Easier to Seek Jobseekers Allowance Than Find Work So Says the UK Government

Logistics Made Easy lmerecruitment | 20th Feb 2024

In February 2024, the Office for National Statistics (ONS) reintroduced the Labour Force Survey (LFS). This includes a population reweighting, factoring LFS data from July to September 2022. And the findings were eye-opening.

From October to December 2023, the number of people aged 16 and older in employment was 33.17 million. The employment rate for people aged 16–64 was 75%. Employment levels have increased by around 100,000 over the last year. Additionally, 9.28 million people aged 16–64 were economically inactive. This has increased by more than 100,000 over the last year.

Now, the ONS has said that the reintroduced LFS estimates should be treated with caution, adding that quarterly estimates are “particularly volatile.” However, what’s clear from these statistics—if it wasn’t already apparent from general day-to-day living—is that we are living in particularly challenging economic times; getting a job isn’t easy for people of all ages.

Moreover, according to UK Parliament data, the seasonally adjusted jobseeker’s claimant count in the UK was 1.57 million people. 12,000 higher than the previous month and 32,000 more than December 2022.

This data makes for interesting reading. Especially when you realise what documentation you need to claim benefits vs. what documentation you need to gain the right to work in the UK.

What documentation do you need to claim Jobseeker’s Allowance (JSA) in the UK?

According to the government, anyone wishing to claim Jobseeker’s Allowance will need to present the following documents:

  • One form of identification, such as a passport, birth certificate, or driving licence
  • National Insurance Number
  • Employment details from the last six months, including employer contact details and the dates employed
  • A bank or building society account details (or the bank or building society details of a trusted relative or friend)

You’ll also need to present a statement letter if you receive any of the following:

  • A private or workplace pension
  • Any annuity you’ve bought

Proving your right to work in the UK

When you get a job, you’ll need to prove your right to work to your employer. How you do this depends on your nationality and the kind of permission you have to work in the UK.

If you’re a British or Irish citizen, you can prove your right to work by presenting your employer with:

  • A British passport
  • An Irish passport or passport card

It doesn’t matter if you have either a valid or expired passport.

If you don’t have a passport or passport card, you can prove your right to work with one of the following:

  • A UK birth or adoption certificate
  • An Irish birth or adoption certificate
  • A certificate of registration or naturalisation as a British or Irish citizen

Don’t forget, you must also give your employer an official letter from HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC), the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP), or the Social Security Agency in Northern Ireland. This letter must also show your name and National Insurance number.

If you have a passport or passport card, you may be able to use an online identity service provider (IDSP) to prove your right to work. Be sure to ask your employer if they offer this if they don’t volunteer the information.

If you’re a not British or Irish citizen, you can prove your right to work by presenting your employer with:

You can choose which documentation to present. Your employer cannot reject your application on the grounds of either being presented with a share code or immigration documents.

If you cannot prove your right to work and are not a British citizen, your employer can check if you’re eligible to work by using the employer checking service.

If you’re a Commonwealth citizen, you may be able to access the documents you need through the Windrush scheme to prove that you’re eligible to work in the UK.

Is it easier to claim Jobseeker’s Allowance?

In short, yes. Most claims for Jobseeker’s Allowance are made online. And you don’t need to present reams of paperwork. If you don’t have online access, you can call Jobcentre Plus via and make a claim via telephone or in-person.

After you’ve made a claim, Jobcentre Plus will assign you a job coach to help you find work as soon as possible. This can be done either over the phone or in-person. Jobseekers can expect to attend an interview. Expect to discuss your plans to find work and agree a claimant commitment which outlines what claimants are expected to do to find work.

What support does the UK government offer to help people get back to work?

Getting more people back into work remains a key priority for the Conservative government, and it’s expected to be a key talking point in 2024, with the UK building towards a general election later this year.

The current government recognises that helping people back into work is paramount to bolstering the UK economy, controlling spending, managing inflation, and improving living standards.

To do this, the government is restarting four key programmes: NHS Talking Therapies, Individual Placement and Support (IPS), Universal Support in England and Wales, and WorkWell.

NHS Talking Therapies will increase the number of people benefiting from mental health courses by an additional 384,000 over the next five years.

Individual Placement and Support will aim to help an additional 100,000 people with severe mental illness find and keep jobs over the next five years.

Universal Support in England and Wales will match 100,000 people per year with existing vacancies and support them in their role.

WorkWell will be formally launched into integrated care systems across England and will help support people at risk of falling into long-term unemployment because of sickness or disability via integrated work and health support.

But there’s more. The UK government offers a grant to cover the cost of getting to work. Through their Access to Work scheme, which is designed to help people with a physical or mental disability get or stay at work, The support offered depends on your needs. However, Access to Work allows people to apply for:

  • A grant to help them apply for practical support at work
  • Support with managing your mental health
  • Money to pay for communication support at job interviews

Moreover, Access to Work can provide people with a grant to help them pay for things like:

  • Costs of travelling to work if you cannot use public transport
  • Adaptations to your vehicle so that you can get to work
  • Specialist equipment and assistive software
  • Access to support workers like a BSL interpreter, job coach, or travel buddy

It’s clear from the range of support offered that the UK government is determined to help support people back into work. And better still, there are opportunities for people of all ages, experience levels, and skills to prosper, get benefits, and build a future for themselves.

Nowhere is this more evident than in the transport and logistics sector.

Claiming benefits might seem easy, but you can secure your future with a career in the logistics sector

There are rarely sectors so intertwined with the UK economy as the logistics sector is. There are also few sectors that offer such rich opportunities to accelerate your career and achieve your professional and personal aspirations. It’s that simple.

But there’s so much more than that. Anyone who has found themselves trapped in the benefits cycle, unsure which direction to take, may just find the logistics sector to be the route to success.

Still on the fence? Below are just a few reasons why you should consider a career in the logistics sector and avoid the benefits trap.

A shortage of talent leads to more opportunities

Despite somewhat of a growth stagnation in 2023 and the start of 2024, compared to other sectors, the logistics sector is proving to be fairly robust in the face of economic challenges. Yet there is still a shortage of talent (especially young talent) in the sector. This means that there are better salaries and a greater opportunity for career progression.

Local, national, and international opportunities

Work in the logistics sector, and you’ll have the opportunity to join small businesses, SMEs, or global blue-chip brands on a local, national, and international scale. Better still, once you’ve got your foot in the door, you can choose to specialise in varying areas within the sector or even pivot your career to a different discipline if you’d like to.

The emergence of new technologies

The pandemic saw seismic changes in many sectors. And the logistics sector was no different. One of the more noteworthy legacies of this is the sector-wide proliferation of digital technology. AR picking. Drone deliveries. Driverless vehicles. Expect the logistics sector to be at the forefront of digital innovation in the years to come.

What does this mean for recruitment? Well, if you desire exposure to cutting-edge digital innovation, choose the logistics sector.

Equal opportunities

Although long considered to be a male-dominated industry with few opportunities for women and young people, recent years have seen the logistics sector evolve tremendously. The number of female talents employed across different disciplines continues to grow every year. There’s also a concerted effort to encourage young people to join the sector through programmes like Generation Logistics.

The result? This is a real opportunity for people to spread their wings and achieve their ambitions.

Surely, this is better than seeking JSA, right?

It might be easy to claim Jobseeker’s Allowance, but that won’t give you a prosperous future.

Let’s be real. It’s tough out there. We’re all living in a challenging commercial environment. But this presents everyone with an opportunity to carve a prosperous future for themselves.

It might be easier to claim Jobseekers Allowance, but do you really want to when you can earn treble, quadruple, or more working each week? Achieve a valued sense of self-worth? Contribute to your local, regional, national, or international community?

It might be simple to claim JSA, but easier doesn’t always mean better. And with 2024 being a general election, it’ll be interesting to see what, if any, the Conservative and Labour parties choose to comment on JSA access.

What would you choose: JSA or a career destined to blossom in a valued sector? We know which we’d choose.




Straight from the Bird’s mouth