People are required to meet certain conditions in order to qualify for unemployment benefits. Specifically they have to show that they are taking steps to find work or improving their chances of getting a job. If people don’t meet these conditions, the government can temporarily stop their benefits. This is called a sanction.
What needs to change
We are calling on the government to:
- Do more to make sure that benefit sanctions don’t cause homelessness and poverty. Read more about homeless people and sanctions
- Give people the help they need rather than simply stopping their benefits. Read more about the case for reform
Homeless people and sanctions
Homeless people are being sanctioned more than other people. This is because the government is asking them to do things they simply can’t manage while they’re homeless.
We are concerned that the government is more interested in checking up on whether people are meeting their conditions than actually helping them find work. This is one reason why the government’s efforts to help homeless people into work aren’t working.
Making the case for reform
We have published research that clearly shows that sanctions are causing homelessness and making it harder for homeless people to find work. This has helped us make the case to government that the sanctions system needs to change.
We are calling on the government to do more to make sure that benefit sanctions don’t cause homelessness and poverty. We want to see the government give people the help they need rather than simply stopping their benefits.
Briefings, responses and research
- Submission to the Public Accounts Committee inquiry into benefit sanctions (PDF) - November 2016
- Oral evidence to the Public Accounts Committee inquiry into benefit sanctions (PDF) - December 2016
- Homeless people’s experiences of welfare conditionality and benefit sanctions - December 2015
- Benefit sanctions and homelessness: a scoping report - 2015
Read more about employment support.