HC Deb 19 July 1977 vol 935 cc436-7W
70. Mr. Sproat

asked the Secretary of State for Social Services what account officers of his Department take of allegations from employers regarding jobless persons, that they have deliberately got themselves sacked in order to live off social security benefits, when deciding the amount of benefits such persons are due.

Mr. Orme

When unemployment benefit is claimed by a person whose employment has recently terminated, an inquiry as to the circumstances of the termination is made of the last employer; and, if the employer's response suggests that the claimant deliberately acted so as to get himself discharged, the insurance officer will consider whether the claimant can be said to have left his employment voluntarily without just cause, or whether he lost his employment through his misconduct. If the insurance officer so finds, the claimant will be disqualified from receiving unemployment benefit for up to six weeks, and any supplementary benefit payable during the period of disqualification may be reduced by up to £5.08 a week.