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Chapter K2: Good reason

Contents
K2001:Introduction
K2011:Time to show good reason
K2015:Reconsideration
K2021:The `reasonable' test
K2031:Evidence
K2041:Previous failures
K2046:Work experience
K2051:Specific examples which may be good reason
K2061:Victims of domestic violence
K2071:Mental health
K2081:Victims of harassment and bullying
Disadvantage
K2091:Homelessness
K2101:Disability
K2103:Learning difficulties, poor literacy or numeracy
K2106:Substance abuse
K2108:Legal constraints
K2111:Domestic situations
K2115:Examples of what may be good reason in specific circumstances

Significant harm to health or unreasonable physical or mental stress
where a claimant has failed to comply with a requirement to take up or
K2116:apply for paid work, better paid work or more paid work
K2117:Significant harm to health
K2123:Unreasonable physical or mental stress
K2126:Consideration of claimant's health where claimant has left paid work
K2131:Sincere religious or conscientious objection

Other terms and conditions which affect a claimant's personal
K2136:freedom and beliefs
K2140:Caring responsibilities
K2146:Temporary changes in circumstances
Circumstances that may show good reason for a failure to comply with a
K2151:requirement to take up or apply for paid work
K2156:Restrictions on work search
K2157:Employment expenses
K2161:Child care expenses
K2164:Unreasonably high proportion of pay
K2171:Other circumstances that may amount to good reason
K2173:Attitude of claimants trade union
K2174:Possible return to previous employment
K2175:Laid off and short time workers
K2177:Decision of Employment Tribunal pending
K2178:Claimant already working
K2180:Temporary employment
K2181:Definite chance of other employment
K2182:Personal preference
K2183:Other more suitable people employed
K2184:Job vacant because of a trade dispute stoppage
K2187:Employment which the claimant has previously left
K2189:Objection to employer or fellow employees
K2192:Claimant does not have necessary equipment
K2196:Seafarers
K2199:Working time regulations
K2201:Anti-social behaviour order, community order or community disposal
K2202:Claimant given incorrect details of employment
K2205:Claimant change their minds
K2207:Other reasons
K2211:Circumstances that do not show good reason
K2213:National minimum wage
Circumstances that may show good reason where a claimant leaves
paid work or loses pay voluntarily
K2221:General
K2226:Other circumstances that may show good reason
K2231:Terms and conditions of employment
Changing terms or conditions of employment and grievance procedures
K2241:Employer changes terms and conditions
K2244:Police officers
K2246:Grievances
K2249:Work outside of agreed duties
K2251:Contracts Terms and Conditions
K2256:Short time and overtime working
K2261:Retirement and resignation
K2264:Early retirement
K2265:Leaving to take better paid or preferred employment
K2267:Leaving to take up training
K2271:Personal and domestic circumstances
K2272:Moving home
K2278:Relocation
K2279:Partner going abroad
K2280:Moving with parents
K2282:Financial difficulties
K2286:Living away from home
K2288:Long daily journey to and from work
K2289:Long or awkward working hours
K2291:Chances of getting other employment
K2296:Firm offer of other employment
Circumstances that may show good reason where a claimant fails to
K2301:participate in an interview relating to a work-related requirement


Chapter K2: Good Reason

Introduction

K2001

This chapter contains guidance on good reason where the amount of an award of
UC is to be reduced in accordance with relevant legislation (1).
Note: A sanction is a reduction in the amount of a UC award.

1 WR Act 12, sec 26 & 27

K2002

This chapter does not include guidance on what amounts to a sanctionable failure.
Guidance on
1. failing to comply with a requirement to
1.1 take up an offer of paid work or apply for a particular vacancy
1.2 losing pay and ceasing paid work voluntarily or by misconduct and
1.3
participate in the MWA scheme
can be found in ADM Chapter K3 - Higher level sanctions and
2. failing to
2.1 participate in a WFI (except for those claimants in the WFI only group
see ADM Chapter K6 (Lowest level sanctions))
2.2 comply with a work preparation requirement and
2.3 take a particular action under a work search requirement and
2.4
comply with other interview or verification requirements
can be found in ADM Chapter K5 - Low level sanctions
3. failing to
3.1 undertake all reasonable action under a work search requirement and
3.2
be able and willing to take up work can be found in ADM Chapter K4 - Medium level sanctions.

K2003

This chapter does not include guidance where
1. there is a sanctionable failure and
2. no reduction applies
as prescribed for in relevant legislation (1). In these circumstances the DM is not
considering good reason.

1 UC Regs, reg 113

K2004

Good reason is not defined in legislation. DMs should take into account all relevant
information about the claimant's individual circumstances and their reasons for any
failures when considering whether to sanction a claimant for any failure which results
in the award of UC being reduced (also see K2021).

K2005

Claimants will be given the opportunity in UC to explain why they have not complied
with requirements and it will remain the responsibility of the claimant to show good
reason for any failure and provide information and evidence as appropriate to
explain why they have not complied.

K2006 K2007

Relevant
legislation (1) provides for situations where the claimant can be excused their
work-related activities (see guidance in ADM Chapter J3 - Work-related
requirements). In those circumstances the claimant would not have to show good
reason.

1 UC Regs, reg 95 - 99

K2007 K2091 K2101 K2104 K2107 K2108

Any work-related requirements placed on claimants should be personalised
according to their needs and circumstances taking into account any restrictions. An
adviser should have provided adequate information and support to ensure the
claimant can understand and meet those requirements. However a claimant may have
1. a change of circumstances, either temporary or permanent, or
2. unexpected or unforeseen problems may arise, i.e. a one off factor applies, or
3. exceeded the time an easement is allowed, e.g. in the case of domestic
violence where the 13 weeks expires,
after certain work-related requirements are imposed.
Note
1: There may also be cases where an advisor should have imposed an
easement but failed to do so for some reason and the DM has to consider good
reason.
Note
2: It is only if the claimant does not fall within the easements within relevant
legislation (1) that the DM will consider good reason (see K2006).

1 UC Regs, reg 95 - 99

K2008

The following guidance in this chapter is to provide a framework for DMs to use
when considering whether or not good reason is demonstrated and is not an
exhaustive list of individual circumstances. In every case the DM should take into
account all the individual facts and circumstances and consider the case on its own
merits.

[K2009-K2010]

K2011 Time to show good reason

There is no specified time constraints in UC for a claimant to show good reason for a
failure.

K2012

DMs should give the claimant sufficient time to comment and to provide evidence
appropriate to the particular circumstances of the failure. This should be flexible to
reflect an individual's circumstances.

K2013

In most cases the benchmark should continue to be
1. 5 days, where the information is to be obtained by post (see note 1) or
2. depending on the individual circumstances of the case, less than 5 days where
2.1 the DM can contact the claimant by phone or face to face (and the DM
is satisfied that the claimant is clear about what they are being asked to
provide and do not need to collate and provide evidence) or
2.2 where the claimant has agreed the preferred method of contact is by
electronic means such as by text, email or their UC account (see note
2) or
3. longer than 5 days where the claimant
3.1 needs to seek information or evidence from a third party or
3.2 has an agent or representative or
3.3 has a health condition or other temporary circumstances that prevents
them from replying (e.g. a pre existing health condition that is relevant
or existing caring or parental responsibilities that may be relevant).
Note
1: Reference to days is working days excluding Saturdays, Sundays and bank
holidays. Allowance must be made for posting where a notification is made by post (1).
Where the information is to be obtained by post the adviser should normally make
some attempt to contact the claimant by telephone or face to face to inform that a
letter they should respond to is on its way to them.
Note
2: If the claimant agrees to provide evidence face to face, by telephone or by
electronic means the claimant must be informed of the consequences of not
providing good reason by a certain time.

1 Interpretation Act 1978, sec 7

K2014

The DM will then consider whether the evidence constitutes good reason taking into
consideration all the facts and evidence particular to the individual circumstances
and make rational decisions when considering sanctions which are responsive to
both the individual's circumstances and the changing labour market. If the claimant
can show good reason a reduction will not be imposed.

K2015 Reconsideration

If the claimant provides information or evidence for good reason after the decision
has been made to impose a sanction then the claimant can request a
reconsideration of the decision. Any new facts and evidence received within the
normal time limits for revision should not stop the normal revision rules coming into
play when there are new facts and evidence which would alter the original decision (1),
see guidance in ADM Chapter A3 (Revision).
1 UC, PIP, JSA & ESA (D &A) Regs, reg 14(1)(c); R(JSA) 2/04

[K2016-K2020]

K2021 The `reasonable' test. K2004 K2113 K2180 K2302

Good reason is not defined in the law, but `good cause' and `just cause' are
considered in case law. It includes facts which would probably have caused a
reasonable person to act as the claimant did (1). The principles established are equally
applicable to good reason.

1 R(SB) 6/83

K2022

DMs should establish facts which would probably have caused a reasonable person
to act as the claimant did by establishing three key points,
1. what would it be reasonable to expect someone to do in the particular
circumstances, i.e. was the action or failure to act preventable
2. what did the claimant do or fail to do that was different to what was the
required action and
3. what was the claimants reasons for their action or failure to act as required.

K2023

The general rule for taking each incidence on its own merits and considering all the
facts and evidence should be applied. Consideration of all the evidence should be
made on
1. the balance of probabilities and
2. whether the evidence is inherently improbable in the circumstances.
Note:
See ADM Chapter A1 (Principles of decision making and evidence).

[K2024-K2030]

K2031 Evidence

The DM should seek further evidence where it is considered necessary in order to
1. clarify reasons
or
2. seek further evidence
as sufficient proof to justify good reason.

K2032

This could involve
1. writing to or telephoning the claimant or an advisor or provider
2. asking advisors to interview claimants when they next sign on
3. acting on an indicator from the advisor to investigate further.

[K2033-K2040]

K2041 Previous failures K2302

Each case should be looked at on its individual merits though past behaviour can be
taken into account. If the claimant has a record of previous failures the DM may
consider that those failures impact the credibility of the evidence presented to
support the claimant's reasons for a current failure. The DM should consider how
likely is it that
1. a claimant happens to have a problem coinciding with when they are required
to comply with some activity that will help them into paid work, more paid work
or better paid work and
2. it would happen twice or more than that.
Note: It is for the DM to identify patterns and trends in a claimant's behaviour when
considering a claimant's reasons for a failure in consideration of all the facts of the
individual case.

K2042

The DM should not automatically accept good reason even if the reasons given for
the failure would in isolation normally support good reason. The DM should be
satisfied that the good reason is valid by seeking supporting evidence. It is not
unreasonable for the DM to ask the claimant to provide written evidence to support
their reasons for a failure, for example, medical evidence from a doctor or a letter to
provide evidence of another appointment but also see K2118.

Example

The DM receives a sanction referral from the MWA provider. Lee has failed to start
his placement on the scheme. The evidence shows that this is the fourth
consecutive failure by Lee to engage in the MWA scheme. Previous failures are
documented as allowances for a period of sickness, a period of sickness for his
elderly mother and a period of sickness for his daughter.
On this occasion he states he felt too ill to attend on the start date. The DM asks Lee
to provide written medical evidence to support his illness. Lee replies saying he did
not seek medical attention and did not visit his doctor on this occasion. He says it
was a headache and he went back to bed to sleep it off. There is no evidence of a
known underlying or pre-existing physical or mental condition.
The DM decides that it is inherently improbable that on four consecutive occasions
he cannot start his MWA placement on the required day due to illness of either
himself or a close relative and he can provide no written evidence.
The DM considers that it was reasonable in the circumstances to have expected Lee
to contact the provider on that morning and rearrange the start date for the following
day.
The DM determines Lee failed to participate without good reason in the MWA
scheme and imposes a 91 day sanction for a first higher level failure.

[K2043-K2045]

K2046 Work experience

Participation in a work experience opportunity will be voluntary and claimants who
leave or lose a place on such a placement will be treated as having good reason
unless they lose the place through gross misconduct. For guidance on work
experience and what constitutes gross misconduct see ADM Chapter
1. K3 (Higher level sanctions) for MWA scheme work experience placements or
2. K5 (Low level sanctions) for Work Programme or sector-based work academy
work experience opportunities.

[K2047-K2050]

K2051 Specific examples which may be good reason K2151 K2187 K2223 K2226 K2302

Examples of a claimant's circumstances which may be treated as contributing to
good reason for a failure include those who
1. are victims of domestic violence (see K2061)
2. have mental health conditions or disorders (see K2071)
3. are victims of bullying or harassment (see K2081)
4. are disadvantaged, e.g. the claimant
4.1 is homeless (see K2091)
4.2 has a disability (see K2101)
4.3 has learning difficulties (see K2103)
5. have domestic emergencies (see K2111)
6.
there will be
6.1 a significant harm to health (see K2116) or
6.2 unreasonable physical or mental stress or
6.3 a risk to the health and safety of the claimant or that of others
7. have a sincere religious or conscientious objection (see K2131)
8. have caring responsibilities (see K2140)
9. have certain temporary circumstances (see K2146)
10. have certain circumstances particular to a failure to comply with a requirement
to take up or apply for paid work (see K2151 - K2220)
11. have certain circumstance particular to leaving or loosing paid work voluntarily
(see K2221 - K2298)
12. have certain circumstances particular to failures to participate in an interview
relating to a work-related requirement (see K2301).
Note: This list is not exhaustive and each case should be considered on the
individual circumstances and merits.

K2052

In all cases the DM should consider all the individual circumstances of the case
when considering whether the claimant can show good reason. Sanctions and good
reason are only relevant after any easement to a work-related requirement has been
exhausted or where it is no longer applicable (see Chapter J3 - Work-related
requirements for guidance on any easements).

K2053

Advisers should normally have taken all the claimant's circumstances into account
when setting work-related requirements. This includes any problems with literacy,
numeracy or language problems. Advisers should work with claimants to identify
tasks that are appropriate to the claimant's situation that are reasonable and
achievable. If claimants feel they are being asked to do things they consider
unreasonable in their individual circumstances then they can ask for a review of their
Claimant Commitment.

[K2054-K2060]

K2061 Victims of domestic violence K2051

Claimants who have been a victim of threatened or actual domestic violence are not
required to meet their work-related requirements for up to 13 weeks (1).
Note: For the definition of domestic violence and further guidance on work-related
requirements see ADM Chapter J3 (Work-related requirements).

1 UC Regs, reg 98

K2062

Similarly claimants who are
1. forced to leave or
2. refuse employment
because of threatened or actual domestic violence from an estranged family
member are to be treated as having good reason for so doing. This would be where
the claimant notifies JCP or the DM that keeping or taking up a position would
represent a risk to their safety because, for example:
1. the estranged spouse, partner, or family member would know where they
work and could inflict harm on them or
2. taking up or retaining a job would be likely to expose the claimant to the area
or place their estranged family member
1.1 resides
1.2 works
or
1.3 habitually travels to or visits
with the risk that harm could be inflicted on the claimant.
Note: This list is not exhaustive. Other conditions might also apply that would put the
claimant at risk. The DM should consider each case on the individual facts and
circumstances.

K2064

Where a claimant no longer satisfies the exemption in work-related requirements
they may qualify as having good reason if
1. they are not living with the family member who inflicted or threatened violence
2. the threatened or actual domestic violence falls within the definition in relevant
legislation (1)
3. the person threatening or inflicting that violence or abuse is a family member
within the definition in relevant legislation (2)
4. the claimant can provide evidence, or consents to validation, that they have
reported the threat or actual violence to the police, healthcare professional,
social worker or other official within the definition in relevant legislation (3)
Note
1: See ADM Chapter J3 (Work -related requirements) for relevant definitions
and further guidance on Domestic Violence.
Note
2: Where the claimant has exceeded the 13 weeks easement allowed in
legislation (4) for domestic violence the DM should be sensitive to the claimant's
circumstances and take them into account when considering good reason.
1 UC Regs, reg 98(4); 2 reg 98(4); 3 reg 98(4); 4 reg 98(1)(a)

Example

Rebecca has made a claim for UC from 19.8.13. She has recently left the marital
home following the breakdown of her marriage. Rebecca left her husband after a
period of emotional abuse which culminated in her leaving on 17.8.13. Rebecca
notifies the Jobcentre on 22.8.13 that she has been a victim of domestic abuse. The
DM treats Rebecca as not being required to meet any work-related requirements for
four weeks beginning on 22.8.13.
On 14.11.13 Rebecca fails to apply for a job vacancy notified to her by JCP. She
says she refused to apply for the vacancy as it is on the same industrial estate
where her ex husband works and she is afraid she may bump into him if she was to
work there. The DM determines that Rebecca has good reason for not applying for
the vacancy as it could result in a risk to her safety.

[K2065-K2070]

K2071 Mental health K2051 K2116 K2124 K2127 K2137 K2190 K2248 K2249 K2259 K2273 K2284 K2289

Claimants may have good reason if they fail to comply with a requirement if they
were experiencing poor mental health which meant that
1. they were not able to comply with a reasonable request or
2. complying with the request in question would put their mental health at risk or
3. complying with the request would have put the health of other people at risk.
Note: The consideration at 3. would apply to any situation where the claimant was
involved with others, for example their mental health may involve unprovoked violent
episodes or may mean they cannot concentrate fully and so could not drive or
operate machinery around others or their mental state may be such that spending
time with them could result in others feeling stressed.

K2072

The DM should consider each individual case on its own merits taking into
consideration all the facts and evidence and whether the claimant understood what
was required of them and their reasons for the failure taking into account in
particular their mental health.

K2073

The DM should not apply a sanction where a claimant leaves a job
1. voluntarily
or
2. through alleged misconduct
when this is associated with the claimant experiencing poor mental health and
damaging relationships in the work place.

K2074

As well as giving consideration to those claimants who have a clinically diagnosable
mental health condition, the DM should consider whether a claimant who has no
diagnosed condition may be temporarily distressed by particular circumstances that
could worsen or precipitate mental ill health.

K2075

In particular where a claimant has no previous history of mental ill health, the DM
should seek supporting medical evidence or other information that suggests that
continuing in a particular work environment was prejudicial to that individual's mental
health. The DM should seek evidence from additional sources which may include
1. health or support services
2. housing support services or
3. hostel keyworkers
where the DM can establish that the claimant is in contact with these services.

K2076

Although some claimants may have an existing mental health condition others may
not but their actions may represent the onset of a mental health issue which may be
a temporary response associated with a particular problem in a specific type of
workplace. It is for the DM to determine whether the claimant's mental state is the
genuine reason for a failure and distinguish from those that result from
dissatisfaction or genuine misconduct.
Note: Relevant information may include for example deterioration in a previously
satisfactory work attendance record, more frequent medical consultations (not
restricted to mental health issues) and uncharacteristic behaviour.

Example 1

Helen is a 32 year old lady who was previously working at a large department store
had felt her work situation was intolerable so left several weeks ago. She makes a
claim to UC.
At her initial worksearch interview Helen provides details of her previous
employment. She was employed as a stock clerk, did her job well and had an
excellent attendance record. Seven months ago, she was asked to fill in temporarily
for a colleague at the Customer Service desk for 4 weeks but was kept in that role
until her resignation. She had always been a slightly nervous person, but noticed that
with the hectic pace of her new role and being bombarded with requests and at
times even harsh words from customers, she was struggling to cope. She asked her
manager on more than 5 occasions to reassign her to her previous role, but she was
told they were short of staff. Her situation worsened, she started missing work
regularly and saw her GP four times for insomnia, headaches and `nerves'. During
the Christmas sales period things became even more hectic and her manager told
her there was no way she could be re-assigned. While she was well at home, she
was becoming increasingly frightened to go to work and spent increasing amounts of
time crying in the bathroom at work. She finally could not cope anymore and decided
to leave.
Helen provides her sick leave record and a letter from her GP to support her
condition and her prescription for sleep aids and headache medication. Further
evidence sought from her employer confirms the reasons for her leaving. The DM
determines Helen has good reason for leaving her employment.

Example 2

George who is 59 years old leaves his job as an engineering manager of 30 years
and makes a claim to UC. On his claim form and at his advisor interview George
states he could no longer cope with the stress of the job and the increased hours
and pressures as the company had suffered staff cuts and he was doing more duties
than normal.
Over the last year he had been asked to do more and more and the pressure was
causing him health concerns. He says during this period he also had several short
periods of sick absence for minor ailments which he says in past years would not
have resulted in an absence from work. He says he had discussed his concerns with
his doctor over the past 6 months who had not diagnosed a specific mental health
condition but it was noted on each visit his blood pressure was slightly raised, he
was irritable, he was suffering from a lack of sleep and that he felt stressed.
He was taking medication to help him sleep. On the day he decided to leave there
had been an accident where a colleague had been seriously injured and the extra
stress the resulting paperwork caused him and his distress for his colleague had
caused a panic attack and this triggered his decision to leave. George provides a
letter from his doctor supporting his health condition, details of his sleeping
medication and further evidence of his sick record. The doctor provides an opinion
that if George was to continue in that stressful environment it could precipitate
mental ill health. The DM determines George has good reason for leaving his
employment.

Example 3

Bob, a book-keeper, leaves his job because it was causing him stress and he was
worried about his ability to do the job. He does not provide any evidence about this,
and his employer has never complained about his work. He later produces a medical
certificate that says he should not walk much because of an old hip injury but his job
did not involve a lot of walking. He has not found another job to go to when he
leaves. Bob does not have good reason for leaving due to his old hip injury but the
fact that he is genuinely worried and suffering stress about whether he can do the
job may be reflected in the decision on good reason. The DM may wish to make
further enquiries in connection with Bob's stress and worry before deciding the good
reason question.

[K2077-K2080]

K2081 Victims of harassment and bullying K2051 K2127 K2137 K2236 K2248 K2249 K2259 K2289

Similar to cases of mental health disorders, those claimants who leave or lose
employment because they are a victim of bullying or harassment should not face
benefit sanctions. Where a person is an injured party of others' actions further
support for treating these victims as having good reason for leaving or losing work is
provided by the recognition that bullying and harassment undermine a victim's
physical and mental health, causing a range of symptoms such as
1. sleeplessness
2. loss of confidence
3. loss of appetite
4. self-doubt
5. hypervigilence
6. excessive double-checking of all actions
7. inability to relax.

K2082

Bullying and harassment can be defined as any unwanted behaviour that makes
someone feel intimidated, degraded, humiliated or offended. This may happen in the
workplace between two individuals or involve groups of people and may be obvious
or insidious. It may be persistent or an isolated incident that can occur in written
communications, by phone or through email or text, as well as face-to-face. The
method of bullying or harassment are manifold, and could include for example
1. spreading malicious rumours, or insulting someone
2. exclusion or victimisation
3. unfair treatment
4. deliberately undermining a competent worker by constant criticism.

K2083

Harassment and bullying is unlawful under relevant legislation (1) and could be related to
a person's
1. age
2. disability
3. gender reassignment
4. marriage and civil partnership
5. pregnancy and maternity
6. race, religion or belief or
7. sex and sexual orientation.
Additional evidence might be a claimant pursuing a constructive dismissal claim.

1 Equality Act 2010

K2084

The key, as with cases of mental ill health, will be in advisors identifying those who
may have left or lost work as a result of harassment and/or bullying. This will likely
be through their discussions with the claimant and from the individual's statement on
their claim form. Alternatively, it may transpire later, after enquiries have been made
with the former employer, that the claimant could be a victim of harassment or
bullying. In either case, supporting evidence will be required for DMs to be able to
reach their decision. This might be from for example
1. staff or trade union representatives
2. a legal representative
3. employment adviser
or
4. witnesses (see Note).
Note: This list is not exhaustive. Some people may leave work because of bullying
or harassment without confronting it with their employer and confirmation may be
required from other sources such as another colleague.

Example

Jayne makes a claim for UC. On her claim form Jayne indicates that she left her last
employment due to being bullied by her supervisor. On investigation it is confirmed
that Jayne suffered bullying at her last employment. She provides a witness
statement as evidence from a colleague and a letter from her trade union
representative whom she had reported the bullying to. The DM determines that
Jayne left her employment voluntarily due to bullying and so no sanction is imposed.

[K2085-K2090]

Disadvantage

K2091 Homelessness K2051 K2112 K2146

Being homeless can reasonably influence a claimant's ability to maintain their
performance in a job at a sufficient level to warrant keeping that place prior to
claiming UC. It is rare that most people who are homeless face issues only related to
housing. Many homeless people face multiple issues that can add up to form
complex barriers to work, for example: mental health issues, significant medical
health problems, substance abuse, exclusion and trauma.
Note:
Each case should be considered on the individual merits and circumstances.
There are certain conditionality easements for rough-sleepers and those in direct
access hostels and advisers should have taken account of any restrictions or
individual circumstances when setting any work related requirement giving
consideration to a claimant's housing position when drafting the Claimant
Commitment (see K2007 and further guidance in ADM Chapter J3 - Work-related
requirements).

K2092

Homelessness in itself is not provided for in legislation but an adviser may consider
the claimant
1. can be treated as dealing with a domestic emergency or
2. has a temporary change of circumstances
if an advisor considers the accommodation status impacts the claimant's capacity to
retain or find work (1) (also see K2146). The DM, however, may have to consider good
reason where the claimant has lost or left paid work due to being homeless (see K2094) or where an easement does not or no longer applies.

1 UC Regs, reg 99(5)(b)

K2093

Homeless includes
1. sleeping rough
2. sleeping in friends homes
3. staying in temporary accommodation or
4. staying in supported accommodation, e.g. a hostel.

K2094 K2092

Being homeless can contribute to a claimant having good reason for leaving or
losing a job or losing pay when they
1. were dismissed or had their hours or rate of pay reduced by their employer
who states because of their accommodation status means it was impossible
for the claimant to perform their job role satisfactorily or
2. left work or had reduced hours or rates of pay voluntarily giving the reasons as
due to their accommodation status and can provide evidence of why the job
was unsustainable.

K2095 K2107

When asked to show good reason the claimant will need to provide evidence to
show why they were unable to sustain work and bring any relevant circumstances to
the attention of the DM. For example evidence that verifies the claimants address as
a hostel or bed and breakfast or other temporary accommodation. The claimant may
also need to show evidence of
1. a lack of hygiene facilities
2. time required to seek housing
3. a link to any other influences that are reasons for the behaviour such as
3.1 mental health issues
3.2 being a victim of harassment
3.3 bullying
or
3.4 domestic
violence.
Note: It will be for the DM to consider all the facts and evidence in an individuals
circumstances but good reason may not apply if a claimant is homeless but lost work
because of other reasons such as misconduct.

Example 1

Garreth makes a claim to UC. He has left his job in a bar and states on his claim
form that he had to leave his job as he could not attend work at the hours required
as he is homeless and sleeping at a friends house where there is no public transport
to get him to the job.
He was having to walk to and from work as he cannot afford a taxi as his friends
house is over 90minutes away from his employer and he was constantly arriving late.
Because of the long and awkward working hours, starting at 11am and often not
finishing until 1 or 2 am he has no time to look for alternative housing and his friend
had only offered him his couch on a temporary basis and was putting pressure on
him to leave.
He states he is homeless because he had suffered physical abuse from his alcoholic
father and he had left the parental home for his own safety after a row when his
father had beaten him and he suffered a fractured jaw. His parents address was
near his place of work and he was constantly worried and anxious he would
encounter his father whilst on his way to or from work. He is very distressed over his
current situation.
Garreth provides written confirmation of his temporary address from his friend and
confirmation from the hospital of his broken jaw. The DM can ascertain from local
knowledge from the temporary address the problems Garreth would have with
transport to the place of work.
The DM determines that it was due to his homelessness that Garreth had left his job
and does not impose a sanction.

Example 2

Asha makes a claim to UC. On her claim form she states she is living in a hostel and
has lost her job because she is homeless and has a drug problem. On further
investigation her employer confirms she was dismissed for misconduct. She was
caught stealing money from another employee. Although Asha is homeless she was
dismissed from her current job due to misconduct and not due to being homeless.
The DM should then go onto consider the misconduct, for example any other issues
such as mental health issues and her drug addiction when considering whether to
impose a sanction (see K2106 - K2107 and ADM Chapter K3 - Higher Level
Sanctions).

[K2096-K2100]

K2101 Disability K2051

Disability in itself should not be a factor that should be deemed as good reason for
failing to carry out work-related requirements but related factors should be
considered, for example;
1. the level of support available to the claimant should be considered in the
claimant's ability to meet the requirements, e.g. a single disabled claimant
living alone may find meeting their obligations harder then those with support
from others such as other members of their household or
2. some reasonable adjustments may be needed when a claimant is newly
disabled in helping them to come to terms with their disability
Note:
Advisers should have taken account of any disability or impairment when
setting any work related requirement (see K2007 and further guidance in ADM
Chapter J3 - Work-related requirements).

[K2102]

K2103 Learning difficulties, poor literacy or numeracy K2051

Good reason would not be likely to apply if the claimant's failure was because they
did not take action to address a basic skill requirement that could assist them into
the job market. However consideration of the claimant's
1. ability to understand what requirements are expected of them and
2. ability to be able to perform those tasks and
3. any distress or anxiety or other mental health issues suffered as a consequence
should be born in mind when deciding good reason for any failure, act or omission.

Example

Bindu is a kitchen porter whose job is washing up and getting things out for the
cooks. One day he is asked to clean an oven and flips and walks out. Bindu has
significant learning difficulties, can only read a little and can only understand limited
english.
Bindu had a very simple contract of employment which specified his duties very
closely but this was different from the version the employer had produced which
included `any other reasonable instruction'.
He had been very distressed at being asked to do something he had never done
before, he did not know how to do and that he could not understand or read the
instructions how to do it.
The DM determines Bindu had good reason for leaving his job and no sanction is
imposed.

K2104

DMs are not judging the claimants capacity to learn, simply whether they performed
the required task to their capability. Any task should be reasonable in the claimant's
individual circumstances and they should be capable of performing it.
Note:
Advisers should have taken account of any restrictions when setting any work-
related requirement (see K2007 and further guidance in ADM Chapter J3 - Work-
related requirements). This includes taking account of what literacy, numeracy and
language skills the claimant has and what opportunities may or may not be available
to improve learning new skills. For example: using digital technology and the access
to a computer may well be restricted for some claimants and should be born in mind.

[K2105]

K2106 Substance abuse K2095

If a claimant failed to meet a work-related requirement because they were under the
influence of drugs or alcohol would not amount to good reason for a failure. However
other circumstances, e.g. medical issues, might contribute to the failure and the DM
should consider all the facts and circumstances of the individual case when deciding
whether a claimant had good reason for a failure.
Note:
See ADM Chapter J3 - Work-related requirements and the restrictions on
availability where the claimant is receiving and participating in a structured recovery
from alcohol or drug dependency for no more than 6 months (1).

1 UC Regs, reg 99(3)(e)

K2107 K2095

If a claimant was sacked from their job for being under the influence of drugs or
alcohol then a sanction should normally apply. If however they lost their job because
they were in treatment, the DM would normally consider this to be good reason and
a sanction should not apply.
Note: Each case would have to be judged separately on its own merits. Advisers
should have taken account of any restrictions when setting any work-related
requirement (see K2007 and further guidance in ADM Chapter J3 - Work-related
requirements).

Example

See example 2 at K2095. On further investigation the DM establishes that Asha has
a severe addiction problem and stole money to pay for drugs. She is now being
referred to a rehabilitation programme. The DM does not impose a sanction for her
misconduct (see ADM Chapter K3 - Higher Level Sanctions for further guidance on
Misconduct).

K2108 Legal constraints

Any legal constraints that prevent a claimant carrying out
1. a work-related requirement
2. taking-up
or
3. retaining work
may well give the claimant good reason for a failure. For example where they fail
CRB checks or are listed on the sex offenders register. It will be up to the DM to
consider all the facts and circumstances of the individual case.
Note
1: Where a claimant has a driving ban alternative travel arrangements could
be made and this in itself would not constitute good reason for a failure.
Note
2: Advisers should have taken account of any restrictions when setting any
work-related requirements (see K2007 and further guidance in ADM Chapter J3 on
Work-related requirements).

[K2109-K2110]

K2111 Domestic situations K2051 K2112 K2146

Relevant
legislation (1) provides for situations where the claimant can be excused their
work-related activities (see guidance in ADM Chapter J3 - Work-related
requirements for details of what easements apply).Where requirements are not
applicable the claimant would not have to show good reason (also see the guidance
at K2146). It is only if the claimant does not fall within the easements that the DM will
consider good reason.

1 UC Regs, reg 99

K2112

Where crises arise unexpectedly which limit a claimant's ability to meet their work-
related requirements and an easement does not or no longer applies (see K2111)
the DM should give careful consideration when deciding whether a claimant can
show good reason and take into account in particular the nature of the crises and
what is reasonable in the individual's circumstances. For example
1. a break up of the family
2. short notice caring commitments of the elderly, sick or young children
3. a domestic emergency
4. a family bereavement (see ADM Chapter J3 - Work-related requirements for
easements that apply)
5. homelessness (see K2091)
Note
1: This list is not exhaustive. The DM should consider each case on the
individual facts and circumstances of the case.
Note
2: The DM should in particular consider what is reasonable behaviour
expected by a reasonable person in a working situation, for example; how would
someone working react in a similar situation, e.g. would they be expected to attend
work or is it reasonable they would need time off to deal with the emergency.

K2113

The DM should consider
1. the nature of the emergency and
2. when the emergency arose and
3. any alternative arrangements the claimant has made and
4. any alternative arrangements the claimant could reasonably have made.
Note:
There is no automatic good reason, the DM should consider all cases on the
individual merits and circumstances of the case applying the `reasonableness' test
(see K2021).

[K2114]

K2115 Examples of what may be good reason in specific circumstances

There are certain examples of what may be good reason in specific circumstances
based on case law and employment regulations where a claimant has
1. failed to comply with a requirement to take up or apply for paid work or
2. left work or loses pay voluntarily.
See guidance at K2116 - K2298.

K2116 Significant harm to health or unreasonable physical or mental stress where a claimant has failed to comply with a requirement to take up or apply for paid work, more paid work or better paid work K2051 K2115 P6051

The DM must take into account when deciding good reason any condition or
personal circumstance of the claimant which shows that a particular employment
would be likely to cause
1. significant harm to the claimant's health or
2. the claimant unreasonable physical or mental stress (also see K2071).

K2117 Significant harm to health

The best evidence is confirmation from the claimant's doctor that the employment is
likely to cause significant harm to the claimant's health. The DM should check any
medical evidence provided to make sure that it is relevant to the type of employment
in question.

K2118 K2042

If medical evidence is not available, the facts may still allow the DM to decide that
the claimant had good reason. The DM can accept good reason, without requesting
medical evidence, where
1. the employment itself or
2. the place the claimant would have had to carry out the employment would
have made the medical condition worse. For example, a claimant with
asthma, is offered employment working in a dusty atmosphere.

K2119

The DM should never decide to impose a sanction based on medical evidence which
could not be shown to the First tier Tribunal because the claimant does not agree to
it being shown.

K2120

Claimants who suffer from pneumoconiosis or pneumoconiosis and tuberculosis
may hold a
1. certificate of suspension (issued before 27.11.74) or
2. letter of advice.
These documents are issued by a PMB. A certificate of suspension tells the person
to give up employment in a stated industry, and not to take employment in certain
occupations. A letter of advice advises the person whether it is safe to work in a
particular occupation.

K2121 K2128

The DM should accept that the claimant has good reason if the claimant
1. holds a certificate or letter and
2. refuses employment of a type listed in the certificate or letter.
If the claimant refuses employment of another type, and the DM is not sure whether
it would harm the claimant's health, a medical adviser should be asked whether the
claimant's health would be at risk if the claimant accepted the employment.

K2122

The employment must be likely to cause significant harm to the claimant's health.

Example

Guy refuses to apply for a job in a firework factory because there has recently been
an explosion there. There is no evidence to suggest accidents are likely to happen
frequently or in the future. Guy does not have good reason (1).
1 R(U) 32/56

K2123 Unreasonable physical or mental stress

Sometimes a particular employment would be likely to cause unreasonable stress
without being likely to cause actual significant harm but the claimant perceives it will.
For example, claimants may be likely to suffer unreasonable
1. physical stress if they
1.1 are disabled and take employment which is physically hard or
1.2 take employment which means they have to work at night, but they find
it difficult to sleep during the day or
2. mental stress if they work somewhere they dread, for example an abattoir or
an undertaker's or
3. distress because a certain type of work exacerbates experiences of anxiety or
mental distress, for example a person with social anxiety or a history of
agrophobia who is expected to deal with large numbers of people.
Note: Often this is a very individual and personal thing and may not have been
identified as a restriction with their advisor. What one person can cope with will not
be the same for another person and the DM should consider each case on its
individual merits and circumstances (see K2124).

K2124 K2123

Where the claimant genuinely believes that a particular employment is likely to cause
1. significant harm to the claimant's health or
2. the claimant unreasonable physical or mental stress
the DM should take this into account when deciding whether or not the claimant has
good reason (see also K2071).

[K2125]

K2126 Consideration of claimant's health where claimant has left paid work

The best evidence is confirmation from the claimant's doctor that
1. the work was harmful to the claimant's health or
2. the doctor advised the claimant to leave.
The DM should check any medical evidence to make sure that it is relevant to the
claimant's capacity to do the job in question but also see K2127.

K2127 K2126

If medical evidence is not available, the facts may still allow the DM to decide that
the claimant had good reason for leaving. The DM can accept that there is good
reason, without requesting medical evidence, where
1. the work itself or
2. the place the claimant works in
made the medical condition worse
Note: Consideration should also be given to the guidance in K2071 and K2081 if the
reasons for leaving were due to mental health issues, harassment or bullying.

K2128

Where a claimant
1. was suffering from pneumoconiosis on its own or with tuberculosis and
2. had a
2.1 certificate of suspension or
2.2 letter of advice
issued by a PMB, the DM should follow the guidance at K2121 to decide whether the
claimant has good reason for leaving employment.

[K2129-K2130]

K2131 Sincere religious or conscientious objection K2051 K2136 K2190

If a claimant refuses to comply with a work-related requirement because of any
religious or conscientious objection, which the claimant sincerely holds, the DM
should take this into account when deciding good reason. Claimants cannot show
good reason just by saying, for example, that they conscientiously object to doing a
certain employment. They must
1. show that one or more of the terms and conditions of the employment
conflicts with the principles on which their objection is based and
2. give enough evidence to satisfy the DM that their religious or conscientious
objection is sincerely held.

K2132

The following are examples of religious or conscientious objections which may provide
good reason
1. an objection to employment that involves the handling or supply of alcohol,
cigarettes or tobacco
2. a religious objection to being in employment on a particular day each week
3. an objection to employment with something which may be used to destroy life,
whether human or animal
4. a religious objection to being in employment with members of the opposite
sex.

K2133

A principled objection is not the same as a conscientious objection. The terms and
conditions of the employment must require the claimant to act in a way which is
contrary to their ethical or moral principles (1).
1 R(JSA) 7/03

[K2134-K2135]

K2136 Other terms and conditions which affect a claimant's personal freedom and beliefs K2137

Claimants will have good reason for leaving paid work if the employer ordered them
to do something that conflicted with their sincerely held religious or conscientious
principles (see K2131).

K2137

K2136may also apply where claimants left employment because they
1. objected to medical examinations or injections or
2. were genuinely afraid that the examinations or injections would cause them
harm.
k2138 But if the
1. requirement to have a medical examination or injection was reasonable and
2. claimant's reasons for refusing were only dislike or some irrational excuse
then the claimant does not have good reason (1).
Note: Consideration should also be given to the guidance in K2071 and K2081 if the
reasons for leaving were due to mental health issues, harassment or bullying.
1 R(U) 16/52

K2139

-

K2139

K2140 Caring responsibilities K2051 K2141 K2142

If a claimant is the responsible carer of a child aged 5 - 13 they have good reason
1. not to accept a job that is not compatible with the child's normal school hours,
including the time it takes the child to travel to and from school
2. for leaving paid work or losing pay because working hours are incompatible
with caring responsibilities
Note
1: Advisers should have identified any reasonable constraints when setting
activities( see ADM Chapter J3 (Work-related requirements).
Note
2: It is only if the claimant does not fall within the easements within relevant
legislation (1) that the DM will consider good reason.

1 UC Regs, reg 88

K2141

However where K2140 does not apply, the claimant's caring responsibilities must
make it unreasonable to take the employment. A claimant should do all that is
reasonably possible to fit in responsibilities with the employment on offer. But the
claimant is not expected to take employment where the hours are so long or
inconvenient that the claimant could not carry out the caring responsibilities. For
example where the claimant has caring responsibilities for a teenager with health
problems.
Note: Each case should be considered on its own merits taking all the individual
circumstances into consideration. Advisers should normally have taken all the
claimant's circumstances into account when setting work-related requirements, see
ADM Chapter J3 (Work-related requirements) and it is only where any easements do
not apply that the DM will be considering good reason.

K2142

If claimants are responsible for children, they cannot show good reason for a failure
because they have to supervise them at certain times unless they can show that
there is no reasonable alternative. The DM should ensure that claimants have taken
reasonable steps to secure appropriate and affordable child care. For example
options such as
1. day nurseries
2. breakfast and after school clubs
3. child care schemes
4. registered childminders
5. the help of friends or relatives (see note 2)
should be considered and reasons given if claimants state they are not suitable. This
list is not exhaustive.
Note 1: Certain restrictions may apply depending on the age of the child, see ADM
Chapter J3 (Work-related requirements) and if any easements apply the DM will not
be considering good reason (see Note 2 in K2140).
Note 2: There is no requirement that friends and family are asked to provide
informal childcare in order for a claimant to show good reason only that it is
reasonable that they are considered.
Example:
Georgina is a LP with one son, aged 14, who has special needs. She has been
offered paid work for 30 hours per week. She will need after school care for 2 hours
each day. The Adviser has referred her to the Children's Information Services to
obtain details of the child care schemes available in the area and has explained the
financial help available with child care costs. Georgina refuses the job as she states
that the childminders in the area have no vacancies for the times she needs, the
after school club is full and there are no friends or family who can look after her son.
The DM considers that Georgina has good reason for refusing the job.

K2143

Good reason may be shown where the claimant refuses employment which would
involve, for example
1. employment at night or
2. a very early start or late finish to the employment, or other unsocial hours or
3. overnight stays away from home and
it would not be practicable for anyone else to take over the claimant's caring
responsibilities at these times (1).
Note: Advisers should normally have taken all the claimant's circumstances into
account when setting work-related requirements.
1 R(U) 20/60

[K2144-K2145]

K2146 Temporary changes in circumstances K2051 K2092 K2111 P6051

It is unreasonable for a claimant to be expected to comply with a work-related
requirement opportunity if the reason for doing so was that the claimant
1. was attending court as a witness, juror or party to any proceedings (1) or
2. was arranging or attending the funeral of a close relative or close friend (2)
3. was crewing or launching a lifeboat or
4. was on duty as a P/T member of a fire brigade or
5. was receiving and participating in a structured recovery-orientated course of
alcohol or drug dependency treatment for less than 6 months (3) or
6. has
6.1 temporary child care responsibilities or
6.2
is dealing with a domestic emergency or
6.3 other temporary circumstances such as being homeless (4).
The work availability requirement should be lifted and in such cases the DM does not
need to consider the question of good reason (see ADM Chapter J3 - Work-related
requirements for further guidance). Also see the guidance at K2111 where the
claimant is dealing with a domestic emergency and K2091 if the claimant is
homeless.
1 UC Regs, reg 99(3)(a); 2 reg 99(5)(b); 3 reg 99(3)(e); 4 reg 99(5)(b)

[K2147-K2150]

K2151 Circumstances that may show good reason for a failure to comply with a requirement to take up or apply for paid work K2051

If the claimant does not have a good reason that falls within the circumstances listed
at K2051 1. to 11. the DM may take other certain circumstances into account when
determining the doubt relating to not taking up an offer of paid work or a refusal to
apply for a job vacancy. This includes
1. any restrictions the claimant has been allowed to place on their work search,
having regard to any discrepancy between these and the requirements of the
job, although minor differences may not count (see K2156)
2. expenses unavoidably incurred (e.g. childcare and travelling expenses), or
that the claimant had to or would have had to, incur if they had taken the job, if
they amounted ,or would have amounted, to an unreasonably high proportion
of the income they would have received. The proportion that is considered
reasonable increases the more they are paid (see K2157 - K2167)
3. any other factor that appears relevant (see K2171 - K2207).
Note: For guidance on travelling time to and from paid work see ADM Chapter J3
(Work-related requirements).

[K2152-K2155]

K2156 Restrictions on work search K2151

Types of jobs recorded on the Claimant Commitment as the types of jobs the
claimant is looking for are not necessarily restrictions as prescribed for in relevant
legislation (1). Jobs identified are the best prospects at the time the Claimant
Commitment is signed and that may change with time.
1 UC Regs, reg 97
Example:
Samara has been claiming UC for 3 months. She agreed on her Claimant
Commitment that the type of work she was looking for was office work, receptionist
or bank clerk. Samara is notified by her advisor of a vacancy for a retail job at a local
supermarket and she fails to apply for the job stating it is not the type of job she is
looking for. The DM considers Samara does not have good reason for failing to
apply for the vacancy.

K2157 Employment expenses K2151

The DM should take into account when deciding good reason any expenses which
1. claimants have to meet only for the purpose of the employment and
2. would be an unreasonably high proportion of the expected pay from the
employment.

K2158 K2163

Expenses which can be taken into account include
1. travelling expenses to and from the place of employment by a route and
means appropriate to the claimant's circumstances
2. the cost of tools or equipment which the claimant has to provide
3. the cost of essential protective clothing, not provided by the employer
4. the cost of a criminal record check (known as a disclosure).

K2159

Deductions from wages of tax, NI and occupational pension contributions cannot be
taken into account. This is because they are not expenses incurred for the purposes
of the employment.

[K2160]

K2161 Child care expenses K2163

The DM should take into account when deciding good reason any child care
expenses which
1. are or would be necessarily incurred as a result of the claimant being in the
employment and
2. did or would represent an unreasonably high proportion of the remuneration
which it is reasonable to expect that he would receive from the employment.

K2162

There are no rules for deciding whether expenses would be an unreasonably high
proportion of remuneration. Each case must be decided on its own facts. But the
greater the level of remuneration is, the more reasonable it is for the expenses to be
a higher proportion of it. The DM should also consider support available towards
childcare from UC or other sources.

K2163

The DM should consider employment expenses as in K2158 and child care
expenses as in K2161 separately. They should not be aggregated when considering
good reason.

K2164 Unreasonably high proportion of pay

The expenses must be an unreasonably high proportion of the expected pay for
good reason to apply. Other issues about the level of pay or the claimant's income or
outgoings cannot be taken into account. For example, the claimant cannot show
good reason by arguing that the expenses are unreasonable because the claimant's
1. wages would have been the only income the household has or
2. household expenses are particularly high.

K2165

There are no rules for deciding whether expenses would be an unreasonably high
proportion of pay. Each case must be decided on its own facts. But the greater the
level of pay is, the more reasonable it is for the expenses to be a higher proportion of
it.

K2166 K2192

If the claimant would have an expense
1. for only a short time, for example where the claimant would have to pay for
transport to work initially, but then works transport would be provided after a
time or
2. as a "one-off", for example cost of tools
It would be reasonable for the claimant to spend more to meet such an expense
than would be the case if the expense would last as long as the employment. The
DM should also take into account that the claimant may be able to meet such
expenses through the Flexible Support Fund.
Note: The Flexible Support Fund comprises of resources available to Jobcentre
Plus Managers to cater for a variety of local needs for claimants.
K2167 - K2170

K2171 Other circumstances that may amount to good reason K2151

The DM should
1. consider all matters put forward by the claimant and
2. decide whether or not to take them into account when deciding good reason.

K2172

Account should also be taken of any other factor that appear relevant. In particular
when the terms of a job on offer break the laws on
1. minimum working conditions or
2. they knowingly connive with an employer or agency in a
2.1 tax avoidance scheme or
2.2 PAYE is not being properly accounted for.

K2173 Attitude of claimant's trade union

The fact that
1. the prospective employer is on the "black list" of the claimant's trade union (1) or
2. the claimant refused the employment on union instructions or advice (2) does
not,
of itself, provide good reason.
1 R(U) 1/52; 2 R(U) 9/64

K2174 Possible return to previous employment

The fact that a claimant
1. has a previous employment that has not ended and
2. may at some time return to it does
not
of itself provide good reason for refusing other employment (1) (however,
see K2175 - K2176).
1 R(U) 1/52

K2175 Laid off and short time workers K2174

If claimants
1. are laid off and
2. are being allowed to and do in fact restrict the employment they are willing to
take to
2.1 the job they are laid off from or
2.2 casual employment within daily travelling distance of home and
3. refuse or fail to apply for or accept employment because it does not meet any
of the restrictions claimants imposed within 2.1 to 2.2
they will be considered to have good reason. The DM should not impose a sanction.

K2176 K2174

If the claimants are
1. on short time and
2. are being allowed to and do in fact restrict the employment they are willing to
take to
2.1 the job they are on short time in or
2.2 casual employment within daily travelling distance of home for the
hours they are not working in their short time employment and
3. refuse or fail to apply for or accept employment because it does not meet any
restrictions claimants impose within 2.1 to 2.2
they will have good reason. The DM should not sanction them.

K2177 Decision of Employment Tribunal pending

The fact that a claimant is waiting for the result of an Employment Tribunal hearing
on unfair dismissal does not of itself provide good reason for refusing other
employment.

K2178 Claimant already working

A claimant who is working and is still entitled to UC does not have good reason for
refusing other employment just because the claimant would have had to give up their
existing job. But see K2179 if the claimant's reason for refusing other employment
was that notice had to be given to end the current job.

K2179 K2178 K2180

If the other employment offered would only have lasted for a short period, and the
claimant would then have been unable to return to the previous work, the claimant
may have good reason. It is for the DM to consider all the facts and circumstances
of the individual case on its merits.

Example

Jack, who is working 10 hours a week at NM rate is offered about two weeks
employment of 39 hours a week in the same type of employment, with a different
employer. He is not sure that his current employer will take him back on when the
new employment ends. Jack has good reason for failing to apply for the vacancy (1).
1 R(U) 34/56

K2180 Temporary employment

Subject to K2179, the fact that the employment offered is only temporary does not of
itself provide good reason (1). It is for the DM to consider all the facts of the individual
case on its merits and apply a common sense approach in the individuals
circumstances and apply the reasonableness test (see K2021).
1 R(U) 35/52

K2181 Definite chance of other employment

If the claimant has a definite chance of other employment that
1. will start in the very near future and
2. is likely to last at least as long as the employment offered and
3. will be lost if the claimant accepts the employment offered
this will be good reason. Whether a chance is definite must be decided on the
individual facts of the case.

K2182 Personal preference

Claimants do not have good reason for refusing employment because they
1. would prefer another type of work (1) or
2. wish to find employment for themselves without the help of Jobcentre Plus (2).
1 CU 3/48(KL); 2 R(U) 29/53

K2183 Other more suitable people unemployed

A claimant does not have good reason for refusing employment just because there
are other unemployed people who are more suited to the vacancy. The question is
whether the claimant has good reason for refusing it taking into account all the
individual circumstances of the case.

K2184 Job vacant because of a trade dispute stoppage

Claimants cannot be sanctioned just because they refuse or fail to apply for or
accept a job that is vacant because of a stoppage of work due to a TD. This applies
even if the fact is not known at the date of refusal, but comes to light later. If a
sanction has already been imposed, the adviser should let the DM know of the
change so that he can consider revising or superseding the decision.

K2185

For the job to be vacant because of the TD stoppage
1. the
stoppage must exist at the time the vacancy is notified or offered. It is not
enough that there is a TD, or that a stoppage seems imminent and
2. the vacancy must have been caused by the stoppage. This will not be the
case if the vacancy
2.1 was caused by the illness of an employee, even if there is a stoppage of
work at the employer's premises or
2.2 arose normally after the stoppage had ended and the places of the
employees affected by the TD had been filled or
2.3 arose because an employee left a job where there was no stoppage in
order to take a job where there was a stoppage.

[K2186]

K2187 Employment which the claimant has previously left

If the claimant has in the past left, or been dismissed from
1. the same employment and
2. employment with the same employer
that fact is not in itself good reason but the circumstances in which the previous
employment ended may give the claimant good reason for refusing re-employment
(for example consideration should be given to any mental or physical health issues
or any of the circumstances in K2051).

K2188

Where the claimant refuses re-employment the DM should consider
1. all the circumstances surrounding the termination and
2. the effect of the termination on the relations between the claimant and the employer

K2189 Objection to employer or fellow employees

A claimant may refuse employment because
1. the claimant objects to the employer or other employees or
2. it would mean working with a person whose conduct is known to be offensive.

K2190

In extreme cases the claimant may be able to show that such employment would be
likely to cause
1. unreasonable mental stress (see K2071) or
2. be grounds for a sincere religious objection (see K2131).
Otherwise, such an objection will only be good reason if it is so great that it would be
unreasonable to expect the claimant to work in those conditions.

Example

Terry has previously left employment because of a personal disagreement with a
colleague. She is offered a job by a different employer, but finds out that the
colleague she had the disagreement with is now working there, and will be her
supervisor. She is still on bad terms with the ex-colleague. She turns the job down.
The DM considers that Terry has good reason.

K2191

Unless there are exceptional circumstances, an objection to an employer because
that employer has previously sacked the claimant does not provide good reason if
there are no other reasons to consider.

K2192 Claimant does not have necessary equipment

Claimants sometimes say that they are available for a particular type of employment
where it is customary for employees to have their own tools, special clothes etc. If
claimants do not have such tools, clothes etc, this will not generally be good reason.
But in some cases there may be special reasons which will be good reason. For
example, a claimant's tools are accidentally destroyed or stolen, and the claimant
cannot replace them at once. But the DM should also take into account that the
claimant may be able to buy such tools and equipment with help from the Flexible
Support Fund.
Note: See K2166 for meaning of the Flexible Support Fund.

K2193

It is important to remember that health and safety is the responsibility of employers
(class 1 employment) and that the provision of suitable protective equipment lies
with the employer (1). Any available information concerning provision of equipment or
tools should be used to decide whether a jobseeker has good reason for refusing
vacancies offered.
1 Personal Protective Equipment at Work Regulations 1992

[K2194-K2195]

K2196 Seafarers

Seafarers may refuse an opportunity to go back to sea because they want to
1. change their occupation or
2. take shore leave which they are due, and by the time the leave is finished the
chance of employment is lost, for example because the ship has sailed.

K2197

It is difficult for seafarers who want to change their occupation, particularly if they are
abroad or at sea, to find alternative employment to start as soon as their contract
ends. If they
1. have taken whatever steps they could and
2. seem to have reasonable prospects of finding other employment fairly quickly
the DM should accept that they have good reason.

K2198

The DM should take into account that seafarers are entitled to some leave after
voyages. But this does not mean that they have good reason for refusing chances of
employment during any period of leave, regardless of the circumstances. They must
show that they have not acted unreasonably in relying on UC.

K2199 Working time regulations

The Working Time Regulations 1998 provide that a worker's working time, including
overtime, shall not exceed an average of 48 hours for each seven days (the average
being calculated over a 17 week period) except where a worker has agreed with his
employer in writing that this limit should not apply in his case.

K2200

A jobseeker has good reason for refusing employment of over an average of 48
hours per week if he gives the number of hours as his reason for refusal,
irrespective of whether he selected the vacancy himself, applied for the job or
attended an interview being fully aware of the hours required.

K2201 Anti-social behaviour order, community order or community disposal

Claimants may refuse employment because it would mean that they would break
their anti social behaviour order, community order or community disposal taking into
account any necessary travelling time. If claimants have tried unsuccessfully to get
their order or disposal varied they would have good reason for refusing employment.

K2202 Claimant given incorrect details of employment

Claimants may refuse or fail to apply for or accept a vacancy, and it may later be
found that they have been given incorrect details about the vacancy.

K2203

The DM should impose a sanction if
1. the claimant cannot show good reason for refusing a job on the terms
wrongly notified and
2. the actual terms of the job would have been more favourable (1).

1 R(U) 20/55

K2204

The DM should not impose a sanction if the claimant can show good reason for
refusing a job on the terms they were wrongly notified. The DM does not need to
consider whether the claimant could have shown good reason for refusing the job
had the actual terms been known.

Example

An adviser informs Dan about a vacancy as a packer in a local meat factory. He
mistakenly tells Dan the rate of pay is 10 per hour. The actual rate is 12 per hour.
Dan refuses to apply for the vacancy because in his last job, which ended two weeks
ago, as he was paid more than 10 per hour as a packer. When considering good
reason the DM treats the vacancy as if it was paying 10 per hour.

K2205 Claimants change their minds K2206

Claimants who have refused or failed to apply for or accept a vacancy may change
their minds and apply for or accept it
1. before it has been filled and
2. before the job was due to start and
3. their application is accepted for consideration by the employer.
In such cases claimants have not refused or failed to apply for or accept the
vacancy.

K2206

If
1. claimants change their minds as in K2205 after the DM has imposed
sanctions or
2. the DM imposes sanctions without being aware that claimants have changed
their minds
the DM should consider revising or superseding the original decision in the
claimant's favour.

K2207 Other reasons K2151 K2236

The reasons mentioned in this chapter are not exhaustive. The DM must consider
any other reason the claimant puts forward for refusing or failing to apply for or
accept employment applying the test of reasonableness in consideration of all the
facts and evidence in the individual case.

[K2208-K2210]

K2211 Circumstances that do not show good reason

A claimant cannot refuse to apply for a job because of the rate of pay offered (except
where this is below the NMW, (see K2213)) or because
1. of their income or outgoings (see Note) or those of any member of their
household either as they were or would be if they took the job or carried out
the work-related requirement.
2. they argue they need a high wage because they have a large mortgage or an
expensive lifestyle.
Note:
`Outgoings' excludes expenses (such as for childcare) taken into account that
would be an unreasonably high proportion of the claimant's income

K2212

The DM must disregard anything relating to the level of pay in the employment in
question when deciding whether the claimant has good reason. The fact that the pay
offered was
1. lower than the pay the claimant had previously received or
2. not enough to cover the claimant's financial commitments or
3. lower than the pay received by most other employees in that occupation or
4. less than the claimant is getting in benefits
are all related to the level of pay, and must be disregarded.

K2213 National minimum wage K2211 K2238

Claimants have good reason for refusing employment if they do so because
1. the national minimum wage applies to them and
2. the employment does not pay at least the national minimum wage that applies
to them.
K2214 - K2220
Circumstances that may show good reason where a claimant leaves paid work or loses pay voluntarily

K2221 General K2051

To have good reason for leaving a job the claimant must show
1. they acted reasonably in leaving and
2. that their circumstances make it proper that public funds should support them.

K2222

There are no hard and fast rules as to when claimants have shown good reason for
leaving or losing employment, because the circumstances in which they leave or
lose employment are so varied. The DM should consider as a whole all the
circumstances in which the claimant left or lost the employment (1).

1 R(U) 20/64(T)

K2223

Claimants cannot show good reason just because they acted reasonably in their own
interests (1). The DM does not have to look at whether or not the claimant's leaving
was in the public interest (2). It is the interests of other tax payers which should be
taken into account (3). The DM should decide whether the claimant has good reason
for relying on UC (4).
Note: In all cases the DM should have regard to the guidance at K2051et seq when
considering all the individual facts and circumstances of a case where the claimant
has voluntarily left or loses paid work.
1 R(U)20/64(T); 2 R(U)3/81 Appendix; 3 R(U)20/64(T); 4 R(U)3/81 Appendix

[K2224-K2225]

K2226 Other circumstances that may show good reason

In addition to the guidance at K2051 the DM should have regard to the following
when considering good reason that can apply to UC claims for cases where a
claimant leaves paid work or loses pay voluntarily:
1. any caring responsibilities which made it unreasonable for the claimant to stay
in their job. In deciding whether it was unreasonable, the DM may look at
whether childcare was (or could have been) reasonably available and, if it was
(or would have been) unsuitable because of the claimant's or the child's,
needs and
2. any childcare expenses the claimant had to pay as a result of being in the job,
(and the support from UC and other sources to meet those expenses), if they
amounted to an unreasonably high proportion of the income the claimant
received. The proportion that is considered reasonable increases the more is
paid (see note) and
3. whether, if possible, where the conditions of employment are poor, a claimant
took reasonable steps to sort out any problems, e.g. by using any grievance
procedure, and to look for another job seriously before giving one up (see K2246).
Note:There are no rules for deciding whether child care expenses would be an
unreasonably high proportion of the pay received from that employment. Each case
must be decided on its own facts. But the greater the pay the more reasonable it is
for the expenses to be a higher proportion of it.

K2227

Good reason may be shown if;
1. the claimant's chances of getting paid work were good and, in addition, there
were strong reasons for leaving their job and they acted reasonably in doing
so (see K2265)
2. the claimant genuinely did not know or were mistaken about the conditions of
the job (eg, it was beyond their physical or mental capacity, or was harmful to
their health), gave it a fair trial before leaving and it was reasonable for them
to have left when they did (see K2231 et seq)
3. the claimant left a job for personal or domestic reasons (eg, gave up work to
look after a sick relative). The claimant has to justify leaving the job before
looking for alternative employment or tried negotiating an arrangement with
their employer to resolve a problem (see K2271)
4. the claimant leaves to move with their partner who has taken a job elsewhere
and can show they have good reason. The claimant may have to demonstrate
how important it was to their partner's career to make the move and how good
their chances are of finding work in the new area (see K2272 et seq)
5. the claimant's employer changed the terms and conditions of employment that
does not amount to the contract of employment ending. The claimant is
expected to use any available grievance procedure first. DMs should not take
account of any matter about the level of remuneration into account other than
national minimum wage (see K2241)
6. the claimant left their job because of a firm offer of alternative employment,
but claimed UC because the offer fell through, unless
6.1 the offer was cancelled before they left their previous employment or
6.2 they changed their mind and did not take the new job and could have
stayed in their existing employment or did not ask their employer if they
could stay (see K2265 et seq).
Note:
As in every case in the consideration of good reason for any of the reasons
listed at 1.- 6. the DM has to consider all the individual circumstances of the case on
its own merits taking into account in particular any mental health issues that may
arise as a consequence.

[K2228-K2230]

K2231 Terms and conditions of employment K2227

Claimants cannot show good reason for leaving employment because
1. they found it distasteful or
2. it was below their expectations.

K2232

But claimants may have good reason (1) if
1. they genuinely did not know, or were mistaken, about the nature or conditions
of the employment (other than pay) when they accepted it and left after a fair
trial or
2. they tried a different kind of employment because there was no work in their
own line and the new work did not suit them.
1 R(U) 3/73

Example

Stewart leaves his employment as a trainee office manager after six weeks of a
probationary period of three months. He considers it is unfair to his employer to
continue training when he believes that the work is too difficult for him and he would
never be able to do the work and prior to leaving he has provided evidence that he
has started to apply for other jobs. Stewart has acted responsibly and has good
reason for leaving.

K2233

Claimants will not have good reason for leaving if they
1. knew about the conditions that caused them to leave when they took the
employment and
2. they took the employment in spite of those conditions.
The claimant is expected to give the job a fair trial to try to resolve the difficulties.

K2234

A claimant may leave their employment because they were required to work more
than 48 hours a week, in contravention of the EU Working Hours Directive. If they
have taken no action to resolve their complaint with the employer, they cannot show
good reason.

K2235

A claimant cannot argue they had good reason simply because the conditions of
employment were poor (other than for a breach in the law). They are expected if
possible to take steps to sort out any problems, eg, by using any grievance
procedure, and to look for another job seriously before giving one up (1).

1 R(U) 20/64(T)

K2236

The terms and conditions of employment (other than the level of pay) must make the
employment so unsuitable that the claimant could not reasonably have been expected
to stay in the job any longer. If this is the case, the claimant has good reason even if
there were no prospects of other employment (see K2207 (1) and K2081 where a
claimant leaves or loses employment because of mental health issues, harassment or
bullying).

K2237

A claimant may have good reason for leaving if
1. the employer did not comply with some part of the contract of employment
and
2. the claimant left shortly after the employment starts.
In such a case the DM should consider the terms of the contract of employment,
both express and implied. The DM should always obtain a copy of the contract
where there is a dispute about its terms.

K2238

Claimants may have good reason for leaving if they suffered detriment under the national minimum wage legislation (see K2213).

[K2239-K2240]

Changing terms or conditions of employment and grievance procedures

K2241 Employer changes terms and conditions K2227

If claimants left employment because they refused to accept a change to their terms
and conditions, they may not have voluntarily left employment. If they have left
voluntarily, the fact that new conditions were imposed may give them good reason
for leaving. But if the only reason claimants left was that the change would have
reduced their level of pay, they do not have good reason.

Example 1

Kevin, a piece worker, refuses to accept a change to the way his pay is calculated,
that is paid for the amount of time he works rather than for each article completed,
which his employer wants to impose at once. The change would mean a substantial
drop in his wages. The drop in his wage is disregarded when the DM considers good
reason, but Kevin has good reason for leaving, as he had no proper chance to
consider the situation (1).
1 R(U) 15/53

Example 2

Teresa is given one months notice by her employer that her pay will be cut because
of a change in the way her pay is calculated. The change will mean a substantial
drop in her pay. Teresa leaves at the end of the month because she thinks it unfair
that her pay is to be cut, and she says she will find it hard to pay all her bills on a
lower wage. The claimant does not have good reason.

K2242

A claimant will not have good reason for leaving
1. if it was not possible to say for definite what the effect of the changes in terms
or conditions would mean and
2. the claimant left before giving the changes an adequate trial.

K2243

A claimant will not have good reason for leaving
1. if the change to the terms and conditions was
1.1 generally agreed and affected many or all of the employees or
1.2 meant to bring the employees in the particular firm or department into
line with employees elsewhere or
2. if the
2.1 claimant stayed in the employment for longer than could be regarded as
a trial period (1) and
2.2 DM decides that by doing so the claimant had accepted the change to
the terms and conditions of employment.
Note: For further guidance on trial periods see ADM Chapter K3 (Higher level
sanctions).
1 UC Regs, reg 113(1)(b)(iii)

K2244 Police officers

Police officers take employment knowing that its terms will become less favourable
after 30 years. If, at that time, they choose to retire early they have left voluntarily
and do not have good reason for leaving just because the terms become less
favourable (1).

1 R(U) 4/70

[K2245]

K2246 Grievances K2226

A claimant has good reason for leaving employment if the claimant
1. had a genuine and substantial grievance about the employment (other than
the level of pay) and
2. had tried in a proper and reasonable way to get it settled, but failed.
However also see the guidance at K2251 on contracts, terms and conditions.

K2247

An employer has to give employees a written statement within two months of them
starting work. The statement should include details of the person to whom
employees should apply to sort out any grievances. The statement should also tell
them how to apply (1). So every employee who has been in employment for at least
two months should be aware of a procedure by which they can try to sort out any
grievance (also see K2251).

1 ER Act 96, s 1 & 3

K2248

If a claimant could not sort out a grievance with the employer, the claimant might
have been expected to remain in the employment for a time. If this is so, the
claimant will not have good reason for leaving unless the claimant had tried hard to
find other employment. However also see the guidance at K2251 on contracts, terms
and conditions.
Note: Consideration should also be given to the guidance in K2071 and K2081 if the
reasons for leaving were due to mental health issues, harassment or bullying.
The facts in the following examples are not exactly the same as the case law
quoted.

Example 1

David, the foreman in charge of a building site, complains that his office is
unsuitable, but does not use the workers or materials available to make it suitable.
He also complains that his employer is hostile to trade unions and their members
and is going to give work to non-union firms. But he does not consult his union.
David does not have good reason for leaving his employment (1).
1 CU 155/50(KL)

Example 2

Suzy, an actress, and her colleagues, without consulting their union, tell their
employer they will leave unless he meets certain demands. The employer treats the
ultimatum as notice of termination of their contracts of employment. They do not
have good reason for leaving. They should have referred the matter to their union (1).
1 R(U) 33/51

Example 3

Carole, a sales representative, resigns because she does not agree with her
employer's sales policy, and she is not happy with her working conditions or her
colleagues. She has not found other employment. Carole does not have good
reason for leaving (1).
1 R(U) 17/54

K2249 Work outside of agreed duties

A common grievance is where the claimant was ordered to do work which was not
covered by the contract of employment. This may amount to good reason,
particularly if the employer gave an ultimatum of either doing the work or leaving.
Note: Consideration should also be given to the guidance in K2071 and K2081 if the
reasons for leaving were due to mental health issues, harassment or bullying.
The facts in the following examples are not exactly the same as the case law
quoted.

Example 1

Gaik, a waitress, agrees to work behind a self service counter at a holiday camp until
she is needed as a waitress. She leaves when she is made to peel potatoes. She
finds work as a waitress at another holiday camp a fortnight later. Gaik has good
reason for leaving voluntarily (1).
1 R(U) 40/53

Example 2

Hector, an apprentice electrician, is ordered to repair a leak in a water pipe. He had
done this type of work before, but his employer has already admitted that it is outside
his contractual duties. He refuses to do the work, but the employer tells him to do it
or leave. Hector leaves. Hector has good reason for leaving (1).

1 R(U) 18/57

K2250

In some unskilled and semi skilled jobs the duties of employees are not clearly
defined. Such employees have to do or are expected to do whatever is reasonable
taking into account
1. any broad categories of work specified in the contract of employment and
2. the job title and
3. the normal duties of similar employees.
So they may find it more difficult to show good reason but also see K2251. The DM
should consider all the facts of each individual case on its own merits taking into
consideration all the circumstances.

K2251 Contracts, terms and conditions K2246 K2247 K2248 K2250 K2259

Some employers may show no awareness or interest in complying with employment
law and may not provide anything for their employees such as written terms and
conditions or grievance procedures, not even payslips. It would be for the DM to
consider all the individual facts of the case on its own merits where for example a
claimant leaves paid work because they are given no meal breaks or expected to
work for 12 hours non-stop or don't get paid on time. If an employer persistently
breaches health and safety law or does not pay an employee the claimant would
have good reason for leaving the paid work.
Example:
Anya starts work in a shoe shop. She is given no written terms and conditions of
employment. Her understanding when she takes the job is that she will work 4 days
per week 9am to 5pm and she will be paid weekly. This suits Anya's personal
circumstances as she helps out her family by caring for her sister's children in the
evenings and at weekends so that her sister can work.
After the first 4 weeks Anya complains to her boss as she has had no meal breaks
and has worked until 7pm on most days to complete stock taking and tidy the store
room after the shop has closed and has still received no pay
The boss tells her this is during her period of training until she is up to speed with the
job. He tells her she will be paid as soon as he sorts the details out with head office.
He also tells her that it is part of the duties of the job to stay behind to clean up after
the store closes and she will get meal breaks as and when the business allows as
the store has been so busy lately. He tells Anya that he expects his employees to do
what is expected, as and when, as the trade demands on any particular day.
Anya continues to work at the shoe shop for a further 3 weeks and the boss
continues to ignore her complaints about the extra hours, no meal breaks and no
pay. He tells her she is also now expected to work weekends in addition to the 4
days in the week when the store is busy. She decides to leave. Anya has good
reason to leave the paid work.

[K2252-K2255]

K2256 Short time and overtime working K2259

A claimant does not have good reason for leaving just because
1. overtime stopped or reduced and the earnings were less or
2. short time working was introduced, and the claimant could not earn full wages.
A claimant may have good reason because of short time working if there was a firm
offer of better paid employment elsewhere.

K2257

But if claimants' earnings were substantially reduced and they had a lot of expenses
because of living and working away from home, they may have good reason if
1. redundancies were clearly likely and the claimants thought they would find
employment very soon or
2. they were working P/T, and left to take up F/T employment (1).

1 R(U) 4/73

K2258

If claimants left employment because they disliked working overtime, whether they
have good reason depends on the
1. reason they were unwilling to work overtime and
2. amount of the overtime working and how long it was due to last for and
3. what they were obliged to do under their contracts of employment.

K2259

If claimants
1. left employment only because they wanted to work overtime, or more
overtime (see K2256) or
2. lost employment because they refused to work overtime
the question of whether they have lost employment through misconduct should be
considered if appropriate.
Note: Consideration should also be given to the guidance in K2071 and K2081 if the
reasons for leaving were due to mental health issues, harassment or bullying and
also see K2251 where an employer breaches the terms and conditions of
employment.

[K2260]

K2261 Retirement and resignation

Claimants who reached normal retirement age for their employment, but did not
have to retire, will not have good reason for leaving if they retired because
1. they wanted to or
2. they wanted to get their pension.
It will not help such claimants to say that they would have continued working on
certain conditions (for example that they could get their lump sum pension) if this
was not acceptable to the employer.

K2262

The DM is not deciding whether it was reasonable and proper for claimants to retire
on pension. The DM is deciding whether, if claimants chose to retire, it is reasonable
that they should be allowed to benefit from the NI fund (1).

1 R(U) 26/51

K2263

Where the claimant gives other reasons for leaving employment on reaching
retirement age, they should be considered in the normal way giving full consideration
to all the facts and evidence in the individual case.
The facts in the following examples are not exactly the same as the case law
quoted.

Example 1

Elizabeth, a police officer, aged 52, retires on maximum pension after 30 years'
service. She leaves because she does not want to stand in the way of younger
officers' promotion prospects, and because she believes she has a better chance of
getting another job than she would if she waited three years until compulsory police
retirement age. She does not register for employment or make any other efforts to
find any other work before leaving. Elizabeth does not have good reason for
leaving (1).
1 R(U) 23/59

Example 2

Joe, a police officer, aged 51, retires on maximum pension after 30 years service. If
he had stayed at work, his terms of employment would have been financially less
attractive. He leaves because he wants to obtain a lump sum payment of pension
with which to buy a house for himself and his wife, and to make his wife more
financially secure. He had tried very hard to find other work before leaving, but had
not been successful. Joe does not have good reason for leaving (1).
1 R(U) 4/70

K2264 Early retirement

Sometimes an employer runs an early retirement scheme to speed up normal
wastage. A claimant who left on such a scheme will not have good reason just
because the employer wanted, and indeed may have encouraged, the claimant to
retire early.

Example

Richard, a school teacher, aged 62, applies for early retirement after reading a
circular from his LEA on early retirement. The LEA accepts his application and
certifies that his leaving allows them to carry out their services more efficiently. He
has no pressing personal or domestic circumstances for leaving, and has no
reasonable chance of finding other work. Richard has no good reason for leaving (1).
1 R(U) 3/81 Appendix

K2265 Leaving to take better paid or preferred employment K2227 K2227

A claimant may have left employment, not because there was a fault with it, but
because the claimant wanted a different type of work. In such a case the claimant
will only have good reason if there was a firm offer of new employment which the
claimant could reasonably have expected would start immediately and would last for
a reasonably long time.

K2266

Claimants may have left employment because they wanted employment that offered
1. improved prospects
or
2. the chance to improve their career or
3. F/T instead of P/T work.
In such cases claimants will have good reason if they had offers or strong
expectations of such employment which would start very soon. Sometimes there
may have been a risk of occasional unemployment in the new employment (for
example because it depended on the weather).

K2267 Leaving to take up training

If claimants left employment just before they started a course of study or training that
would advance their careers, they have good reason but may face a sanction if not
available for work. But if the questions have been referred to the DM for a decision,
the DM should consider availability, and whether they are able to meet their work-
related requirements during the period of the course (see ADM Chapter J3 for full
guidance on availability).

[K2268-K2270]

K2271 Personal and domestic circumstances K2227

A claimant's personal or domestic circumstances may have become so urgent that
the claimant will have good reason for leaving employment without having looked for
other employment. But if there was no urgency, the claimant should have taken all
reasonable steps to avoid leaving, or the claimant will not have good reason (1). In
some cases the claimant's reasons for leaving may show that the claimant is not
available for employment.
1 R(U) 20/64(T)
The facts in the following examples are not exactly the same as the case law
quoted.

Example 1

Megan, a school teacher, leaves her employment to look after her youngest child, as
there is no one else available to do so. Megan has good reason for leaving
employment, but availability will have to be considered if this has been referred to
the DM for a decision (1).
1 R(U) 6/59

Example 2

Patrick, a painter, who lives and works in England leaves employment to go to
Scotland because his father is dying. Before he leaves he asks his employer about
employment when he returns. But when he comes back, there is no vacancy
because of a redundancy. Patrick has good reason for leaving employment (1). Asking
his employer about employment when he returned amounted to asking for a leave of
absence.
1 R(U) 32/59

K2272 Moving home K2227

If claimants moved home to a place beyond the normal 90 minutes daily travelling
distance either way of their employment, that alone does not give them good reason
for leaving (1). But the DM will need to find out the reasons for the move. If there was
some urgent personal reason for moving, for example
1. the claimant or partner was ill or
2. their current accommodation was totally inadequate or
3. they lost their accommodation
they may have good reason for leaving.
1 R(U) 20/64(T)

Example

Matthew lives in two attic rooms with his wife and year old baby. He gets a house,
but it is too far away from the place he works to allow him to travel daily. He has not
found work in the town he is moving to. Matthew leaves his job and moves to the
new house. He has good reason for leaving (1).

1 R(U) 31/59

K2273

If the reasons for moving are not quite enough to establish good reason, the DM
should consider how likely the claimant was to get other employment quickly, and
what steps had been taken to obtain other employment. But the DM should bear in
mind that it would be difficult to organize buying or renting accommodation to start
on exactly the same date as a new job.
1 R(U) 20/64(T)

Example

Andy, a police sergeant, buys his own house. Nearly a year later he is transferred to
a different place of work, which he finds it difficult to travel to and from. He makes
enquiries of other employers, but retires voluntarily from the police force after 25
years service before having found other employment. He finds other work two weeks
later. Andy does not have good reason for leaving, but the facts of the case are
taken into account in deciding whether to sanction (1) taking into consideration all the
facts of the case and in particular any mental health issues (see K2071 et seq).

K2274

In all cases where the claimants say they left employment because of moving home,
the DM will need the following information
1. the reason for the move
2. the date of the move
3. the date on which the claimants gave notice to end the employment
4. the date on which the claimants first knew they would be moving and, if the
new home is being bought, the date on which contracts were exchanged
5. what efforts the claimants made to find employment in the new area between
the dates in

K2275 4

. and

2.

Sometimes, although the reasons for the move would seem to amount to good
reason, the claimant may fail to show good reason overall because, for example the claimant
1. did not make any attempt to find new employment in the new area before
moving, despite having ample notice of the move or
2. left employment before it was necessary to do so.

K2276

The DM should take into account
1. the distance and the practicality of going to interviews in the new area
2. the difficulty of arranging everything for a particular date
3. the possibility of daily travelling, at least for a temporary period, if the distance
is not too great
4. the employment prospects in the new area.
There is no general rule in this type of case, and while one fact alone may not give
good reason, all the facts together may do so. The claimant's availability for
employment may be in doubt for the days surrounding the move.

K2277

Claimants often leave employment to
1. marry, form a civil partnership or join someone who lives in an area beyond
daily travelling distance or
2. go with a partner who takes employment in another area or
3. move to another area where there is more suitable accommodation
To show good reason such claimants must show that they had done everything
reasonably possible to find employment in the new area which they could start
immediately after moving.

K2278 Relocation

Where an employer relocates within the UK it would be necessary to look at the
notice given for such a move and the DM should consider all the individual
circumstances of each case on it's own merits.

K2279 Partner going abroad

Claimants may have left their job to go with a partner whose employment takes them
abroad. In these circumstances it may not be reasonable for claimants to take steps
to find work abroad before leaving the UK. If they left employment no earlier than
was reasonably necessary in order to arrange the move, then they will have good
reason. But in such cases availability for employment will often be in doubt.
Claimants cannot show good reason if they left employment earlier than they needed
to.

Example

Faziz leaves employment ten days before leaving the UK to go with her husband, a
Royal Air Force officer, to a posting in Holland. She leaves when she does to make
the arrangements for going abroad. Faziz has good reason for leaving (1).
1 R(U) 2/90

K2280 Moving with parents

Sometimes claimants give up employment to accompany their parents when they
move home to another area. If claimants are under 18, and their parents objected to
them living and working away from home, they will have good reason for leaving
their employment. Claimants 18 or over may also have good reason if they, or their
parents, can show that there was a strong reason why they should have continued to
live with their parents. Some examples of reasons which would amount to good
reason are where claimants
1. have to be with their parents because of the parents' age and health or
2. need their parent's help or guidance or
3. would have a lot of difficulty and expense (compared with their earnings) if
they lived somewhere else until they found other employment in the new area.

K2281

A less strong reason for moving with parents will not amount to good reason.

Example

Glenys, a typist aged 21, lives with her parents. They move home. She leaves her
employment to move with them because they object to her living on her own. She
does not make any efforts to find lodgings so that she can stay in employment whilst
she looks for work in the new area. Glenys does not have good reason for leaving
employment (1). However the DM should consider Glenys' efforts to find affordable
lodgings.
1 R(U) 6/53

K2282 Financial difficulties

The fact that
1. the claimant's earnings were reduced because of
1.1 an alteration in the terms and conditions of employment or
1.2 short time working or
2. the claimant would be better off financially if claiming UC (1)
does not by itself give the claimant good reason for leaving. However each case
should be looked at on its own individual merits and circumstances.

1 R(U) 10/61(T); R(U) 15/62

K2283

Sometimes claimants were not dissatisfied with their earnings. But they left to get
extra money, for example a lump sum or holiday pay which would be paid when the
employment ended, to meet some financial difficulties. They will have good reason
only if they were unexpectedly faced with urgent financial difficulties which could not
be resolved in any other way. They will not have good reason if
1. they left only to
1.1 gain a financial advantage or
1.2 avoid a financial disadvantage (1) or
2. they have had financial difficulties for a long time and they are due mainly to
their failure to manage their finances.

1 R(U) 14/55; R(U) 4/70

K2284

In all cases where a claimant loses pay or leaves paid work voluntarily the DM
should take special care to consider any mental health issues that could affect the
claimants reasons for leaving (see K2071 et seq).

[K2285]

K2286 Living away from home

Claimants who had to live away from home permanently, or for long periods, have
good reason if they had to leave their employment because
1. they were urgently needed at home or
2. their expenses for living away were unreasonably high when compared to their
earnings.

Example

Ross, aged 61, has to live in lodgings 113 km (70 miles) away from his wife,
Maureen aged 68. He tries to find her accommodation with him and to get a job near
his home, but is unsuccessful. His wife falls ill, and there is no one to care for her, so
he leaves his employment to look after her. Ross has good reason for leaving (1).

1 R(U) 14/52

K2287

A long period of working away from home may also provide good reason for leaving
employment. When deciding this, the DM should take all the circumstances into
account, including
1. what opportunity there was to look for other work while still in employment
2. the claimant's chances of getting work nearer home
3. whether the claimant could have found accommodation for the family nearer
the employment.
A
short period of working away from home does not give the claimant good reason
for leaving employment, unless there are other urgent reasons for leaving.

K2288 Long daily journey to and from work

Claimants who live in remote places must expect to put up with a lot of
inconvenience and expense in travelling daily to work. But they will have good
reason for leaving if, taking their personal and domestic circumstances into account
1. they could not move their homes nearer to work and
2. the travelling took up an unreasonably high part of their earnings and
prevented them from looking for work nearer home.
Note
1: The DM should consider each case on its own merits and the individual
circumstances having regard to any transport difficulties created by public transport
which make it difficult to get to and from work in rural areas.
Note
2: For detailed guidance on travelling time to paid work see ADM Chapter J3
(Work-related requirements).

K2289 Long or awkward working hours

Claimants are expected, within reason, to organize their domestic lives to suit their
working hours. But they have good reason if
1. it became essential for them to reduce or alter their working hours (for
example because a relative is ill) and
2. they tried but were unable to get their hours changed.
Note (1): The DM should consider each case on its own merits and the individual
circumstances having regard to any transport difficulties created by public transport
which make it difficult to get to and from work in rural areas. For detailed guidance
on travelling to and from paid work see ADM Chapter J3 (Work-related
requirements).
Note
2: Consideration should also be given to the guidance in K2071 and K2081 if
the reasons for leaving were also due to mental health issues, harassment or
bullying.

[K2290]

K2291 Chances of getting other employment

If the circumstances in which a claimant left employment fall just short of providing
good reason, the DM should take into account the claimant's chances of getting
other paid work quickly. When looked at together these may mean that the claimant
has acted reasonably in leaving and becoming dependent on the NI fund (1).

1 R(U) 4/73

K2292

How good the chances of getting other work must be will vary from case to case.
Claimants will have good reason if
1. there was a promise of continuous employment, which was expected to last
for some time, to start in the near future or
2. they got another job and the circumstances in which they left employment
almost amounted to good reason.
Claimants will not have good reason if they hoped they would get other employment
quickly, but the evidence does not support this.

K2293

The DM should take the following into account when deciding what weight to give to
the claimant's prospects or lack of prospects
1. the claimant's occupation, or type of employment sought if different
2. the chances of getting such employment
3. the area where the claimant lived compared to the area where the claimant
wanted to work, if different
4. whether it would have been easy or difficult for the claimant to find new
employment while staying in the existing employment
5. the results of any enquiries the claimant had already made about other employment
6. the claimant's work record.

K2294

The date at which the claimant's chances of getting other employment should be
considered is the date on which the claimant
1. gave notice to leave or
2. took the action that led to leaving employment or
3. left employment, if it is to the claimant's advantage.

K2295

Claimants would not normally have good reason for leaving if their only reason for
leaving was because they
1. had a good chance of getting other employment or
2. are claiming UC only for a very short time.

K2296 Firm offer of other employment

Claimants may have left employment because they had firm offers of other
employment to start at once. But such claimants may have to claim UC because the
1. offers fell through unexpectedly or
2. new employment did not last very long.

K2297

Such claimants will have good reason for leaving unless
1. the offers were cancelled before they left their existing employment and
1.1
they could have stayed in their existing employment or
1.2
they did not ask their employer whether they could stay or
2. they changed their minds and decided not to take the new job and 1.1 or 1.2
applies.

K2298 K2051 K2115

Sometimes claimants have left employment because they had firm offers of other
employment to start shortly, but not immediately. They may then claim UC because
1. they changed their original intention not to claim UC during the interval or
2. the offer fell through and they are claiming UC for longer than they expected.
They do not have good reason for leaving, because they left their original
employment before they needed to.

[K2299-K2300]

K2301 Circumstances that may show good reason where a claimant fails to participate in an interview relating to a work-related requirement K2051

ADM Chapter J3 - Work-related requirements provides guidance on certain
claimants who do not have to be immediately available to take up paid work. DMs
should take this into account when considering good reason. For example; a single
person responsible for a child requires 48 hours notice in order to attend an interview
in connection with obtaining work.

K2302

Where none of the circumstances in K2051 apply, the DM should take into account all
the circumstances of the claimant's case, including in particular
1. whether the claimant misunderstood what they had to do because of
language, learning or literacy difficulties, or because they were misled
2. whether they (or someone they care for) were attending a medical or dental
appointment which it would have been unreasonable to expect them to
rearrange but see the guidance in K2041 where there are repeated previous failures
3. any transport difficulties at the time of the interview
4. any religious reasons why they could not participate
5. whether they were attending a job interview.
Note:
This list is not exhaustive. As in every case the DM should consider whether
the claimant can be treated as meeting a work availability requirement or where the
DM needs to consider good reason, the DM should consider all the individual
circumstances of the case applying the reasonable test (see K2021).