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Jobseeker’s Allowance

Volume 486: debated on Monday 12 January 2009

To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions how many and what proportion of jobseeker's allowance applications received by Jobcentre Plus were from people who had claimed jobseeker's allowance within the previous (a) three, (b) six and (c) 12 months of the claim being made in each quarter of the last five years; and if he will make a statement. (241004)

The information requested is not routinely collected and could be obtained only at disproportionate cost.

To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what activities qualify as work-type activity for the purposes of receiving jobseeker's allowance. (242361)

In order for a person to qualify for jobseeker's allowance they must be available for, capable of, and actively seeking work.

Actively seeking work means that a person must carry out a reasonable number of activities, normally a minimum of three, every week in trying to secure work. At the beginning of a claim and at regular intervals thereafter, the customer will discuss with their adviser what employment they are looking for. They will then be required to actively seek work in whatever way is most appropriate for that type of employment and their individual circumstances. These activities will be agreed by both parties.

When considering the reasonableness of the activities, the adviser will take into account the customer's skills, qualifications and abilities, along with any personal limitations they may have. They will also consider how long the customer has been unemployed and the current availability of that work in the local labour market.

Examples of the types of activities a person may engage in are: speculative enquiries with employers; using all means available to locate suitable work, such as Jobseeker Direct, Jobpoints, internet, newspapers and magazines; registering with appropriate recruitment and employment agencies; and applying for all suitable jobs by the most appropriate means. This list is not exhaustive.