Genuine Prospect of Work Seminar

Genuine Prospect of Work Seminar

Since June 2014, the UK rules on when a national of the European Economic Area will have a right to reside as a jobseeker have been progressively tightened.

In addition, changes from April 2014 have prevented entitlement to JSA acting to passport a claimant through the residence test for housing benefit (apart from those who were in receipt of HB and JSA at that time, who have not had a break in their awards of these benefits).

These rule changes are complex, but their result is often destitution or homelessness for EEA migrants and their families. At their heart is a requirement that after only short periods of time claimants must demonstrate “compelling evidence of a genuine prospect of work” (commonly known as the “GPoW test”) in order to continue having a right of residence as a jobseeker or to retain worker status.

The DWP interpretation of “compelling evidence” is essentially that the claimant has a job offer or awaits the result of an interview.

In this seminar we will explore:

  • The domestic and European law related to the GPoW test for JSA claimants who are EEA migrants
  • The lawfulness of the GPoW regulations
  • Arguments to challenge JSA refusals arising from GPoW
  • Strategies for coordinated working to take GPoW challenges to the higher courts.

To benefit from the seminar you will need to have a basic understanding of the right to reside rules for EEA migrant workers, as well as an understanding of the JSA rules of eligibility. 

Participants should be enabled through the seminar to assist EEA migrants who have been subjected to the GPoW test.

Tom Royston, Barrister with Garden Court North 

As a barrister with Garden Court Chambers, Tom appears regularly in the High Court and Upper Tribunal (Administrative Appeals Chamber). Before coming to the Bar, Tom worked in Citizens Advice Bureaux and a Law Centre, where he specialised in employment, discrimination and social security law. 

As an activist, Tom was the Sheila McKechnie Foundation UK Consumer Campaigner of the Year 2009, in recognition of the campaign he led about the cost of contacting government to claim benefits. The campaign led to a policy change affecting 35 million phone calls per year and also won his bureau the national award of Campaigning CAB of the Year. 

Tom also established the Yorkshire Tribunal Advocacy Project, which provides pro bono representation in social security tribunals, and he has worked with CPAG on the Rutherford bedroom tax and Winder Council Tax Reduction cases amongst others also works on public law, discrimination and housing.

Charlotte O'BrienSenior Lecturer in Law, University of York

Charlotte has worked and volunteered in CABx for 13 years, specialising over the years in EU case work. She is a Senior Lecturer in law at the University of York, leading the EU Rights Project, a legal action research project on the problems EU migrants encounter in the UK welfare system - offering advice and support while gathering evidence and preparing challenges to law and practice. She is on the panel of experts in the EU Commission's Free Movement and Social Security Network.

Mike Spencer, Solicitor, CPAG

Mike Spencer is a solicitor and Legal Officer for Child Poverty Action Group. Mike represents CPAG and its clients in test cases on social security and related issues aimed at promoting the rights and incomes of families with children. Prior to joining CPAG, Mike was a solicitor for the Asylum Support Appeals Project, where he represented homeless and destitute asylum seekers.

Paul Treloar, Advice and Rights Manager, CPAG

Paul is the Advice and Rights Manager at Child Poverty Action Group. He has more than 20 years’ experience of providing welfare rights advice and information, and of appeals representation and policy making with a number of organisations including Disability Alliance, Gingerbread and Lasa.

Martin Williams, Welfare Rights Worker, CPAG

Martin Williams is welfare rights worker at Child Poverty Action Group. He is widely experienced in representing claimants at both levels within the tribunal system, having worked in the appeals team at Lasa from 2001 until 2008.

Martin has also worked as a local authority welfare rights officer and in an independent advice centre. He is currently an author of CPAG’s Welfare Benefits and Tax Credits Handbook and Housing Benefit and Council Tax Reduction Legislation handbook.