Benefits claimants will be forced to work longer hours to be able to miss meetings with job coaches, under new plans.
As reported by The Times, ministers are drawing up plans to extend the amount of time people must spend working each week from nine hours to twelve, to avoid check-ins.
The government is eyeing these changes amid labour shortages plaguing a variety of sectors, including aviation and agriculture.
It has been reported that work and pensions secretary, Thérèse Coffey, the work and pensions secretary, wants to incentivise those on universal credit to help resolve the labour crunch.
Universal credit recipients who are seen as fit for employment must meet with a work coach once a week for a number of months.
Recent figures from the Office for National Statistics found that there were more job vacancies than unemployed individuals for the first time on record.
There are some 900,000 fewer people in employment today versus estimations forecast by the Bank of England.
BOE Governor Andrew Bailey has said the fall in employment was a “surprise” and speculated it may be due to chronic health issues after the pandemic.
Speaking to MPs last month, Bailey said: “We have asked: is it long Covid? Is it, as some health economists have suggested to me, people with other preexisting conditions who feel insecure about going to work in the Covid era? It is possible.
“If you trace those things out, you reach somewhat different conclusions about what they mean for the return to participation in the labour force in an era when Covid is declining.”