The DWP Coach/Athlete Model
I’ve confirmed with policy experts that we don’t require either a legislative change or new legislation to enable the roll-out of the Claimant Commitment to JSA Claimants. This is because the Claimant Commitment will be used within the current JSA regime. Building on the successful Live Innovation Trials and Pathfinder approach, we are preparing for the introduction of Universal Credit by introducing a programme of learning and development for advisers to embed a cultural change and a new coach/athlete model for supporting claimants. This will include strengthening how we shift claimant behaviour towards proactive job-search that sets the right foundation ahead of Universal Credit’s smoother, clearer, more stable incentives to work. This will be supported by improved products, primarily the Claimant Commitment, which will help to enable this change. It is important to note that whilst the Claimant Commitment will replace the existing product for the claimant group agreed for roll-out, it will for legislative purposes act as the Jobseeker’s Agreement and claimant acceptance of it will not be a condition of entitlement for JSA as it will be for Universal Credit.
You are correct to say that generally claimants who are able to work would fall into the All Work Related Requirements group when claiming Universal Credit. Our aim is to encourage them to get into as much work as they reasonably can do as quickly as possible. Advisers will take account of individual circumstances and set requirements that, if complied with, give the claimant the best possible prospects of finding paid work.
The Claimant Commitment is at the heart of this personalised approach. Compliance with requirements such as active job search and engagement with advisers, increases the chances that claimants find work more quickly than they would otherwise, but too often in the current system there is a lack of clarity about requirements and consequences. The Claimant Commitment will address this, for the first time setting out all requirements and consequences in one place – ensuring claimants understand what is required.
One of the main differences between current JSA and Universal Credit conditionality is that claimants in the All Work Related Requirements group have a responsibility to look for and find work. Claimants should treat this responsibility as their “job” and our intention is that claimants should aim to spend as many hours looking for work as we would expect them to spend in work - for the All Work Related Requirements group this has been set at 35 hours per week. These more robust requirements will be supported by a new sanctions framework under Universal Credit.
However, as I have explained, the JSA Claimant Commitment will be underpinned by JSA and not Universal Credit legislation and as such will not have the same powers as for those claiming Universal Credit. Current JSA conditionality will continue to be applied and the Claimant Commitment will be a tool which facilitates a culture change and a more robust approach to diagnosing claimants circumstances and setting appropriate work related requirements, which will provide the best chance of finding work.
Kind Regards ... DWP Communications"