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Availability For Work

Volume 171: debated on Wednesday 25 April 1990

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To ask the Secretary of State for Employment in what circumstances will an unemployed claimant, following the changes in regulations under the

Actively Seeking Work and Refusal of Employment Referrals and Disqualifications
Period 9 October 1989—23 February 1990
Actively Seeking EmploymentRefusal of Employment
RegionsClaimants Issued Warning LettersClaims Referred to Adjudication OfficerAllowedDisallowedClaims Referred to Adjudication OfficerNot DisqualifiedDisqualified
Yorkshire and Humberside8741422846891513
East Midlands and Eastern1,13118637461907355
London and South East5,8289301801911,048117159
South West8262073957732110
West Midlands1,438258711141934135
North West1,91822556751072022

Social Security Act 1989, have good cause for refusing to take a temporary or a short-term job offered by the employment service, and if he will make a statement.

The 1989 social security provision on refusal of employment makes no distinction between long-term, short-term or temporary work. If a job is offered to an unemployed person by the employment service which he or she can reasonably be expected to do, it is for the person to show good cause for refusal. The temporary or short-term nature of the job would be only a factor to be considered by the independent adjudicating authorities, in the event of refusal, with any other reasons put forward by the claimant.

To ask the Secretary of State for Employment what guidance is given to offices about the treatment of a legally separated unemployed person with access rights to children at weekends in respect of the availability for work effect on his or her entitlement to benefit.

There is no specific guidance issued to offices about the treatment of unemployed persons who are legally separated and who have access rights to children at weekends. A person with domestic or other commitments who restricts himself or herself to working only on certain days of the week would need to show that the restriction is reasonable and that it would not limit his or her prospects of obtaining work. Benefit can be disallowed for those days that the claimant is clearly not available, and for other days claimed if, because of restrictions imposed, he or she has no reasonable prospects of obtaining work. Each case has to be considered individually.

To ask the Secretary of State for Employment how many unemployed claimants in each month since 9 October 1989, for each region and for Great Britain as a whole, have been (a) issued with warning letters for not actively seeking work, (b) had their claims referred to an adjudication officer for not actively seeking work, (c) had their claims (i) allowed or (ii) disallowed, and (d) have been referred to an adjudication officer for refusing suitable employment; and how many of those in (d) have had their benefit disqualified.

The table shows the statistical information for the period 9 October 1989 to 23 February 1990 on questions of "actively seeking employment" and "refusal of employment".

Actively Seeking Employment

Refusal of Employment


Claimants Issued Warning Letters

Claims Referred to Adjudication Officer



Claims Referred to Adjudication Officer

Not Disqualified