- Unemployed parents will have to spend almost twice as much time looking for work
Half a million unemployed parents receiving benefits will have to spend almost twice as much time looking for work, following a ministerial reform.
Previously, parents with young children could spend as little as 16 hours a week looking for work. But changes starting today mean they can be ordered to spend up to 30 hours a week trying to find a job.
This will include activities such as updating CVs or developing skills through courses and workshops.
Alternatively, Universal Credit claimants can increase their hours in an existing part-time job.
Half a million unemployed parents receiving benefits will have to spend almost twice as much time looking for work, following a reform by the minister (file photo)
Parents who fail to meet commitments without good reason face benefit penalties, meaning their income will be cut (file photo)
Parents who fail to meet commitments without good reason face benefit penalties, meaning their income will be cut. The reform aims to reduce the welfare bill and help fill hundreds of thousands of vacant positions.
Work and Pensions Minister Mel Stride said the move would reduce the burden on taxpayers funding unemployed parents. He said the goal was to instil the value of work in homes to break a cycle of generations claiming benefits.
“We are breaking down barriers that prevent parents from working and realizing their potential, because we know that full-time work not only benefits mom and dad, but also the entire family,” said Mr. Stride. “These changes will help thousands of people return to work.”
In an article in The Sun, Stride claimed that “for some families work is still not the norm”, adding: “That’s just not fair.” Not for the taxpayers who foot the bill for benefits. Not for children growing up in jobless households, who are five times more likely to fall into poverty.’
More than 5.3 million Britons currently receive disability benefits, jobseeker’s allowances or universal credit because they are unemployed. This is equivalent to the population of Scotland, despite there being almost a million vacancies in the UK.