§ Mr. Andrew Smith
To ask the Secretary of State for Social Services if, in the light of his recent proposals to increase benefit suspension times from 13 to 26 weeks, he will give the percentage of those people disqualified for unemployment benefit on the grounds of being voluntarily unemployed without just cause or through misconduct who have imposed on them the full 13 weeks suspension; and what guidance is given to adjudication officers on imposing shorter disqualification periods.
§ Mr. Portillo
Information is not collected on the length of disqualifications and it could be obtained only at disproportionate cost. Adjudication officers are advised that when considering the length of disqualification to be imposed they should give regard to the individual circumstances of each case and should exercise their discretion accordingly. They do not automatically apply a disqualification of the maximum period.