In light of the planned reduction from 50 to 30 minutes for claimant commitment appointments, Public Law Project’s Legal Director Alison Pickup has written to the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions to ask what best practice is being developed to ensure that claimants are aware of the adjustments that can be made to their claimant commitments, and how they may be tailored in order to avoid unfair and unnecessary sanctioning.

Read our letter to the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, 24 July 2020.

The change to the time allotted for claimant commitment appointments was revealed in answer to a Parliamentary Question in July.

In writing to the Secretary of State, PLP took the opportunity to suggest that – at minimum – work coaches must ensure in their 30 minute appointment that claimants understand:

  • The various adaptations which can be made to a claimant commitment
  • The range of personal factors and circumstances that can be taken into account in making such adaptations
  • Areas where work coaches may exercise discretion, and
  • That claimants can ask for their commitments to be changed even after their meeting with work coaches if their circumstances have changed and or if something relevant occurs to them after their meeting.

PLP wrote to the Secretary of State in early July to urge the Government to extend the suspension of Universal Credit work requirements for at least another three months beyond 30 June.

Public Law Project has produced a website – and a series of accessible leaflets to support the most vulnerable, including those experiencing mental health problems, homelessness, those with childcare responsibilities, care leavers, and victims of domestic abuse.

We are always keen to find ways of making this information available to those who need it.

PLP encourages those working with affected claimants to continue to keep in touch with us. The easiest way to do so is by emailing