Number of sanctions fell sharply last year

Main reason being the Corona pandemic

12 Apr 2021 | Press release no.14

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  • Number of sanctions decreased significantly last year
  • Over 95 percent of those entitled to benefits remain unaffected by sanctions
  • Three quarters of all sanctions are due to failure to report

Number of sanctions decreased Failure to report most frequent reason

Last year, the Jobcenters had to impose 171,100 sanctions on benefit claimants capable of working. The number of benefits reductions has therefore decreased by 635,700 compared to the previous year. The massive decline is mainly due to the consequences of the pandemic.

Three quarters of sanctions have to be imposed because agreed personal appointments at the Jobcenter are missed without reason. Due to the Corona pandemic, many conversations took place online and by phone to protect staff and clients. Therefore, there could be no missed appointments. As the pandemic also affected the labour market, there were fewer job offers and fewer labour market policy measures could be initiated. This also had an impact on the number of sanctions.

Still three quarters of all sanctions due to missed appointments

As in the previous year, the majority of sanctions (74 percent) were due to failure to report. Last year, the Jobcenters had to impose 127,400 such sanctions because agreed appointments were not kept without good cause. In such cases, the Jobcenter cuts the standard rate of benefits by 10% for three months. For refusing to take up a job or a measure, 18,400 sanctions were imposed.

Monthly sanction rate and year-to-date rate declining Over 95 percent still not affected by sanctions

In 2020, an average of 0.9 percent of benefit claimants capable of working were affected by a sanction per month. The year before, it was 3.1 percent. In 2020 as a whole, 3.3 percent of those eligible for benefits had to be sanctioned at least once. This annual sanction progression rate totals the persons who had to be sanctioned at least once in the course of an entire year. In 2019, this figure was 8.3 percent.