The Government has recently announced changes to the way people can get unemployment benefits, in a bid to get more people into work post-pandemic. 

The latest figures from the Office for National Statistics revealed a huge surge in the number of UK people in employment. We’re finally seeing the sort of growth that will allow the economy to return to pre-pandemic levels of employment across the UK. But, one last push from the government in the right direction comes in the form of Universal Credit Reform


What is changing?

As it stands, jobseekers who are claiming Universal Credit are allowed to search for jobs within their chosen field for up to three months before widening their job search to include other industries.

Soon, this is changing to just one month under fresh plans to get more people into work, called Way to Work. 

Upon applying for Universal Credit, you are able to select a few industries in which you plan to search and apply for roles. Under the new rules, you will have four weeks of searching within these industries before having to widen your search to include other industries as well. 

Those who are deemed to be not making a reasonable enough effort to look for work, or those who have turned down a job offer, may face sanctions to their benefit payments. 


Why is it changing?

The Government says that the demand for workers is certainly there, with 1.2 million vacancies at the moment, that’s 59% more than before the pandemic. 

Work and Pensions Secretary Therese Coffey said: “Helping people get any job now, means they can get a better job and progress into a career.

“Way to Work is a step change in our offer to claimants and employers, making sure our jobcentre network and excellent work coaches can deliver opportunities, jobs and prosperity to all areas of the country.”

Chancellor Rishi Sunak, said: “It’s important that everyone has the opportunity and support to find a good job to help them get on in life.

“That’s why we’re doubling down on our Plan for Jobs with this new campaign to harness the talent of jobseekers and support employers to fill vacancies, find work and create new opportunities.

“Together we will boost this country’s jobs-led recovery.”


What do I do if I need more information?

All the latest on Universal Credit can be found on the government’s website 

Here at Workforce, we’re experts at matching you up with the perfect role. All you need to do is tell us about your skills and experience, and we’ll scour our database high and low for the perfect position for you.

Or if you just need a chat; someone to explain the changes and their impact, we can do that too. Simply pop by to see us or contact us today


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