Sanctions / "Back to Work" schemes

Last updated: February 22, 2017

Update 09/05/2016:The Court of Appeal handed down its judgment in this case on 28 April 2016 - see Reilly and Hewstone and Others v Secretary of State for Work and Pensions [2016] EWCA Civ 413.  The Court upheld the High Court's declaration of incompatibility with respect to the retrospective effect of the Jobseekers (Back to Work) Act 2013 on claimants who had already appealed against their sanction when the Act came into force.  However, the Court overturned the Upper Tribunal's finding that the Act could be read in a way that does not apply to these claimants.  The effect is that the primary legislation will need to be amended if it is to be made compatible with human rights.  For further details see the next edition of CPAG's Welfare Rights Bulletin.

Secretary of State for Work and Pensions v TJ and DB 2015/0822

This is a Court of Appeal test case regarding the treatment and rights of claimants who are sanctioned under the Work Programme and other "Back to Work" schemes.  After the Court of Appeal struck down the regulations requiring claimants to attend schemes, Parliament enacted the Jobseekers (Back to Work Schemes) Act 2013 in order to restrospectively validate sanction decisions that had already been made.  The issue in these appeals is whether that Act complied with Article 6 (fair hearing) and Article 1 Protocol 1 (peaceful enjoyment of possessions).

It is a joint appeal by the Secretary of State againt the rulings of the Upper Tribunal in TJ and DB [2015] UKUT 56 (AAC) and of the High Court in Reilly (No 2) and Hewstone v Secretary of State for Work and Pensions [2014] EWHC 2182 (Admin).

The case was heard by the Court of Appeal on 24 and 25 November 2015.