Cut sanctions, not incomes!

One million lopaid workers will be forced to find higher-paid work or more hours – or they will be sanctioned!

If you claim in-work benefits you could be at risk. 

From Autumn 2023, there will be further changes to the government’s in-work conditionality policy.

These changes will mean that around one million of the lowest paid UK workers could be penalised by the cruel and ineffective benefits sanction regime.

Even those with childcare responsibilities will have to find more work or be sanctioned.

What are the changes that could cut your income?

The government is demanding that low paid workers claiming Universal Credit must:

  • Find more hours to work; or
  • Find a better paid job.

They must also meet more frequently with a Jobcentre work coach.

Failure to meet these criteria will see workers sanctioned. 

This means that their incomes could be cut by up to £10.40 per day for a period of around 11-12 weeks.

Amid a crippling cost of living crisis, these changes further punish the poorest workers.

Meetings with job coaches can fall during existing work hours – putting current employment at risk.

These changes could increase workplace stress and diminish incomes, pushing low-income households deeper into poverty.

Such is the depth of the UK’s low wage crisis, four in ten of the 6.06 million people on Universal Credit are in work.  The majority are women.

What your union is doing

Unite is working to support your workplace reps, providing them with the information on the in-work changes so that they can support you at work.

We are also continuing to campaign to reverse these changes and drop the cruel sanctions regime and

  1. Fightingfor a £15 per hour minimum wage
  2. Raising awareness across thetrade union movement of the urgent need to support low paid workers
  3. Campaigningfor the removal of conditionality and sanctions for all benefit claimants
  4. Demandingthe restoration of central government funding to frontline debt advice services.

Where can you get help

Share this page with friends, family and colleagues who could be affected by the changes

You can get help and debt advice from the following:

Further details on the changes

The government changes to in-work conditionality for minimum-waged workers in receipt of Universal Credit are –

  • An increase in the Administrative Earnings Threshold from 9 to 18 hours. 424,000 people working below those hours will be treated as if they are unemployed
  • 600,000 Universal Credit working claimants will be required to meet a work coach and look for more work or face sanctions from September 2023
  • 700,000 ‘lead carers of children’ will be required to meet a work coach and look for work or face sanctions, 340,000 are in work