§ Mr. Rooney
To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Employment if(a) drug and (b) alcoholism related conditions qualify as good causes for reducing the prospects of employment due to circumstances beyond their control for claimants of jobseeker's allowance. 
§ Mr. Forth
[holding answer 17 March 1997]: Responsibility for the subject of the question has been delegated to the Employment Service agency under its chief executive. I have asked him to arrange for a reply to be given.
Letter from Leigh Lewis to Mr. Terry Rooney, dated 18 March 1997:The Secretary of State has asked me to reply to your question about whether drug and alcohol related conditions qualify as good causes for reducing the prospects of employment due to circumstances beyond their control for claimants of Jobseeker's Allowance.Jobseekers are generally required to be available for work for at least 40 hours or more each week. There are, however, exceptions to this rule. People who suffer from a mental or physical condition that limits the work they are able to do can restrict their availability for work in any way providing their restrictions are reasonable in the light of their condition. They do not have to have reasonable prospects of securing employment.If an employment adviser accepts that a jobseeker has either a physical or mental health problem and that the restrictions placed are reasonable in the light of that condition no further action is taken on the claim and there would be no referral to adjudication on that account.Drink and drug problems can interfere with mental and physical health and any jobseekers with a known problem will have their circumstances taken into account when considering their availability for employment. Advisers encourage such jobseekers to seek specialist help and employment as getting and keeping a job may go part of the way to solving the problem. However, should the problem affect their ability to do any work they would be referred to the Disability Employment Adviser in the Jobcentre who in turn may suggest they see their doctor or seek specialist help.I hope this is helpful.