Chapter U5: ESA claimant responsibilities - work-related requirementsContents
|U5002:||What a work-related requirement is|
|U5005:||The work-related requirements groups|
|U5008:||Dual entitlement to UC and ESA|
|U5020:||Requirements in connection with work-related requirements|
|U5031:||What a work-focused interview is|
|U5042:||Types of action|
|U5043:||Work-focused health-related assessment|
|U5180:||Claimants with no requirements imposed on them: domestic violence|
|U5185:||Health care professional|
|U5186:||Person acting in an official capacity|
|U5187:||Registered social worker|
|U5188:||Victims of domestic violence|
Chapter U5: ESA Claimant responsibilities - work-related requirements
U5001 IntroductionIf a claimant, without good reason, does not comply with their work-related
requirements then their ESA may be reduced (1). ADM Chapter V7 provides guidance
on the sanctions which may apply to claimants who do not comply with a work-
1 WR Act 07, s11J(2)
U5002 What a work-related requirement isThe ESA work-related requirements are (1) the
1. work-focused interview requirement (see U5030 et seq)
2. work preparation requirement (see U5040 et seq)
1 WR Act 07, s 11(2)
U5003A work-related requirement when imposed on a claimant can be subject to change
and can be revoked. The Secretary of State has the power to change or revoke
what has been specified or imposed on a claimant (1).
1 WR Act 07, s 11H(3)
U5004The claimant has to be aware of any work-related requirement that has been
imposed on them. Where a claimant is subject to a work-related requirement then
this should be recorded on the claimant's claimant commitment. If not, it should be
notified to the claimant in a manner that the Secretary of State sees fit. This includes
where a work-related requirement has been changed or revoked (1).
1 WR Act 07, s 11H(4)
U5005 The work-related requirements groupsThe work-related requirements which can be imposed on a claimant depend upon
which group the claimant falls into (1). The groups are
1. no work-related requirements
2. work-focused interview requirement only
3. work-focused interview and work preparation requirements.
ADM Chapter U4 provides guidance on the work-related requirements groups.
1 WR Act 07, s 11(3)
U5008 Dual entitlement to UC and ESAWhere a claimant is entitled to both ESA and UC then the ESA work-related
requirements do not apply (1). Please refer to the UC guidance in ADM Chapter J3.
1 ESA Regs 13, reg 42(1) & (2)
U5020 Requirements in connection with work-related requirementsThe Secretary of State can require (1) that a claimant participate in an interview for
any purpose relating to
1. the imposition of a work-related requirement on a claimant and
2. verifying the claimant's compliance with a work-related requirement and
3. helping the claimant to comply with a work-related requirement.
1 WR Act 07, s 11G(1)
U5021The Secretary of State may specify (1)
1. how and
2. when and
the interview should take place. This applies to claimants where interviews form part
of their conditionality regime.
1WR Act 07, s 11G(2)
U5022Failure by the claimant to participate without good reason in the interview may result
in a sanction (1).
1 WR Act 07, s 11J(2)(b)
U5023In order to verify that the claimant has complied with a work-related requirement, the
Secretary of State can require (1) a claimant to
1. provide information and evidence as specified and
2. confirm compliance as specified.
1 WR Act 07, s 11G(3)
ExampleJean is in receipt of ESA. As part of a work preparation requirement, she was asked
to develop a business plan because she wishes to become S/E. This action was
recorded on Jean's claimant commitment. Jean's adviser at the Jobcentre arranges
an interview for Jean to attend to discuss her work preparation and to bring with her
the business plan. The adviser asks Jean to bring the business plan with her to the
interview so that compliance with that work-related requirement can be confirmed.
[U5024-U5027]U5028 A claimant can be required (1) to report to the Secretary of State any specified
changes in their circumstances which are relevant to the
1. imposition of work-related requirements on them and
2. claimant's compliance with a work-related requirement.
1 WR Act 07, s 11G(4)
U5029The work-focused interview requirement
U5030 Introduction « U5002The work-focused interview requirement is a requirement that a claimant take part in
one or more work-focused interviews as specified by the Secretary of State (1).
1 WR Act 07, s 11B(1)
U5031 What a work-focused interview isA work-focused interview is an interview which the claimant is required to participate
in which relates to work or work preparation (1). The Secretary of State may specify
3. where a work-focused interview is to take place (2). 1 WR Act 07, s 6B(2); 2 s 6B(4)
ExampleSid is in receipt of ESA. Sid is notified by an officer of Jobcentre Plus to attend a
work-focused interview on 15.7.13 at 10 a.m. in person at his local Jobcentre Plus
purposes (1) of a work-focused interview for a claimant are any or all of
1. assessing the claimant's prospects for remaining in or obtaining work
2. assisting or encouraging the claimant to remain in or obtain work
3. identifying activities that the claimant may undertake that will make remaining
in or obtaining work more likely
4.1 training or
4.2 educational or
opportunities that may make the claimant more likely to remain in or obtain
work or be able to do so
5. identifying current or future work opportunities that are relevant to the
claimant's needs and abilities.
1WR Act 07, s 6B(3) & ESA Regs 13, reg 46
ExampleClyde attends his work-focused interview at his local Jobcentre Plus office. At the
interview Clyde's adviser discusses obtaining the paid work that fits within Clyde's
capabilities and circumstances and whether there are any issues which require
addressing in order for Clyde to be able to successfully find work. Clyde says that
he would like to work in an office environment but has little recent experience of this.
Clyde and his adviser discuss the activities that will make it more likely that Clyde
will be successful in obtaining paid work. These include a programme of work
experience and also a basic IT course.
U5033The activities discussed in a work-focused interview are activities that will make it
more likely that the claimant will obtain
1. paid work or
2. more paid work or
3. better-paid work.
The activities may be actions to be taken by the claimant immediately or in the future. Note: Paid work includes self-employment.
U5034Examples of such activities include
1. employment programmes
2. work experience
3. voluntary work
4. gaining relevant qualifications.
[U5035-U5039]The work preparation requirement
U5040 Introduction « U5002The Secretary of State can require that a claimant take particular action for the
purpose of making it more likely that the claimant will obtain
1. paid work or
2. more paid
3. better paid work (1). This is known as the work preparation requirement. Note: It is the Secretary of State's opinion that matters as to whether the particular action will enable the claimant to obtain 1., 2. or 3..
1 WR Act 07, s 11C(1)
U5041The amount of time that has to be spent on any particular action can be specified by
the Secretary of State (1).
1 WR Act 07, s 11C(2)
U5042 Types of actionThe kinds of action which may be specified by the Secretary of State include (1)
1. attending a skills assessment
2. improving personal presentation
3. taking part in training
4. taking part in an employment programme
work experience or
a work placement
6. developing a business plan
7. any other prescribed action. Note: No action has been prescribed in legislation for 7.
1 WR Act 07, s 11C(3)
Example 1Judy wishes to works on a S/E basis as a free-lance web designer. Judy's adviser at
the Jobcentre advises that in order to have a good chance of getting established in
this work, Judy should develop a business plan setting out who she sees as her
potential clients, how these clients should be approached, how her work can be
marketed and how her resources should be best employed. This is Judy's work
preparation requirement and is recorded on her claimant commitment. If Joanna
doesn't develop this business plan within timescales agreed with her adviser then
her ESA could be sanctioned.
Example 2Kenny has claimed ESA following his release from prison. His employment history is
made up mainly of temporary jobs and casual work. Upon making his claim for ESA,
it was agreed with his adviser at the Jobcentre that Kenny undertake a skills
assessment in order to clarify what work Kenny would be best placed to look for.
This is part of a work preparation requirement and is recorded on Kenny's claimant
Example 3Diane is homeless and has been sleeping rough for the last week. Having reviewed
Diane's circumstances, her adviser also concludes that the fact Diane has no fixed
address is making it difficult for her to find paid work. In order to improve her
chances of finding paid work, Diane's adviser at the Jobcentre advises her that she
should register with the LA on the housing waiting list. This is Diane's work
preparation requirement and is recorded on her claimant commitment.
U5043 Work-focused health-related assessmentA work preparation requirement can include taking part in a WFHRA (1).
1 WR Act 07, s 11C(4)
U5044A WFHRA is an assessment carried out by a HCP approved by the Secretary of
State for the purpose of assessing
1. the extent to which the claimant's capability for work can be improved by
taking steps with regard to their
1.1 physical or
mental condition and
2. any other matters with regard to their
2.1 physical or
condition and the likelihood of obtaining or remaining in work or being able to
do so as may be specified in regulations (1). Note: Nothing has yet been specified in regulations under 2..
1 WR Act 07, s 11C(5)
U5045A HCP means (1)
1. a registered medical practitioner or
2. a registered nurse or
3.1 occupational therapist or
registered with a regulatory body established under relevant legislation (2) or
4. a member of such other profession registered with a body established under
relevant legislation (3) as may be specified in regulations.
1 WR Act 07, s 11C(6); 2 Health Act 1999, s 60;
3 National Health Service Reform and Health Care Professions Act 2002, s 25(3)
[U5046-U5179]Imposition of work-related requirements
U5180 Claimants with no requirements imposed on them: domestic violence « U5182In certain circumstances a claimant who has been a recent victim of domestic
violence cannot have any work-related requirements imposed on them and any
existing requirement ceases. A recent victim of domestic violence means a person
who has had domestic violence
1. threatened or
2. inflicted upon them in the last six months (1).
1 ESA Regs 13, reg 49(2)
U5181The domestic violence has to have been inflicted or threatened against the claimant
by the (1)
1.1 partner or
1.2 former partner if the claimant is no longer a member of a couple or
Note: For any of the people listed at 2.1 to 2.17. this also includes their partner if
they are a member of a couple.
1 ESA Regs 13, reg 49(3)(a) & (4)
U5182 DefinitionsIn paras U5180 to U5190 a number of terms are defined.
U5183 Domestic violenceDomestic violence means (1) any incident or pattern of incidents of controlling
behaviour, coercive behaviour, violence or abuse including (but not limited to)
1. psychological abuse
2. physical abuse
3. sexual abuse
4. emotional abuse
5. financial abuse
regardless of the gender or sexuality of the victim. The Appendix to this Chapter provides examples of domestic violence. Note 1: Coercive behaviour means (2) an act of assault, humiliation, intimidation or other abuse that is used to harm, punish or frighten the victim. Note
2: Controlling behaviour means (3) an act designed to make the victim
subordinate or dependent by isolating them from sources of support, exploiting their
resources and capacities for personal gain, depriving them of the means needed for
independence, resistance or escape or regulating their everyday behaviour
1 ESA Regs 13, reg 49(5); 2 reg 49(5); 3 reg 49(5)
Example 1Abdul and Gita are married. Gita threatens Abdul with a kitchen knife during an
argument after Abdul tells her that he wishes to give up work and return to
education. She doesn't actually use the knife but it is intended to frighten Abdul.
This is an example of coercive behaviour.
Example 2Susan is married to Jim. Jim does not allow Susan to contact her parents or other
members of her family. Jim tells Susan that she cannot communicate with them in
any way unless he gives her permission. This is an example of controlling behaviour
because Jim is isolating Susan from a source of support.
U5185 Health care professionalIn U5186 a HCP means (1) a person who is a member of a profession regulated under
relevant legislation (2).
1 ESA Regs 13, reg 95(5); 2 National Health Service Reform and Health Care Professions Act 2002, s 25(3)
U5186 Person acting in an official capacity « U5185A person acting in an official capacity means (1)
1. a HCP
2. a police officer
3. a registered social worker
4. the claimant's employer
5. a representative of the claimant's trade union
6. any public, voluntary or charitable body which has had direct contact with the
victim in connection with domestic violence.
1 ESA Regs 13, reg 49(5)
U5187 Registered social workerRegistered social
means (1) a person registered as a social worker on a
register maintained by the
1. Health and Care Professions Council
2. Care Council for Wales
3. Scottish Social Services Council
4. Northern Ireland Social Care Council.
1 ESA Regs 13, reg 49(5)
1. any requirement imposed on them ceases to have effect for a period of 13
consecutive weeks (1) and
2. the Secretary of State must not impose any other requirement on that
claimant during that 13 week period (2).
1 ESA Regs 13, reg 49(1)(a); 2 reg 49(1)(b)
U5189The 13 week period in U5188 1. begins on the date that the claimant notified the
Secretary of State of the threatened or inflicted domestic violence (1).
1 ESA Regs 13, reg 49(1)(a)U5188 to apply, the claimant
1. must notify the Secretary of State in the specified manner that domestic
violence has been
1.1 inflicted on or
1.2 threatened against
them during the period of six months ending on the day of the notification (1)
2. must not have had the benefit of the easement for a period of 12 month
period immediately prior to the date of the notification (2) and
3. must not on the date of the notification be living at the same address as the
person who inflicted or threatened the domestic violence (3) and
4. must provide evidence as soon as possible (and no later than one month from
the date of the notification) from a person acting in an official capacity that
4.1 their circumstances are consistent with having had domestic violence
inflicted or threatened against them during the six month period ending
on the date of the notification and
4.2 they made contact with the person acting in an official capacity
regarding the incident during the six month period (4).
1 ESA Regs 13, reg 49(3)(a); 2 reg 49(3)(b); 3 reg 49(3)(c); 4 reg 49(3)(d)
U5191In order for the full 13 week easement to apply, evidence must be supplied within
the timescale described in U5190 4.. If evidence is not supplied within this limit then
the easement ends after one month after the claimant notifies the Secretary of State
as in U5190 1..
Example 1Pete is in receipt of ESA and is subject to work-related requirements. He notifies the
Jobcentre that his partner Trevor attacked him in their home and that the police are
dealing with the incident. Pete and Trevor share the same house and neither
intends to move out. The DM refuses to lift the work-related requirements imposed
on Pete because at the date of the notification Pete was living at the same address
Example 2Ange is in receipt of ESA. She reports to the Jobcentre on 1.7.13 that her then
partner physically attacked her two weeks earlier and that he has now moved out of
the family home. The DM determines that the work-related requirements imposed
on Ange do not apply for four weeks from 1.7.13 to 31.7.13 (both dates inclusive).
Ange must also supply before 1.8.13 evidence from a person acting in an official
capacity that demonstrates that her circumstances are consistent with her
notification of 1.7.13. If this is done then no work-related requirements can be
imposed on Ange for a further nine weeks the period 1.8.13 to 29.9.13. Therefore,
the total easement, if evidence is supplied, is 13 weeks.
Examples of domestic abuse
Victims of domestic violence are not confined to one gender or ethnic group.
Domestic violence can encompass, but is not limited to, the following types of
Includes intimidation, insulting,
isolating a person from friends and
family, criticising, denying the abuse,
treating a person as an inferior,
threatening to harm children or take
them away, forced marriage.
Includes shaking, smacking,
punching, kicking, presence of finger
or bite marks, starving, tying up,
stabbing, suffocation, throwing things,
using objects as weapons, genital
mutilation, "honour violence".
Physical effects are often in areas of
the body that are covered and hidden
(i.e. breasts, legs or stomach).
Includes forced sex, forced
prostitution, ignoring religious
prohibitions about sex, refusal to
practise safe sex, sexual insults,
sexually transmitted diseases,
Includes swearing, undermining
confidence, making racist remarks,
making a person feel unattractive,
calling a person stupid or useless,
eroding a person's independence.
Includes not letting a person work,
undermining efforts to find work or
study, refusing to give money, asking
for an explanation of how every penny
is spent, making a person beg for
money, gambling, not paying bills.