Interaction between light touch regime and work focused interview/work preparation groups

This is not something new, but something I’ve come across a couple of times this week.

The cases both involved a couple who have sufficient household earnings to be placed in the light touch regime, but also have a child under 3, meaning the lead carer for the child is in the work focused interview or work preparation group.

Current DWP practice is to leave those in the light touch regime almost completely alone, whereas those in the work-focused interview or work preparation groups generally have regular interviews, and possibly more conditionality applied.

The practical effect of this is that in cases like the ones I’ve had, the lead carer is subject to regular interviews etc., whereas the other member of the couple is left alone completely. This is the case even if the lead carer is the only (or main) earner.

This is simply nonsensical, and I even suggested to one couple to consider changing the nomination for lead carer just for this reason (even though the current lead carer really is the lead carer!). Obviously it’s important to understand that there are limitations on how often you can change the nomination, so you must be careful when doing this.

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