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The Jobseeker’s Allowance Regulations (Northern Ireland) 2016

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Circumstances in which requirements must not be imposed

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16.—(1) Where paragraph (3), (4) or (5) applies—

(a)the Department must not impose a work search requirement on a claimant; and

(b)“able and willing immediately to take up work” under a work availability requirement means able and willing to take up paid work, or attend an interview, immediately once the circumstances set out in paragraph (3), (4) or (5) no longer apply.

(2) A work search requirement previously applying to the claimant ceases to have effect from the date on which the circumstances set out in paragraph (3), (4) or (5) apply.

(3) This paragraph applies where—

(a)the claimant is attending a court or tribunal as a party to any proceedings or as a witness;

(b)the claimant is temporarily absent from Northern Ireland because they are—

(i)taking their child outside Northern Ireland for medical treatment;

(ii)attending a job interview outside Northern Ireland; or

(iii)receiving medical treatment outside Northern Ireland;

(c)it is within 6 months of the death of—

(i)where the claimant is a member of a couple, the other member;

(ii)a child for whom the claimant or, where the claimant is a member of a couple, the other member, is responsible; or

(iii)a child, where the claimant is the child’s parent;

(d)the claimant is receiving and participating in a structured, recovery-orientated, course of alcohol or drug dependency treatment, for a period of up to 6 months (where the course is for more than 6 months, this sub-paragraph only applies for the first 6 months);

(e)the claimant is a person for whom arrangements have been made by a protection provider under section 82 of the Serious Organised Crime and Police Act 2005(1), for a period of up to 3 months (where the arrangements are for more than 3 months, this sub-paragraph only applies for the first 3 months).

(4) This paragraph applies where the Department is satisfied that it would be unreasonable to require the claimant to comply with a work search requirement, including if such a requirement were limited in accordance with Article 8D(4) of the Order, because the claimant—

(a)has temporary child care responsibilities;

(b)is subject to temporary circumstances;

(c)is carrying out a public duty; or

(d)is carrying out a work preparation requirement or voluntary work preparation.

(5) This paragraph applies where the claimant—

(a)is unfit for work—

(i)for a maximum of 14 consecutive days after the date on which the evidence referred to in sub-paragraph (b) is provided; and

(ii)on no more than 2 such periods in any period of 12 months; and

(b)provides to the Department the following evidence—

(i)for the first 7 days when they are unfit for work, a declaration made by the claimant in such manner and form as the Department approves that the claimant is unfit for work; and

(ii)for any further days when they are unfit for work, a statement given by a doctor in accordance with the rules set out in Part 1 of Schedule 1 to the Social Security (Medical Evidence) Regulations (Northern Ireland) 1976(2) which advises that the person is not fit for work.

(6) In this regulation, “tribunal” means any tribunal listed in Schedule 1 to the Tribunal and Inquiries Act 1992(3) or any tribunal established under an enactment.

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