Sanctions: trends and numbers

In the past 13 years 6.8m sanctions have been applied to Job Seekers Allowance (JSA) claimants and, since the introduction of Employment Support Allowance (ESA) in 2008, 115,300 sanctions have been applied to ESA claimants. However, the sanctions rate has increased dramatically over the past five years and, in particular, since the introduction of the new regime in 2012. For example:

• The number of JSA sanctions per 100 claimants has almost tripled, from 2.5 sanctions per 100 claimants per month in the year ending March 2001 to seven per 100 claimants per month in the year ending March 2014.

The average monthly number of JSA sanctions has risen dramatically from 35,500 a month up to October 2012 to 84,800 after this date.

• There has been more than a three-fold increase in ESA sanctions from 1,400 per month in March 2013 to 5,400 in March 2014.

The most common reason for a sanction at present is failing to actively seek work, with around one in three sanctions imposed for this reason. Over half of all JSA sanctions are at the lower level, one third at the intermediate level and currently less than 10 per cent at the higher level.

Read the full report here.