Statement on DWP sanctions and work-conditionality

30 June 2020

The DWP announced on the 29th June 2020 that work conditionality will be returning from the 1st July. This means people claiming Universal Credit will have to prove they are looking for work again as the country begins to come out of a pandemic. 

Brian Dow, Deputy CEO of Rethink Mental Illness said,

“The Department of Work and Pension’s decision to reintroduce sanctions for Universal Credit is as massively disappointing as it is short sighted. It is likely to cause thousands of people untold stress and anxiety at a time when the nation needs more breathing room to recover from the pandemic.

“From tomorrow, people will face sanctions, including those living with mental illness, if they cannot prove that they are looking for work and at a time when the UK facing the biggest increase in unemployment in 100 years.

“This avoidable problem trades the nation’s mental health for a misguided need to tell people to search for jobs that don’t currently exist. Frustratingly, it undermines enormous efforts made to improve mental health services. For the government to be able to say that it takes the mental health of the nation seriously, it cannot improve services on the one hand, while implementing polices that deteriorate people’s mental health on the other. The Department of Work and Pensions must recognise this. This is a decision that could be rectified in a matter of seconds. It is not too late to do so.”