Money Wellness
Benefits claimant speaks to an adviser at the JobCentre
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calendar icon17 Nov 2023

Unemployed not seeking work face mandatory work placements and loss of benefits

People on benefits who don’t find work after 18 months will be forced to undertake work experience, under rules set to be introduced late next year.

Anyone who refuses will have their benefits stopped, the government has announced.

Tackling the decline in workers

The crackdown is part of a plan to tackle a decline in the number of people working since the pandemic.

As well as losing their benefits, anyone sanctioned under the scheme could also be denied other associated help such as free prescriptions and energy-bill support.

Moving people off benefits and back into work

The back to work plan is intended to move 1.1 million people off benefits and into work, with £2.5bn of investment over the next five years.

Some of the main schemes set to benefit from extra money are:

  • NHS Talking Therapies – allowing more people to get psychological help for mental health conditions
  • Individual Placement and Support – designed to help those with severe mental illness find and keep jobs
  • Universal Support – matching 100,000 people a year with jobs and supporting them in their new roles
  • WorkWell – offering integrated work and health support for those at risk of falling into long-term unemployment due to sickness or disability

Consequences for those who refuse help

The chancellor, Jeremy Hunt, said:

“These changes mean there’s help and support for everyone – but for those who refuse it, there are consequences too. Anyone choosing to coast on the hard work of taxpayers will lose their benefits.”

Avatar of Rebecca Routledge

Rebecca Routledge

A qualified journalist for over 15 years with a background in financial services. Rebecca is Money Wellness’s consumer champion, helping you improve your financial wellbeing by providing information on everything from income maximisation to budgeting and saving tips.

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