SANCTIONS NOT WORKING

Created 01/06/2018
year programme of research funded by the Economic and Social Research
Council. It brings together teams of researchers working in six English and
Scottish Universities.
 
Key findings are-
● 'Welfare conditionality within the social security system is largely
ineffective ...
● Recurrent short-term movements between various insecure jobs... are
routine among the minority who were able to obtain some paid work across
the period. Occasional sustained movements, off welfare benefits and into
work, ...are extremely rare...
● For a substantial minority, welfare conditionality ... initiates and sustains a
range of negative behaviour changes and outcomes including:
counterproductive compliance, disengagement from the social security
system, increased poverty, and on occasions, destitution, movements into
survival crime, exacerbated ill health and impairments...
● Behaviour change in respect of both movements off social security benefits
and also the cessation of anti-social or problematic behaviour is complex
and rarely linear...
● There is little evidence that social tenants adjust their behaviour as a result
of having a fixed-term rather than open-ended tenancy...
● Benefit sanctions do little to enhance people’s motivation to prepare for,
seek, or enter paid work. They routinely trigger profoundly negative
personal, financial, health and behavioural outcomes and push some
people away from collectivised welfare provisions...
● Within conditional welfare interventions the provision of appropriate and
meaningful support, rather than sanction, is pivotal in triggering and
sustaining both paid employment and positive change such as the
reduction of anti-social or problematic behaviours....
● ... much of the mandatory job search, training and employment support
offered by Jobcentre Plus and external providers is too generic, of poor
quality and largely ineffective in enabling people to enter and sustain paid
work...
● The flexibilities or ‘easements’ designed to suspend or reduce the work
search/job related conditions attached to an individual’s benefit claim in
recognition of particular circumstances (eg, homelessness, lone parenthood,
illness), are not currently being routinely implemented...
● ... people believe that in many cases welfare conditionality is being
inappropriately implemented....Ethical legitimacy-widely viewed as unjust.
 
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