Nearly 1.2 million people may be sanctioned if they do not obtain extra work, increase their hours or find a higher paying job
Nearly 1.2 million working adults will for the first time next year face losing some of their benefits if they do not comply with new state requirements to work longer hours, find an additional job or seek higher wages, it has emerged.
Until now benefit sanctions have only applied largely to those out of work. The new sanctions regime is an unprecedented byproduct of the government decision to introduce universal credit, merging most existing means-tested benefits and tax credits together into a single system.
The aim is to increase the incentives to work but it means that people will lose money if they don’t find extra work, even if there is none available where they live.
There are currently 1.4 million people working part-time because they are unable to find full-time work – compared to 500,000 in 2004.
The claim that 1.2 million working adults will be brought under the oversight of the department of work and pensions sanctions regime is made by the Resolution Foundation thinktank, and is based on figures supplied by the DWP for the first time.
The foundation suggests about 700,000 single people will be affected, as well as 500,000 who are living as part of a couple.