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(1)An agreement which is entered into by a claimant and an employment officer and which complies with the prescribed requirements in force at the time when the agreement is made is referred to in this Act as “a jobseeker’s agreement”.
(2)A jobseeker’s agreement shall have effect only for the purposes of section 1.
(3)A jobseeker’s agreement shall be in writing and be signed by both parties.
(4)A copy of the agreement shall be given to the claimant.
(5)An employment officer shall not enter into a jobseeker’s agreement with a claimant unless, in the officer’s opinion, the conditions mentioned in section 1(2)(a) and (c) would be satisfied with respect to the claimant if he were to comply with, or be treated as complying with, the proposed agreement.
(6)The employment officer may, and if asked to do so by the claimant shall forthwith, refer a proposed jobseeker’s agreement to [F1the Secretary of State] for him to determine—
(a)whether, if the claimant concerned were to comply with the proposed agreement, he would satisfy—
(i)the condition mentioned in section 1(2)(a), or
(ii)the condition mentioned in section 1(2)(c); and
(b)whether it is reasonable to expect the claimant to have to comply with the proposed agreement.
(7)[F2On a reference under subsection (6) the Secretary of State]—
(a)shall, so far as practicable, dispose of it in accordance with this section before the end of the period of 14 days from the date of the reference;
(b)may give such directions, with respect to the terms on which the employment officer is to enter into a jobseeker’s agreement with the claimant, as [F3the Secretary of State] considers appropriate;
(c)may direct that, if such conditions as he considers appropriate are satisfied, the proposed jobseeker’s agreement is to be treated (if entered into) as having effect on such date, before it would otherwise have effect, as may be specified in the direction.
(8)Regulations may provide—
(a)for such matters as may be prescribed to be taken into account by [F4the Secretary of State] in giving a direction under subsection (7)(c); and
(b)for such persons as may be prescribed to be notified of—
(i)any determination of [F4the Secretary of State] under this section;
(ii)any direction given by an adjudication officer under this section.
[F5(9)Any determination of an adjudication officer under this section shall be binding.]
(10)Regulations may provide that, in prescribed circumstances, a claimant is to be treated as having satisfied the condition mentioned in section 1(2)(b).
(11)Regulations may provide that, in prescribed circumstances, a jobseeker’s agreement is to be treated as having effect on a date, to be determined in accordance with the regulations, before it would otherwise have effect.
(12)Except in such circumstances as may be prescribed, a jobseeker’s agreement entered into by a claimant shall cease to have effect on the coming to an end of an award of a jobseeker’s allowance made to him [F6or to a joint-claim couple of which he is a member.].
(13)In this section and section 10 “employment officer” means an officer of the Secretary of State or such other person as may be designated for the purposes of this section by an order made by the Secretary of State.
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