JobCentres are set to re-open this week and with it the return of benefit sanctions for jobseekers.

Sanctions were suspended with face-to-face appointments and offices closed when the UK went into lockdown.

Now the UK Work and Pensions secretary said Jobcentre will be reopening and it was necessary for the rules to be re-applied.

Unemployment in Scotland rose by 30,000 according the latest figures earlier this month to 127,000 between February and April.

The rise is despite the conronavirus job retention scheme where hundreds of thousands were put on furlough to protect their jobs.

Jobcentres will be expected to deal with many more people out of work and more people will be chasing after fewer vacancies.

But sanctions, which have been criticised as been unfair on many jobseekers are expected to return when work coaches are available for job seeker appointments again.

Therese Coffey, work and pensions secretary was asked if she would extend the sanctions ban, but she declined.

She said: “It is important that as the jobcentres fully reopen this week we reinstate the need for a claimant commitment. It is an essential part of the contract to help people start to reconsider what vacancies there are, but I know that I can trust the work coaches and jobcentre managers, who are empowered to act proactively with people.

“There will be some people right now who have not had to look for a job for the last 20 to 30 years, and they will need careful support, tailored to make sure they can start to look for the jobs that are available and which I hope will soon become available.”

The UK Government relaxed the rules and suspended sanctions for 90days, which has come to an end.

It decided not to penalise people if they did not meet the conditions for looking for work while coronavirus restrictions were in place.

Labour said that sanctions were untenable and called for an extension to the 90 day moratorium.

Jonathan Reynolds, Shadow work and pensions secretary, said: “ “It is important to recognise that the Universal Credit they have been processing in this crisis is a significantly different product to usual and in, particular, all sanctions and conditionality have been temporarily suspended”.

“That is due to end tomorrow (Tuesday) and at a time when unemployment has risen sharply, where vacancies have dropped, when people are shielding and the schools haven’t yet gone back, threatening people with reducing their support if they don’t look for jobs is surely untenable.”

A DWP spokesman said: “From July, people can make an appointment with their work coach if they can’t get the help they want online or over the phone and work coaches will be calling all claimants to help them get ready for the world of work.”