ESA sanctions hit new record high – statistics Sanctions against employment and support allowance (ESA) claimants in the work-related activity group have hit a new record high, according to DWP figures released today. In September 2014, the most recent month for which statistics are available, 3,828 ESA claimants were hit with a sanction. The total for the preceding month was 3,096. 3,453 of the September sanctions were for alleged failure to participate in work-related activity, the remainder for failure to attend a mandatory interview. The DWP continue to refuse to supply any explanation as to why ‘new regime’ sanctions have more than trebled from 1,091 in December 2012 to their current level. News provided by Benefits & Work.