Johnstone welcomes confirmation that benefit sanctions won’t apply to devolved employment schemes

Alison Johnstone MSP, Social Security spokesperson for the Scottish Greens, today (4 Oct) welcomed confirmation from Scottish Ministers that benefit sanctions won’t apply to devolved employment schemes for people with health conditions and disabilities.

Last year Alison led a campaign to persuade ministers to rule out the use of sanctions, as these are shown to trap people in low-wage work with a negative impact on their health.

Today Scottish Ministers announced which private, charity and public sector organisations will run the new devolved services, confirming that the employment support is voluntary so people cannot be threatened with sanctions.

Alison Johnstone MSP said:

“The appointment of contractors to deliver the Fair Start Scotland employment support scheme from next April is another milestone towards a fairer Scotland, and I’m pleased that the minister confirmed that sanctions won’t apply. Last October, all parties except the Tories voted to agree that sanctions are wrong and that Scotland can take a different approach to Westminster.

“Sanctions do not help people into appropriate long-term employment, instead trapping them in low-wage work with a detrimental impact on their health and wellbeing. I will continue to press Scottish Ministers to ensure that the new schemes do not reward providers who don’t do enough to support people into secure jobs that pay the Living Wage.”