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The Employment and Support Allowance Regulations (Northern Ireland) 2016

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Victims of domestic violence

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49.—(1) Where a claimant has recently been a victim of domestic violence and the circumstances set out in paragraph (3) apply—

(a)a requirement imposed on that claimant under sections 11 to 11G of the Act(1) ceases to have effect for a period of 13 consecutive weeks starting on the date of the notification referred to in paragraph (3)(a); and

(b)the Department must not impose any other such requirement on that claimant during that period.

(2) A person has recently been a victim of domestic violence if a period of 6 months has not expired since the violence was inflicted or threatened.

(3) The circumstances are that—

(a)the claimant notifies the Department, in such manner as the Department specifies, that domestic violence has been inflicted on or threatened against the claimant by a person specified in paragraph (4) during the period of 6 months ending on the date of the notification;

(b)this regulation has not applied to the claimant for a period of 12 months before the date of the notification;

(c)on the date of the notification the claimant is not living at the same address as the person who inflicted or threatened the domestic violence; and

(d)as soon as possible, and no later than 1 month, after the date of the notification the claimant provides evidence from a person acting in an official capacity which demonstrates that—

(i)the claimant’s circumstances are consistent with those of a person who has had domestic violence inflicted on or threatened against them during the period of 6 months ending on the date of the notification, and

(ii)the claimant has made contact with the person acting in an official capacity in relation to such an incident, which occurred during that period.

(4) A person is specified in this paragraph if the person is—

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

(b)the claimant’s grandparent, grandchild, parent, parent-in-law, son, son-in-law, daughter, daughter-in-law, step-parent, step-son, step-daughter, brother, step-brother, brother-in-law, sister, step-sister or sister-in-law; or

(c)where any of the persons listed in sub-paragraph (b) is a member of a couple, the other member of that couple.

(5) In this regulation—

“coercive behaviour” means an act of assault, humiliation or intimidation or other abuse that is used to harm, punish or frighten the victim;

“controlling behaviour” means an act designed to make a person subordinate or dependent by isolating them from sources of support, exploiting their resources and capacities for personal gain, depriving them of the means needed for independence, resistance or escape or regulating their everyday behaviour;

“domestic violence” means any incident, or pattern of incidents, of controlling behaviour, coercive behaviour, violence or abuse, including but not limited to—

(a)

psychological abuse;

(b)

physical abuse;

(c)

sexual abuse;

(d)

emotional abuse;

(e)

financial abuse,

regardless of the gender or sexuality of the victim;

“person acting in an official capacity” means a person who is a member of a profession regulated by a body mentioned in section 25(3) of the National Health Service Reform and Health Care Professions Act 2002(2), a police officer, a registered social worker, the claimant’s employer, a representative of the claimant’s trade union or any public, voluntary or charitable body which has had direct contact with the claimant in connection with domestic violence;

“registered social worker” means a person registered as a social worker in a register maintained by—

(a)

the Health and Care Professions Council;

(b)

the Care Council for Wales;

(c)

the Scottish Social Services Council; or

(d)

the Northern Ireland Social Care Council.

(1)

Sections 11to 11G were inserted by Article 63(2) of the Welfare Reform (Northern Ireland) Order 2015

(2)

2002 c. 17 Section 25(3) was amended by paragraph 17 of Schedule 10 to the Health and Social Care Act 2008 (c. 14) and paragraph 56 of Schedule 15 to the Health and Social Care Act 2012 (c. 7) and S.I. 2010/231

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