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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     7. - (1) Section 8 (power to make regulations requiring attendance etc.) is amended as follows.
 
      (2) In subsection (1), after "claimant" insert "(other than a joint-claim couple claiming a joint-claim jobseeker's allowance)".
 
      (3) After subsection (1) insert-
 
 
    "(1A) Regulations may make provision-
 
 
    (a) for requiring each member of a joint-claim couple claiming a joint-claim jobseeker's allowance to attend at such place and such time as the Secretary of State may specify;
 
    (b) for requiring a member of such a couple to provide information and such evidence as may be prescribed as to his circumstances, his availability for employment and the extent to which he is actively seeking employment;
 
    (c) for requiring such a couple to jointly provide information and such evidence as may be prescribed as to the circumstances of each or either member of the couple, the availability for employment of each or either member of the couple and the extent to which each or either member of the couple is actively seeking employment;
 
    (d) where any requirement to provide information or evidence is imposed on such a couple by virtue of paragraph (c), for the joint obligation of the couple to be capable of being discharged by the provision of the information or evidence by one member of the couple."
      (4) In subsection (2), after "Regulations under subsection (1)" insert "or (1A)".
 
      (5) In subsection (2)(a) (cases where entitlement to allowance may cease on account of non-compliance), after "in the case of a claimant who" insert ", or (as the case may be) a joint-claim couple claiming a joint-claim jobseeker's allowance a member of which,".
 
      (6) In subsection (2)(b) (cases where entitlement to allowance may cease by reference to the time expired since the claimant's last attendance)-
 
 
    (a) after "he" insert "or, as the case may be, a member of the joint-claim couple"; and
 
    (b) after "subsection (1)(a)" insert "or (1A)(a)".
      (7) For paragraph (c) of subsection (2) (provision for entitlement not to cease where good cause shown) substitute-
 
 
    "(c) provide for entitlement not to cease if the claimant or (as the case may be) either member of the joint-claim couple shows, within a prescribed period of the failure to comply on the part of the claimant or (as the case may be) a member of the couple, that the claimant or (as the case may be) the defaulting member of the couple had good cause for that failure; and".
     8. In section 9(12) (jobseeker's agreement ends when allowance ends), at the end insert "or to a joint-claim couple of which he is a member."
 
     9. - (1) Section 13 (income and capital for the purposes of an income-based allowance) is amended as follows.
 
      (2) After subsection (2) insert-
 
 
    "(2A) Subsections (1) and (2) do not apply as regards a joint-claim jobseeker's allowance; but a joint-claim couple shall not be entitled to a joint-claim jobseeker's allowance if the couple's capital, or a prescribed part of it, exceeds the prescribed amount.
 
      (2B) Where a joint-claim couple claim a joint-claim jobseeker's allowance-
 
 
    (a) the couple's income and capital includes the separate income and capital of each of them; and
 
    (b) the income and capital of any other person who is a member of any family of which the couple are members shall, except in prescribed circumstances, be treated as income and capital of the couple."
      (3) In subsection (3) (treating capital as income), after "subsection (1)" insert "or (2A)".
 
     10. After section 15 (effect on family of one member being involved in a trade dispute) insert-
 
 
"Trade disputes: joint-claim couples.     15A. - (1) Sections 14 and 15 shall, in relation to a joint-claim couple claiming a joint-claim jobseeker's allowance, apply in accordance with this section.
 
    (2) Where each member of the couple is prevented by section 14 from being entitled to a jobseeker's allowance, the couple are not entitled to a joint-claim jobseeker's allowance.
 
      (3) But where only one member of the couple is prevented by that section from being entitled to a jobseeker's allowance, the couple are not for that reason alone prevented from being entitled to a joint-claim jobseeker's allowance.
 
      (4) Section 15(1) does not have effect in relation to the couple but, except in prescribed circumstances, section 15(2) applies for the purposes of calculating the couple's entitlement to a joint-claim jobseeker's allowance where-
 
 
    (a) a member of the couple, or
 
    (b) any other person who is a member of any family of which the couple are members,
  is, or would be, prevented by section 14 from being entitled to a jobseeker's allowance.
 
      (5) Where section 15(2) applies in relation to the couple by virtue of subsection (4) above, that provision and section 15(4) apply with the following modifications-
 
 
    (a) references to the claimant are to be taken as references to the couple;
 
    (b) references to "A" are to the person mentioned in subsection (4)(a) or (b) above;
 
    (c) section 15(2)(b) has effect as if for "where the claimant and A are a married or unmarried couple," there were substituted "where A is a member of the couple,"; and
 
    (d) section 15(2)(c)(ii) has effect as if for "of his family" there were substituted "of any family of which the couple are members"."
     11. In section 17 (reduction of allowance payable to young persons), after subsection (1) insert-
 
 
    "(1A) Regulations may provide for the amount of a joint-claim jobseeker's allowance payable in respect of any joint-claim couple where a member of the couple is a young person to whom this section applies to be reduced-
 
 
    (a) in such circumstances,
 
    (b) by such a percentage, and
 
    (c) for such a period,
  as may be prescribed."
 
     12. In section 19 (allowance not payable though conditions for entitlement are satisfied), after subsection (1) insert-
 
 
    "(1A) Subject to section 20A(9), this section does not apply as regards a joint-claim jobseeker's allowance (but sections 20A and 20B make, in relation to such an allowance, provision corresponding to that made by this section and section 20)."
 
     13. After section 20 insert-
 
"Denial or reduction of joint-claim jobseeker's allowance.     20A. - (1) Where this section applies to a member of a joint-claim couple, that member of the couple shall be subject to sanctions for the purposes of this section.
 
    (2) This section applies to a member of a joint-claim couple if that member of the couple-
 
 
    (a) has, without good cause, refused or failed to carry out any jobseeker's direction which was reasonable, having regard to his circumstances;
 
    (b) has, without good cause-
 
      (i) neglected to avail himself of a reasonable opportunity of a place on a training scheme or employment programme;
 
      (ii) after a place on such a scheme or programme has been notified to him by an employment officer as vacant or about to become vacant, refused or failed to apply for it or to accept it when offered to him;
 
      (iii) given up a place on such a scheme or programme; or
 
      (iv) failed to attend such a scheme or programme on which he has been given a place;
 
    (c) has lost his place on such a scheme or programme through misconduct;
 
    (d) has lost his employment as an employed earner through misconduct;
 
    (e) has voluntarily left such employment without just cause;
 
    (f) has, without good cause, after a situation in any employment has been notified to him by an employment officer as vacant or about to become vacant, refused or failed to apply for it or to accept it when offered to him; or
 
    (g) has, without good cause, neglected to avail himself of a reasonable opportunity of employment.
      (3) Where this section applies to a member of a joint-claim couple by virtue of any of paragraphs (a) to (c) of subsection (2), the period for which he is to be subject to sanctions shall be such period (of at least one week but not more than 26 weeks) as may be prescribed.
 
      (4) Where this section applies to a member of a joint-claim couple by virtue only of any of paragraphs (d) to (g) of subsection (2), the period for which he is to be subject to sanctions shall be such period (of at least one week but not more than 26 weeks) as may be determined by the adjudication officer.
 
      (5) Even though the conditions for entitlement to a joint-claim jobseeker's allowance are satisfied in relation to a joint-claim couple-
 
 
    (a) the allowance shall not be payable for any period during which both members of the couple are subject to sanctions; and
 
    (b) the amount of the allowance payable in respect of the couple for any period during which only one member of the couple is subject to sanctions shall be reduced to an amount calculated by the prescribed method ("the reduced amount").
      (6) The method prescribed for calculating the reduced amount may, in particular, involve-
 
 
    (a) deducting amounts from, or making percentage reductions of, the amount which would be the amount of the allowance if neither member of the couple were subject to sanctions;
 
    (b) disregarding portions of the applicable amount;
 
    (c) treating amounts as being income or capital of the couple.
      (7) During any period for which the amount of a joint-claim jobseeker's allowance payable in respect of a joint-claim couple is the reduced amount, the allowance shall be payable to the member of the couple who is not subject to sanctions.
 
      (8) Regulations may prescribe-
 
 
    (a) circumstances which an adjudication officer is to take into account, and
 
    (b) circumstances which he is not to take into account,
  in determining a period under subsection (4).
 
      (9) Subsections (7) to (10) of section 19 apply for the purposes of this section as for those of that section but as if references in subsection (10)(b) of that section to the claimant were to the member of the joint-claim couple referred to in subsection (2)(a) above.
 
 
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