Database: People on Universal Credit

Field: Conditionality regime


Conditionality means work-related things an eligible adult will have to do in order to get full entitlement to Universal Credit. Each eligible adult will fall into one of six conditionality regimes based on their capability and circumstances.

The six levels of conditionality under Universal Credit are shown below. Different members of a household can be subject to the same or different requirements. As circumstances change claimants will also transition between different levels of conditionality.


Conditionality regime for claimants can take the following values:

Conditionality Regime Description
Searching for work Not working, or with very low earnings. Claimant is required to take action to secure work - or more / better paid work. The Work Coach supports them to plan their work search and preparation activity.
Working - with requirements In work but could earn more, or not working but has a partner with low earnings
No work requirements Not expected to work at present. Health or caring responsibility prevents claimant from working or preparing for work.
Working - no requirements Individual or household earnings over the level at which conditionality applies. Required to inform DWP of changes of circumstances, particularly if at risk of decreasing earnings or losing job.
Planning for work Expected to work in the future. Lone parent / lead carer of child aged 1(a). Claimant required to attend periodic interviews to plan for their return to work.
Preparing for work Expected to start preparing for future even with limited capability for work at the present time or a child aged 2(b), the claimant is expected to take reasonable steps to prepare for work including Work Focused Interview.
(a) Aged 1 - 2, prior to April 2017. (b) Aged 3 - 4, prior to April 2017.

An additional two categories (shown below) are also available for selection where conditionality is not recorded on the source systems or is not available prior to the given date.

    Unknown or missing regime

    Not available prior to April 2015

Total number of categories: 8

Quality Statement

After investigation of data on conditionality regime, it was discovered that there was an issue with the operational system in April 2018 which resulted in a number of people on Universal Credit being placed in the incorrect conditionality regime. The issue was resolved in May 2018 and claimants were returned to their correct conditionality regime. However, figures for April 2018 conditionality regime should be treated with caution.

The increase in the number of people with an unknown conditionality regime between June and July 2019 is due to data supplied from Universal Credit live service sources ceasing at this point. A change in our methodology was therefore necessary to ensure people were correctly assigned to conditionality regimes.

Conditionality Regime is based on an individual's circumstances on the count date. Employment Indicator shows whether earnings were recorded within an individuals completed Universal Credit assessment period1 closest to the count date.

It is therefore possible for an individual to be ‘In Work’ using one measure and ‘Not in Work’ using the other as shown in the example below. Care should be taken when interpreting any tables created by cross-tabulating these two variables.

A diagram of the conditionality regrime and employment indicator

1An assessment period for Universal Credit is a period of one month. At the end of each assessment period, a claimant's Universal Credit for that month is calculated.

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