Low-paid workers face sanctions and conditionally previously only imposed on the unemployed
he Government’s new Universal Credit welfare system is “punishing the working poor” with new sanctions on people who work full time for low pay, academics have warned.
Universal Credit combines various benefits into one payment and is being rolled out to people both in work and out of work.
But low-paid workers are expected to look for more hours or take on extra jobs to get more cash as a condition of the in-work wage top-ups, and report to regular jobcentre appointments to prove their activities.
People working under 35 hours are expected to find more – meaning even full-time workers on zero hours contracts who sometimes end up with fewer hours in a week can face conditionality.
Workers who miss jobcentre appointments can face sanctions amounting to hundreds of pounds.
The new rules are an extension of the much-criticised sanctions system which has long applied to the unemployed, and which MPs on the work and pensions select committee warned last year could be ‘purely punitive’.
“There are concerns that sanctions might lead to a range of unintended consequences, including severe financial hardship and associated wider social impacts,” they said in a report, adding that there was strong academic evidence to suggest that sanctions led to “poorer quality employment, temporary employment or unstable employment”.
Read more: http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/politics/dwp-punishing-the-working-poor-with-sanctions-in-new-universal-credit-system-a6985461.html