§ Mr. Andrew Smith
To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security if he will consider amending social security regulations to exempt recently bereaved claimants from the actively seeking work provision for a specified period.
§ Mrs. Gillian Shephard
We do not consider that a change to the legislation is required. In determining whether a person has taken reasonable steps in any week to actively seek employment, the regulations require an adjudication officer to have regard to all the circumstances of the case. This provision allows an adjudication officer to take into account exceptional circumstances, like bereavement, in determining whether the actively seeking work condition has been satisfied.