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Chapter V7: ESA sanctions

Contents
Introduction
V7001:Scope of this Chapter
General principles
V7005:Introduction
Definitions
Meaning of sanctionable failure
V7010:Introduction
V7030:Low and lowest-level sanctions
V7040:Meaning of compliance condition
V7050:Meaning of reduction period
V7060:Maximum reduction period
V7061:Meaning of total outstanding reduction period
Sanctionable failure decision making
V7070:Introduction
V7075:Has the claimant failed to comply with a work-related requirement
V7076:Does a reduction apply
V7080:Good reason
V7085:Which sanction level and reduction period applies
V7100:Start of reduction period
V7101:Amount of reduction
Low-level sanctions
V7105:Introduction
Which work-related requirement failures are subject to
V7110: low-level sanctions
V7115:What is the reduction period
V7120:Participating in an employment programme
V7125:Meaning of fails to comply
V7127:Imposition of requirements
V7128:Inappropriate behaviour
V7140:Undertaking work experience or a work placement
Work experience placements in Work Programme
V7142:or sector-based work academies

Lowest-level sanctions
V7160:When does a lowest-level sanction apply
V7170:What is the reduction period

When a reduction is to have effect
V7180:Introduction
V7185:Start of the reduction
V7190:Reduction period to continue where award terminates
V7106:Award terminates before determination made
V7200:Suspension of a reduction where a fraud penalty applies
V7210:When a reduction is to be terminated
Amount of reduction
V7300:Introduction
V7305:Amount of the reduction for each benefit week
V7310:Daily reduction rate
V7311:40% reduction applies
V7312:Nil reduction applies
ESA and UC sanctions
V7350:ESA sanction - claimant entitled to UC
V7355:UC sanction - claimant entitled to ESA
V7356:Period of the reduction
V7357:Daily reduction rate
V7358:Amount of reduction

Chapter V7: ESA sanctions

Introduction

V7001 Scope of this Chapter

This Chapter gives guidance on
1. general principles for making decisions on sanctions (see V7005 et seq)
2. what level of sanctions apply (see V7105 et seq)
3. when a reduction begins and ends (see V7180 et seq)
4. the amount of a reduction (see V7300 et seq)
5. the effect of an ESA reduction on UC, and a UC reduction on ESA (see V7350).

V7002

References to ESA and JSA in this Chapter are to new style ESA and JSA which are
being gradually phased in from 29.4.131. See ADM Chapter M1 (Pathfinder Group -
claims for UC) for guidance on the meaning of new style ESA and JSA.
1 WR Act 12, Sch 3 & Sch 14, Part 1

[V7003-V7004]

General principles

V7005 Introduction V7001

Once a DM determines that a reduction should apply for a sanctionable failure, the
period is added to the total outstanding reduction period (see V7061) for that
claimant. Reductions are then made to the award of ESA based on the number of
days in the total outstanding reduction period. The reduction is calculated by either
1. the number of days in the benefit week (where the total outstanding reduction
period is greater than this number) multiplied by the daily sanction amount or
2. the number of days in the total outstanding reduction period (where the
number of days in the total outstanding reduction period is lower than the
number of days in the benefit week) multiplied by the daily sanction amount.

V7006

The reduction will then be taken from the award from
1. where the claimant has not been paid ESA for the benefit week in which the
DM determines that a reduction should be imposed, the first day of that
benefit week or
2. where the claimant has been paid ESA for the benefit week in which the DM
determines that a reduction should be imposed, the first day of the benefit
week for which ESA is not paid or
2. if the award is already subject to a reduction, the first day that the award is not
subject to a reduction.

[V7007-V7009]

Definitions
Meaning of sanctionable failure

V7010 Introduction V7105 V7160 V7185 V7200

Sanctionable failures can result in a low or lowest-level sanction (1).

1 ESA Regs 13, reg 52 & 53

V7011

Where a failure is a sanctionable failure, the claimant's award of ESA is normally
reduced. The period and amount of reduction depends on (1)
1. which work-related requirement the claimant failed to comply with and
2. the number of sanctionable failures and
3. the period between failures.
1 WR Act 07, s 11J(3), (4) & (7)

[V7012-V7029]

V7030 Low and lowest-level sanctions

For low and lowest-level sanctions, a sanctionable failure is a failure by a claimant
with no good reason to comply with (1)
1. a work-focused interview requirement (2)
2. a work preparation requirement (3)
3. other requirements connected to work-related requirements, such as
attending an interview to impose or verify compliance with a work-related
requirement, or reporting specified changes in circumstances (4).
Note: See ADM Chapter U5 for further guidance on work-related requirements.
1 WR Act 07, s 11J; ESA Regs 13, reg 50; 2 WR Act 07, s 11B; 3 s 11C; 4 s 11G

[V7031-V7039]

V7040 Meaning of compliance condition V7041 V7115 V7170

Low and lowest-level sanctions have effect for a period which continues until the
claimant meets a compliance condition. Low-level sanctions also include a further
fixed period1 .

1 WR Act 07, s 11J(4); ESA Regs 13, reg 52 & 53

V7041 V7043

In V7040, a compliance condition is the requirement the claimant needs to complete
in order to terminate the period of the reduction (and for low-level sanctions, to 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. 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 07, s 11J(5)

V7042

Examples of compliance conditions include
1. meeting the requirement, for example updating a CV
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.

V7043

The claimant is notified of what they must do to meet a compliance condition as in
V7041, 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 07, s 11J(6)

[V7044-V7049]

V7050 Meaning of reduction period

The reduction period is the number of days for which an award of ESA is reduced for
each sanctionable failure (1). See V7180 et seq for guidance on when the reduction
period takes effect.

1 UC Regs, reg 101(1)

V7051

Reduction periods run consecutively (1). If it is determined that an award of ESA should
be reduced as a result of a sanctionable failure, and a reduction has already been
imposed for a previous sanctionable failure, the later reduction is added to the total
outstanding reduction period, and takes effect once the previous reduction has
ended. This may mean that more than one reduction could be made in the same
benefit week.

1 ESA Regs 13, reg 51(2) & 54(c)

V7052 V7100

When calculating which reduction period applies for a low-level sanction, a previous
sanctionable failure (including a JSA or UC low-level sanctionable failure) is
disregarded for the purposes of escalation (see V7088) if
1. it is within the 13 days immediately before the date of the current sanctionable
failure (1) or
2. it is more than 364 days immediately before the date of the current
sanctionable failure (2) or
3. it is not at the same level as the current sanctionable failure.
Note 1: See V7117 for examples.
Note 2: 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.

1 ESA Regs 13, reg 51(4); 2 reg 52

V7053

See V7180 et seq for guidance on when a reduction period begins and ends,
including where
1. a reduction is suspended when the amount of ESA is restricted following one
or more benefit fraud offences (1) or
2. the reduction period continues after ESA entitlement terminates (2).
1 ESA Regs 13, reg 56; SS Fraud Act 01, s 6B & 7; 2 ESA Regs 13, reg 57

[V7054-V7059]

V7060 Maximum reduction period V7061 V7100

Where imposing a reduction period for a sanctionable failure would mean that the
total outstanding reduction period would exceed 1095 days, the number of days in
the reduction period is adjusted to ensure that this limit is not exceeded (1). The
calculation of the total outstanding reduction period is made at the date when the DM
makes the determination of the reduction period.
Note: DMs are reminded that ESA entitlement for claimants subject to work-related
requirements is a maximum of 365 days based on the same tax years. See ADM
Chapter V2 (Duration of ESA award) for further guidance.
1 ESA Regs 13, reg 51(3)

V7061 Meaning of total outstanding reduction period V7005 V7100 V7305

When considering whether V7060 applies, the total outstanding reduction period is
the total number of days of a reduction period for which an award of ESA has not yet
been reduced (1).
1 ESA Regs 13, reg 50

[V7062-V7069]

Sanctionable failure decision making

V7070 Introduction

This section gives guidance on general principles the DM should consider when
making decisions on sanctionable failures.

[V7071-V7074]

V7075 Has the claimant failed to comply with a work-related requirement

When considering whether to impose a low or lowest-level sanction, the DM should
first determine whether the claimant has failed to comply with a work-related
requirement and if so, what that failure is. See ADM Chapter U5 for detailed
guidance on work-related requirements.

V7076 Does a reduction apply

Where the DM determines that the claimant has failed to comply with a work-related
requirement, the next step is to consider whether it is a failure for which a reduction
would apply.

[V7077-V7079]

V7080 Good reason

If the DM determines that the failure is one for which a reduction would apply, they
should consider whether the claimant had a good reason for the failure to comply.
See ADM Chapter K2 for detailed guidance on good reason.

[V7081-V7084]

V7085 Which sanction level and reduction period applies

Where
1. the claimant has no good reason for a failure to comply with a work-related
requirement and
2. the sanctionable failure is one for which a reduction applies
the DM should consider which sanction level and reduction period applies.

V7086

The reduction period depends on whether the sanctionable failure results in a
1. low-level
sanction (1) (see V7105 et seq) or
2. lowest-level
sanction (2) (see V7160 et seq).

1 ESA Regs 13, reg 52; 2 reg 53

V7087

Reduction periods can be for
1. an open period until the claimant meets a compliance condition or
2. a fixed period or
3. a combination of both.
Low-level sanctions have a combination of an open period until compliance,
followed by a fixed period, while lowest-level sanctions are for an open period until
compliance.

V7088 V7052

For low-level sanctions, reduction periods are for different lengths depending on
whether there have been other sanctionable failures at the same level before the
current failure. This is known as escalation.

V7089

As part of the process of considering whether escalation applies, the DM should
consider whether there have been previous sanctionable failures
1. at the same level and
2. for which a decision to impose a reduction has been made, even if the
reduction has not yet begun.
Note: This includes previous low-level JSA or UC sanctionable failures.

V7090

The DM should also consider whether there was another sanctionable failure in the
period preceding the current failure. This includes failures which were subsequent to
the failure in question, but were decided earlier.

[V7091-V7099]

V7100 Start of reduction period

Once the DM has determined which sanction level and reduction period applies,
including where the period is reduced as in V7060, the reduction period is added to
the total outstanding reduction period (see V7061). The next step is to determine
when the reduction period begins. The DM also needs to consider whether the
period should follow a previous reduction as in V7052.

V7101 Amount of reduction

The final step in the process of making a decision on a sanctionable failure is to
determine the amount of the reduction (1), including the daily reduction rate (2). This
varies depending on the claimant's circumstances at the end of the benefit week.
The daily reduction rate is
1. the prescribed amount excluding the component multiplied by 52 and divided
by 365 or
2. where the claimant satisfies certain conditions at the end of the benefit week
(including a change to work-related requirements during the benefit week)
2.1 40% of the daily reduction rate in 1. (for example where they are
responsible for a child aged between one and four) or
2.2 nil (where they have LCWRA).
See V7300 et seq for further guidance.
1 ESA Regs 13, reg 58; 2 reg 59 & 60

[V7102-V7104]

Low-level sanctions

V7105 Introduction V7001 V7086

A low-level sanction is a reduction of ESA for a sanctionable failure by a claimant (1)
who fails without good reason to comply with specified work-related requirements (2) -
see V7110.
Note: See ADM Chapter U5 for guidance on work-related requirements. See V7010
for the meaning of a sanctionable failure.

1 WR Act 07, s 11J; ESA Regs 13, reg 50(1); 2 WR Act 07, s 11F(2) & 11G

V7106 V7107

The reduction period is in two parts:
1. an open period which ends as in V7115 1.1 and
2. a fixed period of 7, 14 or 28 days (2) (see V7115 2.).

1 ESA Regs 13, reg 52(a); 2 reg 52(b)

V7107

The length of the fixed period reduction in V7106 2. depends on whether there have
been previous sanctionable failures resulting in a low-level sanction. See V7115 et
seq for further details.

[V7108-V7109]

V7110 Which work-related requirement failures are subject to low-level sanctions V7105 V7120

Low-level sanctions apply where the claimant fails without good reason to comply
with (1)
1. a WFI requirement for claimants who are subject to work preparation
requirement and WFI requirement (2) or
2. a work preparation requirement (2) or
3. a requirement to
3.1 take part in an interview about the imposition of or compliance with a
work-related requirement or
3.2 provide information or evidence of compliance with a work-related
requirement or
3.3 report changes of circumstances relevant to the imposition of or
compliance with a work-related requirement (4).
Note 1: See ADM Chapter U5 for detailed guidance on work-related requirements.
Note
2: See V7120 et seq for further details where the work preparation requirement
is to participate a work placement or work experience.
1 ESA Regs 13, reg 50; 2 WR Act 07, s 11F(2); 3 s 11G

[V7111-V7114]

V7115 What is the reduction period V7106 V7106 V7107 V7116 V7117 V7140

The reduction period is the total of (1)
1. the number of days beginning with the date of the sanctionable failure and
ending with
1.1 the day before the day on which the claimant meets a compliance
condition specified by the Secretary of State or
1.2 the day before the day on which the claimant falls into the "no work-
related requirements" group (2) or
1.3 in the case of a work preparation requirement, the day before the day
on which the claimant is no longer required to take specified action (3) or
1.4
the date on which the award of ESA terminates
whichever is soonest and
2. a fixed period of
2.1 7 days where there has not been a previous low-level sanctionable
failure in the 364 days immediately before the date of the current
failure or
2.2 14 days if, in the 364 days immediately before the date of the failure,
there was another low-level sanctionable failure for which a 7 day
reduction was imposed or
2.3 28 days if, in the 364 days immediately before the date of the failure,
there was another low-level sanctionable failure for which a 14 day or
28 day reduction was imposed.
Note 1 : See V7040 for the meaning of compliance condition.
Note 2: 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.

1 UC Regs, reg 104(2); 2 WR Act 12, s 19; 3 s 16

V7116

In
V7115 2., JSA and UC low-level sanctions (1)
1. for which a fixed period reduction of 7, 14 or 28 days was imposed and
2. where the sanctionable failure fell in the 364 days immediately before the date
of the current failure
are included when considering which fixed reduction period applies (2).

1 JSA Regs 13, reg 21; UC Regs, reg 104; 2 ESA Regs 13, reg 52(b)(iii), (iv), (vi) & (vii)

V7117 V7052

A sanctionable failure (including a JSA or UC sanctionable failure) which
1. is in the 13 days immediately before the date of the failure under
consideration (1) or
2. resulted in a reduction at a different level
does not count for the purposes of calculating which period in V7115 2. applies.
1 ESA Regs 13, reg 51(4)

Example 1

Hayley is entitled to ESA including the WRAC. Her 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. Hayley was required to take part in a further WFI on 7.8.14, and to produce
a CV at the same time, but fails to attend. She phones on 12.8.14 to say she forgot
about the appointment, and still hasn't prepared her CV.
The DM determines that Hayley had no good reason for her failure to attend the
interview, and a reduction is imposed including a 14 day period. As Hayley did not
produce the 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.

Example 2

Carlo is entitled to ESA. He is required to take part in a WFI, but refuses to do so.
The DM imposes a reduction for the sanctionable failure, including a fixed period
reduction of 7 days.
Carlo is involved in a road traffic accident, and after further application of the WCA,
is found to have LCWRA. The open part of the reduction ends as the DM determines
that Carlo is not subject to work-related requirements.

Example 3

Lily 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.
Lily's health deteriorates and she claims ESA in August 2014. After application of the
WCA the DM determines that she has LCW. Lily is now in the work preparation
group, and fails to attend an initial WFI. Lily's previous higher-level JSA sanction is
not used to calculate the fixed period of the lower-level sanction imposed due to the
failure to take part in a WFI.

[V7118-V7119]

V7120 Participating in an employment programme V7110 V7121

A low-level sanction can be imposed where the claimant fails to comply with a work
preparation requirement (see V7110 2.) 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 an employment programme.

1 WR Act 07, s 11C(3)(d)

V7121 V7128

Individual programmes are not defined in ESA legislation, but for the purposes of V7120employment programmes include
1. The sector-based work academy(sbwa)
2. Skills
Conditionality(SC)
3. The Work Programme (Wp).
Note: This list is not exhaustive.

V7122

All these schemes aim to support UC 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.

[V7123-V7124]

V7125 Meaning of fails to comply

Fails to comply is not defined in legislation and therefore takes its everyday meaning
of failing `to meet a specific requirement'. For employment programmes, 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
2.1
reasonable and
2.2 acceptable
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.

V7126 V7128

This 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
work.
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).

V7127 Imposition of requirements

For detailed guidance as to when and how a work preparation requirement is
imposed by the Secretary of State see ADM Chapter U5 (Work-related
requirements).

V7128 Inappropriate behaviour

Employment programmes such as those listed at V7121 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 V7126. Those skills also include `behaviours' acceptable in a place of work.

V7129

Whilst on an employment programme, if a claimant uses inappropriate behaviour
once mandated onto the programme, this may be regarded as a failure to comply
with a specified work preparation requirement.

V7130

A claimant's acts and omissions will be judged by the DM under good reason with
reference to that claimant's personal circumstances - see ADM Chapter K2 (Good
reason).
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 a claimant is particularly obstructive.

Example

Em starts her Work Programme 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 Em'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 situation.

[V7131-V7139]

V7140 Undertaking work experience or a work placement

A 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 (1) (see V7115 2.).

1 WR Act 07, s 11C(3)(e); ESA Regs 13, reg 50

V7141

In ESA legislation there is no definition of work experience. However work
experience still exists as a work preparation activity within the mandatory work
programmes known as
1. Wp
or
2. sbwa.

V7142 Work experience placements in Work Programme or sector-based work academies

Participation in a work experience opportunity is voluntary, and claimants who leave
or lose a place on such a placement are treated as having good reason for the
failure to comply, unless they lose the place through gross misconduct.
Note: For detailed guidance on what constitutes gross misconduct see ADM
Chapter K3 (Higher level sanctions).

V7143

The 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).

[V7144-V7159]

Lowest-level sanctions

V7160 When does a lowest-level sanction apply V7086

A lowest-level sanction is a reduction of ESA for a sanctionable failure by a claimant
who (1)
1. falls within the work-focused interview requirement only group (2) and
2. fails without good reason to take part in a WFI (3).
See ADM Chapter U4 for guidance on work-related requirements groups, and
Chapter U5 for guidance on work-related requirements. See V7010 for the meaning
of a sanctionable failure.
1 ESA Regs 13, reg 50 & 53; 2 WR Act 07, s 11(3)(b); 3 s 11J(2)(a)

[V7161-V7169]

V7170 What is the reduction period

The reduction period is the number of days (1)
1. beginning with the date of the sanctionable failure and
2. ending with
2.1 the day before the day on which the claimant meets a compliance
condition specified by the Secretary of State or
2.2 the day before the day on which the claimant falls into the "no work-
related requirements" group (2) or
2.3 the day on which the award terminates
whichever is soonest.
1 ESA Regs 13, reg 53; 2 WR Act 07, s 11(3)(a) & 11D
Note: See V7040 for the meaning of compliance condition, and V7180 et seq for
guidance on when the reduction begins.

Example 1

Clive is entitled to ESA, and is the responsible carer for his 4 year old grandson Paul
while Paul's mother is serving a prison sentence. Clive is required to take part in a
WFI on 10.9.14, but fails to attend. He rings the Jobcentre on 15.9.14 to say he
forgot about the interview, and makes an appointment for a further WFI. The DM
determines that Clive had no good reason for the failure to attend. As Clive met the
compliance condition on 15.9.14 his ESA is reduced for a total period of 5 days.

Example 4

Heather is entitled to ESA, and is a lone parent with a daughter aged 3. She is
entitled to UC, and is in the work-focused interview requirement only group. Heather
fails to attend a WFI on 22.7.14. She does not respond to requests for reasons as to
why she failed to attend. The DM imposes a reduction for the sanctionable failure.
On 7.11.14 Heather notifies that on 3.11.14 she started work which is not exempt
work. Her ESA award is terminated from 3.11.14. The reduction period ends on
3.11.14, the last day of ESA entitlement.

[V7171-V7179]

When a reduction is to have effect

V7180 Introduction V7001 V7050 V7053 V7170

This section gives guidance on when a reduction is to have effect and how to determine
1. the start date of a reduction period
2. the reduction period where the award of ESA terminates
3. the suspension of a reduction where a fraud penalty applies
4. when a reduction is to be terminated.

[V7181-V7184]

V7185 Start of the reduction V7196

The reduction period takes effect from
1. where the claimant has not been paid ESA for the benefit week in which the
DM determines that a reduction should be imposed, the first day of that
benefit week or
2. where the claimant has been paid ESA for the benefit week in which the DM
determines that a reduction should be imposed, the first day of the benefit
week for which ESA is not paid or
2. if the award is already subject to a reduction as in 1. or 2., the first day that the
award is not subject to a reduction (1).
Note: For the definition of sanctionable failure see V7010.

1 ESA Regs 13, reg 54

V7186

The reduction period determination is incorporated in a supersession decision which
takes effect from the same date (1). See ADM Chapter A4 (Supersession) for guidance
on the supersession effective date rules.
1 UC, PIP, JSA & ESA (D&A) Regs, reg 27(1)(a) & 35(10)(a)

Example

Luke is entitled to ESA, and is subject to the work preparation and work-focused
interview requirement. He fails to attend an initial WFI with an adviser on 3.6.14, and
phones on 11.7.14 to say that he forgot. He arranges a new WFI appointment for
16.7.14 which he attends. Luke is referred to the Work Programme.
The DM determines on 25.7.13 that a low-level sanction of 45 days (38 days before
compliance + a fixed period of 7 days) should be imposed. Luke was last paid ESA
on 21.7.14, so the reduction period begins on 22.7.13, the first day of the benefit
week in which the DM determination is made.
Later Luke fails with no good reason to attend a skills assessment session arranged
by the provider for 5.8.13. He contacts the provider on 8.8.14 to make a new
appointment, explaining that he mixed up the date. The DM imposes a further
reduction of 17 days (3 days until compliance followed by a 14 day fixed period
reduction), which are added to the total outstanding reduction period. The reduction
period begins on 4.9.14, the day after the previous reduction period ends.

[V7187-V7189]

V7190 Reduction period to continue where award terminates

If an award of ESA terminates while there is an outstanding reduction period, the
reduction period continues to run as if a daily reduction were being applied. If the
claimant becomes entitled to a new award of ESA before the period expires, that
award is subject to a reduction for the remainder of the total outstanding reduction
period (1).
Note 1: All sanctions run consecutively, i.e. one sanction period follows immediately
after the other.
1 ESA Regs 13, reg 55(1)

Example

Judy is entitled to ESA and has a 40 day reduction period imposed on the award
which is due to run until 7.1.15.
On 3.11.14 Judy starts full time work which is not exempt work, and the DM treats
her as not having LCW. Judy's award terminates on 2.11.14.
Judy reclaims ESA on 1.12.14 as she found the job too difficult to manage due to
her health problems. A 38 day sanction is imposed on her new award for the
remaining outstanding reduction period.

[V7191-V7195]

V7196 Award terminates before determination made

If an award of ESA terminates
1. before the DM determines that the award will be subject to a reduction and
2. that determination is made after the claimant becomes entitled to a new
award of UC (1)
the reduction period in relation to that failure is to have effect as if the determination
had been made on the day before the previous award of UC terminated (2).
Note 1: In effect the decision to sanction is delayed or `reserved' because the
claimant does not have a current award of ESA, but any time away from benefit is
treated as served towards the reduction period if a sanction is appropriate when the
claimant makes a further claim for ESA (3).
Note
2: The date the reduction period starts will depend on whether the claimant has
already been paid ESA before the determination is made - see V7185 (4).
1 ESA Regs 13, reg 55(2); 2 reg 55(3)(a); 3 reg 55(3)(b); reg 54

Example

Josie makes a new claim for ESA on 16.10.14. Her previous award of ESA
terminated on 30.9.14 when she found work. When her previous award terminated
there was an outstanding determination for a failure to take part in a WFI on 17.9.14.
The DM determines that a 42 day reduction period would have been appropriate (14
days up to the date ESA ended + 28 day fixed period reduction). The reduction
period begins on 29.9.14, the day before the previous award terminated. Josie will
serve a 25 day reduction period on her new award of ESA.

[V7197-V7199]

V7200 Suspension of a reduction where a fraud penalty applies V7305

A reduction period for a sanctionable failure is suspended for any period during
which a fraud penalty also applies to that award of ESA (1).
Note: For detailed guidance on fraud penalties see ADM Chapter B2 (Restrictions
on payment of benefit). For the definition of sanctionable failure, see V7010.

1 ESA Regs 13, reg 56(1); WR Act 07, s 11J; SS Fraud Act 01, s 6B & 7

V7201

The reduction
1. ceases to have effect on the day on which the period of the fraud penalty
begins and
2. begins again on the day after that period ends (1).
1 ESA Regs 13, reg 56(2)

Example 1

On 8.12.14 Mo fails without good reason to comply with a work preparation
requirement and the DM decides to impose a low-level sanction for a reduction
period of 9 days (2 days non-compliance, followed by a 7 day fixed period) for a first
low level failure.
Mo already has a fraud penalty imposed on his ESA of 26 weeks which is due to
expire on 4.3.15. The reduction period is suspended and can be imposed from
5.3.15.

Example 2

Mary has a 30 day reduction period imposed on her ESA award from 6.4.15. On
15.4.15 a fraud penalty of 26 weeks is imposed on her award of ESA. The reduction
period is suspended from 15.4.15 - 13.10.15. A 21 day reduction period, the balance
of the reduction period still to be served, will be imposed from 14.10.15, the day after
the fraud penalty ends.

[V7202-V7209]

V7210 When a reduction is to be terminated V7211 V7211

A reduction imposed for a sanctionable failure will be terminated where, since the
date of the most recent sanctionable failure which resulted in a reduction being
imposed, the claimant has been in paid work for
1. a period of at least 26 weeks or
2. more than one period of employment where the total of those periods
amounts to at least 26 weeks (1).
Note
: A claimant is in paid work where their weekly earnings are at least equal to 16
x NMW (2).

1 ESA Regs 13, reg 57(1); 2 reg 57(3); NMW Regs

V7211

The termination of the reduction has effect from the beginning of the
1. benefit week in which the conditions in V7210 are satisfied or
2. first benefit week in relation to any subsequent award where the conditions in V7210are satisfied outside a period of entitlement to UC (1).
1 ESA Regs 13, reg 57(2)

[V7212-V7299]

Amount of reduction

V7300 Introduction V7001 V7101

This section gives guidance on the
1. amount of reduction for each benefit week and
2. daily reduction rate.

[V7301-V7304]

V7305 Amount of the reduction for each benefit week

Where it is determined that an award of ESA is to be reduced because of a
sanctionable failure, the amount of the reduction for each benefit week in respect of
which a reduction has effect is calculated as follows (1)
1. take the number of days in
1.1 the benefit week or
1.2 if lower, in the total outstanding reduction period (see V7061)
deducting any days in that benefit week for which the reduction is suspended
(see V7200)
2. multiply the number of days at 1. by the daily reduction rate (see V7310 et
seq)
3. deduct the amount produced from 2. from the amount of the award of ESA for
the benefit week.
Note:
For detailed guidance on amounts see ADM Chapter V1.
1 ESA Regs 13, reg 58

[V7306-V7309]

V7310 Daily reduction rate V7305 V7311 V7357

Unless V7311 or V7312 applies, the daily reduction rate is the personal rate
appropriate to the claimant's age
1. multiplied by 52 and
2. divided by 3651.
Note: The daily amount calculated is rounded down to the nearest 10 pence (2).
1 ESA Regs 13, reg 59(1); 2 reg 59(2)

Example

Brad, who is aged 23, is awarded ESA. The DM determines that Brad had no good
reason for not taking part in a WFI, and a 40 day reduction of ESA is imposed,
including a 28 day fixed period reduction as this is his third failure in a year.
The daily rate of reduction is 8.00 (56.80 x 52 365).
The first benefit week for which a reduction can be imposed is from 13.3.15.
The amount of the reduction for that week and the four weeks following is calculated
as the number of days in the benefit week i.e. 7 days x 8.00 (the daily reduction
rate) = 56.00.
The amount of the reduction for the week beginning 17.4.15 is calculated as the
number of days of the total outstanding reduction period remaining i.e. 5 days x
8.00 (the daily reduction rate) = 40.00.

V7311 40% reduction applies V7310

The daily reduction rate is 40% of the rate set out in V7310 if at the end of the
benefit week the claimant is (1)
1. subject to work-focused interview requirement only (2) (i.e. they are subject to a
lowest level sanction).
2. subject to no work-related requirements (3) because they are
2.1 a responsible carer for a child under the age of 14 or
2.2 a responsible foster parent of a child under the age of 15 or
2.3 an adopter and it is 52 weeks or less since
2.3.a
the date in which the child was placed with the claimant or
2.3.b if the claimant asks for the 52 weeks to start from a date within
14 days before the child was expected to be placed (6) or
2.4
within 11 weeks before or 15 weeks after confinement (7) or
Note 1: The daily amount calculated is rounded down to the nearest 10 pence (8).
Note
2: For detailed guidance on work-related requirements see ADM Chapter U5.
1 ESA Regs 13, reg 60(1); 2 WR Act 07, s 11E; 3 s 11D; 4 11D(2)(c); 5 ESA Regs, reg 47(1)(b);
6 reg 47(1)(c); 7 reg 47(1)(f) & (g); 7 reg 59(2)

V7312 Nil reduction applies V7310

The daily reduction rate is nil if at the end of the benefit week the claimant is subject
to no work-related requirements because they have LCW and LCWRA (1).
Note 1: This does not apply where the claimant just has LCW. A claimant has to
have both LCW and LCWRA in order for a nil reduction to apply.
Note
2: For detailed guidance on work-related requirements see ADM Chapter U5.
1 ESA Regs 13, reg 60(2)

[V7313-V7349]

ESA and UC sanctions

V7350 ESA sanction - claimant entitled to UC V7001

Where the claimant
1. the claimant is entitled to ESA and
2. a low or lowest-level sanction is imposed and
3. the claimant becomes entitled to UC and
4. the claimant remains entitled to ESA
any reduction ceases to apply to ESA (1). Instead, the reduction is applied to UC (2). See
ADM Chapter K7 for further guidance.
1 WR Act 07, s 11J; ESA Regs 13, reg 43; 2 UC Regs, reg 112 & Sch 11

[V7351-V7354]

V7355 UC sanction - claimant entitled to ESA V7356 V7357 V7358

Where
1. the claimant's award of UC is terminated and
2. a higher, medium, low or lowest-level sanction is imposed (1) and
3. the claimant is entitled to ESA any reduction of the UC award is applied to the ESA award (2). 1 WR Act 12, s 26 & 27; 2 ESA Regs, reg 61(1) & (2)

V7356 Period of the reduction V7358

Where V7355 applies, the period for which ESA is reduced is the number of days for
which the UC sanction applied after deducting any days which
1. have already resulted in a reduction of the amount of UC (1) or
2. fall after the last day of UC entitlement and the first day of ESA entitlement (2).
1 UC Regs, reg 102 - 104; 2 ESA Regs 13, reg 61(3)

V7357 Daily reduction rate V7358

Where V7355 applies, the daily reduction rate for ESA is calculated in the same way
as for an ESA sanction (1). See V7310 et seq for further details.
1 ESA Regs, reg 61(4)

V7358 Amount of reduction

Where V7355 applies, the amount of the reduction of ESA is the number of days in V7356x the daily reduction rate in V7357 (1).
1 ESA Regs, reg 61(5)

[V7359-V7999]