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Welfare Reform Act (Northern Ireland) 2007

Section 19: Pilot schemes

Section 19 provides for pilot schemes having effect for a specified period not exceeding 24 months and subsection (7) provides that one pilot scheme can be replaced by another pilot scheme which is the same or similar.

Pilot schemes can apply to any regulations under the Administration Act which relate to the employment and support allowance as well as to any regulations under this Part of the Act, apart from regulations under:

Section 3 - deductions from contributory allowance;

Section 8 - limited capability for work; and

Section 9 - limited capability for work-related activity.

It is intended to roll out full conditionality linked to participation in work-related activity as resources allow. It is envisaged that in time pilot schemes may operate to explore different variations of the conditionality regime in order to understand what works best to help employment and support allowance claimants to return to work.

Subsection (3) provides that pilot schemes may only be put in place for the purpose of ascertaining whether their provisions will facilitate or encourage claimants to obtain or remain in work. Subsection (5) provides that a pilot scheme may apply to different geographical areas, types of claimant or persons selected to meet certain criteria.

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