What do you think of benefit sanctions?


The Work and Pensions Committee has opened an inquiry into benefit sanctions.

A sanction is a cut or freeze to your benefit if you fail to meet your claimant commitment without good reason. This could be, for example, being minutes late to a Job Centre appointment.

The Committee is made up of a group of 11 MPs from across the main political parties and their job is to scrutinise and challenge Government policies and processes.  

The inquiry is a chance for people who have been sanctioned to share their experience directly with people who can influence change.

The Committee is inviting people to respond to a confidential online survey so that they can better understand if the system is working and if it isn’t make recommendations for how it can be improved.  

The 2015 Oakley Review into Benefit Sanctions, along with a number of media reports, have highlighted that people are often sanctioned due to ‘trivial breaches’ or ‘administrative errors’, and that these sanctions can cause destitution or worse.

The Work and Pensions Committee’s inquiry will look at the impact that sanctions have on getting people back into work. It will also investigate whether vulnerable people are protected; consider how a warning system could be beneficial; and look more widely at the effect that sanctions have on other areas of public services.

To share your views, you can fill in a brief survey online or send in a written submission.