Employment and Support Allowance sanctions
Last updated 31 July 2020 - see all updates
1. Main facts and figures
in November 2016, claimants from the Other ethnic group were most likely to be sanctioned, and claimants from the White British and Asian groups were least likely to be
older claimants were less likely to be sanctioned than younger claimants
a smaller percentage of White claimants were sanctioned than claimants from other ethnic groups in every quarter between February 2013 and November 2016, with the exception of January, February and March 2016
2. Things you need to know
What the data measures
This data measures the number and percentage of decisions to sanction people receiving work-related Employment and Support Allowance (ESA).
A sanction is when someone claiming ESA has their benefit reduced if they don’t do things to prepare for work in the future, such as attending meetings with their adviser.
Numbers of sanctions are unrounded. Percentages are rounded to 1 decimal place.
You can read more about ESA sanctions.
Not included in the data
The data does not include:
- sanction decisions that have been reversed, for example on appeal
- people claiming support-based ESA as they don’t get sanctioned
Data is suppressed (not shown) if the number of sanction decisions for a particular ethnic group is too small to make reliable generalisations.
How sanction rates are calculated
Percentages are worked out based on 3 months worth of data. The percentage of decisions to sanction is the average number of decisions each month divided by the number of people claiming ESA on the last day of the month.
The ethnic groups used in the data
To allow reliable generalisations to be made, data is shown for 4 aggregated groups:
Data is also shown for 2 White ethnic groups:
- White British
- White Other
For data analysed by ethnicity and another factor (such as age group), the data is shown for 2 ethnic groups:
- White (White British and White ethnic minorities)
- Other (all other ethnic minorities)
Read the detailed methodology document for the data used on this page.
The data counts the number of decisions to sanction, not how many people were sanctioned. Because someone can have more than one sanction in a month, differences between ethnic groups could be due to:
- more people in a particular group receiving sanctions
- people in that group receiving multiple sanctions
In the data file
See Download the data for:
- figures for the 9 regions of England, plus Scotland and Wales
- numbers of people claiming ESA whose ethnicity was not known
3. By ethnicity
Summary of Employment and Support Allowance sanctions By ethnicity Summary
4. By ethnicity over time
|Month||White %||White Number of sanctions||Other %||Other Number of sanctions|
Summary of Employment and Support Allowance sanctions By ethnicity over time Summary
5. By ethnicity and age group
|Age group||White %||White Number of sanctions||Other %||Other Number of sanctions|
Summary of Employment and Support Allowance sanctions By ethnicity and age group Summary
6. Data sources
Type of data
Type of statistic
Department for Work and Pensions
Note on corrections or updates
The figures on this page may not match other published data as figures can be changed after being published (for example, if an appeal is successful).
Purpose of data source
The figures for the number of people claiming Employment and Support Allowance (ESA) in the Work-Related Activity Group and the number of decisions to sanction the benefit are administrative data used to produce official and experimental statistics.