This is an HTML version of an attachment to the Freedom of Information request 'Jobseeker's Direction and voluntary work.'.

Availability and Actively Seeking Employment 
Background 
1. 
Two of the entitlement conditions for the receipt of Jobseeker’s Allowance 
(JSA) are that claimants are: 
  available for employment; and 
  actively seeking employment (ASE). 
2. 
At the New Jobseeker Interview (NJI) the adviser will establish whether 
the claimant satisfies the entitlement conditions and will agree a Jobseeker’s 
Agreement (JSAg). 
3. 
Claimants must attend the Jobcentre for regular Jobsearch Reviews, 
normally every fortnight.  
4. 
An adviser does not normally carry out these reviews but may be called 
upon if entitlement doubts arise.  
5. 
Claimants must also attend an Adviser interview at the end of their 
Permitted Period, if they have one. 
6. 
At each attendance the interviewer must: 
  remind the claimant of the conditions for the receipt of JSA and their 
obligations; 
  assess whether the claimant has been available as agreed in their 
JSAg; 
  review the steps the claimant has taken to look for work; 
  offer advice and guidance on what the claimant might do next to help 
them get a job; 
  identify any variations in the claimants availability or job search activity 
and arrange for an adviser to take follow up action or vary the JSAg. 
Availability 
7. 
The Jobseekers Act provides that a person claiming JSA must be 
available for employment.  This means employed earner’s employment.  A 
person may be available for both employment and self-employment but cannot 
restrict their availability to only self-employment. 
8. 
This means that they must be willing and able to take up employment 
immediately of at least 40 hours a week, and have a Right to Work in the UK. 
9. 
There are exceptions to the requirement to be immediately available for 
employment and these are: 
  persons engaged in providing a service, paid or unpaid, must be willing 
and able to take up employment on being given 24 hours’ notice; 
  persons undertaking voluntary work must be willing and able to take up 
employment on being given one weeks notice and attend a job interview 
within 48 hours notice; 
  persons with caring responsibilities must be willing and able to take up 
employment of at least 16 hours a week  on being given one weeks notice 
and attend a job interview within 48 hours notice; 

  persons doing part-time work must be willing and able to take up 
employment immediately following the statutory period of notice they are 
required to give their employer to end the contract of employment. 
Person with caring responsibilities for a child 
10. 
There are increased exceptions to the requirement to be immediately 
available for employment for claimants with caring responsibilities for a child. If 
necessary, such claimants must be willing and able to take up employment of at 
least 16 hours per week on being given 28 days notice; and attend a job 
interview within 1 week.  
11. 
However, to be eligible for this exception, the claimant must show that it is 
not reasonable for them to do so within the usual time limits.  
Example  
  Rebecca has been receiving contributory JSA for three months and has a 
partner Dave. They have one child, Chloe aged three. At Rebecca’s initial JSA 
meeting, availability rules were explained and her JSAg shows she is available to 
attend interviews within 48 hours and to take up employment within seven days.  
  The PA undertakes the thirteen week interview and reviews the JSAg.  
Rebecca informs the PA that she cannot start work within seven days due to 
childcare.  She also explains that her partner Dave works 40 hours per week and 
is unable to care for Chloe as his working pattern is varied, flexible and 
unpredictable as he is a taxi driver, and therefore, she cannot start work sooner. 
  Rebecca informs tells the PA that she has a nursery place but has enquired 
and would need extra hours before she could start work and would need to give 
28 days notice. The PA asks for a letter to confirm this unless the local 
knowledge of childcare in the area can confirm this. 
  They agree the JSAg and the PA sets a workflow for two weeks to check 
letter received from the nursery. 
Note: Refer the case to the Labour Market Decision Maker (LMDM) if local 
knowledge does not indicate the required 28 days notice and the letter from the 
nursery has not been received. 
Providing a service 
12. 
Where people are engaged in duties for the benefit of others they are 
providing a service, for example: 
  doing community service; 
  doing paid or unpaid work; 
  acting as a Justice of the Peace; or 
  acting as a member of an appeal tribunal arranged by The Tribunals 
Service. 
Voluntary work 
13. 
Voluntary work can include work for anyone, except a member of the 
claimant’s family, where: 
  no payment is received by the claimant; or 
  the only payment received or due is for reasonably incurred expenses. 

Caring responsibilities 
14. 
Caring responsibilities mean a responsibility for caring for a person in the 
same household or a close relative who is: 
  a child under the age of 16; 
  over pensionable age; or 
  a person whose physical or mental condition requires them to be cared 
for. 
15. 
A close relative is: 
 
a spouse/civil partner; 
 
the other member of a couple who are not married or are not in a 
civil partnership; 
 a 
parent; 
 a 
step-parent; 
 a 
grandparent; 
 a 
parent-in-law; 
 a 
son; 
 a 
step-son; 
 a 
son-in-law; 
 a 
daughter; 
 a 
step-daughter; 
 a 
daughter-in-law; 
 a 
brother; 
 a 
sister; 
 
a half brother/sister; 
 a 
grandchild; 
 the 
partner 
of 
any of the above. 
Actively Seeking Employment 
16. 
The Jobseeker’s Act provides that a person claiming JSA must actively 
seek employment in each week of their claim. This means that they must take 
those steps each week which are reasonable in their case, and which offer the 
best prospects of securing employment. 
Steps to seek employment 
17. 
To satisfy the ASE condition, claimants must do all that can be reasonably 
expected, in each week of their claim, to give themselves the best prospect of 
securing employment. 
18. 
The number of steps that the claimant will undertake is detailed within their 
Jobseeker’s Agreement. Claimants are expected to take the number of steps 
detailed, in each week of their claim, to ensure they fulfil the ASE condition.  
19. 
If a claimant is unable to take the number of steps specified in their 
Jobseeker’s Agreement, they will still have fulfilled the ASE condition if they took 
all the steps that they could reasonably have taken that week to give themselves 
the best prospect of securing employment. 
Example 1: A claimant is required to take 25 steps each week, and this is stated 
in their Jobseeker’s Agreement. However, their child was taken ill, they 

accompanied the child to hospital and spent 24 hours there, meaning that they 
did not complete 25 steps.  The claimant would still be considered to have 
fulfilled the ASE condition if they had taken all the steps they could reasonably 
have taken in the week to get a job. 
Example 2: A claimant is required to take 25 steps each week, and this is stated 
in their Jobseeker’s Agreement. They apply for a job which requires a 
competency based application and this application takes a day and a half to 
prepare and complete.  As a result, they did not have time to take 25 steps in 
total.  The claimant would still be considered to have fulfilled the ASE condition if 
they had taken all the steps they could reasonably have taken in the week to get 
a job. 
20. 
Activities, which improve a claimant’s employability, are acceptable steps 
for the purposes of the ASE condition. The following are single steps which could 
improve a claimant’s employability: 
  asking another person, for example an agent, to help the claimant look 
for work; 
  seeking specialist advice, for example from a Disability Employment 
Adviser, to improve prospects of securing employment; 
  drawing up a curriculum vitae; 
  obtaining a reference or testimonial from previous employer; 
  drawing up a list  of employers to contact about the possibility of a job; 
  researching employers who, for instance, a claimant may have an 
interview with; 
  seeking information about an occupation with a view to getting a job in 
that occupation, for example attending an open day. 
21. 
Applying for 3 vacancies counts as 3 steps to seek employment. 
22. 
If a claimant takes no steps at all in a week, they cannot satisfy the ASE 
condition for that week unless they can be treated as actively seeking 
employment. 
23. 
A step that would otherwise count towards satisfying the ASE condition 
may be disregarded if it is done in such a way as to reduce the chances of it 
being successful. For example, a claimant may attend a seminar which is aimed 
at helping produce a CV but produces one which is illegible or contains wrong 
details, this step could be disregarded. 
24. 
Claimants may not always satisfy the ASE condition if they continually 
take steps to improve their employability without actually looking, or applying, for 
a job. 
Definition of week 
25. 
In most cases a week for ASE purposes is each period of seven days, 
including Sunday, which ends on the claimant‘s benefit week ending day. The 
first and last week of a claim may be shorter than 7 days. 
See Example 1. 
Example 
  a claimant makes a claim on a Monday and their benefit week ending day is 
Wednesday; 

  the first week of the claim will be from Monday to Wednesday inclusive, which 
is a period of 3 days; 
  the benefit week ending is Wednesday and the claimant starts work on 
Monday; 
  the last week of the claim will start on Thursday and end on Sunday inclusive, 
which is a period of 4 days. 
26. 
When the claimant has a change of benefit week ending day, a week is a 
period of 7 days ending on each of the claimant‘s benefit week ending days. 
Sundays are included in the 7 days.  
See Example 2. 
Example 
  a claimant has a benefit week ending of Thursday 14 November.  
  the period of a week runs from the previous Friday 8 November, up to 
Thursday 14 November; 
  when the  claimant’s benefit week ending day is changed to Tuesday 19 
November, the period of a week runs from Wednesday 13 November to the 
Tuesday 19 November; 
  any steps to seek work or improve employability taken on Wednesday 13 
November and Thursday 14 November can be counted twice, once in week 
ending Thursday 14 November and again in week ending Tuesday 19 November. 
Pregnant Women 
27. 
There is no requirement for pregnant women to terminate their claim to 
JSA, just because they have reached 11 weeks before their expected week of 
confinement. 
28. 
If they chose to, pregnant women can remain on JSA beyond 11 weeks 
before their expected week of confinement, as long as they continue to fulfil the 
entitlement conditions. For example they must be available for and actively seek 
employment. 
EEA nationals 
29. 
Special rules apply to EEA nationals who are pregnant or lone parents 
when they claim Income Support. 
30. 
If they are making a new/repeat claim or are currently claiming JSA they 
must not be advised that a claim is needed as in some circumstances they may 
not be entitled. The claimant must be made aware that by applying for Income 
Support she may be subject to the Right To Reside element of the Habitual 
Residence Test. 
31. 
See the EEA Nationals guidance for further information. 
Exporting JSA Abroad 
32. 
Following the introduction of a new EC Regulation, 883/04, from 1 May 
2010 any JSA claimant who wishes to register for work and export their benefit to 
another EC country will continue to receive JSA, via JSAPs, whilst they are 
abroad. 
33. 
Any claimant who exports their JSA abroad will have to adhere to the 
attendance arrangements in the country they visit, and will have to adhere to the 

Labour Market Conditions. They must be available for and actively seeking 
employment. 
34. 
JBES will be the liaison point between Jobcentre Plus and EC member 
states, therefore any Labour Market Doubts will be referred by the member state 
to JBES for consideration.  
35. 
Further information about the importing process can be found in the Import 
and Export of Benefit Guidance 
Import of Unemployment Benefit 
36. 
Following the introduction of a new EC Regulation, 883/04, from 1 May 
2010 any EU claimant who wishes to register for work and import their benefit to 
the UK will not claim Jobseeker’s Allowance. They will instead continue to 
receive benefit from the member state they have come from. 
37. 
Any claimant who imports their unemployment benefit will have to adhere 
to our attendance arrangements, i.e. attend Jobsearch Reviews, and will have to 
adhere to the Labour Market Conditions. They must be available for and actively 
seeking employment. 
38. 
JBES will be the liaison point between Jobcentre Plus and EC member 
states, therefore any Labour Market Doubts must be referred to JBES for 
consideration.  
39. 
A referral to a LMDM must not be made for a claimant who is importing 
their unemployment benefit from another EC country. 
40. 
Further information about the importing process can be found in the Import 
and Export of Benefit Guidance 
Right to Work  
41. 
The following claimant groups need to prove they have a right to work in 
the UK, or that they are exempt from this requirement, before they can be 
considered as available for employment: 
 Croatian 
nationals; 
  Non European Economic Area (EEA) nationals; and 
  Migrant victims of domestic violence. 
Right to Work – Croatian Nationals 
42. 
Croatia joined the European Union (EU) on 1 July 2013. From this date 
Croatian nationals will not be subject to immigration control, and are able to move 
and live freely in any EU Member State. 
43. 
Croatian Nationals do not need permission to reside legally in the UK 
under the Immigration Act; however, even though they have a right of residence, 
they need authorisation to work in the UK from the Home Office unless they are 
in one of the exempt groups. 
44. 
If a Croatian national does not have a Right to Work they cannot legally 
start work in the UK, and therefore they cannot be available for work  
45. 
If a Croatian national makes a claim to JSA but does not have a Right to 
Work in the UK, or if they are unable to prove they have a Right to Work, refer 
the availability doubt to the LMDM. 
46. 
Further information regarding Croatian nationals can be in DMG Memo 
15/13 or on the UK Border Agency website. 

Exemptions from the Right to Work 
47. 
An Croatian national can be exempt from the requirement to obtain 
authorisation to work in the UK for a variety of reasons, including: 
  they had leave to enter or remain in the UK, under the Immigration Act 
1971, on 30 June 2013, and that leave did not place any restrictions on 
them taking employment in the UK; 
  they have been working legally, and without interruption, in the UK for 
a 12 month period ending on or after 30 June 2013; 
  they are a highly skilled migrant; 
  they are a Student; or 
  they are Self-employed.  
Highly Skilled Migrants 
48. 
Croatian nationals who are highly skilled migrants are eligible to apply for 
a worker registration certificate with an endorsement entitling the holder to 
unrestricted access to the UK labour market. 
Students 
49. 
Students may engage in employment for up to 20 hours a week during 
term time and full time work during vacation periods.  
50. 
However, students must be studying full time at a genuine educational 
establishment and must obtain a registration certificate confirming their status 
before starting work. 
Self-Employed People 
51. 
All EU citizens have the right to establish themselves in other member 
states as self employed.  
52. 
Self employed Croatian nationals do not have to obtain a work permit but 
must register with the Inland Revenue. 
53. 
The registration certificate issued for a self-employed Croatian national will 
not confer a right to take up employment on any other basis than self employed.  
Therefore, they cannot be considered as available for employed earners 
employment. 
Low-skilled Migrants 
54. 
Croatian nationals will not have access to any ‘sector-based’ schemes for 
which Bulgarian and Romanian nationals are currently available. This includes 
the Seasonal Agricultural Workers Scheme (SAWs) 
Right to Work - Non-EEA nationals  
55. 
Non-EEA nationals / third country nationals (TCN) need permission to 
enter and remain in the UK under the Immigration Act 1971.  
56. 
Their visa will state if they can legally work in the UK.  It will also say 
whether this is restricted to a particular employer or if they can change employers 
without needing further permission. 
57. 
In some cases if the job ends, so does the person’s leave.  From this date 
they are no longer in the country legally. 
58. 
Further information regarding TCNs can be found on the UK Border 
Agency website. 

59. 
Once a TCN has worked legally in the UK for 5 years they can apply for 
indefinite leave to remain and once granted they no longer need to have a Right 
to Work.   
60. 
Any claimant who does not have a Right to Work cannot legally start work 
in the UK, therefore they cannot be regarded as available for work 
61. 
If an TCN makes a claim to JSA but does not have a Right to Work in the 
UK, or if they are unable to prove they have a Right to Work, refer the availability 
doubt to the LMDM. 
Migrant victims of domestic violence and abuse 
62. 
From 1 April 2012, individuals who entered the UK or were given leave to 
remain in the UK as a spouse, civil partner, unmarried or same sex partner of a 
British Citizen or someone present in the UK, and whose relationship has broken 
down due to domestic violence and abuse, can apply to the UK Border Agency 
(UKBA) for limited leave to remain (LLR) under the Destitute Domestic Violence 
(DDV) concession. The LLR will apply for 3 months pending consideration of their 
application for indefinite leave to remain (ILR) under the Domestic Violence and 
Abuse Immigration Rule. 
63. 
Those individuals who have been granted LLR by the UKBA under the 
DDV concession have a right to work in the UK during the period of the LLR, and 
are therefore able to claim JSA. 
64. 
A migrant victim of domestic violence and abuse can claim JSA for the 3 
month period of LLR, as long as they comply with the JSA conditions of 
entitlement, including being available for and actively seeking employment. 
However, as a victim of domestic violence and abuse, the claimant may be able 
to take advantage of the conditionality easements available to them under the 
domestic emergency or domestic violence and abuse provisions. 
65. 
Individuals who choose to make a claim to JSA must confirm that they 
have been granted LLR under the DDV provision by providing a Home Office 
decision letter.  
66. 
It should be clearly explained to the claimant that they need to notify 
Jobcentre Plus urgently if their immigration status changes, i.e. they are granted 
or refused ILR. 
Claimants limited leave to remain expires 
67. 
If UKBA accept the claimant’s application for ILR, the claimant can 
continue to claim JSA, as long as they comply with the JSA conditions of 
entitlement, including being available for and actively seeking employment.  
68. 
If the claimant has not made an application for ILR within the 3 month LLR 
period, they lose their right to work in the UK at the end of the LLR period. 
Therefore, in these circumstances the claimant’s JSA award should be 
terminated from the day after their LLR expires. 
69. 
If the claimant has made an application for ILR but UKBA reject their 
application before the end of the LLR period, the claimant can continue to claim 
JSA until the end of the 13 week period of the LLR. The claimant’s JSA award 
should be terminated from the day after their LLR expires as they will no longer 
have a right to work in the UK. 

70. 
If the claimant has made an application for ILR within the 3 month period 
they are granted LLR, but UKBA have not made a decision, the claimant will 
continue to have a right to work in the UK beyond the end date of the original 
LLR period. Therefore the claimant’s JSA award should not be terminated at the 
end of the 13 week period of LLR.  
71. 
If UKBA subsequently accept the claimants’ application for ILR, the 
claimant can continue to claim JSA, as long as they comply with the JSA 
conditions of entitlement, including being available for and actively seeking 
employment.  
72. 
However, if UKBA subsequently reject the claimants’ application for ILR, 
the claimant can continue to claim JSA during the period that they can apply for 
an appeal. Consequently, in these circumstances, the claimants JSA claim must 
be terminated from the day after the last day on which an appeal could be brought 
(which is 10 days after the applicant is served with the notice of the decision by UKBA). 
73. 
If a claimant insists that they continue to claim JSA without having a Right 
to Work in the UK, refer an availability doubt to the LMDM. 
74. 
In the event of further enquiries from the claimant, refer them to the UKBA. 
Availability and self employed work 
75. 
Claimants who are seeking to be self employed must also be willing and 
able to work in employed earner’s employment to satisfy the availability condition.  
76. 
A claimant may have a Permitted Period in which they are restricting their 
availability if they were self-employed in their usual occupation. However this will 
only allow them to restrict the type of work, eg hairdressing, they must still 
remain available for employed earner’s employment during any Permitted Period. 
77. 
If at any time in the 12 months before their date of claim, a claimant has 
been self employed, they can actively seek self employment in their usual 
occupation and /or their usual rate of pay during their Permitted Period if they 
wish. They must however, remain available for employed earner’s employment 
as well. 
Restricted availability 
78. 
In any week, a person may restrict their availability for employment to 40 
hours, or more, in that week provided: 
  the times at which they are available for work, their pattern of 
availability is such as to give them reasonable prospects of securing 
employment; 
  their pattern of availability is recorded on a Jobseeker’s Agreement 
(JSAg); and 
  any changes to the agreed pattern of availability are recorded on a 
varied JSAg before they occur. 
79. 
Claimants who are not prepared to work for as many as 40 hours a week 
are unreasonably restricting their availability for employment, regardless of 
whether they have reasonable prospects of getting work, unless they are a 
claimant who can restrict their availability. 

80. 
Where a claimant has agreed a pattern of availability in their JSAg, they 
are only required to take up employment at a time when they have agreed to be 
available.  
81. 
Where it has been agreed that a person will be available within 24 hours, if 
they are providing a service, or within one week, if they have caring 
responsibilities or are volunteers, the 24 hour or one week periods of notice can 
include times at which the individual has not agreed to be available for 
employment. However, the claimant is not required to start work at a time which 
falls outside their agreed pattern of availability. 
Example 
  a claimant with caring responsibilities has agreed a pattern of availability on 
Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday for a total of 30 hours; 
  if notice is given on Wednesday, the earliest the claimant needs to be willing 
and able to start work is the following Wednesday as once weeks notice is 
required. 
  if notice is given on Friday, the earliest the claimant needs to be willing and 
able to start work is the following Friday, as again one weeks notice is required. 
82. 
Provided they can show that they have reasonable prospects of obtaining 
employment in spite of their restrictions, a claimant may restrict their availability 
by placing restrictions on the: 
  nature of the work; 
 pay; 
  terms and conditions of employment, for example a claimant may not 
want to take a job which does not include paid holidays, or a pension; or 
  locality or localities in which they are prepared to work. 
83. 
If a claimant imposes restrictions on their availability, establish whether the 
restrictions placed are what they insist upon, or whether they are merely 
preferences.  
84. 
A preference does not amount to a restriction unless it is all they are 
prepared to accept. Claimants should be warned that placing restrictions on their 
availability may affect their entitlement to JSA 
85. 
After claiming JSA for 6 months, a person may not place restrictions on 
the level of pay they are willing to accept. This means that a claimant should not 
specify any minimum pay requirement at their 6 monthly review as this would 
amount to a restriction.  
86. 
This applies even if the wage requirement is reasonable. This does not 
apply if the restriction on the level of pay is due to their physical or mental 
condition. 
87. 
If the claimant states they are willing to work for the National Minimum 
Wage(NMW) appropriate to them, take a statement to that effect and annotate it 
‘Treat as straightforward - NMW only required’.  
88. 
No referral to the Benefit Delivery Expert Labour Market Decision Maker 
(LMDM) will be necessary in these cases.  
89. 
All other cases where the claimant insists on restricting the rate of pay 
they require after 6 months of unemployment, must be referred to the LMDM for 
a decision. 

Establishing reasonable prospects 
90. 
To establish whether a claimant has reasonable prospects of securing 
employment, all the following circumstances must be taken into account: 
  their skills, qualifications and experience; 
  the type and number of vacancies within daily travelling distance of 
their home; 
  if they want a type of job which is not available locally, consider 
whether they are willing to: 
 
move home to do this type of work; or  
 
work away from home during the week; or  
 
work at home if the known employers commonly employ 
home working arrangements; 
  how long it is since they last worked; 
  the job applications they have made and the outcomes; 
  any availability restrictions. 
91. However, purely because a claimant is long-term unemployed this does not 
mean that they do not have reasonable prospects of finding work. 
92. 
The claimant must show they have reasonable prospects of securing 
employment if they wish to restrict their availability in any way. 
Claimants who can restrict their availability 
93. 
Certain groups of claimants may restrict their availability, such as: 
  Claimants with a sincerely held religious belief or conscientious 
objection; 
  Claimants with a physical or mental condition;  
  Claimants with caring responsibilities; 
  Claimants with caring responsibilities for a child; and 
  Lone Parents whose youngest child is aged 12 or under. 
94. Where a claimant places restrictions on their availability they must be made 
aware of what the possible consequences could be, namely that they will not 
be entitled to JSA if they can't show reasonable prospects of securing 
employment despite these restrictions. 
95. However, purely because a claimant is long-term unemployed this does not 
mean that they do not have reasonable prospects of finding work. 
Restrictions because of religious or other belief 
96. Some claimants have sincerely held religious or other beliefs that may affect 
the type of work they are willing to accept or the days they are available to 
work. 
Restrictions to type of work 
97. A claimant may restrict the type of work they are prepared to do because of a 
sincerely held religious belief or conscientious objection, provided they can 
show they have reasonable prospects of employment despite this restriction 
and any other. For example: 
  a vegetarian may object to working in an abattoir; or  
  a Muslim may object to work in a bar as they would have to handle alcohol. 

Restrictions to pattern of availability 
98. In addition, a claimant may restrict the days on which they are available for 
work due to a sincerely held religious belief, provided they are available for at 
least 40 hours per week and can show that they have reasonable prospects 
of securing employment despite this restriction and any other. For example: 
  a Christian may object to working on a Sunday; or  
  a religious Jew may object to working on the Sabbath. 
Restrictions due to religious holidays and festivals 
99. A Jobseekers Agreement (JSAg) will have been drawn up at the New 
Jobseeker Interview. This will reflect the pattern of availability of the claimant 
taking into account any religious reasons for not wanting to work on specific 
days in a week.  
100.  If the claimant notifies that they will not be available on a particular day(s) 
they should be advised to vary their JSAg for that week only. However, they 
must remain available for 40 hours in the week and have reasonable 
prospects of finding work within the hours specified. 
101.  A claimant will also have to actively seek work and they must take those 
steps each week which are reasonable in their case, and which offer the best 
prospects of securing employment. However, any time spent taking part in 
religious festivals or holidays can be taken into account when determining 
what is reasonable in any given week. 
102.  Where large numbers of claimants are involved in a particular Jobcentre 
the Manager may use some discretion. Claimants may be excused from 
varying their JSAgs where, for reasons not specific to the claimant, it would 
be impractical to deal with the numbers involved. However, this practice 
should only be used in exceptional circumstances to avoid the risk of abuse 
and/or undermining of the JSA conditions of entitlement. 
The Jewish Sabbath 
103.  Every week religious Jews observe the Sabbath, the Jewish holy day, and 
keep its laws and customs, including resting from work. This day is also 
known as the Shabbat in Hebrew or Shabbos in Yiddish. 
104.  The Sabbath begins at nightfall on Friday and lasts until nightfall on 
Saturday. In practical terms the Sabbath starts a few minutes before sunset 
on Friday and runs until an hour after sunset on Saturday, so it lasts about 25 
hours. 
105.  Further information regarding the Sabbath start and end times is available 
via The United Synagogue Internet site. 
106.  If a Jewish JSA claimant objects to working on the Sabbath, they can 
restrict their pattern of availability to take into account of this objection, as 
long as they are available for at least 40 hours per week and have reasonable 
prospects of securing employment despite the restriction and any other 
agreed restriction on their availability 
Example 1: 
  Saul has been working for 10 years as a teacher but has recently been made 
redundant, so has claimed Jobseeker’s Allowance.  

  He is Jewish and observes the Sabbath each week, therefore during his New 
Jobseeker Interview Saul states that he is not available for work on this day. 
  Saul states that he is looking to return to teaching, and is available for work 
Monday to Thursday between 8am and 6pm, and on Friday’s between 8am 
and 3.30pm. 
  Saul is available to work more than 40 hours per week. 
  Despite the restrictions Saul has placed on his availability, he has reasonable 
prospects of securing employment. 
  Therefore, Saul is able to restrict his availability for employment to take into 
account his religious beliefs, so a DMA referral on availability must not be 
made. 
Example 2: 
  David has claimed Jobseeker’s Allowance after completing his A-Levels.  
  He is Jewish and observes the Sabbath each week; therefore David wants to 
restrict his availability to take his religious beliefs into account. 
  David states he is looking any type of work and is available to work Monday to 
Thursday at any time, and on Friday’s up until just before sunset. 
  David is available to work more than 40 hours per week. 
  Despite the restrictions David has placed on his availability, he has 
reasonable prospects of securing employment. 
  Therefore, David is able to restrict his availability for employment to take into 
account his religious beliefs, so a DMA referral on availability must not be 
made. 
Restrictions because of physical or mental condition 
107.  A claimant may restrict their availability in any way provided the 
restrictions are reasonable in the light of their physical or mental condition. For 
example, a person with emphysema, who’s breathing capacity will be adversely 
affected, could restrict the: 
  type of work to avoid working in jobs requiring physical exertion and 
places where there is  a likelihood of dusty working conditions, or in smoke 
or fumes (even if protective masks are available); 
  number of hours work in a week; or 
  number of hours in a shift. 
108. Where 
the 
claimant 
imposes acceptable restrictions because of their 
physical or mental condition they do not have to show they have reasonable 
prospects of getting a job. However, they must show all the restrictions are 
reasonable and are connected with their health. 
109.  If a claimant places restrictions on their availability which are not 
connected to, or consistent with their physical or mental condition, they must 
show they have reasonable prospects of obtaining work within all these 
restrictions. For example, if a deaf claimant will only accept work within a factory 
they must show that they have reasonable prospects of getting a job with this 
restriction. This is because the restriction is not connected with their health 
condition. 

110.  If a claimant with a physical or mental condition requires additional help or 
advice in looking for work, consult the Disability Employment Adviser (DEA). 
Restrictions because of caring responsibilities 
111.  A claimant with caring responsibilities may restrict their availability to less 
than 40 hours in a week provided that in that week: 
  they are available for employment for as many hours as their caring 
responsibilities allow and
  the hours they are available do not overlap with the hours of caring; 
and 
  they have reasonable prospects of obtaining employment in spite of 
these restrictions; and 
  they are available for employment of at least 16 hours. 
112.  In order to identify the number of hours for which a person with caring 
responsibilities is available, take the following circumstances into account: 
  the particular days and hours spent caring; 
  the age and physical and mental condition of the person being cared 
for; and 
  whether the caring responsibility is shared with another person or 
persons. 
113.  To satisfy the availability conditions the claimant must be available for 
work for the total number of hours they are not caring. For example, if a 
claimant’s caring responsibilities allow them to be available for 30 hours a week 
they could not satisfy the conditions if they said they were only available for 22 
hours because they wanted some time to themselves. 
Age, physical and mental condition of the person to be cared for 
114.  Claimants who are caring for a young child or a person with physical or 
mental limitations may need to spend more time caring than one who has a 
caring responsibility for teenage children.  
115.  A claimant with a young child may wish to restrict their availability to the 
minimum of 16 hours per week. This would be acceptable provided they continue 
to have reasonable prospects of securing employment. 
116.  They should not restrict hours to 16 if they can do more.  
117.  If there is a doubt that a claimant is making themselves available for as 
many hours as their caring responsibilities will allow, refer the doubt to the 
LMDM. 
Caring responsibility shared with another claimant 
118.  Where the claimant shares the caring responsibility with another claimant, 
it is up to them how to split their responsibilities.  
119.  Their individual availability for work must, however, be for at least 16 hours 
a week.  
120.  When one claimant is available for work, the other should be undertaking 
the caring responsibility and vice versa. Therefore, the claimants involved in 
caring should have different patterns of availability.  
121.  They must both show they have reasonable prospects of securing 
employment. 

122.  If the claimant is sharing the caring responsibility; 
  both claimants/carers may make their claim at the same time; or 
  one claimant/carer may already be claiming, or claim, at the same or 
different Jobcentre. 
  they may be part of a joint claim. 
123.  Consider each claimant’s availability individually but make sure the hours 
of caring by them do not overlap with each other. A claimant cannot be available 
at the same times in the week as they are caring. 
124.  Record on LMS ‘Client Conversation’ screen and the JSAg: 
  that the claimant is a carer; 
  the name of the claimant who shares the caring responsibility, if 
appropriate; 
  any acceptable restrictions resulting from their caring responsibility. 
125.  Refer any doubts about availability to the LMDM. 
Restrictions for Claimants with caring responsibilities for a child 
126.  A claimant with caring responsibilities for a child can restrict their 
availability for employment to less than 40 hours per week, providing that: 
  they are available for work for as many hours as their caring 
responsibilities allow; and 
  they have reasonable prospects of securing employment; and 
  they are available for at least 16 hours per week. 
127.  In a small number of areas, there may be few or no jobs available which 
would fit within the restricted patterns of employment sought. 
128.  To accommodate such a situation, where the Adviser agrees that no 
suitable jobs are likely to be found, claimants with caring responsibilities for a 
child can restrict their hours to as many as their caring responsibilities allow, 
subject to a minimum of 16 hours per week, regardless of whether they can show 
reasonable prospects or not.  
129.  The claimant’s circumstances will be reviewed regularly.  
130.  Claimants who have additional caring responsibilities for a child because 
they have  an outstanding parenting order in England, Wales & Scotland or a  
parenting contract in England or Wales agreed or issued after exclusion, truancy 
or misbehaviour at school, can restrict their availability for work providing the 
restrictions are reasonable in light of the order/contract.  
131.  These circumstances will be considered good cause for not attending the 
office during this period. In these circumstances, where the claimant is required 
to care for a child, Advisers will consider treating the claimant as available for 
work to safeguard the parent from being disallowed JSA and attendance can be 
excused for this period.  
Restrictions for Lone Parents  
132.  From 26 April 2010, in addition to being able to restrict their availability as 
a claimant with caring responsibilities for a child, a Lone Parent who has a child 
aged 12 or under, has the right to restrict their availability for work to school 
hours if they wish.  

133.  This right is restricted to normal school hours, for example 9am to 3.15pm 
subject to a minimum of 16 hours per week.  
134.  Where a Lone Parent restricts their availability to school hours, they do not 
have to show they have reasonable prospects of getting a job.  
135.  If a Lone Parent has more than one child aged 12 or under, they can 
restrict their availability in line with the school hours of all of their children.  
Example 
136.  A Lone Parent has two children, Oliver aged 8 and Lauren aged 11.  
137.  Oliver attends school 8.45am to 3pm, while Lauren attends school 9am to 
3.15pm.  
138.  The Lone Parent can restrict their availability in line with a combination of 
their children’s school hours: 9am to 3pm. 
139.  Advisers should make all eligible Lone Parents aware of this right. 
140.  The provision whereby a Lone Parent can choose to restrict their 
availability to school hours only applies to term time. If a Lone Parent wants to 
restrict their availability during the school holidays they will have to meet the 
criteria of a claimant who has caring responsibilities for a child. 
Permitted Period and usual occupation 
141.  From the beginning of a claim, claimants can be allowed to restrict their 
availability for a period of time, called the Permitted Period, to: 
  employment in their usual occupation; or 
  the same level of pay they were receiving; or 
  both employment in their usual occupation and at the same level of pay 
they were used to receiving. 
142.   A Permitted Period is not a right, but is agreed between claimant and 
adviser.  Whether a Permitted Period is granted, and the length of it, should be 
determined with regard to the following; 
  the claimant’s usual occupation and any relevant skills or qualifications 
they have;  
  the length of any periods of training undertaken in relation to the 
occupation; and 
  the length of time the claimant has been employed in the occupation and 
the period since he last worked in that occupation; and 
  the availability and location of employment in that occupation. 
143.  If more than one occupation has been followed regularly, both can be 
usual occupations. However, if a claimant has trained for a particular occupation 
but has never worked in that occupation, it cannot be their usual occupation. 
144.  During a Permitted Period, claimants are not exempt from the ASE 
condition.  They must take those steps each week that are reasonable in their 
case and offer them best prospects of securing employment, albeit in their usual 
occupation / usual level of pay.  
145.  Claimants may also choose to look for work other than their usual 
occupation, even though they are within the Permitted Period. 
146.  A Permitted Period must be for a minimum of 1 week, and a maximum of 
13 weeks; starting on the first day of a claim for JSA.  

147.  In this context a week is any period of 7 consecutive days. The length of 
the Permitted Period is agreed by an adviser at the NJI and recorded on the 
Jobseeker’s Agreement  (JSAg). 
148.  Further guidance on Permitted Periods can be found in the Decision 
Maker’s Guide, Volume 4, Chapter 21, paragraphs 21379 onwards. 
149.  Where a claimant has no usual occupation, or where their former 
occupation is not attainable in the local labour market, a Permitted Period is not 
appropriate.  However, they may have a usual level of pay on which to base a 
restriction. 
Restrictions on pay 
150.  If a claimant does not have a usual occupation, or their Permitted Period 
has ended, they may still be able to place a restriction on the level of pay they 
are willing to accept for the first six months of their claim.  However the claimant 
must still be able to prove that they have reasonable prospects of employment 
with such a restriction in place.  
151.  In deciding whether the claimant has reasonable prospects of employment 
you should have regard to: 
  their skills, qualifications and experience;  
  the type and number of vacancies within daily travelling distance of 
their home;  
  the length of time the claimant has been paid at the level of pay they 
are wanting to restrict to; how long they have been unemployed; and 
  whether they are willing to move home to take up employment. 
Availability and part time work 
152.  A claimant who already works part-time in a week must show they are 
available for work for at least 40 hours in that week.  The 40 hour pattern can 
include the hours already worked providing they have reasonable prospects of 
obtaining employment within the pattern.  
153.  They must, if necessary, be prepared to give up the part-time job to take 
employment of 40 hours a week. 
154.  Claimants who are engaged in part-time work do not have to be available 
to start an alternative job immediately. Their availability for work can be accepted 
provided they are able and willing to start an alternative job immediately after 
serving the statutory period of notice for the part-time work. 
155.  A period of notice should not be assumed.  Most employers will be 
prepared to waive this period of notice, especially for people undertaking small 
amounts of work. If an employer insists on a period of notice only the statutory 
period is relevant, not any further contractual period. 
156.  Claimants who are engaged in providing a service or are doing voluntary 
work on the last day of their statutory notice period are not entitled to a further 
24/48 hours or a week’s notice.  
Claimants who can be treated as available for and/or actively seeking 
employment 
157.  In some circumstances claimants may be unable to satisfy the availability 
and ASE conditions because they are doing other activities.   

158.  There are circumstances when it may be possible to treat the claimant as 
available for and actively seeking employment. 
159.  A claimant must not be treat as available or ASE in any week in which 
they satisfy the conditions. 
Claimants who cannot be regarded as available 
160.  A claimant is not regarded as available if they are: 
  an A2 national who does not have the Right to Work in the UK; 
  a non-EEA national who does not have the Right to Work in the UK; 
  a full time student; 
  a prisoner on temporary release; 
  in receipt of maternity allowance or maternity pay; or 
  on paternity leave. 
161.  These categories take precedence over the circumstances in which a 
person can be treated as available and/or actively seeking employment.  
Full-time student 
162.  A full-time student is a person, other than one in receipt of training 
allowance, who is: 
  aged less than 19 and attending a full-time course of advanced 
education; or  
  aged 19 or over but under pensionable age. 
163.  A full- time student cannot be regarded as available unless:  
  they claim during the summer vacation; and 
 
they are available for, and actively seeking employment; and 
 
they have a partner who is also a full-time student; or they 
are single; and 
 
they, or their partner in the case of a student couple, are 
responsible or treated as responsible for a child or young person; or 
  they can be treated as available for work while undertaking; 
 
an Open University residential course; 
 
an employment related course; 
164.  If a full-time student wants to claim JSA but they do not satisfy the 
conditions set out above, do not refuse to take a claim. Refer the availability 
doubt to the LMDM. 
Prisoner on temporary release 
165.  The most common form of temporary release is home leave but temporary 
release may be authorised for other reasons. 
166.  Prisoners who are granted temporary release are issued with a licence 
describing the conditions of their release. A prisoner may be temporarily released 
to a specific place where they are required to stay. 
167.  If a prisoner on temporary release makes a claim to JSA, do not refuse to 
take the claim. Refer the availability doubt to the LMDM. 

Maternity allowance or maternity pay 
168.  Maternity allowance and statutory maternity pay are paid during maternity 
leave for a period of 39 weeks in total. The earliest date it can start is the 11th 
week before the baby is due but it may start from a later date. 
169.  If a woman in receipt of maternity allowance or maternity pay wants to 
claim JSA, do not refuse to take a claim. Refer the availability doubt to the 
LMDM. 
Paternity Leave 
170.  If the claimant states they are on Paternity leave under the Employment 
Rights Act 1996 they cannot be regarded as available for employment. 
171.  If a man on Paternity leave insists on making a claim to JSA, do not refuse 
to take a claim. Refer the availability doubt to the LMDM. 
Adoption Leave 
172.  Ordinary or additional adoption leave can apply to a man or a woman.  
However, they cannot be regarded as being available 
173.  If a person on Adoption leave insists on making a claim to JSA, do not 
refuse to take a claim. Refer the availability doubt to the LMDM. 
Availability 
Declaration of availability 
174.  All claimants must show that they are available for work, and must make a 
declaration of availability every time they sign a Labour Market declaration. 
175.  A claimant’s availability may be questioned/discussed at any time they 
attend the Jobcentre. 
176.  If a doubt arises because the claimant is restricting their availability use 
knowledge of the local labour market to decide whether, despite the restrictions, 
they still have reasonable prospects of obtaining work.  
177.  Claimants who have placed restrictions on their availability for work 
because of a physical or mental health problem do not have to show reasonable 
prospects of securing employment, provided all these restrictions are reasonable 
when taking their health condition into account. 
178.  In determining whether a claimant has reasonable prospects of obtaining 
work do not rely solely on the number and type of vacancies in the Jobcentre. 
Other local vacancies may exist in your area and it may be useful to check other 
sources in the area. 
179.  If, within their restrictions, the claimant does not have reasonable 
prospects of obtaining work, refer the case to the LMDM. 
Actively Seeking Employment 
Review of actively seeking employment 
180.  Before reviewing the steps a claimant has taken to find work check 
whether they have imposed any restrictions on their availability which have been 
accepted. These restrictions will be recorded on their Jobseeker’s Agreement.  
181.  Claimants are expected to continue to ASE even if they are excused 
attendance. 
182.  It is not reasonable to expect them to seek a job which: 

  is vacant because of a trade dispute; 
  is not in their usual occupation or at a lower rate of pay than they 
usually receive, unless their Permitted Period has ended or they do not 
have a Permitted Period; 
  they would have good cause for refusing. 
Claimant asks someone to help with their jobsearch 
183.  Some claimants may ask someone else to seek work on their behalf or 
assist them in their efforts to find work. These include those; 
  wishing to work in occupations where the most likely route is through a 
third party, for example, members of Equity and merchant seafarers; 
  who because of a mental or physical condition cannot be expected to 
take reasonable steps without help; 
  who because of limited skills in English ask a friend or relative to 
search advertised vacancies and write to prospective employers for them. 
184.  In these circumstances the claimant is responsible for supplying evidence 
of jobsearch undertaken for them. Assess this in the same way as if they had 
undertaken the jobsearch themselves.  
185.  Appointing someone to act on their behalf does not mean that a claimant 
need not take other steps to find work. Consider what else they can do, in 
addition to what is being done for them. 
Reviewing jobsearch 
186.  The JSA Regulations do not specify that claimants must keep written 
records of their job search. However, encouraging a claimant to keep a written 
record of the steps they have taken can help them to remember what they have 
done, and will help to build up a picture of the progress the claimant is making in 
their efforts to find work.  
187.  A claimant may have set up their own records, but if their record keeping 
is inadequate, or non-existent encourage them to use the Jobsearch Activity Log 
(ES4). 
188.  The evidence of jobsearch produced when they attend to have their 
regular reviews may be in various forms: 
  information they have provided from their Universal Jobmatch account; 
  evidence in writing from employers, employment agencies, or other 
organisations which they have contacted; 
  copies of letters they have sent to employers; 
  the claimant’s un-corroborated written evidence, for example an ES4; 
  the claimant’s verbal evidence 
  evidence from previous Jobsearch Reviews recorded on LMS. 
189.  The steps that are reasonable will vary from claimant to claimant and from 
week to week. In trying to identify doubts about whether the steps taken are 
reasonable, all the following circumstances should be taken into account: 
  their skills, qualifications and abilities; 
  their physical or mental limitations, including any time spent training in 
the use of aids to improve their prospects of obtaining or retaining 
employment; 

  the time which has passed since they last worked and their experience; 
  the steps they have taken in previous weeks; 
  the effectiveness of those steps in improving their prospects of 
securing employment;   
  whether or not the steps taken improve their prospects of obtaining 
employment; 
  whether or not the steps taken reduce their prospects of obtaining 
employment; 
  the availability and location of any vacancies; 
  where they cannot be treated as actively seeking employment, the time 
spent: 
 
engaged in emergency duties; 
 
attending an Outward Bound Course; 
 
by a blind person undertaking training in the use of a guide 
dog; 
 
participating in an employment or training programme for 
which a training allowance is not payable; 
  whether they have applied for, accepted a place on, or participated in a 
course or programme which is wholly or partly funded out of central funds 
or the European Union and which is intended to help claimants to select, 
train for, obtain or retain employed earner’s employment or self 
employment; 
  whether they have no living accommodation and the steps they have 
taken to seek such accommodation; 
  any time during which they were treated as available; 
  the time spent participating  in an employment related course; 
  the time spent engaged in duties as a member of any reserve force; 
  the time spent undertaking voluntary work and the extent to which this 
work improves their prospects of securing employment. 
Skills, qualifications, abilities and physical or mental condition 
190.  The type and number of steps a claimant takes to find work may be 
affected by their ability or a health problem.  
191.  For example, a disabled person may find it physically impossible to take 
the same steps as an able bodied person. However, they must still take whatever 
steps are reasonable allowing for their circumstances. 
192.  Claimants undertaking training for the use of aids to improve their 
prospects of obtaining or retaining employment will not have as much time to 
seek work as other claimants. Take into account the time spent on this training 
when considering whether the steps taken are sufficient and reasonable. 
Claimants with literacy problems 
193.  Do not expect claimants that have literacy problems to write to employers 
or read advertisements. They can however; make arrangements with a third party 
to draw vacancies to their attention and should take other steps which are 
reasonable allowing for their circumstances.  

194.  Attending a course designed to help with their literacy may enhance a 
claimant’s employability, but they must remain available for employment.  
Claimant does not speak English 
195.  You may need to use an interpreter when interviewing a claimant who 
does not speak or understand English. Make sure the interpreter clearly 
understands the conditions for receipt of JSA.  
196.  Attending a course to learn English would enhance their employability and 
would count as a step towards seeking employment. 
Steps taken in previous weeks 
197.  Steps taken in previous weeks will often have an impact on what steps it is 
reasonable for them to take in the week in question.  
198. For 
example: 
  if a claimant is awaiting a reply from an employer or has already been 
told there is no work with that employer, it is clearly not reasonable for 
them to write to the same employer again immediately; 
  it is not reasonable for a claimant to continually take steps to improve 
their employability without ever actually looking for work; 
  claimants are expected to contact agencies they are registered with 
even though the agency is searching for work on their behalf. It is 
however, reasonable for them to wait a week or two before contacting the 
agency; 
  If there is a high turnover of vacancies it is reasonable to expect the 
claimant to visit the Direct Gov website every week; 
  it is reasonable for a claimant to apply for a newly advertised vacancy 
with an employer while awaiting a response to a previous application to 
the same employer. 
Whether the steps taken improve prospects of obtaining employment 
199.  During a review of jobsearch find out about: 
  what the claimant has done to look for work; 
  whether they actually applied for any jobs and if so what type, with 
which employers, and with what results; 
  the reasons why they have not applied for any jobs; 
  any possible ideas for future jobsearch; 
  any applications for, or acceptance of, a place on a course or 
programme, or a short course of training or education which will enhance 
their employability.  
200.  The claimant must be advised to build on previous steps to advance the 
progress of their job search, for example, if they have sent a written application 
for a job in the previous 2 weeks, it may be appropriate for them to telephone the 
employer to check whether they have been selected for interview. 
201.  If the claimant’s circumstances have changed, for example they have 
reached the end of their Permitted Period; you may need to consider a variation 
to their Jobseeker’s Agreement. 

Whether steps taken reduce prospects of obtaining employment 
202.  Unless the circumstances were due to reasons outside the claimant’s 
control, for example a history of mental illness, disregard steps taken by them 
where they have: 
  shown violent or abusive behaviour towards the employer during a job 
interview; 
  completed a written application for a job in such a way as to reduce 
their chances of getting the job; 
  completed an inadequate CV in a way designed to put employers off or 
against the advice of an adviser; 
  failed to maintain the appropriate behaviour or appearance at a job 
interview. 
Availability and location of any vacancies 
203.  Regularly update local labour market knowledge and awareness of the 
type and location of vacancies so that up to date advice can be given to 
claimants and doubtful cases identified for referral to the LMDM. 
204.  Take into account the claimant’s acceptable restrictions set out in their 
JSAg and the distance and time it would take them to travel to particular locations 
when discussing available vacancies.  
205.  Travel time of one and a half hours each way by a route and means 
appropriate to their circumstances is reasonable for a claimant that has no 
physical or mental health problems. 
206.  The steps they have taken may be different from those specified on the 
JSAg because of new employers in the area or existing employers closing. They 
are nevertheless valid if they are reasonable for the claimant to take in the week. 
Course or programme which helps employment prospects 
207.  A claimant may have applied for or been accepted on a course or 
programme which is aimed at helping people to select, train for, obtain or retain 
employment.  
208.  In these circumstances the claimant can limit their jobsearch to temporary 
or casual work until the course begins.  
209.  They may also be undertaking an employment related course or a training 
programme for not less than 3 days in the week and not receiving a training 
allowance.  
210.  Take into account the amount of time they spend on this type of course 
when assessing their jobsearch activity. If they appear to have taken insufficient 
steps to actively seeking employment in a week in which they participated in a 
course or programme on a part time basis, referral to the LMDM will be 
necessary. 
Claimants with no living accommodation 
211.  If a claimant has no living accommodation it may be difficult for them to be 
contacted by anyone offering employment or help in obtaining employment. They 
may also need to spend much of their time searching for accommodation.  
212.  Take both these factors into account when considering what steps it is 
reasonable for a claimant without accommodation to take in a week. The JSAg 

should indicate that they are taking steps to find accommodation. The JSAg will 
need to be varied once accommodation is found. 
Best prospects of securing employment 
213.  Prospects of employment vary from claimant to claimant. Some will have 
good prospects of employment and there may be many steps they can take 
which may lead to employment.  
214.  Provided they take the steps most likely to give them the best prospects of 
securing employment they are not expected to take every step open to them. The 
steps which are most appropriate will depend on what steps they have taken 
previously. 
215.  A claimant with good prospects may write to many employers when first 
becoming unemployed. There would be no point in writing to the same employers 
again until a period of time had passed. They could however, follow up their 
written applications with a phone call. 
216.  Claimants whose prospects of employment are poor may only have a few 
steps that they can take. It may be reasonable to expect them to take all the 
steps. For example, if their best chance of gaining employment is to visit building 
sites because they are an unskilled labourer, there is no reason why they should 
not visit all the sites within the location in each week. 
217.  Take into account the length of time a claimant has been unemployed 
when considering the ASE condition. A claimant who is within their Permitted 
Period is only required to look for employment in their usual occupation and at a 
level of pay not less than that which they are used to getting for the type of work.  
218.  However, a claimant who has been claiming JSA for more than 6 months 
is expected to look for any job which they are physically and intellectually capable 
of doing and any restrictions they place must give them reasonable prospects of 
securing employment. 
219.  If a claimant applies for jobs requiring skills or qualifications they do not 
have, they may not satisfy the ASE condition. They do not need to show that they 
would accept offers of employment to satisfy the condition however, if after taking 
the required steps there is a doubt as to whether they would take the 
employment offered, their availability may be in doubt. 
220.  If in the process of looking for work a claimant makes it clear to an 
employer that they would not actually accept an offer of work, this behaviour 
would negate the step to actively seeking employment. Refusal of employment 
action may be considered. 
221.  Be aware of the type of work the claimant is looking for when considering 
whether the steps they have taken are appropriate. It is reasonable that a highly 
qualified claimant will look in specialist magazines, newspapers and the internet 
for the work they are seeking rather than visit a Jobcentre, whereas for an 
unskilled claimant the opposite may apply. 
222.  Doubts about ASE may arise where the claimant has taken insufficient 
steps and/or taken steps that are inappropriate and/or the steps are taken in such 
a way as to negate their efforts to get a job. 

Availability or Actively Seeking Employment Doubt identified 
223.  When an Availability or ASE doubt is identified the case must be referred 
to a LMDM, the following action must be taken: 
Step  
Action  

Explain to the claimant that JSA cannot be paid to them under the 
normal rules until the LMDM has made a decision. 

Click the [Dec] or [NoDec] button in the Client Details window. 
Note: If no previous DMA action has been taken, you will automatically 
get a New Referral/Decision Details window.  If one or more is already 
held, click [New] 

Click the [Question] hotspot and select the appropriate option from the 
drop down menu. 

Record the Source as appropriate 

Record the ‘Suspension start date’ only, using the first day of the 
benefit week in which the transgression occurred. 

Record the Ref to as ‘LM DMA Office’ 
7 Click 
[Save] 

Print Referral Notification Letter ES48 from LMS, and issue it together 
with the ESL48JP(ILS) (Welsh version ESL48JPW(ILS))to the 
claimant.  
 
Note: It is essential that claimants are issued with an ESL48JP(ILS) 
(or ESL48JPW(ILS) where appropriate). This leaflet has been 
developed to ensure claimants have an understanding of the 
processes followed when an intermediate level failure is identified. 

Explain to the claimant that they will need to remain engaged with 
Jobcentre Plus, and continue to attend all interviews and interventions 
as required, if they want to maintain their JSA entitlement. 
10 
Input a suspension into JSAPS for the period in doubt 
 
Note: Where a claimant’s JSA has been advanced for the period in 
doubt, action is required to recall the benefit payment if possible. See 
Suspending a JSA claim when payment has been advanced for further 
information. 
11 
Take a statement from the claimant, using the relevant stencil from 
DART. Ensure the claimant’s reasons are fully covered.   
12 
For ASE referrals, it is essential that the DART referral is annotated to 
specify the number of steps required of the claimant as stated on 
his/her JSAg, and the number of steps they actually completed. 
13 
To ensure that details of the referral are maintained for reconsideration 
or appeal purposes, copy the information from DART into the LMS 
notes box for the relevant decision 
14 
Send the submission to the LMDM using DART for an Availability/ASE 
decision. 

Note: The Official Use box on the DART stencils can be used to record any 
additional information relevant to the doubt. 
224.  It is good practice to record the issue of ESL48JP(ILS) or ESL48JPW(ILS) 
in LMS conversations at the time the doubt is identified.  This is to support quality 
and compliance checks and confirms the claimant has been made aware of what 
happens next. 
Suspending a Jobseeker's Allowance claim 
225.  If a claim to Jobseeker's Allowance (JSA) needs to be suspended: 
Step  
Action  

access dialogue JA210: Maintain Suspension and Decision details 

in the MAINTAIN SUSPENSION AND DECISIONS screen JA210213, 
input [S] in the ‘(S)usp/(D)ecision field’ and press [ENTER] to access 
dialogue JA210211. 

in the MAINTAIN DECISION DETAILS screen JA210211 input details 
of the suspension by completing the following fields: 
  AR Code – Input one of the following JSAPS Decision Codes: 
  CSN001 – for all Availability doubts  
  CSN013 – for all ‘regarded as….’ doubts  
  CSN015 – for all Actively seeking doubts  
  AR Period in doubt – Input the start date of the period in doubt only 
  Submit – Input ‘2’ 
226.  To remove the risk of payment being issued for a period for which a 
sanction may be applied, no end dates should be recorded when recording a 
suspension for an Availability or ASE doubt. 
Suspending a Jobseeker’s Allowance claim when payment has been 
advanced 
227.  When inputting the suspension it is essential that consideration is given to 
whether the claimant’s JSA has been advanced for the period in doubt, ie due to 
a Bank Holiday Payment advance.  
228.  Where a claimant’s JSA has been advanced for the period in doubt, action 
is required to recall the benefit payment if possible: 
 
Step  
Action  

access dialogue JA510: Notepad Enquiry details to check if the 
payment has already been recalled or an attempt has been made to 
recall the payment 

If no payment recall has been attempted take action to recall the 
payment. See Chapter 11 of the Central Payment System Guide for 
further information. 

Access dialogue JA110 Maintain Notepad and note the outcome of the 
attempt to recall the payment. 

Hardship 
229.  Some claimants may be able to claim JSA Hardship when a Suspension 
has been imposed on their JSA. See JSA Hardship Awards for further 
information. 
Submission action 
230.  Access LMS and check the ‘View Referral / Decision Details’ screen.  
231.  To ensure that details of the referral are maintained for reconsideration or 
appeal purposes, check that all of the information from the DART referral has 
been copied from DART into the LMS notes box for the relevant decision. 
232.  When making DART referrals for availability/ASE doubts that cover 
multiple benefit weeks, a single referral to DMA should be made covering the 
entire period of the doubt rather than making multiple referrals for the same 
claimant. 
233.  When making referrals for those claimants who are not entitled to JSA but 
have claimed National Insurance Contribution credits, it is essential that the 
DART referral is annotated as follows - ‘credits only – opinion decision required’ 
to ensure DMs to make the correct decision. 
234.  Send the submission to the LMDM using DART to enable them to make 
an availability/ASE decision. See the DMA Referrals Guide chapter for further 
information on what must be included in the submission. 
AR codes 
235.  Doubts about whether the claimant satisfies the Labour Market conditions 
for the receipt of JSA are referred to a LMDM for a decision, using the following 
AR codes: 
AR Code 
Use to refer 
Example of use 
JSA550 
claimant is not available for 
claimant has no work permit 
employment and cannot be treated  and is unable to work in this 
as available for employment 
country without one 
JSA550A 
claimant is not available within 
claimant is not able to start 
time limits 
work immediately 
JSA550B 
claimant has placed restrictions on  claimant is not available 
the number of hours they are 
because of short period in 
prepared to work 
custody 
JSA550C 
claimant is placing restrictions on 
claimant requires work which 
the nature of, location or terms and  is not obtainable in the 
conditions of employment they are 
location they are seeking to 
prepared to accept 
be employed   
JSA550S 
claimant is a part-time student 
claimant is studying for 16 
hours or less but not willing 
to give course up for 
employment 
JSA552 
claimant was not actively seeking 
claimant not taking sufficient 
employment 
steps as set out in JSAg to 
satisfy the conditions 

JSA553 
claimant is a prisoner on 
claimant is a prisoner on 
temporary release or a woman in 
temporary release or a 
receipt of maternity allowance or 
woman in receipt of 
maternity pay 
maternity allowance or 
maternity pay. 
JSA553S 
claimant is a full time student 
claimant is a full time student 
236. Where 
the 
claimant 
is not entitled to JSA but has claimed National 
Insurance Contribution credits, refer the doubts to the LMDM for a decision using 
the appropriate AR code with the addition of a letter ‘O’ at the end to denote it’s a 
credit only decision. 
Decision made by the Labour Market Decision Maker 
237.  The action required following the LMDMs decision will be dependant upon 
whether the decision is allowed or disallowed. 
Allowed Decision 
238.  The LMDM will email the decision notification from DMAS to the 
appropriate JSA Claims Maintenance team, who will input the decision into 
JSAPS.  
239.  The details of the LMDMs decision will be automatically entered into the 
LMS ‘Referral/Decision Details’ screen once they have input the details into 
DMAS.  Therefore, no further action is required in the Jobcentre for allowed 
cases.  
Note: If copies of the decision notification and/or case papers are received at the 
Jobcentre these should be retained for monitoring purposes. 
Disallowed Decision 
240.  Where a LMDM determines that a claimant was not available/ASE their 
claim to JSA will be disallowed.  Following a disallowance decision, claimants will 
usually need to reclaim JSA in order to continue their claim; however there are a 
small number of cases where this is not applicable.  
241.  An additional sanction (an intermediate level sanction) can be imposed on 
those claimants who reclaim JSA after having their award disallowed for not 
being available for or actively seeking employment.  Further information about 
the intermediate level sanction is available within the Sanctions and DMA 
Guidance. 
242.  When they make a disallowance decision, the LMDM will email a copy of 
the decision notification from DMAS to the appropriate JSA Claims Maintenance 
team, who will input the decision into JSAPS.   
243.  The details of the LMDMs decision will be automatically entered into the 
LMS ‘Referral/Decision Details’ screen once they have input the details into 
DMAS.  However, the LMDM will also email a copy of the DMAS decision 
notification to the appropriate Jobcentre for action.  This notification will include a 
recommendation from the LMDM as to whether or not a sanction should be 
applied, and the applicable sanction period. 
244.  Upon receipt of the DMAS decision notification at the Jobcentre, the 
following action is required to ensure any applicable sanction is applied to the 
claimants benefit as soon as possible: 

Step  
Action  

An LMS workflow must be created for the claimants’ next scheduled 
attendance.  The following information should be recorded in the 
workflow: 
  the period of the original Disallowance;  
  the need for the claimant to complete JSA1 (ILS); and  
  whether the DM recommends a sanction should be applied if 
the claimant reclaims JSA.  

An LMS Conversation must be created stating that the claimant is 
required to reclaim JSA by completing a JSA1(ILS) on their next 
attendance. 

Details of the DMs decision must be retained in a BF (either 
electronically or clerically) pending the claimant reclaiming JSA.   
Note: Sites must ensure they have a robust and stringently controlled BF system 
in place.  The BF system is mandatory and absolutely critical in successfully 
identifying and tracking claimant activity following availability/ASE disallowances.  
The BF system will ensure the sanction is applied as quickly as possible following 
claimant re-engagement, thus averting delays to the process.  It is the 
responsibility of individual sites to implement the BF system that best suits their 
needs however whichever system is used it must be efficient and vigorously 
managed'. 
245.  No further action is required in the Jobcentre until the claimant re-engages 
(i.e. they attend their next scheduled interview or Jobsearch Review). 
Claimant re-engages  
246.  If the claimant attends their next scheduled interview or Jobsearch Review 
they have re-engaged.  A claimant can also be classed as re-engaging if they 
FTA on their next scheduled attendance but make contact within 5 working days. 
247.  When a claimant re-engages following a disallowance decision the 
following action must be undertaken: 
Step  
Action  

The claimant must complete a JSA reclaim form, a JSA1(ILS), to re-
establish their entitlement to benefit. 

The following note must be added to JSAPs Dialogue 110: 
“JSA 1(ILS) received on (date) claimant has reclaimed from (date)“  

The completed JSA1(ILS) must be sent to the appropriate JSA Claims 
Maintenance team, via courier, for action . 
248.  After the claimant has completed a JSA1(ILS), access the 
electronic/clerical BF and recover the original DMAS Disallowance notification.  
249.  Using the LMDMs recommendation on the DMAS Disallowance 
notification identify whether a sanction is appropriate. 
250.  If the LMDMs recommendation is that no sanction is appropriate then no 
further action is required. 

251.  If the LMDMs recommendation is that a sanction is appropriate, take the 
following action in LMS to apply the recommended sanction: 
Step  
Action  

Press ‘Dec’ button at the top of the client record press ‘New’.  

Click on ‘Question’ and select ‘ASE sn’ or ‘Avail sn’ as appropriate. 

Click on ‘Source’ and select same source as the original Disallowance 

Click ‘Ref to’ and select ‘LM DMA Office’  

Save the record  

Click ‘Amend’ to enable the decision details  

Click on ‘Decision’ select ‘Sanction’   

Click on ‘Period From’ enter the start date of sanction detailed on the 
LMDMs recommendation  

Click on ‘Period To’ enter the end date of the sanction in accordance 
with the LMDMs recommendation  
10 
Click on ‘Date Made’ and enter today’s date. 
11 
Click on ‘Made By’ select ‘LM DMA USER’ 
12 
Save the record  
13 
Click on’ Notes’  
14 
Click on ‘Amend’  
15 
Copy the details of the LMDMs recommendation from the DMAS 
Decision Notification - changing “My recommendation” to “My decision”
16 
Save the record 
252.  Once the sanction doubt and decision have been recorded on LMS, send 
an electronic ‘ILS Sanction Notification’ to the appropriate JSA Claims 
Maintenance team who will input the sanction decision into JSAPS.  The ILS 
Sanction notification must include: 
  the claimant details; 
  the doubt type; 
  the period of the sanction; and 
  the JSAPS AR Decision Code. 
Claimant does not re-engage  
253.  If a claimant does not re-engage (i.e. they fail to attend their next 
scheduled interview or Jobsearch Review and do not make contact within 5 
working days), the DMAS Decision notification should be recovered from the BF. 
254.  If the LMDMs recommendation was that no sanction is appropriate then no 
further action is required.   
255.  However if the LMDMs recommendation was that a sanction should be 
applied the LMS workflow must be ReQueued until the end date of the 
recommended sanction as per the DMAS Decision.  This is to ensure that the 
sanction decision is actioned if the claimant reclaims JSA within the sanction 
period.  Details of the DMs decision must be returned to the BF pending the 
claimant reclaiming JSA 
256.  If the claimant does not reclaim JSA by the end of the sanction period, the 
LMS workflow should be deleted and the suspension in JSAPS must be lifted. 

257.  If the claimant reclaims JSA (online or via the telephone) before the end of 
the sanction period, access the electronic/clerical BF and recover the DMAS 
Disallowance notification.  Take the following action in LMS to apply the sanction: 
Step  
Action  

Press ‘Dec’ button at the top of the client record press ‘New’.  

Click on ‘Question’ and select ‘ASE sn’ or ‘Avail sn’ as appropriate. 

Click on ‘Source’ and select same source as the original Disallowance 

Click ‘Ref to’ and select ‘LM DMA Office’  

Save the record  

Click ‘Amend’ to enable the decision details  

Click on ‘Decision’ select ‘Sanction’   

Click on ‘Period From’ enter the new Treat As Made date as the start 
date of the sanction. 

Click on ‘Period To’ enter the end date of the sanction in accordance 
with the LMDMs recommendation  
10 
Click on ‘Date Made’ and enter today’s date. 
11 
Click on ‘Made By’ select ‘LM DMA USER’ 
12 
Save the record  
13 
Click on’ Notes’  
14 
Click on ‘Amend’  
15 
Copy the details of the LMDMs recommendation from the DMAS 
Decision Notification - changing “My recommendation” to “My decision”
16 
Save the record 
258.  Once the sanction doubt and decision have been recorded on LMS, send 
an electronic ‘ILS Sanction Notification’ to the appropriate JSA Claims 
Maintenance team who will input the sanction decision into JSAPS.  The ILS 
Sanction notification must include: 
  the claimant details; 
  the doubt type; 
  the period of the sanction; and 
  the JSAPS AR Decision Code. 
Claimants not required to reclaim  
259.  Where a claimants benefit was suspended because of an availability/ASE 
doubt and they re-comply before the suspension ends, the regulations allow the 
claimants’ JSA entitlement to resume without them having to reclaim benefit.  
This will occur where the claimant attends fortnightly and the availability/ASE 
doubt relates to the first week of the fortnight but not the second. For example: 
  George attends for his regular ‘fortnightly’ Jobsearch Review on 17 April 
2013.  Although he has met the ASE requirement for the week 11 to 17 April, 
there is a doubt for the period 4 to 10 April. Therefore, George’s payment of 
JSA is suspended whilst the doubt is investigated. 
  The LMDM decides that George did not actively seek employment for the 
week 4 to 10 April and nor could he be treated as actively seeking 
employment.  Therefore, George’s entitlement to JSA ends for that week.  

  As the second week of the fortnight was not in doubt, George has re-complied 
with the JSA conditions of entitlement before the DMs decision was made, 
therefore George is not required to reclaim JSA in order to re-establish his 
benefit entitlement. 
260. However, 
regardless 
of 
whether or not a claimant needs to reclaim benefit 
after the disallowance, an additional sanction (an intermediate level sanction) can 
be imposed on the claimants JSA. 
261.  If a claimant re-engages following a disallowance decision, the process is 
slightly different if they re-comply before the suspension ends.  In this scenario, 
the claimant is not required to reclaim JSA in order to re-establish their benefit 
entitlement, so must not be asked to complete a JSA1(ILS). 
262.  However, the LMDMs sanction recommendation must be applied to the 
claimants LMS record and the electronic ‘ILS Sanction Notification’ must be sent 
to the appropriate JSA Claims Maintenance team who will input the sanction 
decision into JSAPS. 
263.  If a claimant does not re-engage following a disallowance decision, the 
same processes must be followed regardless of whether or not they re-comply 
before the suspension ends.  In this scenario, the claimants’ JSA claim will have 
been closed after the failure to attend; therefore the claimant is required to 
reclaim JSA (online or via the telephone).  
Reconsiderations 
264.  Where a claimant requests a reconsideration of an Availability/ASE 
decision, the Jobcentre must establish whether the claimant is asking for the 
disallowance decision and/or the Intermediate Level Sanction decision to be 
reconsidered. This is because the disallowance and the sanction are both 
separate decisions and each has its own reconsideration/appeal rights. 
265.  Where the claimant is asking for a reconsideration of the Sanction 
decision only one reconsideration request should be raised (against the sanction 
decision).  
266.  However where a claimant asks for a reconsideration of the Disallowance 
decision on its own, or both the Disallowance decision and the Sanction decision, 
two separate reconsideration requests must be raised (one for each element of 
the decision).  
267.  It is essential that any reconsideration request must be referred to the 
appropriate LMDMA team for consideration using the appropriate AR code. 
Note: In most cases the reconsideration will be against the disallowance 
decision. 
 

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