Chapter S7: JSA Low-level sanctions
When does a low-level sanction apply
|S7009:||Which work-related groups are subject to low-level sanctions|
|S7010:||Meaning of low-level sanction|
|S7016:||What is the reduction period|
|S7021:||Meaning of compliance condition|
Participating in a scheme designed to assist claimants to obtain employment
|S7036:||Meaning of fails to comply|
|S7039:||Imposition of requirements|
|S7046:||Undertaking work experience or work placement|
Work experience placements in Work Programme, sector-based work academies or
|S7061:||Fails to participate in an interview|
Chapter S7: JSA Low-level sanctions
S7001 IntroductionThis chapter gives guidance in respect of low-level sanctions relating to new style
JSA (hereafter referred to as JSA) and should be read with ADM Chapter S4 (JSA
Sanctions - general principles). Guidance is provided on the meaning of terms, what
considerations apply when determining what reduction period applies and the
amount of the reduction period.
Note: ADM Chapter M1 (UC Pathfinder) provides guidance on the meaning of new
S7002A low-level sanction is a reduction of JSA for a sanctionable failure by a claimant (1) who
1. falls within specified work-related requirement groups (2) - see S7009 and
2. fails without good reason to comply with specified work-related requirements (3)
- see S7010.
See ADM Chapter R4 for guidance on work-related requirement groups and work-
related requirements. See ADM Chapter S4 (JSA Sanctions - general principles) for
the meaning of a sanctionable failure. See ADM Chapter K2 for detailed guidance on
1 WR Act 12, s 6K; JSA Regs 13, reg 17; 2 WR Act, s 6; 3 s 6B, s 6C, s6D, s 6E
S7003 « S7004The reduction period is in two parts:
1. an open period which ends as in S7016 1.1 and
2. a fixed period of 7, 14 or 28 days (2) (see S7016 2.)
1 JSA Regs 13, reg 21(2); 2 reg 21(3)
S7004The length of the fixed period reduction in S7003 2. depends on whether there have
been previous sanctionable failures resulting in a low-level sanction. See S7016 et
seq for further details.
[S7005-S7008]When does a low-level sanction apply
S7009 Which work-related groups are subject to low-level sanctions « S7002Claimants in the
1. WFI and work preparation only group (1) or
2. all work-related requirements group (2)
who fail without good reason to comply with the work-related requirements in S7010
are subject to a low-level sanction (3). See ADM Chapter R4 for guidance on work-
related requirements groups.
1 WR Act 13, s 6B & 6C; 2 s 6; 3 JSA Regs 13, reg 17
sanction (1) means a reduction in JSA, where the claimant fails without good
reason to comply with
1. a WFI requirement (2) or
2. a work preparation requirement (3) or
3. a work search requirement - but only in relation to a requirement to take
particular action specified by the Secretary of State (4) or
4. a requirement to
take part in an interview about the imposition of or the compliance with
a work-related requirement (5) or
provide information or evidence of compliance with a work related
requirement (6) or
report changes of circumstances relevant to the imposition of or
compliance with a work-related requirement (7).
Note 1: See ADM Chapter R4 for detailed guidance on work-related requirements.
2: See R4040 et seq for further details where the work preparation
requirement is to participate in an employment programme, a work placement (other
than MWA) or work experience.
1 JSA Regs 13, reg 17; 2 WR Act, s 6B (1); 3 s 6C (1); 4 s 6 D (1)(b); 5 s 6 G(1); 6 s 6G (3); 7 s 6G(4)
1. the number of days beginning with the date of the sanctionable failure and
the day before the day on which the claimant meets a compliance
condition specified by the Secretary of State or
the day before the day on which the claimant is no longer required to
take particular action specified as a work preparation requirement (2) by
the Secretary of State or
the day on which the award of JSA is terminated
whichever is the soonest and
2. a fixed period of
7 days, if 2.2 and 2.3 do not apply
14 days if, in the 364 days immediately before the date of the current
failure, but not within 14days , there was another low-level JSA, UC or
ESA sanctionable failure for which a 7 day reduction was imposed or
28 days if, in the 364 days immediately before the date of the current
failure,but not within 14 days, there was another low-level JSA, UC or
ESA sanctionable failure for which a 14 day or 28 day reduction was
Note 1: See S7021 for the meaning of compliance condition.
Note 2: See ADM Chapter S4 (JSA Sanctions - general principles) for
guidance on when the reduction begins where there is more than one
1 JSA Regs 13, reg 21; 2 WR Act 12, s 6C(1)
S7017In determining the reduction period for a sanctionable failure, a previous JSA
sanctionable failure, UC sanctionable failure or ESA sanctionable failure is
disregarded if it
occurs in the 13 days immediately before the date of the failure in question and
resulted in a reduction of JSA, UC or ESA (1).
1 JSA Regs 13, reg 18(4)
1. a failure must be within 365 days of the previous failure in order to escalate to
the next penalty or
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
Note: The DM considers whether there has been another sanctionable failure in the
13 days or 364 days immediately before the date of the failure in question.
Example 1Mitchell is required to register with a national employment agency as part of his work
search requirement by the day before he is next due to attend the jobcentre on
20.11.13. When he attends, Mitchell tells the adviser that he did not register because
he did not want to give details on-line, and had not got around to attending the
agency's office. Mitchell later provides evidence that he registered with the agency
The DM determines that Mitchell had failed without good reason to comply with a
specified action as part of a work search requirement. Mitchell has no previous
sanctionable failures, so the DM imposes a sanction of 6 days, and a further 7 days
Malcolm is entitled to JSA. His award has already been reduced for a sanctionable
failure including a 7 day period, due to a failure to attend a WFI on 21.5.14. Malcolm
was required to take part in a further WFI on 7.8.14 and to produce a CV at the
same time, but he fails to attend. He phones on 12.8.14 to say that he forgot about
the appointment and still hasn't prepared his CV.
The DM determines that Malcolm had no good reason for his failure to attend the
interview and a reduction is imposed including a 14 day period. As Malcolm did not
produce a CV on the required date, and has not given an explanation for this, a
further reduction including a period of 14 days is imposed for the second failure.
Sean is entitled to JSA after being made redundant. He is required to take part in the
programme "Skills Conditionality", but refuses to attend. The DM imposes a
reduction for the sanctionable failure, including a fixed period reduction of 7 days.
Sean is involved in a road traffic accident and after application of the WCA, is found
to have LCWRA. The outstanding part of the reduction ends, as the DM determines
that Sean is not subject to work-related requirements. See ADM Chapter S4 for
guidance on the amount of reduction.
Polly is entitled to JSA. She is in the all work-related requirements group, and due to
a sanctionable failure, a 91 day higher-level sanction is imposed from June 2014.
Polly's health deteriorates and the DM determines that she has LCW. Polly is now in
the work preparation group and on 22.9.14 she fails to attend an initial WFI. Polly's
previous higher-level sanction is not used to calculate the fixed period of the low-
level sanction imposed due to the failure to take part in a WFI.
S7021 Meaning of compliance condition « S7016Low-level sanctions have effect for a period which continues until the claimant
meets a compliance condition. Low-level sanctions also include a further fixed
1 WR Act 12, s 6K(5); JSA Regs 13, reg 21
S7022 « S7024A compliance condition is the requirement the claimant needs to complete in order to
1. terminate the period of the reduction and
2. start the fixed period (1).
This will usually be the original requirement the claimant failed to meet, but where
this is not appropriate then it will be a suitable alternative requirement as specified (2).
For example, if a claimant failed to attend a training course which is no longer
running, then the compliance condition could be to require the claimant to contact
the provider to enquire about future courses or to make an appointment with the
adviser to discuss next steps.
1 WR Act 12, s 6K (6); 2 s 6K (7)
S7023Examples of compliance conditions include
1. meeting the requirement, for example updating a CV or registering with an
2. making an appointment for a WFI or an interview
3. attending the next available skills training course.
Note: This list provides examples only and is not exhaustive.
S7024The claimant is notified of what they must do to meet a compliance condition as in
S7022, including where the compliance condition is revoked or varied (1). The
compliance condition may be included in the claimant commitment at the same time
as the original work-related requirement.
1 WR Act 12, s 6K (6)
S7031 Participating in a scheme designed to assist claimants to obtain employmentA low-level sanction can be imposed where the claimant fails to comply with a work
preparation requirement which
1. is specified by the Secretary of State and
2. in the opinion of the Secretary of State makes it more likely that the claimant
will obtain paid work, more paid work, or better paid work (1).
Note: This includes participating in a defined scheme designed to assist claimants
to obtain employment as listed in S7032 (also see S7010 2.)
1 WR Act 12, s 6C (3)(d); JSA Regs 13, reg 17(b)
required to participate (1)
1. Day One Support for Young People
2. The Derbyshire Mandatory Youth Activity Programme
3. Full-time Training Flexibility
4. New Enterprise Allowance (NEA)
5. The sector-based work academy (sbwa)
6. Skills Conditionality (SC)
7. The Work Programme (Wp)
8. Community Work Placement (CwP)
Note: This does not include the MWA scheme (2). For detailed guidance on failures to
comply with the MWA scheme see ADM Chapter S5 (Higher-level sanctions).
1 JSA (SAPOE)Regs, reg 3(1); 2 JSA Regs 13, reg 29
S7033All these schemes aim to support JSA claimants towards or into paid work, more
paid work, or better paid work, and address various issues such as a lack of
experience of work and the associated skills needed within the work place which can
have a significant effect on the chances of unemployed people.
S7036 Meaning of fails to complyFails to comply is not defined within legislation and therefore takes its everyday
meaning of failing `to meet a specific requirement'. For employment programmes
and schemes as listed in S7032, this includes a failure to take part in any activity
which is specified by the Secretary of State in relation to
1. the specific placement with what the provider expects and
2. what is considered
in a working situation and in the claimant's individual circumstances, which makes it
more likely in the opinion of the Secretary of State that the claimant will obtain paid
work, more paid work, or better paid work.
S7037 « S7041This may include for example
1. turning up for an interview
2. preparing an action plan
3. writing a CV
4. working as a team
5. displaying interpersonal skills
6. taking part in skills training
7. developing a business plan
8. improving personal presentation
9. attending a skills assessment
10. taking part in a work experience or work placement.
It can be any reasonable activity which in the opinion of the Secretary of State will
improve a claimant's chances of obtaining paid work, more paid work, or better paid
Note: It would be for the DM to consider the claimant's reasons for any failure to
comply, and the claimant would have to show good reason for the failure. For
detailed guidance on good reason see ADM Chapter K2: Good reason. The
guidance for the consideration of good reason for UC failures applies equally to JSA
S7039 Imposition of requirementsFor detailed guidance as to when and how a work preparation requirement is
imposed by the Secretary of State in respect of JSA, see ADM Chapter R4:JSA
Claimant responsibilities - work related requirements.
S7041 Inappropriate behaviourSchemes listed at S7032 are designed to help certain claimants enhance their
employment prospects and gain opportunities to develop skills and disciplines
associated with a normal working environment such as attending on time, carrying
out tasks, working as a team and interpersonal skills - see S7037. Those skills
include `behaviours' acceptable in a place of work.
S7042Whilst on a relevant scheme, if a claimant uses inappropriate behaviour once
mandated onto the scheme, this may be regarded as a failure to comply with a
specified work preparation requirement.
S7043A claimant's acts and omissions will be judged by the DM under good reason with
reference to the claimant's personal circumstances - see ADM Chapter K2: Good
Note: Inappropriate behaviour can be any unreasonable act or omission shown
towards the employer, other employees or customers, or a refusal to do a specific
task, or where the claimant is particularly obstructive.
ExampleWanda starts her Wp placement as required in a charity shop, but is sent home on
her first day because of her attitude and rude behaviour towards the other staff and
customers. She continually uses obscene language. The DM can consider a
sanction as Wanda's loss of the placement due to her behaviour is a failure to
comply with a work preparation requirement as specified by the Secretary of State,
as it is not considered acceptable behaviour by a reasonable person in a working
S7046 Undertaking work experience or work placementA low-level sanction can be imposed where the claimant fails to comply with a work
preparation requirement specified by the Secretary of State which includes
undertaking work experience or a work placement as part of a relevant scheme (1)
(see S7010 2.)
1 WR Act 12, s 6C (3)(e); JSA Regs 13, reg 17(b)
S7047 « S7049In JSA legislation there is no definition of work experience. However work
experience still exists as a work preparation activity or as an element within the
mandatory work programmes known as
1. Work Programme
2. sector-based work academies or
S7049 Work experience placements in Work Programme, sector-based work academies or TraineeshipsParticipation on a work experience opportunity is voluntary, and claimants who leave
or lose a place on such a placement as described in S7047 2 2.1 or 2.2 are treated
as having good reason for the failure to comply, unless they lose the place through
Note: For detailed guidance on what constitutes gross misconduct, see ADM
Chapter K5 (Low-level sanctions).
S7050The claimant is informed that, whilst participation in the work experience opportunity
is voluntary, if their behaviour falls below an acceptable standard, a sanction to their
benefit may be applied. For detailed guidance on good reason, see ADM Chapter
K2: Good reason.
S7061 Fails to participate in an interviewIt is a failure to participate without good reason in an interview in such a manner,
time and place as specified by the Secretary of State that provides the reason to
Note: For detailed guidance on the considerations for good reason see ADM
Chapter K2: Good reason. The guidance for the consideration of good reason for UC
failures applies equally to JSA failures.
1 WR Act 12, s 6G
S7062Participation includes all ways of taking part in an interview whether by
1. actual attendance
3. electronic means (e.g. e mail).
It is the advisor who will specify the manner of participation.
Note: For guidance on connected work-related requirements see ADM Chapter R4:
Claimant responsibilities - Work requirements.