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On Universal Credit? No Allowances For Holidays

March 29, 2016

According to this FOI.
Dear Mr Dutton, 

Thank you for your Freedom of Information request of 23 October 2015. You asked: 

I wish to ask what approach the DWP will take as and when a claimant on Universal Credit
requests to take any kind of holiday.

There are provisions in the existing Jobseeker’s Allowance Regulations in which a person may
be treated as actively seeking employment but there appears to be no such provision in the
Universal Credit Regulations.

How does DWP propose to deal with exactly the same issue under UC? What variations will
be allowed in conditionality, under what circumstances and for how long?

If someone is working but still subject to work conditionality, will the leave provision in their
contract of employment be taken as a basis for allowing time off?
Under JSA rules, a claimant can go away within the UK for up to two weeks but cannot usually 
leave the UK or their claim will be closed. The claimant still needs to comply with the rules of 
JSA and can be asked to look for work whilst they are away.  
Under Universal Credit a claimant can go abroad for a period of a month for any reason, a 
longer period of up to six months temporary absence abroad is also allowable for reasons of 
medical treatment. However, if a claimant chooses to go on holiday in Great Britain or abroad 
they must continue to carry out the work-related requirements as set out on their Claimant 
No allowances are made within the conditionality regime for claimants going on holiday.  For 
example claimants within the All Work-Related Requirements Group with no restrictions on 
their availability will still be expected to be immediately available to attend a job interview or 
take up an offer of employment, even if this means cutting short a holiday. They are also 
required to attend their normal appointments and failure to do so will incur a sanction.   
Being on holiday would not be considered by a DWP Decision Maker as good reason for not 
carrying out any work search or availability requirements. 
Regulation 11 of the Universal Credit regulations 2013 sets out that a person on Universal 
Credit is able to leave the UK for a period not exceeding a month (or not expected to exceed a 

month). This can be extended in certain exceptional circumstances. However, this provision 
does not exempt a claimant from work related requirements as set out on the Claimant 
Commitment  Here is a link to the regulation:  
If you have any queries about this letter please contact me quoting the reference number 
Yours sincerely,  
DWP Strategy FoI Team 

7 Comments leave one →
  1. March 29, 2016 10:05 am

    What a diabolical position to be in.

    These unfair and ridiculous rules only enforce the fact that JSA and UC authors are setting up the claimants to fall foul of them.
    These embedded pitfalls prove that the DWP are actively trying to reduce the benefits bill and show a false reduction in the unemployment figures by immoral sanctioning and the removal of benefit payments from both working and non working claimants.

    Tory ideology in full effect!

  2. bobby cloney permalink
    May 10, 2019 11:52 am

    this country is finished time to ship out

  3. August 23, 2019 7:43 pm

    I want to go away in this country for 4 nights, i am currently claiming UC but have an on going medical condition which leaves me unfit for work at the moment. Will i be sanctioned for going away or does my ‘fit note’ exempt me from actively looking for work?

  4. iwona permalink
    June 24, 2020 1:32 pm

    is 4 weeks for whole year or one trip? thanks


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