Assessing the Compliance of the United Kingdom’s Social Security System with its Obligations under the European Social Charter

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

The European Social Charter, a relatively neglected human rights instrument in the UK, academically, judicially and politically, represents a statement of minimum standards in social rights the state has committed to uphold. This article assesses the compliance of the UK’s social security system with the charter following a period of reform that has put in place a less generous, more punitive model of working age provision. It is argued that benefit levels and conditions for their receipt are now of at best questionable conformity with some of the core requirements of article 13 (the right to social assistance) and article 16 (the right to family protection), while the previously identified non-conformity with article 12 (the right to social security) continues. Consideration is given to the potential potency of the Charter as a means of challenging austerity-driven reforms, alone or in combination with other human rights agreements.
LanguageEnglish
Pages745-769
Number of pages25
JournalHuman Rights Law Review
Volume18
Issue number4
Early online date8 Nov 2018
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 31 Dec 2018

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social charter
charter
social security
obligation
human rights
social assistance
reform
social rights
conformity

Keywords

  • European Social Charter
  • Social Rights
  • Social Security
  • Austerity
  • Welfare Reform

Cite this

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title = "Assessing the Compliance of the United Kingdom’s Social Security System with its Obligations under the European Social Charter",
abstract = "The European Social Charter, a relatively neglected human rights instrument in the UK, academically, judicially and politically, represents a statement of minimum standards in social rights the state has committed to uphold. This article assesses the compliance of the UK’s social security system with the charter following a period of reform that has put in place a less generous, more punitive model of working age provision. It is argued that benefit levels and conditions for their receipt are now of at best questionable conformity with some of the core requirements of article 13 (the right to social assistance) and article 16 (the right to family protection), while the previously identified non-conformity with article 12 (the right to social security) continues. Consideration is given to the potential potency of the Charter as a means of challenging austerity-driven reforms, alone or in combination with other human rights agreements.",
keywords = "European Social Charter, Social Rights, Social Security, Austerity, Welfare Reform",
author = "Mark Simpson",
note = "Compliant in UIR (once embargo expires on 29-12-19) - see uploaded file '39126 evidence of compliance in UIR'). In the import the AM was placed under 'Other files', so no deposit date recorded. AM now re-uploaded to correct section but shows a deposit date of 10/7/19. May need to apply a technical exception if remains non compliant when dates from UIR fixed. (note embargo in UIR showing as 29/12/19 but should be 8/11/20).",
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N1 - Compliant in UIR (once embargo expires on 29-12-19) - see uploaded file '39126 evidence of compliance in UIR'). In the import the AM was placed under 'Other files', so no deposit date recorded. AM now re-uploaded to correct section but shows a deposit date of 10/7/19. May need to apply a technical exception if remains non compliant when dates from UIR fixed. (note embargo in UIR showing as 29/12/19 but should be 8/11/20).

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AB - The European Social Charter, a relatively neglected human rights instrument in the UK, academically, judicially and politically, represents a statement of minimum standards in social rights the state has committed to uphold. This article assesses the compliance of the UK’s social security system with the charter following a period of reform that has put in place a less generous, more punitive model of working age provision. It is argued that benefit levels and conditions for their receipt are now of at best questionable conformity with some of the core requirements of article 13 (the right to social assistance) and article 16 (the right to family protection), while the previously identified non-conformity with article 12 (the right to social security) continues. Consideration is given to the potential potency of the Charter as a means of challenging austerity-driven reforms, alone or in combination with other human rights agreements.

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