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to think most part-time workers don't know what's about to hit them?! (Universal Credit)

(1000 Posts)
aufaniae Thu 31-Jan-13 23:32:41

Do you work part-time and get Working Tax Credit or Housing Benefit?

Did you know that once you're on Universal Credit, you'll be expected to attend the Job Centre to prove that you're looking for better paid work / more hours, in much the same way as unemployed people must prove they're looking for work.

If the Job Centre find an interview for you, you will have to attend (with 48 hours notice) even if it clashes with your paid work.

If you are offered a job with more hours, or better pay than your current one, you will be obliged to take it, even if you have good reason for not wanting to e.g. it's only a temporary post (whereas your current one is permanent) / has no training & worse prospects than your current job / makes picking your children up from school impossible / requires you to travel much further / has nothing to do with the career you're following.

If you don't attend the interview and/or take the job, your UC will be sanctioned, you will lose the UC for months or even years (depending on if it's your first infraction).

You will be forced to continue "upgrading" your job until you earn the equivalent of minimum wage for 35 hours a week.

I suspect there are lots of people (e.g. parents who work part time so they can pick their kids up from school) who will be affected by this, but don't realise it yet.

More info here

I've just read through all the documentation for this and it's absolutely barmy.

I work PT Mon-Wed and DP works PT Thurs-Sun so that we don't have to fork out for childcare. Our wages wouldn't support it, we can't go to work and leave a toddler. What's the choice?

Roseformeplease England Fri 01-Feb-13 00:54:02

But, as someone above said, no one can be forced from a permanent role into a temporary role, that is specifically excluded. And the part time workers at local schools all seem to have several jobs which they fit around each other (e.g dinner lady / school cleaner / private cleaner / carer) . So I didn't miss it, I just noted that, as above, the OP is wrong and that is excluded by the legislation. If this were the case, I too might take issue with it, but it is not.

And, of course things are paid for by workers. The government doesn't get money for benefits, defence, duck houses, roads, etc from anywhere else. It all has to come from taxation in one form or another. So, yes, I do pay for these things, as do all taxpayers (ie most people).

LadyBeagleEyes Fri 01-Feb-13 00:55:56

It is becoming the deciding factor for me Jock.
And I'm not a rabid Scot, I see the union as mostly a good thing.
But it's like the Thatcher years, where a Government with no mandate to govern in Scotland managed to disenfranchise a whole nation.
We voted a Scottish Parliament because of the fiasco of the last Tory Government. I think now, with the policies that are in place, Scots will vote for Independence.
And it's not hating the union, or the English, I for one will just do anything to get rid of this Government.

Fanjango Fri 01-Feb-13 00:58:31

Good God..Don't leave us at the mercy of the Tories, Scotland! Without you this county is Doomed, I tell ya!!

Viviennemary Fri 01-Feb-13 00:58:54

I must say I was a bit shocked to read that only lone parents who have a child under one will be exempt from attending job interviews. What is the rule now if you are a single parent? I didn't think you had to get a job if you had a child. Or is there a rule? But as far as I could see the new system will be phased in until 2017. So it's not as if everybody will go on to the new system this April.

Fanjango Fri 01-Feb-13 00:59:29

County = country! Doh, batteries in keyboard on the fritz blush

ProPerformer Fri 01-Feb-13 01:08:00

Ok .... I'm a big one for arguing against paying for people to 'sit in their arses on benifits when they are capable of working' but the people affected here are working to help support themselves, but just chose to do less work so they can spend time with family etc. and claim a little bit of money to help them do that! Why should we begrudge them this time that they'll never get back with their families? (And for 'non-workers' I think it's fine for disabled people, people with pre-school age children or similar not to work but do think if kids are at school etc then why not work?)

On a personal note I work PT (10 hours a week) so I can spend time with my son and focus on my music. I do not claim any benifits as DH works just enough hours that I don't have to - I work for 'pocket money' and my own sanity! If this legislation goes ahead, I'm worried that as others have said, places will stop offering PT employment all together so I'll have to either not work (BORING) or give up on my music which is a 'sideline job' for me, but only when I get the gigs! (My DS will be in school by then, so that not so much an issue!)

ProPerformer Fri 01-Feb-13 01:10:12

Also other reasons like 'school pickup' etc for myself and other parents are a worry if people are 'forced' to work full time.

NatashaBee Fri 01-Feb-13 01:11:34

When I moved to America a couple of years ago I thought the US job market was scary (you can be let go at any time with no redundancy pay, usually you start a job with 10 days holiday per year, no sick pay). I'm actually starting to think I've had a lucky escape from the UK. I can't believe that families where one person works FT and the other PT to fit around childcare, will be penalised. That's shocking.

LadyBeagleEyes Fri 01-Feb-13 01:18:34

Now of course the Government has to persuade the companies to offer the full time jobs too.
All the major retail outlets mostly offer part time, it's cheaper for them.
And considering big business are the ones that call the shots those days there will be no winners apart from the huge corporate companies.
We're going back to Dickensian times.

Jinsei Fri 01-Feb-13 01:21:18

This doesn't affect me but may affect some of the staff in my team. I really don't know if they are aware of the changes. Can I get my facts straight?

I have two members of staff who are single, no kids, PT workers (around 20 hours per week). They both earn a tiny bit less than they would on minimum wage for 35 hours a week, but the difference is quite small - maybe around £100? One has a mortgage so presumably no housing benefit, the other is in private rented accommodation. I have no idea if they get WTC, but I assume they would if they were eligible. Am I right in thinking that this will impact on them? Could they be forced to leave if offered more hours elsewhere?

I also have a PT worker who is married, with kids. Earns about the same as the other two but don't know what her DH earns or whether they would qualify for WTC. Is there a chance that she could also be affected?

Would like to warn these staff about any potential impact but don't want to scaremonger unnecessarily and I don't really understand the whole UC system yet. Haven't even got my head around tax credits. blush Any guidance would be helpful.

aufaniae Fri 01-Feb-13 01:22:57

ValiumQueen about how couples / single people will be assessed:

"The introduction of ‘in-work conditionality’ through the requirement to prepare, look, and be available for more or better-paid work is a new concept.

The intention is to apply it to claimants below a ‘conditionality threshold’. For most claimants, the threshold will be set at the weekly national minimum wage for a 35-hour week. At current levels, this would be £212.80 for single claimants over 21, and £425.60 for couples (before tax). Claimants with young children, caring responsibilities and work-limiting health problems would have a lower threshold, equivalent to the weekly national minimum wage for the number of hours they are required to be available for work, as set out in their claimant commitment.

Claimants above the threshold would not be subject to conditionality. Those below the threshold would be subject to all the work-related requirements, including both members of a couple, unless one was already in full-time work. There will need to be (inevitably complex) rules on the calculation of pay, where it fluctuates."

From this page on the Child Poverty Action Group website

aufaniae Fri 01-Feb-13 01:29:44

Jinsei a good starting point could be the Mumsnet Guide to UC and then some of the more official docs linked to on this thread.

aufaniae Fri 01-Feb-13 01:35:04

Jinsei my understanding is that if your single worker is in receipt of WTC, they could be forced to attend interviews at short notice or take a new job - or lose their UC for a period. If the difference in money is small, it's possible they may chose to lose their UC I guess.

For your worker with kids, it depends how old her kids are, and what her husband earns. If they didn't have kids their threshold would be around £425 a week. As they have kids it'll be lower than that, depending on how old the kids are. Not sure what though!

Mosman Fri 01-Feb-13 01:39:59

I have two members of staff who are single, no kids, PT workers (around 20 hours per week)

This is the problem. I'm sure they don't qualify for anything at all actually but why the hell should two people who are able bodied with no responsibilities be working part time and be topped up by the state ?
It's the mind set that's wrong, I had two jobs when I was 19 and was at university.
A couple where one is at home with the children or working around school hours needs another person out there doing 40 hours a week otherwise they will get nowhere in life and handing out tax credits has proven that for so many. We now have grown men behaving like little children refusing to support the families they've created - we have one in our family so don't tell me they don't exist, because why should they the state picks up the tab.
And employers will be getting a kick up the arse when their profits drop. Tesco's et al will realise if they don't pay wages then there tills will be empty because the governments money won't be in there any more.

TheDetective Fri 01-Feb-13 01:59:44

Mosman. My DP would have fallen into that category. He works in a supermarket. He has been there 4 years. He can only get part time contracted hours. He has asked over and over for more and been told no. There are very few FT workers in a supermarket. It's usually just managers. He used to get near enough FT hours with over time but this time last year they just cut back on all overtime and now no one gets any.

For us, it's lucky I have a well paid FT job. Or we would be fucked.

People want FT work. Employers aren't giving it. He would be stupid to leave a pretty secure job even though it is PT. Sometimes it feels like we are stuck between a rock and a hard place. Anyway, now we have a baby, he will just stay doing his basic hours. We've given up with any hope of him getting a FT job in any supermarket.

garlicblocks Fri 01-Feb-13 02:03:18

Marking place. Good thread, Aufaniae.

Mosman Fri 01-Feb-13 02:43:45

So he needs a bar job or a call centre job too [shrugs] where's the problem ?

Eliza600 Fri 01-Feb-13 02:58:12

The proposals sound similar to the way we lived and worked when I was in my twenties and thirties (in the 80s) and is a move for the better, in my opinion.
When I was a young mother there were no tax credits, housing benefit etc. If you didn't work the bills didn't get paid. I had a main job and a second job for many years in order to keep afloat and keep a roof over our heads. I worked as a nurse and did agency nursing on my days off. I paid a childminder to look after my child whilst I was working and it didn't do him (or me) any harm.
Yes, it was difficult at times - I was always tired and often had to do housework, ironing etc throughout the night.

Re. the issue of a 'part-time nurse being sent to stack shelves', the more likely scenario is that she would simply take a second part-time job to bring in more money.

Younger people these days need to plan their homes, finances, family and plan for their futures as we did years ago, not simply have children expecting the shortfall in income to be topped up by tax credits etc.

What is wrong with expecting people to have some pride and to support themselves fully? Surely you should work as many hours as necessary to earn as much as you need for your living expenses.

The last 20-odd years have sadly seen a culture of entitlement creeping in and hugely taking root - the country can't afford it.

LucieLucie Fri 01-Feb-13 03:09:37

The new child care ratio increases which have been announced are because of the welfare reforms and universal credit.
More Mothers will be forced to put their children into child care hence the reason more child care spaces need to become available in nurseries and childminders -preparing for the influx.
Life in Britain for many is going to get very tough.

mirai Fri 01-Feb-13 03:35:06

Oh for goodness sake! Read the document!

We will never require a claimant to leave a permanent job for a temporary one, even where the temporary job offered significantly higher wages.

Diddydollydo Fri 01-Feb-13 04:14:34

Well Rose you sound and absolute peach. Luckily for me this doesn't affect me but I have a friend who has 4 children (1 and a set of triplets) and works school hours to be able to take and collect her children (shame on her eh?)one of whom has very specific medical needs. Her husband buggered off without a word last year and she has no family. So tell me, what should she do with her children, leave them on their own? She's a bloody brilliant mum and does her absolute best to be mum and dad to those children, they don't even know where he is. I have always worked and hope I always will but I will never be so far removed from what some peoples circumstances are like that I have no compassion or empathy for someone who is struggling. You haven't a clue.

Mosman Fri 01-Feb-13 04:20:33

From 5-13, lone parents need to be looking for and available to do any type of work within school hours.

So your friend will be absolutely fine then

TheDetective Fri 01-Feb-13 04:33:36

Mosman, for many people taking on another part time job would be almost impossible. Many employers just give you your shifts. You are expected to be available for whatever is given to you. In the NHS for example, shift work us just given to you. No consideration for if you have a second job.

DPs work just used to give him his hours on a Monday for the following week.

No one gives a crap about their employees these days. Ten a penny, aren't they?

ValiumQueen Fri 01-Feb-13 04:39:01

Thank you for answering my question OP I think we as a couple should be ok then. Not that it is right that others won't be.

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