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Universal Credit and In-Work Conditionality – a productive turn?

Jones, Katherine and Berry, Craig and Rouse, Julia and Whittle, Richard (2019) Universal Credit and In-Work Conditionality – a productive turn? Project Report. Productivity Insights Network.

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Abstract

This report explores employer perspectives of Universal Credit (the new working age benefit for those who are unemployed or on a low income), and the likely impact of ‘in-work conditionality’ on firms’ behaviour and productivity. Under the policy, working social security claimants may be expected to increase their pay through progressing and/or taking on additional hours of work (UC replaces Working Tax Credits). Employers are key to outcomes arising from active labour market policies and their response to new expectations placed on low-income workers will be pivotal to the policy’s effects. However, policy and research has neglected to consider employer perspectives of UC, or likely impact on firms’ behaviour and productivity.

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