To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, with reference to her Department's Official Statistics entitled Benefit sanctions statistics to October 2020 (experimental), published on 23 February 2021, what plans her Department has to conduct a full evaluation of the lessons that can be learnt from the period of running the social security system with little use of such sanctions.
20 April 2021
We have not made any assessment of the effect of the reduction in use of benefit sanctions since March 2020 and have no plans to do so.
We cannot isolate the effect of the reduction in the use of benefit sanctions as this has coincided with other changes to conditionality that took place over the same period, for example the three-month suspension of work search and availability requirements and the suspension of face-to-face claimant appointments. Together with the highly atypical economic circumstances we have experienced over this period, this would make any such assessment unreliable.
Work Coaches will continue to work with claimants to ensure claimant commitments are reasonable for claimants’ circumstances.