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The 'Light Touch' Regime
What is it?

Claimants in the light-touch regime are required to participate in two Work Search Interviews (by
telephone, only re-arranged as face-to-face when phone contact is unsuccessful) at day one and
week 8 in the regime. There are no further mandatory requirements. Claimants are not required
to attend further Work Search Reviews, and all other work-related activity is agreed as part of a
voluntary action plan. 

Who is subject to 'light touch' conditionality?

Information from the DWP guidance (click here) says that the Light Touch regime is for claimants with individual or household earnings above the Administrative Earnings Threshold (AET) but not above the individual or household Conditionality Earnings Threshold (CET). A claimant’s gross earnings will be used when assessing whether earnings are equal to or above AET or CET.    This includes:
  • A single claimant with earnings below their individual CET but equal to or above the AET for a single person
  • A claimant with earnings below the individual AET but in a household with earnings above the household AET
  • A claimant in a couple with earnings between their AET and their CET. 
  • A claimant with no earnings and in a household with earnings above the household AET
  • A claimant who is the lead carer and whose youngest child/children is aged 3, earning below the CET but equal to, or above the AET.

More on Earnings Thresholds on this page

In practice, the Light Touch regime has been very 'light'. Claimants have typically only been required to attend occasional Work Focussed Interviews, if any. The government plans to ramp up conditionality for those in the Light Touch regime from 2024 - see this ministerial statement.

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