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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"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 Secretary of State.
 
      (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 the Secretary of State 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 to whom subsection (2)(a) above applies.
 
     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 the condition in section 17(3)(b) or (c) is established.
      (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(4);".
     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 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 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. In section 39(1) of the Social Security Act 1998 (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;".
 
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