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The Welfare Reform and Pensions (Northern Ireland) Order 1999

Status:

This is the original version (as it was originally made).

14.  After Article 22 insert—

Denial or reduction of joint-claim jobseeker’s allowance

22A.(1) Where this Article applies to a member of a joint-claim couple, that member of the couple shall be subject to sanctions for the purposes of this Article.

(2) This Article applies to a member of a joint-claim couple if that member of the couple—

(a)has, without good cause, refused or failed to carry out any jobseeker’s direction which was reasonable, having regard to his circumstances;

(b)has, without good cause—

(i)neglected to avail himself of a reasonable opportunity of a place on a training scheme or employment programme;

(ii)after a place on such a scheme or programme has been notified to him by an employment officer as vacant or about to become vacant, refused or failed to apply for it or to accept it when offered to him;

(iii)given up a place on such a scheme or programme; or

(iv)failed to attend such a scheme or programme on which he has been given a place;

(c)has lost his place on such a scheme or programme through misconduct;

(d)has lost his employment as an employed earner through misconduct;

(e)has voluntarily left such employment without just cause;

(f)has, without good cause, after a situation in any employment has been notified to him by an employment officer as vacant or about to become vacant, refused or failed to apply for it or to accept it when offered to him; or

(g)has, without good cause, neglected to avail himself of a reasonable opportunity of employment.

(3) Where this Article applies to a member of a joint-claim couple by virtue of any of sub-paragraphs (a) to (c) of paragraph (2), the period for which he is to be subject to sanctions shall be such period (of at least one week but not more than 26 weeks) as may be prescribed.

(4) Where this Article applies to a member of a joint-claim couple by virtue only of any of sub-paragraphs (d) to (g) of paragraph (2), the period for which he is to be subject to sanctions shall be such period (of at least one week but not more than 26 weeks) as may be determined by the Department.

(5) Even though the conditions for entitlement to a joint-claim jobseeker’s allowance are satisfied in relation to a joint-claim couple—

(a)the allowance shall not be payable for any period during which both members of the couple are subject to sanctions; and

(b)the amount of the allowance payable in respect of the couple for any period during which only one member of the couple is subject to sanctions shall be reduced to an amount calculated by the prescribed method (“the reduced amount”).

(6) The method prescribed for calculating the reduced amount may, in particular, involve—

(a)deducting amounts from, or making percentage reductions of, the amount which would be the amount of the allowance if neither member of the couple were subject to sanctions;

(b)disregarding portions of the applicable amount;

(c)treating amounts as being income or capital of the couple.

(7) During any period for which the amount of a joint-claim jobseeker’s allowance payable in respect of a joint-claim couple is the reduced amount, the allowance shall be payable to the member of the couple who is not subject to sanctions.

(8) Regulations may prescribe—

(a)circumstances which the Department is to take into account, and

(b)circumstances which it is not to take into account,

in determining a period under paragraph (4).

(9) Paragraphs (7) to (10) of Article 21 apply for the purposes of this Article as for those of that Article but as if references in paragraph (10)(b) of that Article to the claimant were to the member of the joint-claim couple to whom paragraph (2)(a) applies.

Exemptions from Article 22A

22B.(1) Article 22A shall not be taken to apply to a member of a joint-claim couple merely because he has refused to seek or accept employment in a situation which is vacant in consequence of a stoppage of work due to a trade dispute.

(2) Article 22A does not apply to a member of a joint-claim couple by virtue of any of sub-paragraphs (a) to (c) of paragraph (2) of that Article if—

(a)a direction is in force under Article 18 with respect to that member of the couple; and

(b)he has acted in such a way as to risk—

(i)having that direction revoked under paragraph (3)(b) of Article 18, or

(ii)having the amount of the couple’s entitlement to a joint-claim jobseeker’s allowance reduced by virtue of Article 19 because the condition in Article 19(3)(b) or (c) is established.

(3) Regulations shall make provision for the purpose of enabling any person of a prescribed description to accept any employed earner’s employment without Article 22A applying to him by virtue of sub-paragraph (e) or (g) of paragraph (2) of that Article should he leave that employment voluntarily and without just cause at any time during a trial period.

(4) In such circumstances as may be prescribed, a joint-claim jobseeker’s allowance shall be payable in respect of a joint-claim couple even though Article 22A(5)(a) prevents payment of such a jobseeker’s allowance to the couple.

(5) A jobseeker’s allowance shall be payable by virtue of paragraph (4) only if the couple have complied with such requirements as to the provision of information as may be prescribed for the purposes of this paragraph.

(6) Regulations under paragraph (4) may, in particular, provide for a jobseeker’s allowance payable by virtue of that paragraph to be—

(a)payable at a prescribed rate;

(b)payable for a prescribed period (which may differ from the period during which both members of the couple are subject to sanctions for the purposes of Article 22A).

(7) In paragraph (3), “trial period” has such meaning as may be prescribed.

(8) Regulations may make provision for determining, for the purposes of this Article, the day on which a person’s employment is to be regarded as commencing..

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