First evidence session for inquiry into benefit sanctions announced

19 December 2014

The Work and Pensions Select Committee announce the first oral evidence session for its inquiry into benefit sanctions policy beyond the Oakley Review.


Wednesday 7 January 2014, Grimond Room, Portcullis House

At 9.30am

  • Tony Wilson, Policy Director, Centre for Economic and Social Inclusion
  • Philip J Connolly, Policy and Communications Manager, Disability Rights UK
  • Kirsty McHugh, Chief Executive, Employment Related Services Association
  • Paul Farmer, Chief Executive Officer, Mind
  • Matthew Oakley, recent independent reviewer of JSA sanctions "validated by the Jobseekers Act 2013"

At approx. 10.30am

  • Keith Dryburgh, Policy Manager, Citizens Advice Scotland
  • Professor Peter Dwyer, Professor of Social Policy, University of York, and Principal Investigator, Welfare Conditionality project
  • Nikki Hart, Blackpool Food Partnership Co-ordinator, Methodist Action North West
  • Chris Mould, Chairman, The Trussell Trust
  • Dr David Webster, Honorary Senior Research Fellow, University of Glasgow

Purpose of the session

This evidence session is with a range of expert commentators; academics; contracted employment services providers; advice organisations; and representative organisations.

The session intends to explore:

  • The lessons for wider sanctions policy of the Oakley Review of JSA sanctions in relation to back-to-work schemes
  • Whether, and to what extent, it is appropriate to apply conditionality and sanctions to Employment and Support Allowance claimants; the risks of doing so; and how these risks should be mitigated
  • Recent trends in sanctioning rates and the reasons for these
  • The wider impacts of benefit sanctions on claimants, including food poverty and health impacts, and whether particular groups of claimants are more adversely affected than others
  • Evidence on the efficacy of benefit sanctions, including whether they achieve their aim of moving more people into work.

 Further information

Image: iStockphoto

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