Chapter K4: Medium-level sanctions
K4001 IntroductionThis Chapter should be read with ADM Chapter K1 (Sanctions - general principles).
ADM Chapter K1 gives guidance on the meaning of terms, and what considerations
apply when determining what reduction period applies. See ADM Chapter K8 for
guidance on when the reduction has effect, and Chapter K9 for guidance on the
amount of the reduction.
K4002A medium-level sanction is a reduction of UC for a sanctionable failure by a
claimant who fails for no good reason (see ADM Chapter K2) to comply with (1)
1. a work search requirement, but only in relation to the requirement to take all
reasonable action to obtain paid work, more paid work or better paid work (2)-
see K4003 - K4004 for when a higher or low-level sanction applies or
2. a work availability requirement (3) - but see K4004 for where a higher-level
See ADM Chapter J3 for guidance on work- related requirements. See ADM
Chapter K1 (Sanctions - general principles) for the meaning of a sanctionable
1 WR Act 12, s 27(2)(a); UC Regs, reg 103(1); 2 WR Act 12, s 17(1)(a); UC Regs, reg 95; 3 s 18(1)
K4003 « K4002Failure to meet a specified work search requirement usually results in a low-level
sanction being imposed (1) - see ADM Chapter K5 (Low-level sanctions). See also K4004 for when a higher-level sanction is applied for a failure to comply with a
specified work search requirement.
1 WR Act 12, s 17(1)(b) & 27; UC Regs, reg 104
specified work search requirement to apply for a particular vacancy for paid work (1).
Where the failure to comply with a work availability requirement is because the
claimant did not take up an offer of paid work, a higher-level sanction may be
imposed (2). See ADM Chapter K3 (Higher-level sanctions) for detailed guidance.
1 WR Act 12, s 26(2)(b); UC Regs, reg 102; WR Act 12, s 26(2)(c); UC Regs, reg 102
1. a medium-level sanction has been imposed and
2. a restriction on the payment of benefit is imposed following a benefit fraud
the medium-level sanction is suspended for the period of the restriction in 2.2. See
ADM Chapter K8 (When a reduction is to have effect) for further details. See ADM
Chapter B2 (Loss of benefit) for guidance on benefit fraud offences.
1 SS Fraud Act 01, s 6B, 7 & 9; 2 UC Regs, reg 108
K4005 - K4009
What is the reduction period
K4010 Claimant aged 18 or over « K4012Where the claimant is aged 18 or over on the date of the sanctionable failure, the
reduction period is (1)
1. 28 days where there has not been a previous medium-level sanctionable
failure in the 364 days preceding the date of the current failure or
2. 91 days if, in the 364 days immediately before the current failure, but not
within 13 days , there was another medium-level sanctionable failure for
which a 28 or 91 day reduction was imposed.
Note See ADM Chapter K8 (When a reduction is to have effect) for guidance on
when the reduction begins where there is more than one sanctionable failure. See
ADM Chapter K7 (Effect of ESA and JSA sanctions on UC) for guidance on the
effect on UC sanctions where a sanction was imposed for the purposes of ESA and
1 UC Regs, reg 103(2)(a)
1. a failure must be within 365 days of the previous failure in order to escalate to
the next penalty and
2. where there are two failures within 14 days of each other a sanction will be
imposed for each failure but the duration of the second sanction will not escalate.
The DM considers whether there has been another sanctionable failure in the
13 days or 364 days preceding the date of the failure in question.
Brad is awarded UC from 13.3.14 after he is made redundant when the call centre
he works in relocates. He is subject to all work-related requirements. This includes a
requirement to take all reasonable action to search for paid work for his expected
hours of work a week, which Brad agreed with his personal adviser is 35 hours a
week. This is recorded on Brad's claimant commitment.
At an interview with his adviser, Brad gives evidence that in the week ending 26.3.14
he only spent four hours looking for work, by drafting a CV and looking at job
vacancies in the Jobcentre. The rest of the time he spent with his friends or watching
TV. The DM determines that Brad had no good reason for not searching for the
agreed period. Brad is treated as not complying with a work search requirement, and
a 28 day reduction of UC is imposed.
Terri has been entitled to UC since 2.7.14. Her award of UC was reduced for 28
days as on 15.7.14 she had been treated as not complying with a work search
requirement. Terri is also required to be available for work, and no limitations have
been set on that requirement to be available. Terri notifies her adviser that she is
going on a camping holiday for a fortnight from 15.8.14 with friends, who are
providing the transport. She states that it will not be possible to contact her as mobile
signals are variable, and she will not be able to leave due to lack of transport. She
does not intend to look for work while on holiday as it will be in a remote rural area.
The adviser considers that there is a doubt as to whether Terri is complying with her
work availability requirement. The DM determines that there is no good reason for
Terri not to comply with her work availability requirement and imposes a 91 day
reduction, as this sanctionable failure is within 365 days of a previous sanctionable
K4012A sanctionable failure which
1. is in the 13 days immediately before the date of the failure under
consideration (1) (see ADM Chapter K1) or
2. resulted in a reduction at a different level or
3. was imposed for a sanctionable failure as in K4020 (claimant aged 16 or 17)
does not count for the purposes of calculating which period in K4010 applies (1).
UC Regs, reg 101(4)
Pat has been entitled to UC since 8.5.13. She is required to search for work for 35
hours a week. At an interview with her adviser on 3.7.13, she is unable to provide
any evidence of work search. The DM decides that there was no good reason for the
failure, and imposes a 28 day reduction.
Pat attends a WFI on 11.7.13. During the interview, she tells the adviser that she
had stayed with her sister for the period 5.7.13 - 9.7.13. She had not left any contact
details during this period. The DM determines that Pat is treated as not having
complied with a work availability requirement on 5.7.13. As this sanctionable failure
is within 14 days of the previous failure for which a reduction was imposed, a further
28 day reduction is imposed.
Derek claims UC from 20.5.13 after being made redundant from his job as a HGV
lorry driver. He fails for no good reason to attend his fortnightly interview at the
Jobcentre on 3.6.13, and a low-level sanction of 7 days reduction is imposed.
For the first three months of UC entitlement Derek's adviser agrees that he can
restrict his work search to jobs as a HGV driver, and this is recorded on Derek's
claimant commitment. After this three month period has passed, Derek is subject to
no limitations on his work search and work availability requirement, and this is
agreed on an updated claimant commitment. Following this updated claimant
commitment, Derek provides no evidence that he has widened his work search or
work availability beyond that which had originally been agreed for three months. The
DM imposes a 28 day reduction. The previous low-level sanction is disregarded
when considering which medium-level reduction period applies.
K4020 Claimant aged 16 or 17 « K4012Where the claimant is aged 16 or 17 on the date of the sanctionable failure, the
reduction period is (1)
1. 7 days where there has not been a previous medium-level sanctionable
failure in the 364 days immediately before the date of the current failure or
2. 14 days if, in the 364 days immediately before the date of the current failure,
there was another medium-level sanctionable failure for which a 7 or 14 day
reduction was imposed.
1 UC Regs, reg 103(2)(b)
ExampleDaisy is entitled to UC, and is aged 17. She attends for her fortnightly interview on
23.10.14, and in her statement is unable to provide evidence that she was taking all
reasonable action to look for paid work for her expected number of hours per week.
Daisy's 18th birthday is on 28.10.14. She replies to a request for reasons for her
failure to search for work on 29.10.14. The DM determines that Daisy is treated as
not complying with her work search requirement, as she had no good reason for the
failure. Although Daisy is now 18, the DM imposes a 7 day reduction, as Daisy was
17 when the failure occurred.