Universal credit (UC) sanctions reached a record level in January of this year, according to statistics released by the DWP.
During the pandemic the DWP removed work search and availability requirements for UC claimants and suspended face-to-face interviews, but these were reintroduced gradually from July 2020.
According to the latest figures, prior to the pandemic 2.51% of UC claimants were hit with a sanction. But in February of this year that proportion had risen to 3.90%.
There were 38,200 adverse sanction decisions on UC full service in January 2022. This is the highest number of adverse sanction decisions on UC full service ever recorded.
The DWP says that in February 2022, 36.3% of UC claimants were in the conditionality groups that could be subject to sanction. This includes claimants in the “searching for work”, “planning for work”, “preparing for work” or “unknown” conditionality groups.