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Welfare Reform Act 2009

Type of Bill:
Government Bill
James Purnell
Department for Work and Pensions
Lord McKenzie of Luton
Department for Work and Pensions

Progress of the Bill

Bill started in the House of Commons

  1. House of Commons
    1. 1st reading
    2. 2nd reading
    3. Committee stage
    4. Report stage
    5. 3rd reading
  2. House of Lords
    1. 1st reading
    2. 2nd reading
    3. Committee stage
    4. Report stage
    5. 3rd reading
  3. Consideration of Amendments
  4. Royal Assent

Act of Parliament

House Act Date
Commons Welfare Reform Act 2009 | PDF version, 519KB 20.11.2009

Latest news on the Welfare Reform Act 2009

Following agreement by both Houses on the text of the Bill it received Royal Assent on 12 November.

The Bill is now an Act of Parliament (law).

Summary of the Welfare Reform Act 2009

The Bill proposes to reform the welfare and benefit system to improve support and incentives for people to move from benefits into work.

It contains measures to increase personal responsibility within the welfare system. It also proposes to encourage parental responsibility by introducing a requirement for joint birth registration and by amending the law relating to child support.

Key areas:
  • Reforms the benefits system by abolishing Income Support and moving all claimants on to either Jobseekers’ Allowance if they are well or Employment and Support Allowance if they are sick
  • aligns the contribution conditions between Employment and Support Allowance and Jobseeker’s Allowance
  • introduces a regime of benefit sanctions for non-attendance at Jobcentres
  • requires job search by partners of benefit claimants
  • abolishes Adult Dependency Increases in the Carer’s Allowance and Maternity Allowance
  • introduces work-focused interviews for over-60s
  • requires work-related activity in return for receipt of Employment and Support Allowance
  • introduces a requirement for births to be registered jointly by both parents
  • provides additional powers for the enforcement of child maintenance arrears.

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