The Department of Work and Pensions announced on 25 June that they are changing Jobseeker’s Allowance rules for Reservists. The changes which will take effect from 30 July 2012 will allow a Jobseeker's Allowance claim to be kept open whilst a Reservist is on annual training as they will be treated as available for, and actively seeking employment.
Previously unemployed people who were members of the Reserve Forces had to stop their claim for Jobseeker’s Allowance to attend their annual two week training camp. As they are paid for this training their benefit payments would be stopped and they would need to make a new claim at the end of their training and wait while it was processed to receive their money.
Under the new system Reservists will receive a nominal payment of 10p in order to ensure their entitlement remains open.
Jobs within the Reserve Forces provide excellent training and experiences that can translate to permanent employment, and more information can be found about vacancies in the Reserves through Jobcentres.
During other periods of their claim, members of the Reserve Forces are expected to meet the same jobseeking and availability conditions as other claimants.
Secretary of State Iain Duncan Smith said:
The Reserve Forces play a crucial role in maintaining the safety of our country. It is absurd that our system should make life harder for them to do their bit. That is why today I am removing the benefit bureaucracy Reservists face to attend events such as their annual training.
The skills and experience an unemployed person can gain by being a member of the Reserve Forces will ultimately leave them in the best position to find permanent employment."