Welfare Reform and Work Bill (HC Bill 51)

A

BILL

TO

Make provision about reports on progress towards full employment and the
apprenticeships target; to make provision about reports on the effect of certain
support for troubled families; to make provision about social mobility; to
make provision about the benefit cap; to make provision about social security
and tax credits; to make provision for loans for mortgage interest; and to make
provision about social housing rents.

Be it enacted by the Queen’s most Excellent Majesty, by and with the advice and
consent of the Lords Spiritual and Temporal, and Commons, in this present
Parliament assembled, and by the authority of the same, as follows:—

Reports

1 Full employment: reporting obligation

(1) The Secretary of State must lay a report before Parliament annually on the
progress which has been made towards full employment, and the report must
5set out how the Secretary of State has interpreted “full employment” for these
purposes.

(2) This section is repealed on the date of the first dissolution of Parliament after
this section comes into force.

2 Apprenticeships reporting obligation

(1) 10In Chapter A1 of Part 1 of the Apprenticeships, Skills, Children and Learning
Act 2009 (apprenticeships: England), after section A7 insert—

A8 Progress reports

(1) No later than nine months after the end of each reporting period the
Secretary of State must publish—

(a) 15information about the progress made in the reporting period
towards the apprenticeships target, and

(b) any other information about apprenticeships that the Secretary
of State considers appropriate,

Welfare Reform and Work BillPage 2

and must lay before Parliament a report setting out the information or
indicating how it may be accessed.

(2) “The apprenticeships target” is that three million apprenticeships are
entered into in England during the period beginning with 1 May 2015
5and ending with 31 March 2020.

(3) The reporting periods are—

(a) the period beginning with 1 May 2015 and ending with 31 July
2016;

(b) the period beginning with 1 August 2016 and ending with 31
10July 2017;

(c) the period beginning with 1 August 2017 and ending with 31
July 2018;

(d) the period beginning with 1 August 2018 and ending with 31
July 2019;

(e) 15the period beginning with 1 August 2019 and ending with 31
March 2020.

(4) In this section “apprenticeships” means—

(a) approved English apprenticeships;

(b) apprenticeship agreements within the meaning given in section
2032;

(c) arrangements to undertake any other kind of working—

(i) in relation to which alternative English completion
conditions apply under section 1(5), and

(ii) in connection with which training is to be provided in
25accordance with an apprenticeship framework within
the meaning given in section 12.

A reference to a section in paragraph (b) or (c) is to the section as it
applies in relation to England by virtue of provision made under
section 115(9) of the Deregulation Act 2015.”

(2) 30The duty under the section inserted by subsection (1) to publish information
relating to the reporting period ending with 31 July 2016 may be discharged,
wholly or partly, by the publication of information before the day on which this
section comes into force.

(3) Section A8 of Apprenticeships, Skills, Children and Learning Act 2009, and this
35section, are repealed on 31 March 2021.

3 Support for troubled families: reporting obligation

(1) Before the start of each financial year, the Secretary of State must issue a
notice—

(a) specifying the descriptions of relevant households as regards which
40support provided by a local authority may constitute relevant support;

(b) specifying the matters by reference to which the progress made by a
household that receives relevant support from a local authority in that
year will be measured.

(2) The ways in which relevant households may be described under subsection
45(1)(a) include describing relevant households by reference to problems that
they have.

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(3) In each financial year, the Secretary of State must prepare a report about the progress
made by relevant households to which local authorities have provided relevant support.

(4) A report prepared under this section may include material about progress
made by relevant households to which local authorities have provided support
5similar to relevant support in periods falling before the coming into force of
this section.

(5) A report prepared under this section may compare the progress made by such
relevant households as are described in subsection (3) or (4) relative to other
households in England.

(6) 10The Secretary of State must lay before Parliament a report prepared under this
section.

(7) A report prepared under this section must be laid before Parliament before the
end of the financial year in which it is prepared.

(8) For the purposes of this section, support provided by a local authority in a
15financial year is relevant support if—

(a) it is provided to a relevant household of a description specified under
subsection (1)(a) in respect of that financial year,

(b) it is directed towards achieving progress in respect of the matters
specified under subsection (1)(b) in respect of that financial year, and

(c) 20the Secretary of State pays a grant to the local authority under section
31 of the Local Government Act 2003 in respect of expenditure incurred
or to be incurred on that support.

(9) In this section—

(a) a reference to support provided to a household includes a reference to
25support provided to a member of a household;

(b) a reference to support provided by a local authority includes a
reference to support provided under arrangements made by the local
authority.

(10) In this section—

  • 30“child” means—

    (a)

    a person who has not attained the age of 16;

    (b)

    a person who is 16, 17 or 18 and is in full-time education;

    (c)

    a person who is 16, 17 or 18, is not in employment or full-time
    education and is a member of the same household as the
    35person’s parent;

    (d)

    a person who has attained the age of 16 but not the age of 25 and
    for whom an EHC plan is maintained under section 37 of the
    Children and Families Act 2014 or a statement of special
    educational needs is maintained under section 324 of the
    40Education Act 1996;

  • “education” includes training;

  • “financial year” means—

    (a)

    a period starting with the day on which this section comes into
    force and ending with the following 31 March;

    (b)

    45except where paragraph (a) applies, a period of 12 months
    ending with 31 March;

  • “household” means a group of two or more persons who—

    (a)

    have the same only or main residence, and

    Welfare Reform and Work BillPage 4

    (b)

    share living accommodation or one meal each day;

  • “local authority” means—

    (a)

    a county council in England;

    (b)

    a district council for an area in England for which there is no
    5county council;

    (c)

    a London borough council;

    (d)

    the Common Council of the City of London, in its capacity as a
    local authority;

    (e)

    the Council of the Isles of Scilly;

  • 10“parent”, in relation to a person, includes an individual—

    (a)

    who is not a parent of the person but does have parental
    responsibility for the person, or

    (b)

    who has care of the person;

  • “relevant household” means a household that includes—

    (a)

    15a child, and

    (b)

    a person who is that child’s parent.

(11) In relation to the first financial year in which this section is in force—

(a) the requirement in subsection (1) to issue a notice before the beginning
of a financial year is to be treated as a requirement to issue a notice after
20this section comes into force;

(b) the requirement in subsection (3) may be satisfied by a report that
includes only such material as is described in subsection (4).

Social mobility

4 Workless households and educational attainment: reporting obligations

(1) 25In the Child Poverty Act 2010, before section 1 insert—

“Part A1

Life chances

Children: reporting obligations

A1A Workless households and educational attainment

(1) The Secretary of State must publish and lay before Parliament a report
containing data on—

(a) 30children living in workless households in England;

(b) children living in long-term workless households in England;

(c) the educational attainment of children in England at the end of Key
Stage 4;

(d) the educational attainment of disadvantaged children in England at
35the end of Key Stage 4.

(2) The report must set out how the Secretary of State has interpreted the
following terms for the purposes of the report—

(a) child;

(b) household;

(c) 40worklessness;

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(d) long-term worklessness;

(e) educational attainment;

(f) disadvantage.

(3) The data contained in the report, and the provision about how the
5terms used in it are to be interpreted, must, so far as practicable, be
derived from any relevant official statistics.

(4) The first report must be published before the end of the financial year
ending with 31 March 2017.

(5) Later reports must be published before the end of each subsequent
10financial year.

(6) In this section—

  • “Key Stage 4” means the fourth key stage, within the meaning of
    Part 6 of the Education Act 2002;

  • “official statistics” has the meaning given by section 6(1) of the
    15Statistics and Registration Service Act 2007.”

5 Social Mobility Commission

(1) After section A1A of the Child Poverty Act 2010 (inserted by section 4) insert—

“Social Mobility Commission

A1B Social Mobility Commission

(1) 20The body established by section 8 of this Act continues in existence.

(2) On and after the commencement date the body is to be called the Social
Mobility Commission (in this Act referred to as “the Commission”).

(3) “The commencement date” is the date on which the Welfare Reform
and Work Act 2015 is passed.

(4) 25The Commission’s functions are those conferred on it by or under this
Act.

(5) Schedule 1 contains further provision about the Commission.

A1C Promotion of social mobility, advice and reports

(1) The Commission must promote social mobility in England.

(2) 30The Commission must on request give advice to a Minister of the
Crown about how to improve social mobility in England.

(3) Advice given under subsection (2) must be published.

(4) The Commission must publish a report setting out its views on the
progress made towards improving social mobility in the United
35Kingdom.

(5) The report must also describe—

(a) the measures taken by the Scottish Ministers in accordance with
a Scottish strategy,

(b) the measures taken by the Welsh Ministers in accordance with
40a Welsh strategy, and

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(c) in the case of a report made after the appointed day for
Northern Ireland, the measures taken by the Northern Ireland
departments in accordance with a Northern Ireland strategy.

(6) The report may be published as one or more documents as a Minister
5of the Crown may direct.

(7) The first report must be published before the end of the financial year
ending with 31 March 2017.

(8) Later reports must be published before the end of each subsequent
financial year.

(9) 10A Minister of the Crown must lay a report under this section before
Parliament.

(10) A Minister of the Crown may direct the Commission to carry out any
other activity relating to improving social mobility in the United
Kingdom.”

(2) 15In Schedule 1 to the Child Poverty Act 2010, for the title substitute “Social
Mobility Commission”.

6 Other amendments to Child Poverty Act 2010

(1) Sections 1 to 10, 15, 17 and 19 to 25 of, and Schedule 2 to, the Child Poverty Act
2010 are repealed.

(2) 20In section 11 (Scottish strategies)—

(a) in subsection (2), omit paragraph (a) (and the “and” immediately after
it);

(b) in subsection (3), for “after the beginning of the target year” substitute
“after 31 March 2020”;

(c) 25in subsection (4)(a), for “before the end of the target year” substitute
“before 1 April 2021”;

(d) in subsection (4)(a), omit sub-paragraph (i);

(e) in subsection (4)(a)(ii), omit “other”;

(f) in subsection (4)(b), for “by the end of the target year” substitute “by 31
30March 2021”;

(g) in subsection (4)(b), omit “otherwise than by contributing to the
meeting of the targets”;

(h) in subsection (5), omit paragraph (b) (and the “and” immediately after
it);

(i) 35in subsection (5)(c), for “other” substitute “the”;

(j) in subsection (7), omit paragraph (b) (and the “and” immediately after
it);

(k) in subsection (7)(c), for “other” substitute “the”;

(l) in subsection (8)(b), for “after the end of the target year” substitute
40“after 31 March 2021”;

(m) in subsection (9)(a), for “before the beginning of the target year”
substitute “before 1 April 2020”;

(n) in subsection (9)(b), for “ending with the target year” substitute
“ending with 31 March 2021”.

(3) 45In section 12 (Northern Ireland strategies)—

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(a) in subsection (2), omit paragraph (a) (and the “and” immediately after
it);

(b) in subsection (3), for “after the beginning of the target year” substitute
“after 31 March 2020”;

(c) 5in subsection (4)(a), for “before the end of the target year” substitute
“before 1 April 2021”;

(d) in subsection (4)(a), omit sub-paragraph (i);

(e) in subsection (4)(a)(ii), omit “other”;

(f) in subsection (4)(b), for “by the end of the target year” substitute “by 31
10March 2021”;

(g) in subsection (4)(b), omit “otherwise than by contributing to the
meeting of the targets”;

(h) in subsection (5), omit paragraph (b) (and the “and” immediately after
it);

(i) 15in subsection (5)(c), for “other” substitute “the”;

(j) in subsection (7), omit paragraph (b) (and the “and” immediately after
it);

(k) in subsection (7)(c), for “other” substitute “the”;

(l) in subsection (8)(b), for “after the end of the target year” substitute
20“after 31 March 2021”;

(m) in subsection (9)(a), for “before the beginning of the target year”
substitute “before 1 April 2020”;

(n) in subsection (9)(b), for “ending with the target year” substitute
“ending with 31 March 2021”.

(4) 25In section 16 (economic and fiscal circumstances), omit subsections (1) and (2).

(5) In section 18 (interpretation of Part 1)—

(a) for subsection (1) substitute—

(1) In this Part—

  • “child” means—

    (a)

    30a person under the age of 16, or

    (b)

    a person who is a qualifying young person for
    the purposes of Part 9 of the Social Security
    Contributions and Benefits Act 1992 or Part 9 of
    the Social Security Contributions and Benefits
    35(Northern Ireland) Act 1992 (child benefit);

  • “parent” means—

    (a)

    any individual who has parental responsibility
    for a child, or

    (b)

    any other individual with whom a child resides
    40and who has care of the child.”;

(b) after subsection (1) insert—

(1A) In paragraph (a) of the definition of “parent” in subsection (1),
the reference to “parental responsibility”—

(a) in relation to Northern Ireland, is to be read in
45accordance with the Children (Northern Ireland) Order
1995, and

(b) in relation to Scotland, is to be read as a reference to
parental responsibilities within the meaning of the
Children (Scotland) Act 1995.”;

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(c) omit subsection (2) and (3).

(6) For section 27 (general interpretation) substitute—

27 General interpretation

(1) In this Act—

  • 5“the Commission” means the Social Mobility Commission;

  • “financial year” means the 12 months ending with 31 March;

  • “Minister of the Crown” has the same meaning as in the Ministers
    of the Crown Act 1975;

  • “Northern Ireland strategy” has the meaning given by section
    1012(2);

  • “the relevant Northern Ireland department” means the Office of
    the First Minister and Deputy First Minister;

  • “Scottish strategy” has the meaning given by section 11(2);

  • “Welsh strategy” means a strategy prepared by the Welsh
    15Ministers under Part 1 of the Children and Families (Wales)
    Measure 2010.

(2) In this Act “appointed day for Northern Ireland” means such day as a
Minister of the Crown may by order with the consent of the Northern
Ireland Assembly appoint (and different days may be appointed for the
20purposes of different provisions of this Act).”

(7) In section 28 (regulations and orders)—

(a) in subsections (1), (2) and (3), omit “regulations or”;

(b) omit subsections (4) and (5).

(8) In section 30 (extent), in subsection (4), for “Part 2 and section 26 extend”
25substitute “Section 26 extends”.

(9) The Child Poverty Act 2010 may be cited as the Life Chances Act 2010, and
accordingly, in section 32 of that Act (short title) for “Child Poverty” substitute
“Life Chances”.

Welfare benefits

7 30Benefit cap

(1) Section 96 of the Welfare Reform Act 2012 (benefit cap) is amended as follows.

(2) For subsection (5) (meaning of the “relevant amount”) substitute—

(5) Regulations under this section may make provision for determining the
“relevant amount” for the reference period applicable in the case of a
35single person or couple by reference to the annual limit applicable in
the case of that single person or couple.

(5A) For the purposes of this section the “annual limit” is—

(a) £23,000 or £15,410, for persons resident in Greater London;

(b) £20,000 or £13,400, for other persons.

(5B) 40Regulations under subsection (5) may—

(a) specify which annual limit applies in the case of—

(i) different prescribed descriptions of single person;

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(ii) different prescribed descriptions of couple;

(b) define “resident” for the purposes of this section;

(c) provide for the rounding up or down of an amount produced
by dividing the amount of the annual limit by the number of
5periods of a duration equal to the reference period in a year.”

(3) Subsections (6) to (8) (provision about estimated average earnings) are omitted.

(4) In subsection (10), in the definition of “welfare benefit”, for the words from
“means” to the end substitute means—

  • (a)

    bereavement allowance (see section 39B of the Social
    10Security Contributions and Benefits Act 1992),

    (ii)

    carer’s allowance (see section 70 of the Social Security
    Contributions and Benefits Act 1992),

    (iii)

    child benefit (see section 141 of the Social Security
    Contributions and Benefits Act 1992),

    (iv)

    15child tax credit (see section 1(1)(a) of the Tax Credits Act
    2002),

    (v)

    employment and support allowance, including income-
    related employment and support allowance (as defined
    in section 1(7) of the Welfare Reform Act 2007) (see
    20section 1 of the Welfare Reform Act 2007),

    (vi)

    guardian’s allowance (see section 77 of the Social
    Security Contributions and Benefits Act 1992),

    (vii)

    housing benefit (see section 130 of the Social Security
    Contributions and Benefits Act 1992),

    (viii)

    25incapacity benefit (see section 30A of the Social Security
    Contributions and Benefits Act 1992),

    (ix)

    income support (see section 124 of the Social Security
    Contributions and Benefits Act 1992),

    (x)

    jobseeker’s allowance, including income-based
    30jobseeker’s allowance (as defined in section 1(4) of the
    Jobseekers Act 1995) (see section 1 of the Jobseekers Act
    1995),

    (xi)

    maternity allowance under section 35 or 35B of the
    Social Security Contributions and Benefits Act 1992,

    (xii)

    35severe disablement allowance (see section 68 of the
    Social Security Contributions and Benefits Act 1992),

    (xiii)

    universal credit,

    (xiv)

    widow’s pension (see section 38 of the Social Security
    Contributions and Benefits Act 1992),

    (xv)

    40widowed mother’s allowance (see section 37 of the
    Social Security Contributions and Benefits Act 1992), or

    (xvi)

    widowed parent’s allowance (see section 39A of the
    Social Security Contributions and Benefits Act 1992).”

(5) In section 97 of the Welfare Reform Act 2012 (benefit cap: supplementary),
45subsection (3) (procedure for first regulations under section 96) is omitted.

(6) Regulations made by the Secretary of State may make such transitional or
transitory provision or savings as the Secretary of State considers necessary or
expedient in connection with the coming into force of subsections (1) to (5).

(7) Regulations under subsection (6) may in particular—