Work and Pensions Committee report: Universal Credit and Domestic Abuse

‘Under Universal Credit, claimants living with domestic abuse can face seeing their entire monthly income—including money meant for their children— go into their abusive partner’s account.’

The Work and Pensions Committee have published an August 2018 report on Universal Credit and domestic abuse.

The Committee recommends that:

  • The Government set out in response to this report its timescales for producing the draft Domestic Abuse Bill and connected legislation.
  • DWP—in collaboration with specialist domestic abuse organisations like Women’s Aid—design a specific training module for Work Coaches.
  • Every Jobcentre Plus be required to appoint a domestic abuse specialist, building on and enhancing the existing disability and self-employment specialist model.
  • The Department provide a private room in every Jobcentre and ensure each partner has access to their own, private, communication log with their Work Coach.
  • The Department publish all existing data on split payments.
  • The Department gives serious consideration to any changes, such as split payments, which might offer some protection to survivors of abuse.
  • Where claimants have dependent children, the entire UC payment should be made to the main carer by default.

Read the report in full (pdf).