Autumn Statement 2023 Back to Work Plan for Unemployed

Published / Last Updated on 23/11/2023

The government wants to tackle the problem of long-term unemployed and get them back to work to make positive contributions to the economy.  There are many reasons why people cannot secure new employment and remain long-term unemployed.

  • Happy to be on benefits, get rents paid, no council tax and do nothing – this is a drain on the system when there are 3m long term unemployed and 1m job vacancies.
  • Those that want to work but do not have the skills set being it work related or personally to secure work.
  • Those with disabilities that could perform certain work roles from home (or at the worksite) and want to work but either they or potential employers have too many or extremely difficult barriers to taking on very capable, less able-bodied people.

Restart Scheme

  • Expand support programme for long-term unemployed people in England and Wales for two years from next year.
  • Work coaches and training assistance to develop skills, knowledge and even down to CVs and interview technique.
  • Unemployed people that have been on the Intensive Work Search programme for 6 moths will now be eligible for the Restart Scheme (used to be 9 months).

Post-Restart Benefit Claimant Reviews

Those claiming universal credit and have completed the Restart Scheme and remain unemployed after 18 months with will be reviewed by a work coach with new commitments set to seeking employment:

  • Mandatory, time limited (compulsory) work placement to gain experience and to contribute to society.
  • Other intensive work-based activity (possibly charitable/voluntary work we think)

If you do not agree to the new work seeking commitments e.g., the compulsory work placement without good reason, your benefits will stop.

  • This will initially be an open-ended sanction for 6 months with no universal credit paid.
  • Digital tools will be introduced to track and ensure that claimants attend job fairs and job interviews who have not engaged with Jobcentre staff for 6 months.

Additional Support

Intensive Jobcentre Support Scheme Trial will start for universal credit claimants after 7 weeks rather than the 13-28 weeks announced in Spring Budget 2023.

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