What is a conduct conditionality and how it is applied to the welfare entitlements of the UK?
In recent years, the UK has placed greater emphasis on the shift towards conduct conditionality. Conduct conditionality has been a longstanding feature of welfare benefits entitlements, that demands recipients to behave in a way that is deemed socially acceptable, for instance undergoing paid employment. The main stated goal of conditionality within the benefits system is to influence claimants’ behavior by incentivizing them to actively seek work and move off benefits. Benefits such as Jobseekers Allowance come with behavioral conditions that claimants must follow in order to receive their payments, these include ‘work focused interviews’, ‘work preparation’, ‘work search’ and ‘work availability’. Failure to follow the set conditions results in consequences that reduce and suspend benefits. In March 2017, 0.4% of people on JSA had a deduction taken from their payment as a result of a sanction. The benefit sanction is carried out as it is seen to motivate people to go down the route of paid employment. This is evident as in 2016, the number of people claiming JSA, decreased by 147,000 since the previous year. Therefore, this suggests that policy response of sanctioning benefits for those who are unemployed, proved to increase the likelihood that people would find and undergo employment.