Universal Credit: Priorities for action published

4 August 2015

The Social Security Advisory Committee is an independent advisory body of the Department for Work and Pensions.

On 21 July 2015 the committee published recommendations to help ensure the effective roll-out of the rest of the Universal Credit programme. The report identifies a number of important issues that need to be addressed to ensure the effective roll-out of the remainder of the Universal Credit programme.

Some of the recommendations include:

  • A concerted joint action involving other government departments, local authorities and service providers in co-coordinating a plan of action on the passporting of benefits
  • the setting up of a specialist working group to provide advice and direction as to how the self-employed can best be served under Universal Credit
  • a more transparent approach on in-work conditionality that accommodates individual circumstances through an insightful and sympathetic understanding of them
  • a pause in the ratcheting-up process of the sanctions regime whilst existing rules are thoroughly evaluated and greater testing with incentives rather than penalties is explored
  • a review into the treatment of second earnings and the effect upon work incentives
  • a genuinely responsive attitude to the results of evaluation as they begin to filter through
  • a continued commitment to address the risks to which some claimants will be subject as a result of the length of time before the first full payment of Universal Credit is normally made, monthly payments of benefit, payment of rental housing costs to claimants in the first instance and the outworking of Universal Support delivered locally