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Welfare Reform Act (Northern Ireland) 2007

Section 13: Work-related activity

Work-related activity is activity that helps a claimant obtain work, remain in work or to be more likely to obtain work or remain in work. As set out in the Welfare Reform Green Paper, it is intended that claimants who are entitled to the work-related activity component will be subject to a requirement to participate in work-related activity. This requirement will apply for a set period of time once the assessment phase has been completed. Subsection (5) sets out that regulations must provide that requirements to undertake work-related activity will cease if the claimant becomes a member of the support group.

Regulations under this section may specify the amount of work-related activity a person is required at any time to undertake. This might be exercised so as to provide for a specified number of activities per set period of time and this would be reviewed at a work-focused interview taking place within a subsequent set period of time.

Regulations will set out how matters will be taken into account when determining whether a claimant has met the requirement to undertake work-related activity or whether he had good cause for not doing so.

As for the provisions relating to work-focused interviews under section 12, a failure to meet the requirement under regulations to undertake work-related activity and a failure to show good cause for this within the allowed time would attract reductions in the amount of an employment and support allowance the person was entitled to for a fixed period.

Waivers for work-related activity are provided for by regulations under subsection (6). Such regulations may provide that a requirement on a claimant to participate in work-related activity is to be considered as not having applied and therefore a sanction could not be imposed.

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