Welfare Reform and Work Act 2016
2 minute read
The Government introduced the Welfare Reform and Work Bill to Parliament in July 2015.
Family Rights Group was severely concerned about the impact some of the Bill’s proposals would have on families including family and friends carers (also known as kinship carers) and young parents who had themselves been in the care system.
These concerns included:
- Benefit cap and Kinship carers
The Bill proposed a cap on the total amount of benefit a family could claim. Families who would be hit by the measure include kinship carers who already have their own children and gave up their job to raise a sibling group of children who would otherwise be in the care system.
- Tax credits and Kinship carers
In addition to the benefit cap, the Bill also proposed to limit the tax credit a family could claim to a maximum of two children in the household.
- Kinship carers and work related requirements
The Bill introduced new requirements on parents of children under five to prepare to seek work and – for parents of three and four year olds – to demonstrate that they were actively seeking work. Failure to do so would result in a loss of universal credit.
- Young care experienced parents
We sought an amendment to the Bill to give care leavers aged under 25, and who were parents, the same standard allowance as parents aged over 25. Read our briefing on this amendment here.
Family Rights Group’s successful in securing amendments to the Bill
Family Rights Group lobbied successfully for children in kinship carer to be exempt from the two child limit on tax credits. We were also successful in securing an exemption for kinship carers of children aged four and under, from the work related requirements for universal credit.
- Submission to the Joint Committee on Human Rights: Welfare Reform and Work Bill 2015 Legislative Scrutiny, November 2015
- Bill Briefing for MPs, November 2015
- House of Lords briefings on Kinship carers, the benefit cap and tax credits, January 2016
- House of Lords briefings on Kinship carers and tax credits, November 2015
- House of Lords briefings on Kinship carers and the benefit cap, November 2015
- Briefing on Kinship carers and work related requirements