Reaction to the return of benefit sanctions

30th June 2020

Benefit sanctions have been restarted across the UK, following a three month freeze.

The move comes as job centres reopen as lockdown begins to ease.

Reacting to the decision to restart benefit sanctions, Jo Anderson, Director of External Affairs at SAMH said:

“It’s really disappointing to see benefit sanctions return after a three month freeze. There has never been any evidence to suggest that these sanctions incentivise employment for people with mental health problems. Instead they cause undue stress and worry which will only be exacerbated by the challenging times that we are all living in.

"The benefit sanction pause could have been a real opportunity to fix a system which does not work for so many people. SAMH has long called for an end to benefit sanctions and we urge the UK Government to take another look at this decision.”

SAMH is committed to support people experiencing mental health problems and ensuring their voices are heard. 

An end to benefit sanctions is just one of the recommendations outlined in our publication, 'Universal Credit and Mental Health: recommendations for change'. To learn more, read our full report.