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Welfare Reform Act (Northern Ireland) 2010

20B: Work-related activity: Article 3A(4) claimants

This is a regulation-making power which allows for regulations to require those on jobseeker’s allowance who do not have to meet the jobseeking conditions to undertake work-related activity as a condition of continuing to receive their full amount of benefit. Lone Parents with a child under the age of 3 will not be required to undertake work-related Activity. Work-related activity will be detailed in an action plan, and will be reasonable and have due consideration to a person’s circumstances. The requirement to undertake such activity can be suspended in specific circumstances, which will also be prescribed in regulations.

Paragraph (4) provides that lone parents (subject to meeting any prescribed conditions) can restrict the hours they are required to undertake work-related activity. This will enable lone parents to restrict the activities they will undertake to their child’s hours of schooling and formal childcare.

Paragraph (5) provides that in circumstances prescribed in regulations, only a specific activity specified in the direction is to be regarded as a work-related activity. The provision also allows for specified activities to be deemed not to be work-related activity.

Provision is made in paragraph (6) that a person cannot be required to undertake medical or surgical treatment to meet their work-related activity requirement.

Claimants who fail to comply will incur a sanction.

Paragraph 5 of Schedule 1 inserts new Articles 20C and 20D before Article 21 of the Jobseekers (Northern Ireland) Order 1995.

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