On Universal Credit? No Allowances For Holidays
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
DWP Strategy FoI Team