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The Social Security (Work-focused Interviews for Partners) Regulations (Northern Ireland) 2003

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Citation, commencement and interpretation

1.—(1) These Regulations may be cited as the Social Security (Work-focused Interviews for Partners) Regulations (Northern Ireland) 2003 and shall come into operation on 12th April 2004.

(2) In these Regulations –

“the 1998 Order” means the Social Security (Northern Ireland) Order 1998(1);

“benefit week” means any period of 7 days corresponding to the week in respect of which the relevant specified benefit is due to be paid;

“claimant” means a claimant of a specified benefit who has a partner to whom these Regulations apply;

“interview” means a work-focused interview with a partner which is conducted for any or all of the following purposes –

(a)

assessing the partner’s prospects for existing or future employment (whether paid or voluntary);

(b)

assisting or encouraging the partner to enhance his prospects of such employment;

(c)

identifying activities which the partner may undertake to strengthen his existing or future prospects of employment;

(d)

identifying current or future employment or training opportunities suitable to the partner’s needs, and

(e)

identifying educational opportunities connected with the existing or future employment prospects or needs of the partner;

officer” means an officer of the Department or of the Department for Employment and Learning;

“partner” means a person who is member of the same couple as the claimant, or, in a case where the claimant has more than one partner, a person who is a partner of the claimant by reason of a polygamous marriage, but only where –

(a)

the claimant has been awarded a specified benefit at a higher rate referable to that partner, and

(b)

both the partner and the claimant have attained the age of 18 but have not attained the age of 60;

“polygamous marriage” means any marriage during the subsistence of which a party to it is married to more than one person and the ceremony of marriage took place under the law of a country which permits polygamy;

“specified benefit” means a benefit to which section 2AA of the Social Security Administration (Northern Ireland) Act 1992 applies.

(3) Regulations 2 to 12 apply to a partner in circumstances where on or after 12th April 2004 the claimant’s award of a specified benefit is being administered from an office of the Department which is designated by the Department as a Jobs and Benefits Office(2) and the claimant has been continuously entitled to the benefit for 26 weeks or longer.

(4) The Interpretation Act (Northern Ireland) 1954(3) shall apply to these Regulations as it applies to an Act of the Assembly.

(2)

A list of offices designated as Jobs and Benefits Offices is available from the following address: Department for Social Development, Social Security Agency, Operations Support Directorate, 2nd Floor, Churchill House, Victoria Square, Belfast BT1 4SS

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