Benefits for strike workers to stop

Work and Pensions Secretary Iain Duncan Smith has branded the current rules on benefits paid to low earners who go on strike 'unfair'

Work and Pensions Secretary Iain Duncan Smith has branded the current rules on benefits paid to low earners who go on strike 'unfair'

First published in National News © by

Benefit payments to top up the wages of low-paid workers will be stopped if they go on strike, the Government has announced.

Employees eligible for working tax credits because they earn under £13,000 will no longer receive extra cash if their salary nose-dives because they take industrial action.

Bosses will be given a code to alert the authorities if any drop in wages has been caused as a result of a walkout when all welfare payments are brought under the new Universal Credit system next year.

Work and Pensions Secretary Iain Duncan Smith said the current rules were out of date and unfair.

"It is totally wrong that the current benefit system compensates workers and tops up their income when they go on strike," he said. "This is unfair to taxpayers and creates perverse incentives.

"Striking is a choice, and in future benefit claimants will have to pay the price for that choice, as under Universal Credit, we no longer will."

The Department for Work and Pensions said nearly 1.4 million days were lost to strike action last year.

A Unite spokesman said: "This is gesture politics aimed at putting fear into vulnerable, low-paid workers to stop them from standing up for their rights against poor working conditions."

TUC general secretary Brendan Barber said: "This is petty and vindictive. Workers are always reluctant to strike, depriving their families of benefits will leave low-paid workers even more vulnerable to bad treatment."

Send us your news, pictures and videos

Most read stories

Local Info

Enter your postcode, town or place name

About cookies

We want you to enjoy your visit to our website. That's why we use cookies to enhance your experience. By staying on our website you agree to our use of cookies. Find out more about the cookies we use.

I agree