New ESA Sanctions

From 3 December 2012, there are new rules about sanctions for employment and support allowance (ESA). A sanction means Jobcentre Plus reduces your ESA if you fail without good cause to take part in a work-focused interview or do work-related activity.

For misconduct on or after 3 December 2012, a sanction normally reduces your ESA by the amount of the personal allowance for a single claimant who is entitled to the work-related activity component or the support component.

For misconduct on or after this date, a sanction will last for an open-ended period plus a further fixed period. The open-ended period normally ends when you comply with the requirement to take part in work-focused interview or do work-related activity. The sanction then normally continues for a further fixed period of one, two or four weeks, depending on whether it is your first instance of misconduct or a subsequent one.

You can appeal against a sanction. You may also be able to claim a hardship payment if you are sanctioned.