UCKM – WORK SEARCH AND CLAIMANT COMMITMENT
Initial Work Search Interview
The aim of the initial Work Search Interview (WSI) is to encourage claimants to get into
as much work as they reasonably can do as quickly as possible. The work coach (WC)
takes account of individual circumstances and sets requirements (that if complied with)
will give the claimant the best possible prospects of finding:
better paid work
All such requirements are recorded in the Claimant Commitment. The claimant must
accept their Claimant Commitment in order to receive Universal Credit.
The interview covers core elements leading to a set of requirements to be recorded in
the Claimant Commitment. These are:
information gather and diagnosis of claimant circumstances
identifying the work a claimant is expected to look and be available for
establishing work search requirements
establishing work-preparation requirements
establishing on-going contact requirements
The WC must develop and record a set of personalised requirements (that when
complied with) give the claimant the best prospect of finding work.
Availability and expected hours of work
The WC decides the claimant's availability for work and expected hours of work so that
a Claimant Commitment can be tailored to their individual circumstances.
Creating a Claimant Commitment
The WC creates a Claimant Commitment using the information gathered in the initial
The Claimant Commitment sets out what the claimant's requirements will be and what
will happen if they fail to comply. The WC explains that their Universal Credit may be
reduced if they do not do what is expected of them as set out in their Claimant
Commitment. If they repeatedly fail to do what was expected of them their Universal
Credit could be reduced for up to three years.
The WC tells the claimant:
if they are unable to complete any of the activities as set out in their Claimant
Commitment they should contact Universal Credit, as this may prevent a
reduction of payment
they will need to provide good reason if they are unable to complete any of the
activities, and that if the reasons provided are not accepted they may lose some
or all of their Universal Credit
if they fail to attend any scheduled appointments without good reason their
Universal Credit could be reduced
The WC asks the claimant to read the sanctions information in their Claimant
Commitment and Commitment Pack and explains it to them.
Hours of work search (work-related activity)
It is important that claimants are clear on work search expectations and that the WC
knows the level of activity claimants should be meeting. Claimants in the AWRR
Intensive regime are broadly expected to spend the same amount of time looking and
preparing for work as they are expected to be in work.
A claimant's 'expected hours' of work search is not something that is intended to drive
the claimant to meet an artificial hours target. The aim – and the focus of engagement
with claimants – should be on getting them to do everything reasonable to find work as
quickly as possible.
The WC needs to work with the claimant to establish a clear plan of action that if
followed means the claimant will have done everything reasonable and will have met
their work search requirement.
Claimants in the AWRR Intensive regime are expected to spend a minimum of 35 hours
a week engaged in work-search activities, unless significant restrictions have already
been agreed to reduce availability for work below this figure.