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The Employment and Support Allowance (Consequential Amendments and Transitional and Savings Provisions) Regulations (Northern Ireland) 2017

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This is the original version (as it was originally made).

EXPLANATORY NOTE

(This note is not part of the Regulations)

These Regulations make amendments to secondary legislation consequential on Article 9 of the Welfare Reform and Work (Northern Ireland) Order 2016 (S.I. 2016/999, “the 2016 Order”).

Article 9 of the 2016 Order amends sections 2 and 4 of the Welfare Reform Act (Northern Ireland) 2007, which provide for an award of an employment and support allowance where the claimant is found to have limited capability for work to include an amount referred to as the work-related activity component as may be prescribed in regulations.

Regulation 1 provides for the citation and commencement of these Regulations. In particular, these Regulations will come into operation on 3rd April 2017 to coincide with the commencement of Article 9 of the 2016 Order.

Regulation 2 amends provisions in the Employment and Support Allowance Regulations (Northern Ireland) 2008 (S.R. 2008 No. 280, “the ESA Regulations 2008”) that, amongst other things, provide for a basic rate of an employment and support allowance, and, on top of this, a work-related activity or support component. If a claimant is found to have limited capability for work they are entitled to the work-related activity component. References to the work-related activity component are omitted and other amendments consequential on the removal of that element are made. Regulation 3 makes similar amendments to the Employment and Support Allowance Regulations (Northern Ireland) 2016 (S.R. 2016 No. 219, “the ESA Regulations 2016”).

Regulation 4 introduces Schedule 1, which makes consequential amendments to other secondary legislation, and Schedule 2, which makes transitional and savings provisions.

Paragraphs 1 to 7 of Schedule 1 make amendments to secondary legislation to omit or substitute references to the work-related activity component.

Paragraphs 1 to 7 of Schedule 2 make savings and transitional provisions so that the amendments to the ESA Regulations 2008 in regulation 2, the amendments to the ESA Regulations 2016 in regulation 3, the amendments to other secondary legislation in paragraphs 1 to 7 of Schedule 1 and the amendments to Article 9(1) to (3) of the 2016 Order (which removes the work-related activity component from an award of employment and support allowance), do not apply in the following circumstances.

The circumstances are—

(a)where the claim for employment and support allowance was made or treated as made before 3rd April 2017 and that claim results in an award;

(b)where the claim was made on or after 3rd April 2017 but the claimant had previously been entitled to employment and support allowance and their period of limited capability for work started before 3rd April 2017;

(c)where the claimant is or will become a notified person for the purposes of conversion from an incapacity benefit to employment and support allowance and is subsequently found to have limited capability for work or limited capability for work-related activity;

(d)where the claim was made on or after the 3rd April 2017 but the claimant’s employment and support allowance is payable before 3rd April 2017;

(e)where the claim was made on or after 3rd April 2017 but the claimant’s assessment phase is deemed to have started before 3rd April 2017; and

(f)where a claimant (who was previously entitled to an employment and support allowance as part of a claim made before 3rd April 2017) having been in receipt of a maternity allowance (which because they were receiving contributory employment and support allowance terminated their award to an employment and support allowance) makes a new claim for an employment and support allowance within 12 weeks of the date that their maternity allowance ended.

The regulations contained in this instrument are either made by virtue of, or are consequential upon, Article 9 of the 2016 Order.

An assessment of the impact of removal of the work-related activity component from an award of Employment and Support Allowance was included in the impact assessment published alongside the 2016 Order (http://www.legislation.gov.uk/ukia/2016/201/pdfs/ukia_20160201_en.pdf.). An impact assessment has not been produced for this instrument as no impact on the private or voluntary sector is foreseen.

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