Date lodged: 14 July 2016
To ask the Scottish Government what (a) assessment it has made of and (b) discussions it has had with the Department for Work and Pensions regarding the impact of Fiscal Work Orders on the requirements of (i) out-of-work and (ii) means tested social security benefits.
Answered by: Michael Matheson 10 August 2016
The Scottish Government’s assessment is that the imposition of a Fiscal Work Order (FWO) should not adversely impact an individual’s ability to meet the requirements of either (i) out-of-work or (ii) means tested social security benefits. As such, we have not had specific discussions with Department for Work and Pensions in relation to FWOs.
An individual made subject to a FWO is given six months in which to complete their order which can carry a maximum of 50 hours. The National Guidelines on Fiscal Work Orders, which were issued to all local authorities in advance of the national rollout, make it clear that prescribed activities should take into account any outstanding obligations, including those relating to employment, education or domestic circumstances, which the individual made subject to the order may have. This includes the provision of activities at various times throughout the week (including evenings and weekends) and throughout the geographical area covered by the scheme.