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The Universal Credit Regulations (Northern Ireland) 2016

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Reduction periods

General principles for calculating reduction periods

98.—(1) The number of days for which a reduction in the amount of an award is to have effect (“the reduction period”) is to be determined in relation to each sanctionable failure in accordance with regulations 99 to 102, subject to paragraphs (3) and (4).

(2) Reduction periods are to run consecutively.

(3) If the reduction period calculated in relation to a sanctionable failure in accordance with regulations 100 to 102 would result in the total outstanding reduction period exceeding 546 days, the reduction period in relation to that failure is to be adjusted so that the total outstanding reduction period does not exceed 546 days.

(4) In determining the reduction period in relation to a sanctionable failure, a previous sanctionable failure is disregarded if it occurred in the 13 days immediately preceding the failure in question.

(5) In paragraph (3) “the total outstanding reduction period” is the total number of days for which no reduction in an award under Article 31 (higher-level sanctions) or 32 (other sanctions) of the Order has yet been applied.

Higher-level sanctions

99.—(1) This regulation specifies the reduction period for a sanctionable failure under Article 31 of the Order (higher-level sanctions).

(2) Where the sanctionable failure is not a pre-claim failure, the reduction period is—

(a)where the claimant is aged 18 or over on the date of the sanctionable failure—

(i)91 days, if paragraphs (ii) and (iii) do not apply,

(ii)182 days, if there was another sanctionable failure giving rise to a higher-level sanction in the 364 days preceding the failure in question for which a 91 day reduction period applies, or

(iii)546 days, if there was another sanctionable failure giving rise to a higher-level sanction in that period of 364 days for which a 182 day or 546 day reduction period applies, or

where the claimant is aged 16 or 17 on the date of the sanctionable failure—

(i)14 days, if paragraph (ii) does not apply, or

(ii)28 days, if there was another sanctionable failure giving rise to a higher-level sanction in the 364 days preceding the failure in question for which a 14 day or28 day reduction period applies.

(3) Where the other sanctionable failure referred to in paragraph (2) was a “pre-claim failure” it is disregarded in determining the reduction period in accordance with that paragraph.

(4) Where the sanctionable failure for which a reduction period is to be determined is a pre-claim failure, the period is the lesser of—

(a)the period that would be applicable to the claimant under paragraph (2) if it were not a pre-claim failure, or

(b)where the sanctionable failure relates to paid work that was due to last for a limited period, the period beginning with the day after the date of the sanctionable failure and ending with the date on which the limited period would have ended,

minus the number of days beginning with the day after the date of the sanctionable failure and ending on the day before the date of claim.

(5) In this regulation, “pre-claim failure” means a failure sanctionable under section 31(4) of the Order.

Medium-level sanction

100.—(1) This regulation specifies the reduction period for a sanctionable failure under Article 32 of the Order (other sanctions) where it is a failure by the claimant to comply with—

(a)a work search requirement under Article 22(1)(a) (to take all reasonable action to obtain paid work etc.), or

(b)a work availability requirement under Article 23(1).

(2) The reduction period is—

(a)where the claimant is aged 18 or over on the date of the sanctionable failure—

(i)28 days, if paragraph (ii) doesn’t apply,or

(ii)91 days, if there was another sanctionable failure of a kind mentioned in paragraph (1) in the 364 days preceding the failure in question for which a 28 day or 91 day reduction period applies, or

(b)where the claimant is aged 16 or 17 on the date of the sanctionable failure—

(i)7 days, if paragraph (ii) doesn’t apply, or

(ii)14 days, if there was another sanctionable failure of a kind mentioned in paragraph (1) in the 364 days preceding the failure in question, for which a 7 day or 14 day reduction period applies.

Low-level sanction

101.—(1) This regulation specifies the reduction period for a sanctionable failure under Article 32 of the Order (other sanctions) where—

(a)the claimant falls within Article 26 (claimants subject to work preparation requirement) or 27 (claimants subject to all work-related requirements) of the Order on the date of that failure; and

(b)it is a failure to comply with—

(i)a work-focused interview requirement under Article 20(1),

(ii)a work preparation requirement under Article 21(1),

(iii)a work search requirement under Article 22(1)(b) (to take any particular action specified by the Department to obtain paid work etc.), or

(iv)a requirement under Article 28(1), (3) or (4) (connected requirements: interviews and verification of compliance).

(2) Where the claimant is aged 18 or over on the date of the sanctionable failure, the reduction period is the total of—

(a)the number of days beginning with the date of the sanctionable failure and ending with—

(i)the day before the date on which the claimant meets a compliance condition specified by the Department,

(ii)the day before the date on which the claimant falls within Article 24 of the Order (claimants subject to no work-related requirements),

(iii)the day before the date on which the claimant is no longer required to take a particular action specified as a work preparation requirement by the Department under Article 21, or

(iv)the date on which the award terminates (other than by reason of the claimant ceasing to be, or becoming, a member of a couple),

whichever is soonest, and

(b)whichever of the following number of days is applicable in the claimant’s case—

(i)7 days, if paragraphs (ii) and (iii) do not apply,

(ii)14 days, if there was another sanctionable failure of a kind mentioned in paragraph (1) in the 364 days preceding the failure in question for which a 7 day reduction period applies, or

(iii)28 days, if there was another sanctionable failure of a kind mentioned in paragraph (1) in the 364 days preceding the failure in question for which a 14 day or 28 days reduction period applies.

(3) Where the claimant is aged 16 or 17 years on the date of the sanctionable failure, the reduction period is—

(a)the number of days beginning with the date of the sanctionable failure and ending with —

(i)the day before the date on which the claimant meets a compliance condition specified by the Department,

(ii)the day before the date on which the claimant falls within Article 24 of the Order (claimants subject to no work-related requirements),

(iii)the day before the date on which the claimant is no longer required to take a particular action specified as a work preparation requirement by the Department under Article 21, or

(iv)the date on which the award terminates (other than by reason of the claimant ceasing to be, or becoming, a member of a couple),

whichever is soonest, and

(b)if there was another sanctionable failure of a kind mentioned in paragraph (1) within 364 days, but not within 13 days, beginning with the date of the current failure, 7 days.

Lowest-level sanction

102.—(1) This regulation specifies the reduction period for a sanctionable failure under Article 32 of the Order (other sanctions) where it is a failure by a claimant who falls within Article 25 of the Order (claimants subject to work-focused interview requirement only) to comply with a requirement under that Article.

(2) The reduction period is the number of days beginning with the date of the sanctionable failure and ending with—

(a)the day before the date on which the claimant meets a compliance condition specified by the Department;

(b)the day before the date on which the claimant falls within Article 24 of the Order (claimants subject to no work-related requirements), or

(c)the day on which the award terminates (other than by reason of the claimant ceasing to be, or becoming, a member of a couple),

whichever is soonest.

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