Rethink Sanctions

rethink-sanctions-report-cover

Click image to download report

James (not his real name) found his life massively disrupted when his benefits were sanctioned: “During the first three weeks of my sanction I continued to look for work as I was required to. By the fourth week however I was exhausted, unwell and no longer had it in me. I was not eating as I had no food and was losing a lot of weight. I told the Job Centre I was unwell through not eating but was sanctioned for another three months for not looking for work properly.”


In 2014, one million benefit sanctions were imposed on people. This means their payments stopped for a period of between one month and three years. The most common reason for being sanctioned is being late or not turning up for an appointment.

The sanctions regime disproportionately affects young people, homeless people, young people leaving care, single parents, those with long term illness and mental health problems.

We are calling for a full and independent review of the regime – will you join us?

Write to your MP (Church Action on Poverty’s online tool)

Responding to your MP – what arguments are used to support benefit sanctions?

Seeing Red
Inspired by the #RethinkSanctions campaign and by the situations she’s encountering at her local foodbank, Deacon Tracey Hume has created the Red Fridays campaign. People pledge to wear red and skip a meal on a Friday in solidarity with those who will struggle to eat because that have had their benefits sanctioned. You can order your organic, ethically and fairly traded T-shirts here.

Read the report (Pdf)

Join our Twibbon campaign 

Blogs and videos

Blogpost: Ever been late for a meeting?

Blogpost: How I lost my income for a month

Blogpost: Graham’s story. Another reason to #rethinksanctions

Blogpost: Guest blog by West Cheshire Foodbank

Share this video

References and Data