Claimant commitment

The rules for sanctions are set out in the Welfare Reform Act 2012 and the Universal Credit Regulations 2013 (SI.No.376/2013).

NB: See below for equivalent legislation in Northern Ireland.

Basic conditions

Section 14 of the Welfare Reform Act 2012

Sets out what should be included in a claimant commitment, its status as a record of claimant responsibilities, and when it may be reviewed.

Requirement to accept a claimant commitment

Section 4 of the Welfare Reform Act 2012

Provides that accepting a claimant commitment is a basic condition of claiming universal credit.

When and how to accept a claimant commitment

Regulation 15 of SI.No.376/2013

Sets out the time period in which a claimant commitment must be accepted, and the methods that can be used to accept it.

Exceptions to meeting the basic condition

Regulation 16 of SI.No.376/2013

Sets out the circumstances in which a claimant does not have to accept a claimant commitment.

In Northern Ireland, the Welfare Reform (Northern Ireland) Order 2015 together with SR.No.216/2016 make provisions that are largely equivalent to that in Great Britain.

Further explanation of the legislation is set out in guidance. Please note, however, guidance is not binding and cannot override the legislation.

Advice for decision making

Chapter J1

Gives guidance and examples of what may be included in the claimant commitment, how and when it may be accepted, who is exempt from accepting one, and when it may be reviewed.

DWP guidance from parliament.uk

Claimant commitment: overview

​Provides guidance on the requirement to accept a claimant commitment, what can be included in it, and when the requirements apply.

DWP guidance from parliament.uk

Claimant commitment: building the claimant commitment

Sets out what should be covered in a claimant committment meeting.

DWP guidance from parliament.uk

Claimant commitment: commitment not accepted

Sets out what happens if a claimant does not accept their claimant commitment.

DWP guidance from parliament.uk

​Removal of the requirement to accept a commitment

​Sets out the circumstances where the requirement to accept a commitment can be removed temporarily or permanently.

DWP guidance from parliament.uk

​Expected hours

Sets out the maximum expected hours​ of work-related activities that a claimant is required to do each week for the relevant labour market regime.

Case law​ provides further interpretation of the legislation and establishes legal precedent.

Upper Tribunal

[2018] UKUT 360 (AAC)

Tribunals may need to consider validity of conditionality requirements imposed on claimants when deciding sanction cases.