The Court of Appeal found that the government has acted unlawfully in the way in which it has used regulations to enable the sanctioning regime operated by Jobcentre Plus. This now appears to necessitate the Department for Work and Pensions introducing regulations before Parliament to enable benefit sanctioning to take place.

Speaking about the judgment, ERSA chief executive, Kirsty McHugh, said:

“It is essential that the government sorts this out rapidly. Any lack of certainty about the operation of employment programmes is detrimental to both welfare to work providers and to jobseekers.  We believe fundamentally that good quality work experience placements are a good thing and can really help people in their drive to gain employment.  However, these always need to be well managed and be a positive rather than punitive experience for jobseekers.

“We are also very pleased to hear in an article by Public Interest Lawyers that one of the claimants, Jamie Wilson, is participating on the Work Programme at present and is finding it a very positive experience.”