Challenging Work Programme Sanctions

Work Programme Seminar panel

Thursday 23 July 2015

This half-day seminar explained how and why Work Programme sanctions can be imposed, and explored the strategies and legal arguments that can be employed to challenge sanction decisions.

Tom Royston, Barrister with Garden Court Chambers

As a barrister with Garden Court Chambers, Tom appears regularly in the High Court and Upper Tribunal (Administrative Appeals Chamber). Before coming to the Bar, Tom worked in Citizens Advice Bureaux and a Law Centre, where he specialised in employment, discrimination and social security law.

As an activist, Tom was the Sheila McKechnie Foundation UK Consumer Campaigner of the Year 2009, in recognition of the campaign he led about the cost of contacting government to claim benefits. The campaign led to a policy change affecting 35 million phone calls per year and also won his bureau the national award of Campaigning CAB of the Year.

Tom also established the Yorkshire Tribunal Advocacy Project, which provides pro bono representation in social security tribunals, and he has worked with CPAG on the Rutherford bedroom tax and Winder Council Tax Reduction cases amongst others also works on public law, discrimination and housing.

Mike Spencer, Solicitor, CPAG

Mike Spencer is a solicitor and Legal Officer for Child Poverty Action Group. Mike represents CPAG and its clients in test cases on social security and related issues aimed at promoting the rights and incomes of families with children. Prior to joining CPAG, Mike was a solicitor for the Asylum Support Appeals Project, where he represented homeless and destitute asylum seekers.

Paul Treloar, Advice and Rights Manager, CPAG

Paul is the Advice and Rights Manager at Child Poverty Action Group. He has more than 20 years’ experience of providing welfare rights advice and information, and of appeals representation and policy making with a number of organisations including Disability Alliance, Gingerbread and Lasa.

Martin Williams, Welfare Rights Worker, CPAG

Martin Williams is welfare rights worker at Child Poverty Action Group. He is widely experienced in representing claimants at both levels within the tribunal system, having worked in the appeals team at Lasa from 2001 until 2008.

Martin has also worked as a local authority welfare rights officer and in an independent advice centre. He is currently an author of CPAG’s Welfare Benefits and Tax Credits Handbook and Housing Benefit and Council Tax Reduction Legislation handbook.