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Welfare Reform

Government Bill

Originated in the House of Commons, Session 2008-09

Last updated: 20 November 2009 at 14:56

See full passage

Long title

Amend the law relating to social security; to make provision enabling disabled people to be given greater control over the way in which certain public services are provided for them; to amend the law relating to child support; to make provision about the registration of births; and for connected purposes.


The Bill proposes to reform the welfare and benefit system to improve support and incentives for people to move from benefits into work. It contains measures to increase personal responsibility within the welfare system. It also proposes to encourage parental responsibility by introducing a requirement for joint birth registration and by amending the law relating to child support.Key areas:
  • Reforms the benefits system by abolishing Income Support and moving all claimants on to either Jobseekers’ Allowance if they are well or Employment and Support Allowance if they are sick
  • aligns the contribution conditions between Employment and Support Allowance and Jobseeker’s Allowance
  • introduces a regime of benefit sanctions for non-attendance at Jobcentres
  • requires job search by partners of benefit claimants
  • abolishes Adult Dependency Increases in the Carer’s Allowance and Maternity Allowance
  • introduces work-focused interviews for over-60s
  • requires work-related activity in return for receipt of Employment and Support Allowance
  • introduces a requirement for births to be registered jointly by both parents
  • provides additional powers for the enforcement of child maintenance arrears.

Sponsoring departments

Department for Work and Pensions
James Purnell
Labour, Stalybridge and Hyde
Department for Work and Pensions
Lord McKenzie of Luton
Labour, Life peer

Current version of the Bill

20 November 2009

Bill passage

Bill started in the House of Commons
1st reading
2nd reading
Committee stage
Report stage
3rd reading
Bill in the House of Lords
1st reading
2nd reading
Committee stage
Report stage
3rd reading
Final stages
Consideration of amendments
Royal Assent
In progress
Not applicable
Not yet reached