10,000 signatures reached
To: The Secretary of State for Work and Pensions
Reform the cruel sanctions regime
The Secretary of State for Work and Pensions must follow the recommendation of the Work and Pensions Committee to urgently review and reform the sanctions system.
Why is this important?
Changes under Iain Duncan Smith have meant a surge in the use of financial sanctions for benefit claimants. The financial sanctions are much harsher too, lasting a minimum of 4 weeks and can be as long as 3 years.
Sanctions are being used unfairly and arbitrarily – and it’s not just claimants saying this, but Jobcentre Plus staff. Many Jobcentre advisers say they are given targets for sanction referrals and feel bullied by managers into sanctioning jobseekers who are doing their best to find work.
The safety net is being turned into a trap, and Jobcentre Plus is being pushed towards a culture of harassment, not help.
This is unfair on claimants and their families who are being set up to fail, then unfairly punished with severe hardship. And it is unfair on Jobcentre staff who are being put under stress and prevented from giving being the genuine help that gets good results and gives them pride in the work.
We believe that Jobcentres should have a culture of help, not harassment. We believe that the current sanction regime is failing and that needs to be urgently reformed.
We will present this petition to the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, calling on them to take urgent action to clean up the cruel mess of the benefit sanctions regime, which is sanctioning people unfairly, arbitrarily and far too harshly.
We want to see Iain Duncan Smith to act immediately on the following recommendation of the Work and Pensions Select Committee:
"We recommend that DWP commission a broad independent review of benefit conditionality and sanctions, to investigate whether sanctions are being applied appropriately, fairly and proportionately, in accordance with the relevant Regulations and guidance, across the Jobcentre Plus network. This review should be established and report as soon as is practicable in the next Parliament."