New Judgment: R (Reilly & Anor) v Secretary of State for Work and Pensions  UKSC 68
30 Wednesday Oct 2013
On appeal from  EWCA Civ 66.
Inter alia, the Supreme Court dismissed the Secretary of State’s appeal, holding that the Jobseeker’s Allowance (Employment, Skills and Enterprise Scheme) Regulations 2011 were invalid, since they did not contain a sufficiently detailed “prescribed description” (as required under Jobseeker’s Act 1995, s 17A) of the sector-based work academy scheme, a short-term scheme aimed at clearly employable individuals, or the Community Action Programme, aimed at the very long-term unemployed. To be meaningful, the “prescribed description” must add something to what is said in the 1995 Act, and the description of schemes in the 2011 Regulations added nothing to the wording of s 17A. The Court dismissed the respondents’ cross-appeal: the 2011 Regulations did not constitute forced or compulsory labour. JSA is a benefit for work-seekers, and the 2011 Regulations imposed a condition on that benefit directly linked to its purpose. This came nowhere close to the type of exploitative conduct at which ECHR, art 4 was aimed.