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The Government has made it clear that welfare reform is a ball which will keep on rolling throughout this parliament. Building on the changes implemented in the last parliament, more are on their way.

One of the most significant is underlined in an article this past Friday from Justin Tomlinson, the Minister for Disabled people: the extension of jobcentre support and conditionality to in-work claimants of Universal Credit.

“Importantly and uniquely, UC stays with people when they enter work until their earnings reach a certain level or until they can support themselves.

And I think that this is where Universal Credit comes into its own: claimants have a single point of contact with a work coach who provides personalised support, advice and guidance to help them develop and progress in work.

In other words, UC not only supports people to move into a job, it also helps people to build a career.”

Universal Credit is a new benefit which rolls together six existing means-tested working age benefits and tax credits and can be claimed by those out of work and well as those in work but on low income. There are currently 141,000 claimants of Universal Credit, but once fully rolled out eight million households will be affected.

The extension of jobcentre support and conditionality for in-work claimants of Universal Credit marks a radical break with the previous benefit system whereby this applied only to claimants of out-of-work benefits. Under Universal Credit, the jobcentre becomes a port of call for benefit claimants with jobs as well as those without. It is estimated that a 1.3 million more claimants will be subject to job search and conditionality by 2020-21.

The Government believes that extending jobcentre support and conditionality to those on benefits in-work will help with job progression. Rather than withdrawing the moment a claimant finds a job, the jobcentre will stay with claimants when they move into work, until their income reaches a certain threshold.

Implementing this new system in practice however inevitably presents challenges. What can be expected of in-work benefit claimants is clearly very different than what can be expected of those out of work. Ensuring that this new system is effective and fair is a critical challenge for policymakers.

David Kirkby is a Senior Research Fellow at Bright Blue, he tweets at @kirkbydj.