Welfare Reform and Pensions Bill - continued        House of Lords
SCHEDULE 7, JOINT CLAIMS FOR JOBSEEKER'S ALLOWANCE - continued
Jobseekers Act 1995 (c.18) - continued

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Exemptions from section 20A.     20B. - (1) Section 20A shall not be taken to apply to a member of a joint-claim couple merely because he has refused to seek or accept employment in a situation which is vacant in consequence of a stoppage of work due to a trade dispute.
 
      (2) Section 20A does not apply to a member of a joint-claim couple by virtue of any of paragraphs (a) to (c) of subsection (2) of that section if-
 
 
    (a) a direction is in force under section 16 with respect to that member of the couple; and
 
    (b) he has acted in such a way as to risk-
 
      (i) having that direction revoked under subsection (3)(b) of section 16; or
 
      (ii) having the amount of the couple's entitlement to a joint-claim jobseeker's allowance reduced by virtue of section 17 because he has failed to complete a course of training.
      (3) Regulations shall make provision for the purpose of enabling any person of a prescribed description to accept any employed earner's employment without section 20A applying to him by virtue of paragraph (e) or (g) of subsection (2) of that section should he leave that employment voluntarily and without just cause at any time during a trial period.
 
      (4) In such circumstances as may be prescribed, a joint-claim jobseeker's allowance shall be payable in respect of a joint-claim couple even though section 20A(5)(a) prevents payment of such a jobseeker's allowance to the couple.
 
      (5) A jobseeker's allowance shall be payable by virtue of subsection (4) only if the couple have complied with such requirements as to the provision of information as may be prescribed for the purposes of this subsection.
 
      (6) Regulations under subsection (4) may, in particular, provide for a jobseeker's allowance payable by virtue of that subsection to be-
 
 
    (a) payable at a prescribed rate;
 
    (b) payable for a prescribed period (which may differ from the period during which both members of the couple are subject to sanctions for the purposes of section 20A).
      (7) In subsection (3), "trial period" has such meaning as may be prescribed.
 
      (8) Regulations may make provision for determining, for the purposes of this section, the day on which a person's employment is to be regarded as commencing."
 
     14. - (1) Section 31 (termination of awards where another entitlement exists) is amended as follows.
 
      (2) In subsection (1) (termination of award of income support where there will be an entitlement to a jobseeker's allowance), after "or where he is a member of a married or unmarried couple his partner" insert "or the couple".
 
      (3) In subsection (2) (termination of award of a jobseeker's allowance where there will be an entitlement to income support), after "or where he is a member of a married or unmarried couple his partner," insert "or where the award was made to a couple a member of the couple,".
 
     15. - (1) Section 35 (interpretation) is amended as follows.
 
      (2) In the definition of "claimant", at the end insert "except that in relation to a joint-claim couple claiming a joint-claim jobseeker's allowance it means the couple, or each member of the couple, as the context requires;".
 
      (3) After the definition of "job-seeking period" insert-
 
 
    ""joint-claim couple" and "joint-claim jobseeker's allowance" have the meanings given by section 1(4);".
      (4) After the definition of "married couple" insert-
 
 
    ""the nominated member", in relation to a joint-claim couple, shall be construed in accordance with section 3B(3);".
     16. - (1) Schedule 1 (jobseeker's allowance: supplementary provisions) is amended as follows.
 
      (2) After paragraph 8 (entitlement without satisfying conditions) insert-
 
 
    "8A. - (1) Regulations may prescribe circumstances in which a joint-claim couple may be entitled to a joint-claim jobseeker's allowance without each member of the couple satisfying all the conditions referred to in section 1(2B)(b).
 
      (2) Regulations may prescribe circumstances in which, and a period for which, a transitional case couple may be entitled to a joint-claim jobseeker's allowance without having jointly made a claim for it.
 
      (3) In sub-paragraph (2)-
 
 
    (a) "a transitional case couple" means a joint-claim couple a member of which is entitled to an income-based jobseeker's allowance on the coming into force of Schedule 7 to the Welfare Reform and Pensions Act 1999; and
 
    (b) "period" shall be construed in accordance with section 3(3)."
      (3) In paragraph 9(a) (rate of allowance payable under paragraph 8), after "paragraph 8" insert "or 8A".
 
      (4) After paragraph 9 insert-
 
 

"Continuity of claims and awards: persons ceasing to be a joint-claim couple
     9A. - (1) Regulations may make provision about the entitlement to a jobseeker's allowance of persons ("ex-members") who cease to be members of a joint-claim couple.
 
      (2) Regulations under this paragraph may, in particular, provide-
 
 
    (a) for treating each or either of the ex-members as having made any claim made by the couple or, alternatively, for any such claim to lapse;
 
    (b) for any award made in respect of the couple to be replaced by an award (a "replacement award") in respect of each or either of the ex-members of the couple or, alternatively, for any such award to lapse.
 
Continuity of claims and awards: persons again becoming a joint-claim couple
  9B.- (1) Regulations may make provision about the entitlement to a jobseeker's allowance of persons ("ex-members") who, having ceased to be members of a joint-claim couple, again become the members of a joint-claim couple.
 
      (2) Regulations under this paragraph may, in particular, provide-
 
 
    (a) for any claim made by the ex-members when they were previously a joint-claim couple to be revived or otherwise given effect as a claim made by the couple;
 
    (b) for any award made in respect of the ex-members when they were previously a joint-claim couple to be restored;
 
    (c) for any such award, or any replacement award (within the meaning of paragraph 9A) made in respect of either of them, to be replaced by an award (a "new award") in respect of the couple.
 
Continuity of claims and awards: couple becoming a joint-claim couple
  9C.- (1) Regulations may make provision about the entitlement to a jobseeker's allowance of persons who become members of a joint-claim couple as a result of the married or unmarried couple of which they are members becoming a joint-claim couple.
 
      (2) Regulations under this paragraph may, in particular, provide-
 
 
    (a) for any claim made by either member of the couple before the couple became a joint-claim couple to be given effect as a claim made by the couple;
 
    (b) for any award, or any replacement award (within the meaning of paragraph 9A), made in respect of either member of the couple before the couple became a joint-claim couple to be replaced by an award (a "new award") in respect of the couple.
 
Paragraphs 9A to 9C: supplementary
  9D.- (1) Regulations may provide, in relation to any replacement award (within the meaning of paragraph 9A) or new award (within the meaning of paragraph 9B or 9C)-
 
 
    (a) for the award to be of an amount determined in a prescribed manner;
 
    (b) for entitlement to the award to be subject to compliance with prescribed requirements as to the provision of information and evidence.
      (2) In paragraphs 9A to 9C and this paragraph-
 
 
    "award" means an award of a jobseeker's allowance;
 
    "claim" means a claim for a jobseeker's allowance."
      (5) For paragraph 10(1) (entitlement before claim determined) substitute-
 
 
    "(1) In such circumstances as may be prescribed-
 
 
    (a) a claimant for a jobseeker's allowance other than a joint-claim jobseeker's allowance,
 
    (b) a joint-claim couple claiming for a joint-claim jobseeker's allowance, or
 
    (c) a member of such a couple,

may be treated as being entitled to an income-based jobseeker's allowance before his or (as the case may be) the couple's claim for the allowance has been determined."
      (6) In paragraph 10(2) (allowance where payment suspended), for "to a claimant even though payment to him" substitute "to-
 
    (a) a claimant for a jobseeker's allowance other than a joint-claim jobseeker's allowance,
 
    (b) a joint-claim couple claiming for a joint-claim jobseeker's allowance, or
 
    (c) a member of such a couple,

even though payment to him or (as the case may be) the couple".
      (7) In paragraph 10(3) (information to be supplied to obtain payments under sub-paragraph (1) or (2)), after "the claimant" insert "or (as the case may be) the couple or the member of the couple".
 
 
Social Security Act 1998 (c.14)
     17. - (1) The Social Security Act is amended as follows.
 
      (2) In section 39(1) (interpretation of Chapter II of Part I), after the definition of "appeal tribunal" insert-
 
 
    ""claimant", in relation to a joint-claim couple claiming a joint-claim jobseeker's allowance (within the meaning of the Jobseekers Act 1995), means the couple or either member of the couple;".
      (3) In Schedule 7 (minor and consequential amendments), after paragraph 142 insert-
 
 
    "142A. - (1) In subsection (4) of section 20A of that Act (denial or reduction of joint-claim jobseeker's allowance), for the words "the adjudication officer" there shall be substituted the words "the Secretary of State".
 
      (2) In subsection (8) of that section, for the words "an adjudication officer" there shall be substituted the words "the Secretary of State".
 
     142B. In subsection (2)(b)(ii) of section 20B of that Act (exemptions from section 20A), for the words "he has failed to complete a course of training" there shall be substituted "the condition in section 17(3)(b) or (c) is satisfied"."
 
 
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