HC Deb 27 November 1989 vol 162 cc150-1W
Mr. Meacher

To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security how many of the actively seeking work clauses of the Social Security Act 1989 will affect people studying under the 21-hour rule provision.

Mrs. Gillian Shephard

I expect the actively seeking employment condition to have similar effects on all unemployed claimants. In reinforcing the principle that it is a claimant's personal responsibility to look for work it will make a significant contribution to returning unemployed people to jobs. Unemployed claimants studying under the 21-hour rule must, as before, be prepared to leave their studies immediately should a job opportunity arise. They must also make efforts to seek employment. In determining whether a claimant has taken reasonable steps to seek employment, regard is had to time spent on vocational training or study, but no claimant, no matter how usefully he occupies his time out of work, should ignore job opportunities.