified by the Secretary of State as part
of a work preparation requirement (2). See also J3074.
2: A relevant deduction should also include the travel time it takes for a
person to travel to and from the place to under 1.1, 1.2, 1.3 and 1.4.
3: See J3070 et seq for guidance on temporary circumstances.
1 UC Regs, reg 95(2); 2 reg 95(4)
Example 1Paul is in receipt of UC and is unemployed. With his adviser, it was agreed that
Paul's expected hours of work a week are 35 and that he would spend 35 hours a
week on his work search requirement. This is recorded on his claimant commitment.
Including travel time, Paul spends five hours a week helping out at his local youth
club on a voluntary basis. This was agreed with his adviser. For the purposes of all
reasonable action in searching for work, Paul's relevant deductions are five hours a
week. This means that Paul should spend 30 hours a week on his work search
requirement taking action that gives him the best prospects of finding paid work.
Example 2Gaynor is in receipt of UC. She has a son who has just started primary school. Prior
to having a child, Gaynor was a trainee hairdresser but finished this work when her
son was born. It has been agreed with Gaynor's adviser at the Jobcentre that
Gaynor's expected hours of work should be 28 hours a week because this fits in with
her son's normal school hours. Gaynor has just started re-training to become a
hairdresser as part of a work preparation requirement. She spends 10 hours a week
on this. This means that Gaynor should normally spend 18 hours a week on her
work search requirement taking action that gives her the best prospects of finding
Jonty's expected hours of work are 35 a week. He has just started working for a few
hours a week on a S/E basis as delivery driver and wishes to make this work his
main employment. At the moment, the work is sporadic. For the purposes of UC,
Jonty has not been determined to be gainfully S/E (see ADM Chapter H4 for
guidance on gainful self-employment). Jonty's adviser at the Jobcentre advises that
in order to have a better chance of getting more of this work, Jonty should develop a
business plan setting out who he sees as his potential clients, how these clients
should be approached and how his work can be advertised. This is Jonty's work
preparation requirement and is recorded on his claimant commitment. It has been
agreed that Jonty should spend five hours a week on the work preparation
requirement. This means that Jonty should normally spend 30 hours a week on his
work search requirement taking action that gives him the best prospects of finding
J3068 Temporary circumstancesAs explained at J3055, in addition to the matters referred to at J3055 2. the
Secretary of State may agree a relevant deduction from the claimant's expected
hours to allow the claimant to deal with "other temporary circumstances"1. A
temporary circumstance is any relevant change affecting the claimant that is likely to
be for a limited period of time only and is a question of fact.
1 UC Regs, reg 95(2)(b)
J3069The regulations do not expand on the meaning of temporary. In the absence of a
statutory definition it will normally be understood to mean for a limited period of time.
What is considered temporary will depend on the circumstances but for the
purposes of a relevant deduction it would be unusual for a temporary circumstance
to last longer than a month.
J3070 « J3065In some cases it will be difficult at the outset to predict how long a situation might be
expected to last. The fact that there may be no end date for the temporary
circumstance does not prevent the change being temporary but it does mean that
the situation be kept under review. It is possible in time for a temporary circumstance
to become a permanent circumstance.
J3071Claimants need to report relevant changes in their circumstances. Where this
happens the claimant's adviser will need to consider with the claimant new work-
related requirements. An updated claimant commitment would also be required to
reflect their new circumstances.
Example 1When Ashraf claimed UC it was agreed with his adviser that his weekly expected
hours of work were 35 and that he would spend 35 hours a week on his work search
requirement. This is recorded on his claimant commitment. Ashraf is to move house
in the week commencing 20 April. Ashraf's adviser agrees that during this week,
Ashraf need only spend 20 hours a week on his work search requirement because
15 hours a week can be a relevant deduction to take account of the time spent
moving house. The act of moving from one house to the other is a temporary
circumstance for Ashraf.
Example 2Susie is in receipt of UC and her weekly expected hours of work are 35. Her
daughter Amelia is at secondary school but has been excluded for a week due to her
bad behaviour. As a result of Amelia's exclusion and other issues associated with it,
Susie has not been able to devote 35 hours a week to her work search and has
spent about 10 hours on this. Susie's adviser agrees that for the week this work
search is sufficient because Amelia's exclusion from school is a temporary
circumstance for Susie.
J3072 « J3098A temporary circumstance, such as sudden homelessness, is not always a one-off
event and the fact that a person has gone from rough sleeping to staying in a hostel
does not mean that their temporary circumstances have come to an end.
J3073 Voluntary workWhere the Secretary of State has agreed that the claimant can carry out voluntary
work in a week then for the purposes of calculating the relevant deduction, the time
agreed cannot exceed 50% of the number of the claimant's number of expected
hours of work (1).
1 UC Regs, reg 95(3)
J3074 « J3065Claimants can do as much voluntary work as they wish but for the purposes of UC,
only 50% of their expected hours of work can be a relevant deduction against their
work search activities for the week.
ExampleCaroline is in receipt of UC. It has been agreed that she should be looking for paid
work of 35 hours a week. Caroline also performs voluntary work at her daughter's
school. The amount of time that will be allowed as a maximum deduction in respect
of the voluntary work cannot exceed 17.5 hours a week even if Caroline performs
voluntary work in excess of 17.5 hours a week.
J3075 Time spent on work search which is less than the claimant's expected hours of workThere will be times where a claimant has spent less time on work search than their
expected hours of work. In such cases, where a claimant has taken all reasonable
action to find paid work, then the work search requirement is satisfied (1). What all
reasonable action will be will depend on the claimant's circumstances.
1 UC Regs, reg 95(1)(a)(ii)
J3076 Examples of reasonable actionActivities such as
1. verbal or written or on-line applications for employment to persons who
1.1 have advertised job vacancies or
1.2 who appear to be able to offer employment and
2. looking for information on job vacancies
2.1 in advertisements or
2.2 from people who have placed advertisements indicating employment is
2.3 from employment agencies and employment businesses or
2.4 from employers
2.5 on-line and
3. registering with an employment agency or employment business and
4. appointing someone else to help the claimant find employment and
5. seeking specialist advice which will help the claimant to get employment,
taking into account the claimant's
5.1 needs and
5.2 mental or physical impairments and
6. drawing up a curriculum vitae and
7. seeking a reference or testimonial from a previous employer and
8. drawing up a list of employers who may be able to offer employment with a
view to seeking information from them on possible job vacancies and
9. seeking information about employers who may be able to offer employment to
the claimant and
10. seeking information on an occupation with a view to getting employment in
are examples of reasonable action to obtain work. The better the quality of the
activity, the more likely that the action that the claimant has taken has provided the
best prospects of obtaining paid work.
ExampleDave is in receipt of UC. His expected number of hours of work are 35 a week. On a
typical day, Dave spends
1. two hours on-line looking through recruitment sites
2. one hour reading the "situations vacant" pages in the press (local papers,
national papers and trade journals)
3. one hour and a half completing a job application and covering letter
4. half an hour reviewing and updating his CV
5. half an hour pursuing further information on suitable advertised vacancies
6. half an hour speaking to friends, family and former colleagues about possible
7. one hour researching the possibility of setting up in business as self-
J3077Where a claimant has done all that could be reasonably be expected of them in
1. applying for all suitable vacancies
2. undertaking all the activities set out in their work search and work preparation plan
3. suitable work search action in addition to 1. and 2.
then this will normally be sufficient even where the time taken was less than the
claimant's expected hours of work.
J3078 Any particular actionThe Secretary of State can specify that the claimant takes particular action as part of
a work search requirement in order for the claimant to get
1. paid work or
2. more paid work or
3. better-paid work (1).
1 WR Act 12, s 17(1)(b)
J3079The types of action that may be specified includes (1)
1. carrying out work searches
2. making job applications
3. creating and maintaining an online profile in connection with finding work
4. registering with an employment agency
5. seeking references
6. any other action as the Secretary of State thinks fit.
1 WR Act 12, s 17(3)
ExampleJonny's previous work experience is in IT. He is searching for further work in this
profession. There are a number of employment agencies which specialise in finding
work for IT professionals but Jonny has not yet approached them. As part of Jonny's
work search requirement, his adviser now specifies that Jonny must register with
these specialist employment agencies.
J3080 Best prospects of obtaining workWhat is the best chance of getting paid work will vary from claimant to claimant.
Claimants must take such action that offers them their best chance of getting
1. paid work or
2. more paid work or
3. better-paid work.
[J3081-J3082]J3083 Claimants are not required to take any action that does not offer them any chance of
getting an offer of paid work. If they do take such action it cannot help them satisfy
the work search requirement.
ExampleZac is in receipt of UC and is subject to all work-related requirements. Zac's
claimant commitment records that he is looking for office work and retail work. He is
a keen video gamer and spends a considerable amount of time playing these games
at home and at friends' houses. Ideally, Zac would like to be a games designer and
says that the time spent playing games is good experience and could help him get
paid work. There is no evidence that Zac has applied for any jobs in that field and
there is no evidence that Zac's time spent playing games has made him more
attractive to any would be employer. The time that Zac spends playing video games
does not help him to satisfy the work search requirement.
J3084The type of work that claimants are or should be looking for is taken into account
when deciding which actions would give them their best chance of getting paid work.
J3085 InterviewsA work search requirement may require a claimant to apply for a particular vacancy.
Failure to participate in an interview in connection with that vacancy means that the
claimant has to be treated as having not complied with a work search requirement (1).
1 UC Regs, reg 94
Example 1Hannah has been required by her adviser to apply for a vacancy at the local nursery.
Hannah applied for the vacancy but when offered an interview, she declined to
attend on the grounds that she had heard from family and friends that the nursery
has a poor reputation. Hannah has not complied with a work search requirement.
Example 2Damon has been required by his adviser to apply for a vacancy as a credit controller.
Damon applied for the post and completed a satisfactory application but was not
short listed for an interview. Damon has complied with a work search requirement.
J3086 Community orders, community disposals or anti-social behaviour ordersIf claimants are subject to
1. community orders or
2. community disposals or
3. anti-social behaviour orders
that require them to be at home during the day, then this should be taken into
account when the work-search requirement is set. Examples of searching for work
from home are reading newspapers, accessing the internet, using the phone and
writing to employers.
J3087 Skills, qualifications, abilities and limitationsClaimants'
1. skills and
2. qualifications and
3. abilities and
may affect the type of action that they can reasonably be expected to take.
1. mental impairments or
2. physical impairments or
3. communication difficulties or
4. learning difficulties
may not be able to cope with the amount or type of job search that could reasonably
be expected of a claimant without these disabilities or difficulties.
J3089Some may not be able to make many personal visits to employers or employment
1. of travelling difficulties or
2. they may need to make travelling arrangements well in advance.
However they should still take whatever action they can reasonably be expected to
take, allowing for their impairments and the facilities available to them.
J3090If claimants are illiterate they cannot reasonably be expected to write to employers or
read advertisements. But they could
1. arrange for someone else to help them search for work, for example by
passing on information about suitable job advertisements and
2. take other action that they can reasonably be expected to take, for example
visiting or telephoning employers' premises or sites.
J3091 Action taken in previous weeksThe action that claimants took in previous weeks to search for work often affect what
they can reasonably be expected to do in the week in question. For example, if
claimants have already written to employers enquiring about vacancies, and they
1. are still awaiting a reply or
2. have been told that no work is available
they cannot reasonably be expected to write to that employer again until a
reasonable time has passed.
1. have already registered with an employment agency or business and
2. they have promised to let them know of any suitable vacancies
it is reasonable for claimants to wait, for a time, for the agency to contact them. But
there will usually be other action that they could reasonably be expected to take.
J3093As vacancies are constantly being filled and new vacancies advertised, it may be
reasonable to expect claimants to
1. continue to make use of Universal Jobmatch
2. visit a local Jobcentre Plus office in the week in question to check whether any
new vacancies have been advertised, even if they visited in previous weeks
3. apply for a vacancy newly advertised by an employer, even if they are waiting
for the result of other applications they have made to that employer.
J3095 Homeless claimantsIf claimants have nowhere to live
1. it may be difficult for them to be contacted by
1.1 employers or
1.2 employment agencies or
1.3 those who may be able to help them find employment
2. they may have to spend much of their time in the week in question looking for
somewhere to live
3. they may not have access to a reliable means of communication (for example,
a telephone or internet access)
4. a lack of washing or laundry facilities may affect personal presentation.
These factors should be taken into account in deciding what it was reasonable to
expect them to do in any week.
J3096Some homeless claimants may be able to arrange for friends or relatives to receive
their mail. But all the facts must be taken into account when deciding whether this is
reasonable in the claimant's case.
J3097Being homeless may limit the action claimants can take. However homeless
claimants may still be able to search for work by
1. reading advertisements and
2. making personal calls on
2.1 employers and
2.2 employment agencies and
3. making use of services in
their local library to apply for jobs and create CVs. The above is not exhaustive.
J3098J3042, J3072 and J3216 also provide guidance on homelessness and work-related
J3100 EvidenceWhere there is a doubt about whether a claimant is meeting their work search
requirement, the case will usually be referred to the DM with
1. a copy of the claimant commitment and
2. details of any other action to seek work that an officer of the Jobcentre Plus
office suggested the claimant take in the week or weeks in question and
3. evidence of what action the claimant took to seek work in those weeks and
4. evidence of what action the claimant took in previous weeks and
5. evidence of any advice about searching for work that the Jobcentre Plus office
had previously given the claimant.
J3101The DM does not have to accept that the action suggested by the Jobcentre Plus
office is the action that the claimant can reasonably be expected to take to give them
their best chance of getting work. For example, the DM may have, or obtain, other
evidence that suggests
1. it was not reasonable to expect the claimant to take the action expected by the
Jobcentre Plus office and that action did not offer the claimant their best
chance of getting work or
2. it would have been reasonable to expect the claimant to take other action
(whether or not the claimant took them) and that they offered the claimant
their best chance of getting work.
In the absence of such evidence, the DM should accept that the actions expected by
the Jobcentre Plus office were reasonable and offered the claimant their best
chance of obtaining work.
J3102Evidence of work search includes
1. evidence from employers, employment agencies or other bodies that the
claimant has contacted
2. the claimant's activity on Universal Jobmatch
3. copies of letters or applications that the claimant has sent to employers on
line, by post or in person
4. the claimant's uncorroborated written evidence (claimants should keep a
record of their job search and other efforts to find work)
5. the claimant's own verbal evidence, recorded by an officer of the Jobcentre
J3103Corroboration of the claimant's evidence is not essential (see ADM Chapter A1).
DMs should note that
1. claimants will not always be able to obtain corroborative evidence if they state
that they have
1.1 "asked around" or
1.2 applied for jobs that are normally advertised and filled by word of mouth
2. employers do not always reply to written enquiries.
J3104If the DM has reason to doubt whether a claimant has contacted certain employers
or agencies those employers or agencies may be asked whether they
1. keep a record of enquiries by job seekers and
2. are able to confirm that a particular person approached them for employment.
But such enquiries should only be necessary if the evidence before the DM is
inconsistent or seems unlikely.
J3105 ProofBefore determining whether the claimant was meeting the work search requirement
in any week the DM
1. must decide what the claimant did in that week to search for work and
2. may also have to decide what they did to search for work in previous weeks.
The onus is on the claimant to show what steps have been taken (1).
1 UC, PIP & WaB (C&P) Regs, reg 38(2) & (3) & WR Act 12, s 23(3)
J3106Determining whether claimants were meeting the work search requirement in any
week requires a comparison between
1. what they in fact did to search for work in that week and
2. what the law required them to do.
J3107Claimants must take the work search actions that give them the best prospects of
securing work; it will not be enough just to spend time looking for a job. They must
be doing so in an effective manner.
[J3108-J3109]The work availability requirement
J3110 Introduction « J3003A work availability requirement is a requirement that a claimant be available for
1 WR Act 12, s 18(1)
J3111To be available for work, a claimant must be
1. able and
immediately to take up paid work or more paid work or better-paid work (1).
1 WR Act 12, s 18(2)
J3112 Willing and able immediately to take up paid workTo be available for employment claimants must
1. be available in an active, positive sense and
2. draw attention to their availability.
Claimants will not be available for paid work if they are passive and merely wait for
someone to find and offer them work (1). See also J3141.
1 R(U) 5/80
J3113In order to demonstrate that they are willing and able immediately to take up paid
work, claimants should
1. be physically able to take up work within the appropriate timescale
2. be contactable (through mail, e-mail or phone) for interviews or work
3. be willing and able to give up any commitments which may interfere with their
ability to start work
4. attend all interviews that have been offered to them
5. consider their appearance and behaviour to ensure this does not reduce their
prospects of finding paid work.
ExampleKarl is in receipt of UC and has a work availability requirement with no limitations. In
order to improve his prospects of finding work as an IT engineer, Karl has enrolled at
his own expense on a training course. He did not discuss this with his adviser at the
Jobcentre. The training course has cost Karl a significant amount of money in fees
and Karl says that he is not prepared to take time off the course or give it up in order
to attend any job interviews that may arise. The DM determines that Karl is not
complying with his work availability requirement.
J3114The DM determines whether the
1. type or
2. types of employment
that the claimant is available for are paid work (1).
1 R(U) 14/51
J3115The DM can decide that claimants are not available for paid work, even if they have
not refused an offer of work (1).
1 R(U) 44/53
J3116Whether claimants are available for paid work depends on their intentions and
attitude towards taking paid work. It should generally be accepted that people are
available for paid work if
1. they say they are available and
2. they do all that is required of them to prove their availability and
3. they give the promises that are normally accepted as proving availability and
4. there is nothing in their statements or actions to suggest they are not
Note: There may be evidence that claimants have taken action to seek paid work.
However they may not be able and willing to start work at once, for example
because they are engaged in some other activity that they are unable or unwilling to
leave (see J3142).
1 R(U) 3/65
J3128 Forbidden by law to take paid workTo be available for paid work a claimant must be able to take up employment in
accordance with the law of the UK (1).
1 R(U) 13/57; R(U) 1/82(T)
Example 1Hassan who does not have a right to live in the UK, is granted a work permit that is
valid for one particular type of employment. He is not allowed to take other
employment without permission of the HO. When his employment ends he claims
UC. Any offer of employment made to Hassan is subject to a work permit being
obtained, from the HO, first. Without obtaining a work permit he is not able to take
employment, at once, in accordance with UK legislation. Hassan is not available for
Example 2Maria from Brazil has a permit to stay in the UK and take up employment. She does
not comply with the conditions of the permit and it is withdrawn. Maria is ordered to
leave the country by a certain date in a deportation order. She is not available for
paid work unless the deportation order is revoked and the permit reinstated.
J3141 Interviews « J3112A claimant has to be treated as having not complied with a work availability
requirement if the claimant is not
1. willing and
immediately to attend an interview in connection with getting paid work (1).
1 UC Regs, reg 96(1)
Example 1Joff is reluctant to immediately attend a job interview that could result in him getting
paid work. He takes the view that he needs to spend time on preparation and
research before attending any interview in order to give himself the best chance of
success. In any case, Joff thinks that he has a decent prospect of a job interview in
about a fortnight's time - he is just waiting for an employer to get back to him - and
he wants to concentrate his efforts on that possible interview. Despite being advised
by the Jobcentre about the requirement to be willing and able to immediately attend
an interview, Joff won't change his mind. The DM determines that Joff does not
comply with a work availability requirement.
Example 2Rory is in receipt of UC. His adviser at the Jobcentre has spotted a vacancy which
Rory would be suitable for. The employer wishes to fill the vacancy as quickly as
possible and can interview applicants straight away. Rory's adviser contacts Rory
about the vacancy and tells him that the employer can see him that afternoon. Rory
says he will not attend the interview because he thinks it's too short notice and in any
case, he was planning on completing an application form for another vacancy that
afternoon. The DM determines that Rory does not comply with a work availability
J3142 Treated as having complied with a work availability requirement « J3116Even though a claimant is not actually able to immediately take up paid work, a
claimant has to be treated as having complied with a work availability requirement
where (1) they are
1. a responsible or relevant carer or
2. engaged in voluntary work or
3. employed under a contract of service.
However certain conditions apply and the following paragraphs provide guidance on
1 UC Regs, reg 96(2)
J3143 CarersWhere the
1. claimant is a
1.1 responsible carer
1.2 relevant carer and
2. Secretary of State is satisfied that as a result the claimant needs
2.1 a period of up to one month to take up paid work or
2.2 up to 48 hours to attend an interview in connection with obtaining paid work
taking into account alternative care arrangements
3. claimant is able and willing to
3.1 take up paid work or
attend an interview
on being given notice for the period in 2.1 or 2.2
then the claimant is to be treated as having complied with a work availability
Note: ADM Chapter J2 provides guidance on the nomination of responsible carer
and responsible foster parent.
1 UC Regs, reg 96(3)
ExampleJules and Jim are in receipt of UC. They have a child aged 14 at secondary school.
For the purposes of their award of UC, Jules has been nominated as the responsible
carer. In order to satisfy her work availability requirement, Jules is not required to be
able and willing to immediately take up work. She must, however, be able and willing
to attend an interview on 48 hours' notice and take up paid work on one month's
notice. If Jules is not able and willing to do this then she does not satisfy the work
availability requirement. Jim is required to be able and willing immediately to take up
J3144A relevant carer means (1)
1. a parent of a child who is not the responsible carer but has caring
responsibilities for the child or
2. a person who has caring responsibilities for a person who has a
2.1 physical or
mental impairment which requires such care. 1 UC Regs, reg 85
ExampleSavvi lives with her mother. Savvi's mother is elderly and is becoming quite forgetful
and frail. She needs Savvi's help occasionally through the day. Savvi usually cooks
her mother's meals and accompanies her if she has to go anywhere. She also helps
her mother in dealing with any official communications, for example, sorting out
doctor's appointments and completing benefit forms. Savvi's adviser has agreed that
Savvi does not need to be able and willing to immediately take up paid work. Instead
she only needs to be able to take up paid work given a month's notice and to attend
an interview given 48 hours notice. This is recorded on Savvi's claimant
commitment. Savvi is a relevant carer and satisfies the work availability requirement.
J3145 Voluntary workWhere the
1. claimant is doing voluntary work and
2. Secretary of State is satisfied that as a result the claimant needs
2.1 a period of up to one week to take up paid work or
2.2 up to 48 hours to attend an interview in connection with obtaining paid
3. claimant is able and willing to
3.1 take up paid work or
3.2 attend an interview
on being given notice as in 2.1 or 2.2
then the claimant is to be treated as having complied with a work availability
1 UC Regs, reg 96(4)
ExampleElizabeth is the secretary of the local sports association. The work is unpaid. As part
of her voluntary duties, Elizabeth is heavily involved in all aspects of the
administration of the sports association and is often at the club doing paperwork,
attending meetings, taking enquiries and tidying up. In addition, Elizabeth helps run
the local junior football league. Elizabeth says that, although she can't always
immediately take up paid work due to commitments to the sports association, she
could attend a job interview if given the appropriate notice of up to 48 hours and take
up paid work if given the appropriate notice of up to a week. Elizabeth does comply
with a work availability requirement.
J3150 Employed under a contract of serviceWhere the claimant is
1. employed under a contract of service and
2. required to give notice to end their contract
under relevant legislation (1) or
under the contract of employment and
3. able and willing to take up paid work once the notice period has expired and
4. able and willing to attend an interview on being given 48 hours notice
then the claimant is to be treated as having complied with a work availability
1 ER Act 96, s 86; 2 UC Regs, reg 96(5)
ExampleChris works 16 hours a week for a supermarket. He is not immediately available for
other paid work because under his contract of employment Chris is required to give
one week's notice. However, he is willing and able to take up other paid work on the
expiry of this notice period. Chris is also able and willing to attend a job interview on
being given 48 hours' notice. Chris is treated as complying with a work availability
requirement so long as he is subject to his contract of employment.
[J3151-J3159]Limitations on the work search and work availability requirement
J3160 IntroductionIn certain circumstances limitations can be imposed on a claimant's
1. work search requirement and
2. work availability requirement (1).
1 WR Act 12, s 17(4) & 18(3)
J3161 LocationA work search requirement and a work availability requirement must be limited to
work that is in a location which would normally take the claimant a maximum of 90
minutes each way to travel from
1. home to the location and
2. the location to home (1).
Note: Travelling time includes the time spent waiting for transport connections after
the journey has started.
1 UC Regs, reg 97(3)
J3162When considering how long it would normally take to travel, regard should be given to
1. the claimant's normal method of transport
2. the availability of transport such as frequency of public transport and cover in
3. any personal factors, for example a driving ban
4. impairments which may cause travelling independently between locations to
take longer than it would for someone without such an impairment.
ExampleMarvin has made a claim for UC and is subject to all work-related requirements.
Although Marvin has passed his driving test and has a driving licence, he has no car
and is reliant on public transport. Marvin's work search and work availability
requirement must be limited to locations which would take him up to 90 minutes to
travel to each way by public transport.
J3163 Previous paid work « J3164A claimant who has previously carried out work
1. of a particular nature or
2. paid at a particular level
must have their work search requirement and work availability requirement limited to
work of that nature or level of pay (1).
1 WR Act 12, s 17(5)(a) & (b) & s 18(4)(a) & (b), UC Regs, reg 97(4)
J3164The determination to apply the period of limitation in J3163 can be only
1. where the Secretary of State is satisfied that the claimant has reasonable
prospects of getting paid work with those limitation(s)1 and
2. for a period not exceeding three months
2.1 from the date of claim (2) or
2.2 if after the date of claim, from the date on which the claimant ceases
paid work after exceeding the earnings threshold (3).
1 UC Regs, reg 97(4); 2 reg 97(5)(a); 3 reg 97(5)(b)
ExampleAlex has just claimed UC after losing his job as a secondary school teacher. Before
he was made redundant, he was a main scale teacher with no leadership
responsibilities. On making his claim to UC, Alex informed Jobcentre Plus that he
wanted to remain in the teaching profession at the same level as he had been before
his redundancy. There are a number of secondary schools within 1.5 hours travelling
distance of where Alex lives. Alex's adviser is satisfied that Alex has reasonable
prospects of returning to work as a main scale teacher and so Alex's work search
and work availability requirement are limited to that profession for a period of three
months from the date of claim to UC.
J3165 Physical and mental impairmentsA claimant who demonstrates that
1. they have a
mental impairment and
2. their ability to carry out work
of a particular nature or
in particular locations
is substantially adversely affected due to the impairment, must not have a work
search requirement or work availability requirement related to work of that nature or
in those locations (1).
1 UC Regs, reg 97(6)
J3170 Expected hours of workIf a claimant has limited their expected hours of work on the grounds of
1. being a relevant carer or
2. being a responsible carer or
3. having a physical or mental impairment
then their work search requirement and work availability requirement must be limited
to the same number of hours per week (1). J3062 et seq provides guidance on the
exceptions to the expected number of hours of work.
1 UC Regs, reg 97(2)
ExampleCarrie is the responsible carer for her son, Joe who is aged 14. As a result of having
to care for Joe, Carrie's agreed expected weekly hours of work are 30. Carrie's work
search and work availability requirement are therefore also limited to 30 hours a
week of paid work. Carrie need only be available for paid work of 30 hours a week
and need only spend 30 hours a week searching for this work.
[J3171-J3179]Imposition of work-related requirements
J3180 Claimants with no requirements imposed on them: domestic violence « J3182In certain circumstances a claimant who has been a recent victim of domestic
violence cannot have any work-related requirements imposed on them and any
existing requirement ceases. A recent victim of domestic violence means a person
who has had domestic violence
1. threatened or
upon them in the last six months (1).
1 UC Regs, reg 98(2)
J3181The domestic violence has to have been inflicted or threatened against the claimant
by the (1)
former partner if the claimant is no longer a member of a couple or
Note: For any of the people listed at 2.1 to 2.17. This also includes their partner if
they are a member of a couple (2).
1 UC Regs, reg 98(3)(a); 2 reg 98(4)
J3182 DefinitionsIn paras J3180 to J3190 a number of terms are defined.
J3183 Domestic violenceDomestic violence means (1) any incident or pattern of incidents of controlling
behaviour, coercive behaviour, violence or abuse including (but not limited to)
1. psychological abuse
2. physical abuse
3. sexual abuse
4. emotional abuse
5. financial abuse
regardless of the gender or sexuality of the victim. The Appendix to this Chapter
provides examples of domestic violence.
1: Coercive behaviour means (2) an act of assault, humiliation, intimidation or
other abuse that is used to harm, punish or frighten the victim.
2: Controlling behaviour means (3) an act designed to make the victim
subordinate or dependent by isolating them from sources of support, exploiting their
resources and capacities for personal gain, depriving them of the means needed for
independence, resistance or escape or regulating their everyday behaviour
1 UC Regs, reg 98(4); 2 reg 98(4); 3 reg 98(4)
Example 1Abdul and Gita are married. Gita threatens Abdul with a kitchen knife during an
argument after Abdul tells her that he wishes to give up work and return to
education. She doesn't actually use the knife but it is intended to frighten Abdul. This
is an example of coercive behaviour.
Example 2Susan is married to Jim. Jim does not allow Susan to contact her parents or other
members of her family. Jim tells Susan that she cannot communicate with them in
any way unless he gives her permission. This is an example of controlling behaviour
because Jim is isolating Susan from a source of support.
J3185 Health care professionalIn J3186 a HCP means (1) a person who is a member of a profession regulated under
relevant legislation (2).
1 UC Regs, reg 98(4); 2 National Health Service Reform and Health Care Professions Act 2002, s 25(3)
J3186 Person acting in an official capacity « J3185A person acting in an official capacity means (1)
1. a HCP
2. a police officer
3. a registered social worker
4. the claimant's employer
5. a representative of the claimant's trade union
6. any public, voluntary or charitable body which has had direct contact with the
victim in connection with domestic violence.
1 UC Regs, reg 98(4)
J3187 Registered social workerRegistered social worker means (1) a person registered as a social worker on a
register maintained by the :
1.Health and Care Professions Council
2. Care Council for Wales
3. Scottish Social Services Council
4. Northern Ireland Social Care Council.
1 UC Regs, reg 98(4)
circumstances in J3190 apply then
1. any work-related requirement imposed on them ceases to have effect for a
period of 13 consecutive weeks (1) and
2. the Secretary of State must not impose any other work-related requirement on
that claimant during that 13 week period (2).
1 UC Regs, reg 98(1)(a); 2 reg 98(1)(b)
J3189The 13 week period in J3188 1. begins on the date that the claimant notified the
Secretary of State of the threatened or inflicted domestic violence (1).
1 UC Regs, reg 98(1)(a)J3188 to apply, the claimant
1. must notify the Secretary of State in the specified manner that domestic
violence has been
1.1 inflicted on or
1.2 threatened against
them during the period of six months ending on the day of the notification (1) and
2. must not have the benefit of this easement for a period of 12 month period
immediately prior to the date of the notification (2) and
3. must not on the date of the notification be living at the same address as the
person who inflicted or threatened the domestic violence (3) and
4. must provide evidence as soon as possible (and no later than one month from
the date of the notification) from a person acting in an official capacity that
4.1 their circumstances are consistent with having had domestic violence
inflicted or threatened against them during the six month period ending
on the date of the notification and
4.2 they made contact with the person acting in an official capacity
regarding the incident during the six month period (4).
1 UC Regs, reg 98(3)(a); 2 reg 98(3)(b); 3 reg 98(3)(c); 4 reg 98(3)(d)
J3191In order for the full 13 week easement to apply, evidence must be supplied within the
timescale described in J3190 4.. If evidence is not supplied within this limit then the
easement ends after one month after the claimant notifies the Secretary of State as
in J3190 1..
Harry is in receipt of UC and is in the all work-related requirements group. He
notifies the Jobcentre that his partner Tom attacked him in their home and that the
police are dealing with the incident. Harry and Tom share the same house and
neither intends to move out. The DM determines that the domestic violence
easement cannot apply to Harry because at the date of the notification Harry was
living at the same address as Tom.
Example 2Angela is in receipt of UC and is in the all work-related requirements group. She
reports to the Jobcentre on 1.7.13 that her then partner physically attacked her two
weeks earlier and that he has now moved out of the family home. The DM
determines that the work-related requirements imposed on Angela do not apply for
four weeks from 1.7.13 to 31.7.13 (both dates inclusive). Angela must also supply
before 1.8.13 evidence from a person acting in an official capacity that demonstrates
that her circumstances are consistent with her notification of 1.7.13. If this is done
then no work-related requirements can be imposed on Angela for a further nine
weeks the period 1.8.13 to 29.9.13. Therefore, the total easement, if evidence is
supplied, is 13 weeks.
J3192 Circumstances in which requirements must not be imposed « J3193In certain circumstances the Secretary of State must not impose a work search
requirement on claimants in the all work-related requirements group (1) and any
existing requirements cease for as long as the circumstances apply (2). So long as
those circumstances apply then the claimant also does not have to be able and
willing to immediately take up work or attend an interview (3).
1 UC Regs, reg 99(1)(a); 2 reg 99(2); 3 reg 99(1)(b)
J3193The circumstances where J3192 applies are where
1. the claimant is attending a court or tribunal as a party to any proceedings or
as a witness (1)
2. the claimant is a prisoner (2)
3. the claimant is temporarily absent from GB for a period not expected to (and
does not) exceed six months because they are
3.1 receiving medical treatment outside GB or
3.2 receiving medically approved convalescence or care as a result of an
illness or disability which they had in GB or
3.3 taking their partner, child or qualifying young person for whom they are
responsible outside GB for medical treatment or for medically approved
convalescence or care (3)
4. it is within six months of the death of (4)
4.1 the claimant's partner, where the claimant was the member of a couple
4.2 a child or qualifying young person for whom the claimant or their partner
is responsible for or
4.3 a child of whom the claimant is the parent
5. the claimant is receiving and participating in a structured recovery orientated
5.1 alcohol or
dependency treatment for a period of up to six months (5)
6. the claimant is under protection due to their involvement in investigations or
proceedings for a period of up to three months (6)
7. the claimant is engaged in an activity in the nature of a public duty approved
by the Secretary of State (7).
1 UC Regs, reg 99(3)(a); 2 reg 99(3)(b); 3 reg 99(3)(c); 4 reg 99(3)(d); 5 reg 99(3)(e);
6 reg 99(3)(f); Serious Organised Crime and Police Act 2005, s 82; 7 UC Regs, reg 99(3)(g)
J3194 Attending a court or tribunalWhere the claimant attends a court or tribunal as a
1. party to the proceedings or
then a work search requirement must not be imposed and the claimant also does
not have to be able and willing to immediately take up work or attend an interview (1).
Tribunal means any tribunal listed in specific legislation (2).
1 UC Regs, reg 99(3)(a); 2 reg 99(7); Tribunal and Inquiries Act 1992, Sch 1
prisoner (1) is a person detained in custody
1. following sentence to a term of imprisonment by a criminal, civil or military
court, and includes a person
1.1 temporarily removed from prison to hospital or
1.2 living outside the prison under a pre-release employment scheme (2) or
1.3 released on temporary licence which may be allowed for a variety of
home leave or
attendance at rehabilitation courses or
work during the daytime or
2. on remand awaiting trial or awaiting sentence upon conviction. This includes
people temporarily removed from prison to hospital or
3. released early under the End of Custody Licence arrangements.
ADM Chapter E3 provides further guidance on prisoners.
1 UC Regs, reg 2(1); 2 R(I) 9/75
J3196A prisoner must not have a work search requirement imposed on them and the
claimant also does not have to be able and willing to immediately take up work or
attend an interview (1).
1 UC Regs, reg 99(3)(b)
J3197 Temporarily absent from GBWhere a claimant is temporarily absent from GB solely because they are
1. receiving medical treatment abroad under the supervision of a qualified
2. undergoing medically approved convalescence or care following treatment for
an illness or condition where the claimant had that illness or condition before
leaving GB or
3. accompanying their partner or a child or qualifying young person for whom
they are responsible for medical treatment or medically approved
convalescence or care
then a work search requirement must not be imposed and the claimant also does
not have to be able and willing to immediately take up work or attend an interview 1.
1 UC Regs, reg 99(3)(c) & reg 11(3)
J3198The period of absence from GB cannot be expected to and does not exceed six
1 UC Regs, reg 11(3)
J3199Guidance on deciding on whether an absence is temporary can be found ADM
J3200 Within six months of a deathWhere it is within six months of the death of
1. the claimant's partner (1) or
2. a child or qualifying young person (2) for whom the
claimant's partner is
3. a child, for whom the claimant is the parent (3)
a work search requirement must not be imposed and the claimant also does not
have to be able and willing to immediately take up work or attend an interview.
1 UC Regs, reg 99(3)(h)(i); 2 reg 99(3)(h)(ii); 3 reg 99(3)(h)(iii)
J3201A child means (1) a person aged under 16. For guidance on what a qualifying young
person is, see ADM Chapter E2.
1 WR Act 12, s 40
J3203 Structured recovery orientated courseFor a period of up to six months a claimant who is receiving and participating in a
structured recovery orientated course of
1. alcohol or
2. drug addiction
treatment (1) cannot have a work search requirement imposed on them and
the claimant also does not have to be able and willing to immediately take up work
or attend an interview.
1 UC Regs, reg 99(3)(e)
J3204 Protection of persons involved in investigations and proceedingsFor a period of up to three months a work search requirement cannot be imposed on
a claimant who is under protection whilst involved in a criminal investigation or
proceedings (1). The claimant also does not have to be able and willing to immediately
take up work or attend an interview.
1 UC Regs, reg 99(3)(f)
ExampleJoey has provided the police with information relating to a gang that he was an
associate of. The gang is believed by the police to be involved in criminal activity.
The police also believe that, as a result of providing this information, Joey is at risk
from intimidation and attack by gang members. The police have therefore arranged
for Joey to be placed under protection. For a period of up to three months whilst
these arrangements are in place, a work search and a work availability requirement
cannot be imposed on Joey.
J3205The protection arrangements have to be made by a provider under relevant
1 Serious Organised Crime and Police Act 2005, s 82
J3206Where the 3 month period has come to an end but the claimant is still under
protection then DMs can consider applying J3216 2.2.
J3207 Engaged in a public dutyWhere the claimant is engaged in an activity which the Secretary of State has
approved as being in the nature of a public duty then a work search requirement
cannot be imposed (1). The claimant also does not have to be able and willing to
immediately take up work or attend an interview
1 UC Regs, reg 99(3)(g)
J3208Examples of public duties which the Secretary of State may approve include
1. volunteer firefighters
2. lifeboat volunteers
J3215 Unfit for workWhere a claimant
1. is unfit for work
1.1 for a maximum of 14 consecutive days from the date that evidence in 2.
is provided and
1.2 for no more than two periods in any period of 12 months and
2.1 for the first 7 days of when they are unfit for work, a self-certificate and
2.2 for any further days, a doctor's note (1)
then a work-search requirement cannot be imposed on the claimant (1) and any work
search requirement that has previously been imposed must come to an end. The
claimant also does not have to be able and willing to immediately take up work or
attend an interview.
1 SS (Med Ev) Regs, Schedule 1, Part 1; 2 UC Regs, reg 99(4);
ExampleLou is in the all work-related requirements group. He provides a self-certificate to
say that he is unfit for work due to `flu for five days. The work-related requirements
that Lou was subject to no longer apply so long as he is within the period covered by
J3216 Unreasonable to comply with a work search or work availability requirement « J3098 « J3206 « J3218 « J3218 « J3219Where the Secretary of State is satisfied that it would be unreasonable for the
claimant to comply with a work search requirement (including one that has been
limited) because the claimant is
1.1 a work preparation requirement or
1.2 voluntary work preparation or
2. responsible for (2)
2.1 temporary childcare responsibilities or
2.2 dealing with a domestic emergency or funeral arrangements or other
temporary circumstances or
3. unfit for work for (3)
3.1 a period longer than 14 consecutive days or
3.2 more than two such periods in any period of 12 months
and, where requested, has provided medical evidence
then the claimant cannot have a work search requirement imposed on them and any
work search requirement previously imposed ceases to have effect from the date on
which the circumstances in 1., 2. or 3. apply (4).
1 UC Regs, reg 99(5)(a); 2 reg 99(5)(b); 3 reg 99(5)(c); 4 reg 99(2A)
Example 1As part of a voluntary work preparation requirement, Donny is doing a
week's jobshadowing at an accountancy firm. This has been agreed with his adviser
because Donny wants to work in accountancy. Whilst performing this jobshadow, no
work search requirement can be imposed on Donny because the DM is of the view
that it would not be reasonable to comply with one whilst taking part on the
Example 2Sally is in receipt of UC and is subject to all work-related requirements. Following an
argument with her parents, Sally has been told to leave the family home. She has
nowhere to go and has been sleeping rough whilst trying to find somewhere to live.
She has now been given a place in a direct access hostel until something more
permanent can be found (these hostels are intended for stays of a few days). Whilst
Sally is dealing with this temporary situation and staying in the hostel no work search
requirement can be imposed. If Sally's stay in the hostel continues then enquiries
should be made as to why and consideration should be given to continue to
extending the period of time that Sally is not required to comply with her work search
J3217There may be situations where the imposition of a work availability requirement
should be looked at separately from the imposition of a work search requirement.
J3218- J3220 provides guidance on this flexibility. J3218
Where J3216 applies then the Secretary of State may also be satisfied that it would
be unreasonable to require the claimant to comply with a work availability
requirement (including one that has been limited) to be able and willing to
1. take up paid work and
2. attend an interview (1).
"Able and willing to take up work" under a work availability requirement here means
able and willing to take up paid work or to attend an interview once J3216 no longer
1 UC Regs, reg 99(5A); 2 reg 99(2B)
Example 1Chester has claimed UC. When he made his claim for UC, he indicated that he
considers himself too ill for work on the grounds of depression. He has medical
evidence from his doctor to support this. Chester's doctor has provided a note to say
that Chester should refrain from work for eight weeks. The DM has decided that
Chester should undergo the WCA. For the first 14 days of certified sickness, no
requirement to be able and willing immediately to take up paid work and no work
search requirement can be imposed. Whilst Chester is waiting for his WCA, from the
15th day of sickness, the DM decides that it is unreasonable to require Chester to
comply with a work availability and work search requirement. However, the DM
decides that Chester must take part in a work focused interview by telephone to
assess the level of support and frequency of interventions he will need.
Chester is claiming UC for the third time in a 12 month period, due to sickness. He
has submitted a fit note which covers the first 14 days of this episode of recurring
depression. He is not automatically exempt from the requirement to be available
immediately for work or to search for work, even for the first 14 days of sickness. But
the DM decides that it would be unreasonable to require Chester to comply with a
work availability and work search requirement during this period. J3216 applies then the Secretary of State may also be satisfied that it would be
1. unreasonable to require the claimant to comply with a work availability
requirement to be able and willing to take up paid work and
2. reasonable to require the claimant to comply with a work availability
requirement to be able and willing to attend an interview.
This includes where a work availability requirement is limited (1)
1 UC Regs, reg 99(5B)
J3220 « J3218"Able and willing to take up work" under a work availability requirement for the
purposes of J3219 means (1)
1. able and willing to take paid work once J3219 no longer applies and
2. able and willing to attend an interview before the circumstances in J3219 no
1 UC Regs, reg 99(2C)
ExampleClare is subject to work related requirements. Her daughter Chloe has been
excluded from school until further notice following an incident. Chloe is to remain
away from school until the incident has been investigated. Despite every effort, Clare
has been unable to sort out other arrangements to look after Chloe and so has to be
at home with her. Whilst Chloe is excluded from school, Clare is not required to
comply with her work search requirement but the DM thinks that it is reasonable to
require Clare to be available to attend an interview.
J3221 Weekly earnings « J3222Where the DM is satisfied that
1. where the claimant is a member of a couple, the claimant and their partner
have earnings or
2. where the claimant is a single claimant, that single claimant has earnings
at a level where they should not be required to meet work search and work
availability requirements at the present time (1).
1 UC Regs, reg 99(6)
J3222Earnings in J3221 includes earnings from self-employment.
J3223Where the claimant's level of earnings are below a level at which JSA is paid (or for
a couple, the rate of JSA(IB) applicable to a couple) then it will normally be the case
that these claimants will be required to comply with work search and work availability
Examples of domestic abuse
Victims of domestic violence are not confined to one gender or ethnic group.
Domestic violence can encompass, but is not limited to, the following types of abuse.
Includes intimidation, insulting,
isolating a person from friends and
family, criticising, denying the abuse,
treating a person as an inferior,
threatening to harm children or take
them away, forced marriage.
Includes shaking, smacking,
punching, kicking, presence of finger
or bite marks, starving, tying up,
stabbing, suffocation, throwing things,
using objects as weapons, genital
mutilation, "honour violence".
Physical effects are often in areas of
the body that are covered and hidden
(i.e. breasts, legs or stomach).
Includes forced sex, forced
prostitution, ignoring religious
prohibitions about sex, refusal to
practise safe sex, sexual insults,
sexually transmitted diseases,
Includes swearing, undermining
confidence, making racist remarks,
making a person feel unattractive,
calling a person stupid or useless,
eroding a person's independence.
Includes not letting a person work,
undermining efforts to find work or
study, refusing to give money, asking
for an explanation of how every penny
is spent, making a person beg for
money, gambling, not paying bills.