Sick and disabled people should not be sanctioned by the DWP a Glasgow academic has told MPs.

The Westminster Work and Pensions Committee heard that sanctions are counter-productive and nowhere else in the world uses them for people who are sick.

Dr David Webster, Urban Studies research fellow at Glasgow University also said that a warning system should be used for others

Dr Webster said: “There shouldn’t be any sanctions on the sick and disabled people. They are counter productive . No one else on the world uses them.

“It does get unemployed people into work but they are doing worse jobs and it affects health and family relationships.”

Dr Wester said that the system of sanctions is geared to dealing with a tiny minority of people.

He said: “What service business would model its customer service delivery on the needs of a tiny minority of people.

“It’s only a tiny minority that are not trying to get a job. Why do that and upset all your other customers.”

The academic, who has years of experience studying the welfare state, said there should be a warning system in place instead of a rush to sanctions.

He said: “A warming about sanctions should come after an assessment.”

He told of a case in Glasgow where staff took a different approach to a case.

Dr Webster said: “I visited a Job Centre in Glasgow recently and staff told me about a case where a claimant issued several interviews. Instead of sanctions they sent someone out to see him.

“They found someone with serious mental health issues and suicidal tendencies. In doing that they avoided what could have been a national scandal. But there is nothing in the procedures for them to have done that.”