The benefit sanctions system has come under increased scrutiny in recent years – particularly since the introduction of a new system of rules for the key unemployment benefit, jobseeker’s allowance, in October 2012.
Gingerbread have launched the On the Rise: Single parent sanctions in numbers report which is the first from a project looking at the impact of jobseeker’s allowance sanctions on single parent families, and focuses on the quantitative data available on single parent sanctions.
The report found that:
- The sanction regime is a significant part of the benefit system and cannot be dismissed as a minor element of welfare
- Sanctions have affected a large number of single parent families
- Single parents who are referred for a sanction are more likely to end up with a sanction imposed than a decade ago
- Single parents are still particularly at risk of being unfairly sanctioned
- Sanctions have had a significant financial cost for single parents
- Many more single parents are at risk from the extension of conditionality
- An overall monthly sanction rate, the DWP’s preferred measure, of 6 per cent underestimates the risk of sanctioning for single parents – in the last five years, the estimated annual sanction rate was double this figure
Read the full report.