to think its no wonder people stay on benefits?

(246 Posts)
ruledbyheart Wed 27-Feb-13 12:29:48

My DP has started a new job getting the only job he has been offered after 1yr of trying, its only part time but we thought its better than nothing and at least he is willing to work.

He is working for a well known pizza franchise doing delivery and took the job on the basis he got a full 24hrs a week yet he is on week two and has only been given 16 so far.

He signed off job seekers to be told he won't receive anything other than the money leading up to sign off so we will have to survive for an entire month on my CTC and somehow live and pay billswith this.

He is eligible for WTC providing he gets the 24 hrs if not we aren't entitled to anything, without this we still have to pay extra on our rent and council tax out of his barely worth it wages.

However if we stayed on benefits we could afford to live no problems.

If his work doesn't give him the hours promised we will barely scrap by yet he couldn't leave and sign on again as he would be told he made himself unemployed.

So pissed off that we are worse off working.

There is no work locally and he struggled to get this.

I can't work at the moment as I'm pregnant and have 3dcs under 5yrs.

Aibu to think this is shit and we should have just saved the hassle and stayed on benefits?
No wonder people dont want to work.

ruledbyheart Wed 27-Feb-13 12:30:49

The last part came out wrong, We are glad he is working but if we can't afford to live on it then whats the point.

HeySoulSister Wed 27-Feb-13 12:34:15

You don't have the choice to 'stay on benefits' tho do you!?

ruledbyheart Wed 27-Feb-13 12:36:58

Well technically no you don't but if you can fake your job sheets and make it look like your trying when you not like some people I know and get away with it for several years I would consider that a choice to stay on benefits.

EasilyBored Wed 27-Feb-13 12:39:19

If he's been out of work for a year, perhaps getting pregnant again wasn't the most sensible course of action?

Anyway, yes, it is crap. Minimum wage is bollocks and it's not fair of then to offer a certain amount of hours and then not give them. Is there anyway he can pick up other peoples shifts if they don't want them?

perceptionreality Wed 27-Feb-13 12:39:24

If he was promised 24 hours then why isn't he getting that? I don't know anyone who could support a family on 16 hours a week in a pizza franchise.

I don't know or understand the rules of JSA but can you go back to the Job Centre and get advice or get advice from CAB?

MiniTheMinx Wed 27-Feb-13 12:40:24

So what are his actual contracted hours?

noisytoys Wed 27-Feb-13 12:42:32

YANBU it's a shit situation out there. I was in the same situation not too long ago but thankfully DH got extra hours. You are doing the right thing I really hope it works out for you it is tough trying your best to do what's right but facing barrier after barrier

nickelbabe Wed 27-Feb-13 12:43:22

the crappest thing is this, though - if you work more than 16 hours a week, you have to sign off as you are classed as employed, but you don't get WTC unless you work 24 hours,.

why the gap in the system?
why is the government doing this crap?

I'm sorry, ruled i have no idea what you can do - he can't resign because the BA will sanction him and you'll end up with less.

MunchMunch Wed 27-Feb-13 12:45:38

Sounds like it going to be a very difficult time for you all. Is there any other part time jobs he could take on like McDonald's, cleaning, handy man work etc?

Does he have the correct car insurance for deliveries? If he gets pulled by the police he could get fined or maybe points and his insurance could be invalid.

malinois Wed 27-Feb-13 12:45:58

MiniTheMinx: I suspect his actual contracted hours will be zero.

He will only be paid for hours he actually works, and he won't know how many hours he will be working week to week.

Zero hour contracts are increasingly common and an utterly shit way to treat people.

ruledbyheart Wed 27-Feb-13 12:48:01

Easilybored you know nothing about the circumstances surrounding this pregnancy there are other threads about this so next time dont judge unless you know the facts.

He hasn't been contracted for a certain amount of hours just being given shifts on the rota regardless how many hours it totals.

He has spoken to the manager several times and each time manager has promised the 24hrs and not delivered.

Manager also has a tendency of having too many drivers on shift so sends some home cutting shifts short.

sashh Wed 27-Feb-13 12:49:14

I know exactly where you are coming from.

I'm disabled so the WTC for me is 16 hours. I was had three part time jobs for the first semester a couple of years ago. I only had 1 day a week's work for the second and it nearly killed me.

I had to use savings to live on. If I hadn't had them I'm not sure what I would have done.

You are doing the right thing. Your children are seeing parents who work and want to work.

I hope he gets some more hours

EasilyBored Wed 27-Feb-13 12:50:18

I haven't seen your other threads, but you just thew that fact in without any explanation so forgive me for not being arsed to go searching your other posts.

As I said, it's a shit situation but on not sure there is much you can do about it tbh.

MiniTheMinx Wed 27-Feb-13 12:50:55

Maybe the Gap in the system btw 16 hrs and 24 hrs is clearly thought out because they know savings can be made.

Zero hrs contract is not a job is it???? that is like agency, temp work, that is not a contract of employment.

MiniTheMinx Wed 27-Feb-13 12:53:28

I don't think doing the right thing by your children should mean they go hungry.

If teaching them that work leaving you hungry is a good thing.... then we may as well bring back slavery and abolish wages!

malinois Wed 27-Feb-13 12:56:25

MiniTheMinx Zero hours absolutely is an employment contract and is being widely used by all sorts of NMW employers to cut their costs - most famously McDonalds.

runningforthebusinheels Wed 27-Feb-13 12:58:02

Sounds shit - yanbu. I had no idea zero-hour contracts existed confused

CloudsAndTrees Wed 27-Feb-13 12:59:02

You are right. It is shit that with the system the way it is at the moment you can be better off staying on benefits. There is some choice involved because it is relatively easy to fake what you have been doing to look for work, and it's easy to make yourself unemployable.

This is why we badly need reform.

You need to take some responsibility for the situation you are in as well though. It's very difficult to imagine circumstances where it's acceptable to conceive a fourth child when you already have three under fives and neither of you are working. You and your do have created this situation for yourselves.

Ive been looking at that today.
I looked at what I could claim if i worked part time if thats all i am offered. I would only just be better off if i work less than 16 hours a week then i can get HB and ctax benefit but I couldnt claim WTC unless i work over 30 hours..Or is it 24 as someone mentioned on here (no children).

I just dont get why there is a gap it means people who work more than the minimum but cant get more hours are left hanging.

MiniTheMinx Wed 27-Feb-13 13:00:12

Employment used to equal work which equated to being paid.

Employment now means what exactly? a promise of work at some point in the future, maybe, well sort of, only sometimes, even very rarely.......

Bollocks to that. This is what you get when people don't join unions and keep up the fight for employment rights.

malinois Wed 27-Feb-13 13:02:59

Oh and the best thing about zero hours is that you don't need to ever pay redundancy, or have to go through proper dismissal procedures, or deal with 'difficult' employees (you know, women who don't like being groped by managers etc).

You just stop giving out the hours and never have to see them again.

akaemmafrost Wed 27-Feb-13 13:03:01

This baby is on its way. Questioning whether or not it was wise adds NOTHING to this discussion except to make those who are doing so sound judgemental and condescending.

ruledbyheart Wed 27-Feb-13 13:03:41

Sitting here crying now damn hormones, damned if we do damned if we don't.

Penealized for working and trying to do the right thing its ridiculous.
DP is trying his best but is overcoming depression and struggles with interviews and talking to people hence why he struggled to get any job.
There is nothing around where we live work wise and he was extremely lucky to get this job.

Just feeling like we were better off before he got this job.

akaemmafrost Wed 27-Feb-13 13:08:43

sad don't cry and DON'T listen to anyone on here bitching about your pregnancy it's irrelevant.

I think it sounds like he is trying so hard and you sound very stuck. Can he talk to them and stress the importance of getting the 24 hours?

ruledbyheart Wed 27-Feb-13 13:08:49

Cloudsandtrees my 3dc under 5yrs were conceived with my abusive ex husband and when they were conceived we were financially stable.

This dc was concieved after months of tests and being told I was suffering from early menopause as I wasn't ovulating and was bleeding for 9mths constantly. and I was booked for a hysterectomy in July so wasn't planned and is my miracle baby.

Not ideal at all but not really anyones place to judge.

MiniTheMinx Wed 27-Feb-13 13:09:39


What can be done. Surely this zero hr culture needs to be stopped in its tracks. Like workfare its an attack upon the working class, devaluing work and therefore all of us. These businesses are amoral.

malinois so we have a two tier system where middle class educated women have protection from groping but working class lower paid women can be pawed at will. Not sexist I suppose, so what is it?

NicknameTaken Wed 27-Feb-13 13:11:02

Sorry and hope it gets better. I agree that zero hours contracts are a shit way to way to treat employees. People talk about the need for benefit reform to make benefits less "attractive", but every bit as important (and arguably even more so) is reform of employment law to make work more attractive.

MiniTheMinx Wed 27-Feb-13 13:12:34

Take no notice, OP congratulations on your miracle.

akaemmafrost Wed 27-Feb-13 13:13:37

Do NOT explain your pregnancy OP. You don't have to do that!

CloudsAndTrees Wed 27-Feb-13 13:15:21

I'm not judging, and you don't have to justify your circumstances to me.

But it might help you feel less like you are being 'got at' and penalised if you accept at least some responsibility for your own circumstances.

EasilyBored Wed 27-Feb-13 13:15:24

And that's why drip feeding is annoying. Ffs.

I think you just have to keep asking for extra shifts and keep looking elsewhere. Has your DP talked to the job centre about what is going on?

AmandaLF Wed 27-Feb-13 13:16:23

I could be wrong but I'm pretty sure that if the boss tells him to go home he can refuse to go home.


Madlizzy Wed 27-Feb-13 13:18:01

Zero hour and low hour contracts are the pits. I'm on a 10 hour contract, was doing 38 and am now down to 20. I've applied for a couple more jobs. Keep looking out there, get him to apply for jobs that he's not quite qualified for (might be training available) or anything. Check out agencies. I wish you the best of luck.

alisunshine29 Wed 27-Feb-13 13:18:28

If you are really better off on benefits than with him doing this job and his manager isn't going to give him the promised hours then I'd get him to 'accidentally' lose the job. Your children's welfare is what's most important, not his pride or what's morally right. I disagree with people that say working is all important to teach their children a good work ethic - you and your partner will be working most of their lives, they aren't going to hold a few months on benefits against you if it means you're all better off financially and emotionally.
Congratulations on your pregnancy by the way :-)

malinois Wed 27-Feb-13 13:19:00

MiniTheMinx - yes, the majority of people on these zero hours contracts are women and young people. However, zero hours contracts are becoming increasingly common in skilled occupations too - notably in the NHS.

People are being put on zero hours contracts, or reclassified as self-employed contractors, all over the place and it's undermining a hundred years of progress in employment rights. Invariably, it's the most vulnerable that get shafted. It's often illegal, but people are too scared to make a fuss.

malinois Wed 27-Feb-13 13:21:43

alisunshine The only way you can 'lose' a zero hours job is to resign. At which point you won't be entitled to JSA as you voluntarily gave up the job.

MiniTheMinx Wed 27-Feb-13 13:24:21

malinois I can understand how this may have sneaked in under the radar with student and part time work but for this practice to be rolled out to adult workers and even qualified people is shocking.

I'm not in favour of people having to work 50 hrs a week to get by whilst others languish on benefits but surely at this rate state subsidies to workers will increase even further. Not good for workers not good for tax payers.....oh wait one and the same because these businesses avoid all the tax they can.

runningforthebusinheels Wed 27-Feb-13 13:26:06

Lay off the op - she's being perfectly reasonable. Her dh should be better off working than on Job seekers.

(Hugs) OP and congratulations on your miracle baby. I was a bit shock at the 'how dare you get pregnant!' responses.

akaemmafrost Wed 27-Feb-13 13:26:31

How is she drip feeding? Was she supposed to put the circumstances of her pregnancy in the OP? Why on earth would she do that? I don't suppose it occurred to her that anyone would be so rude as to question her about it.

Kat101 Wed 27-Feb-13 13:26:52

Citizens advice bureau. Clever people, might know of other options you could pursue. Worth a try as nothing to lose?

ruledbyheart Wed 27-Feb-13 13:27:01

How am I drip feeding I didn't think the circumstances would be relevant until people started judging, Mumsnet is terrible for this I wouldn't go up to someone in RL and ask the circumstances of someone's pregnancy whilst they aren't working?

I don't see how me being pregnant is relevant to feeling like our system has fucked us over.

I worked up until I left EXH throughout mypregnancies and afterwards until I hadto leave through lack of childcare.
So didn't exactly put myself in this situation.

DP had a great job until he was made to leave through bullying and has spent the last year trying to get something/anything else whilst battling the depression caused by his previous employer.

I'm just fed up of trying to do whats right when we end up worse off for it.

We are private rented as council wouldn't help us and in turn the help we get with rent doesn't cover the actual rent so have to find the money to pay the extra, plus all utilities and living costs whilst only receiving CTC and DPs (when he finally does get paid) tiny wage (so far he has worked 5days and earned less than £150).

LittleTyga Wed 27-Feb-13 13:32:47

Hi Ruledby,

Your partner should be entitled to working tax credits - have you asked about those? Also Housing benefit and Council tax benefit. I was also under the impression that he should get a £200 bonus for going back to work - don't quote me as it may have stopped now but certainly he needs to talk to HMRC about WTC.

I know it's hard but at least while he has a job he can keep a look out for another job and employers prefer those who have current experience wich will put him higher up the pile of applications.

Good luck

alisunshine29 Wed 27-Feb-13 13:37:24

Surely if he didn't turn up for work/ate all the pizzas (!) Then he'd be fired? Or would he be penalised if fired?

andubelievedthat Wed 27-Feb-13 13:37:36

Pack "job"(,zero hours?wtf?) go to doctor , tell doc he is losing it re stress , claim said benifit , then ,if nec , go back onto jsa , ignore all cat"s bum faced posters on here who will ,for reasons (usually bitter reasons)known only to themselves attempt to give you and your fella a hard time of it >it is like a jungle out there ....

ticketstub Wed 27-Feb-13 13:39:53

OP, I really feel sorry for you in this situation. I've recently been trying to help a friend who is a single parent to get a job and completely identify with the difficulties getting a job when you have a limited CV and are shy etc (which my friend is).

We had a similar issue where my friend was offered a job and we agreed 20 hours a week with the employer (another fast food chain). We asked about contracts and at the last minute they mentioned it was a zero hours contract.

Nightmare! I didn't know about such contracts till them so we did some internet research and saw how awful they are when benefits need to be claimed and declined the job.

And we have definitely learnt a lesson that no matter what the manager says unless they put the hours in a contract then we will not accept a job - which is ridiculous and sad when my friend is desperate to work.

Can you go to the Citizens Advice Bureau and ask for advice? I know previous posters have said it is difficult to resign from a zero hours job. I know its not ideal but could you and your partner separate so that you can still claim benefits until his hours increase or he finds another job?

I hate zero hours contracts and would love to sign a petition or lend support to a campaign against them - if anyone knows of any such campaigns against them then please could you let me know.

badbride Wed 27-Feb-13 13:55:36

I'm sorry things are so hard for you at the moment and I hope your DP manages to get more hours soon.

I can completely understand why you would feel frustrated and depressed by the current situation. But I have to disagree with the folk who are suggesting that your DP find a way lose this job.

Things are hard now, but I think your DP's having a job will be better in the long run. At least he now has the opportunity to work his way up to a better job within the company, or to get a better job somewhere else. It is generally much easier to get a job if you already have one.

Hang in there and good luck.

Darkesteyes Wed 27-Feb-13 14:14:13

If hes not getting the 24 hrs then its not actually the job that he applied for is it??!!

TheSecondComing Wed 27-Feb-13 14:18:48

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

morethanpotatoprints Wed 27-Feb-13 14:20:03

Hello OP, my 21 old ds has the same job and hours can't be guaranteed unfortunately.
I know your dh has tried hard to find work and I feel sorry for you, that is why I had to respond. They promised my ds regular hours, I think he only needed about 16 as he has 2 other jobs as well. He hardly ever works for them now, the hours just got fewer and fewer.
Your dh needs to look for more work as the hours just aren't there with these companies.

malinois Wed 27-Feb-13 14:21:29

alisunshine29 It's actually expensive to fire people - you need to make sure you've followed the right procedure, get HR involved, and there's always the risk that you get taken to tribunal for wrongful dismissal.

On a zero hours contract, you simply stop giving hours to people you don't want working for you any more. It costs you nothing, and there is no risk of a wrongful dismissal as you haven't actually dismissed them!

youfhearted Wed 27-Feb-13 14:24:07

we are worse off with dh now working(part time) than we were when he was unemployed. it sucks. really sucks.

ticketstub Wed 27-Feb-13 14:24:50

I think some employers are very sly when it comes to zero hours contracts. I have a friend who was offered 30 hours a week and advised lots of overtime was available.

Again, he asked about a contract and they were reassuring and said yes, come in on your first day and we'll get it all sorted. He turned up on day one and they brought out a zero hours contract at lunchtime. He was shocked and felt under duress to sign it because they were saying that even though it was zero hours, he'd easily get at least 30 hours per week. Although they weren't willing to put it in writing! My friend is in the same situation as the OP, he rarely gets 30 hours per week, sometimes gets none, late notice about shifts etc truly awful! He has spoken to the manager about the conversation about it being a minimum of 30 hours and got nowhere. It isn't the job that was advertised or what he accepted but he is trapped in this contract.

LittleTyga Wed 27-Feb-13 14:28:10

This is another way for the Government to massage the employment figures. They are technically employed but not working - it's a disgrace - Ruledby get a petition going. I would tell your husband to go back to the job centre and tell them he not getting any work.

Have you applied for Working Tax Credits?

Possiblyoutedled Wed 27-Feb-13 14:28:17

It's truly shit. My ds needs a kidney transplant and so is quite ill. He works full time but is finding this really hard and also has a lot of time off for appointments. He would like to go part time but will not be able to live so has to now give up his job which is a shame as he's worked there for years and after his transplant he may have trouble getting another job. Crazy rules.

ticketstub Wed 27-Feb-13 14:30:22

The one plus side is that there are more zero hours contracts jobs available than 'regular' jobs (probably because people don't really want to take them). If he could get 2 or 3 zero hours contracts jobs then he may be able to get enough hours to support the family each week until he can find a job with a proper contract. Like other posters say, it is easier to get a job if you have a job already and at least he won't have a bad reference from being sacked or something.

Hang on in there OP, its an awful situation and I'm angry about the system on your behalf. Wishing you all the best.

NC78 Wed 27-Feb-13 14:31:23

I wouldn't take a zero hours contract so YANBU. Sorry to hear you are struggling.

plum100 Wed 27-Feb-13 14:36:24

on the positive side though OP - because your dh is working some hours then at least he has something recent to put on his cv and the possibility of learning new skills that may be able to lead him to something else?
Hope things work out for you x

ticketstub, I think you will find that although the contract is for zero hours they expect you to be able to be called in at "reasonable notice" to do hours for them.

If you can't come in on more than a few occasions when they want, as lone as they have given you "reasonable" notice, they can discipline/sack you.

TheSecondComing Wed 27-Feb-13 14:38:50

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

SaskiaRembrandtVampireHunter Wed 27-Feb-13 14:39:05

Congratulations on your little miracle smile

YANBU - zero hour contracts should be made illegal. They're just a sneaky way for employers to sidestep employment law. I don't have any advice to offer I'm afraid, except try the CAB, or maybe USDAW - I think they are the union that covers delivery drivers.

malinois Wed 27-Feb-13 14:40:48

mankyscottslass you don't discipline or sack people on zero hour contracts. You just stop giving them hours and hire someone else. Much cheaper and less risk. Sucks for the person who is technically employed but has no actual income of course.

BonaDrag Wed 27-Feb-13 14:42:02

Someone on this thread actually questioned the OP's pregnancy.

Disgusting. Condescending.

You wouldn't question the pregnancy of a banker's wife in Chiswick with F&B paint and a 4x4 in the drive so you have absolutely no place to speak about the OP's.

Thank fuck people's reproductive choices are theirs alone.

GregBishopsBottomBitch Wed 27-Feb-13 14:43:17

Also, still keep looking for another job, now hes employed, it is more likely that he'll have better luck, just gotta keep trying.

Congrats about the baby, i was told i might be going through early menopause it was awful.

maddening Wed 27-Feb-13 14:43:49

How pg are you? Just thinking if younare earlier pg then could your dp ask for evenings only and you look for a morning job? That way someone is always home for dc but between you you might get the money you need?

if you are too pg then agree he needs a couple of jobs - what about self employed cleaner? Also spring and summer are good for window cleaning and gardening ? I think with a bit if creativity you could be ok.

Ps what are you both qualified in? Any chance of setting up your own busines

MiniTheMinx Wed 27-Feb-13 14:45:35

Having a look around the internet, all the unions are involved in countering this but they represent their members in certain sectors.

Could we compile a list of all the businesses we know who are hiring on zero hrs? I think democracy is broken.......the only thing that counts is profits. The only problem is that people on these mickey mouse contracts need these businesses to be open for business!! its a difficult thing.

OP, happy to be told I'm talking bollocks, but if your DH now has some (limited) experience of delivery driving, could he focus on this, look in the yellow pages for other local small logisitics / delivery companies who might need a driver, local florists needing to deliver larger demand around mother's day, taxi driving etc?

ruledbyheart Wed 27-Feb-13 14:51:43

Thank you for all your positive words, your right at least its something on his CV Dp is going to continue looking around for something better.

I hope that in a few weeks and he started getting paid things will look brighter.

Due to health issues I am high risk in this pregnancy so have a lot of hospital appointments so unfortunately trying to find a job I can do around it is going to be nearly impossible especially as there really isn't anything about where I am.

INeedThatForkOff Wed 27-Feb-13 14:53:52

Message deleted by Mumsnet for breaking our Talk Guidelines. Replies may also be deleted.

INeedThatForkOff Wed 27-Feb-13 14:54:14

Drip, I meant.

Yes, OP, if he's really stressed, he could go on the sick until he can find a job? No, it's not ideal, but life is life and you have to feed your children. Good luck x

ruledbyheart Wed 27-Feb-13 14:58:10

I don't think DP being at home helps his depression though as he feels useless thats the bugger of it all.

I'm stressed because I need to try and figure out how we will live.

He's stressed if stuck indoors all the time.

Lose lose situation and we aren't going to win but fingers crossed this too shall pass.

It will pass love, but when you say struggling, if it's impossible to feed/heat/clothe your kids, that is more important than your DPs depression, which by the sounds of it, is making it hard for him to apply for jobs, so maybe he should be seeking more treatment anyway?

It sucks shit that this is the position you are in, we are on one wage with 2 kids, and it's a killer when our neighbours are on benefits, (and claiming she's a single Mum) so are on easy street, keep your chin up, do what you have to, and yes, it will pass.

expatinscotland Wed 27-Feb-13 15:12:52

Zero hours contracts should be illegal!

In your case, though, you can still work if pg. If he's not getting the hours he can do the childcare. Things like walking dogs or cleaning.

akaemmafrost Wed 27-Feb-13 15:16:29

I live in London. Here you need references for cleaning and insurance for dog walking.

Dog walking and cleaning not always as easily doable as thought.

stickingattwo Wed 27-Feb-13 15:17:54

He is doing the right thing, and of course he should work if he is physically able. Benefits should be taken off people who think working's "not worth it", it's supposed to be a safety net not for people to take advantage of.

Working will give him more opportunities, make him more employable - as an employer I can tell you know I'd rather take someone working a pizza delivery job than someone who's done nothing for a couple of years - give him some pride and show your children a proper work ethic. My parents worked and worked while around them families were bringing more home on benefits. We were proper poor. But those families are still in that cycle on a council estate with everything in the house on tick and so are their kids. My parents eventually got enough to have their own place, got off the estate, got better jobs, a bit more money, made us get Saturday jobs & stay in school. So we council kids ended up going to university, and having professions. Now we're able to help out our parents a bit, who still aren't massively well off but get by okay now.

And if my dad had sat around on his ass refusing low paid jobs way back when taking benefits cos he had little kids while mum had to stay home to look after us none of it would have happened.

Get your DH to talk to the boss again, and get him to show he's the best, friendliest, most willing guy there - he'll get his hours.

expatinscotland Wed 27-Feb-13 15:19:09

Well, over here, you can stick a card up in a supermarket and people call you up.

I do it myself.

It's easily doable.

ruledbyheart Wed 27-Feb-13 15:19:25

DP is under doctors care at the moment and is getting better but still a long way off, going to see how the next few weeks pan out with his hours etc but if no improvement then we will have to come up with a plan B.

I am trying to find work myself but I'm now obviously pregnant and with all my appointments I am struggling too.

akaemmafrost Wed 27-Feb-13 15:20:08

I am not disagreeing with you. I am telling where I am it is not easily doable.

expatinscotland Wed 27-Feb-13 15:20:24

I temped while pregnant. Then left DD1 with DH at home and went to work FT when she was 8 weeks old. When you have to eat, you have to find a way to get work.

expatinscotland Wed 27-Feb-13 15:21:14

Plenty of people I know do it in London, too.

akaemmafrost Wed 27-Feb-13 15:24:09

Where I am it is difficult to do without references and insurance. I know this because I used to dog walk here and everyone asked for insurance. People where I am prefer professional services. I lost all my clients in the end but was fine as I had a full time job by then anyway.

EasilyBored Wed 27-Feb-13 15:28:31

I didn't ask her to explain her circumstances, simply pointed out that having another baby when you are utterly broke isn't a sensible course of action. And yes, I would say that to anyone who was complaining about the shitness of their situation and being pregnant was part of that. I'm glad that you are happy about your pregnancy OP, I don't think it was the wisest thing to do but I imagine you will make it work somehow.

Of you start a thread about the unfairness of your situation and throw into it that you can't work because you got pregnant while the situation was already pretty dire, don't expect 100% rosy responses. Sometimes life hands us a shit deal, and sometimes we add to that ourselves. We all need to own our choices a bit more.

As I said on sorry you are dealing with the zero hours crap, it does suck.

expatinscotland Wed 27-Feb-13 15:28:41

So the OP lives where you do then? And so it's not an option for her? hmm

Some people will take on anyone if she/he is cheap enough.

5madthings Wed 27-Feb-13 15:29:44

The op has already said her pregnancy is high risk meaning she can't work.

I think theres a lot of ignorance on this thread tbh.

Food in their bellies is more important for kids than seeing their dad work for a pittance, making money for a company that dont give a shit about him. Its clear the OPs DH wants to work. But if working puts his family at risk of going hungry or becoming homeless its just not going to help is it?

The problem is not with benefits. Its with wages being too low and these nonsense zero hour contracts

expatinscotland Wed 27-Feb-13 15:34:44

Ok, it's water under the bridge now, but I do agree somewhat with EasilyBored's sentiments.

I mean, you have 3 children under 5 already, you don't work, your partner doesn't work, has depression and you didn't use birth control because of suspected menopause, not confirmed. It's not a miracle, it's what happens when you don't use birth control and have not experienced the menopause.

Now you 'can't work' and it's high risk and all. To be fair, situations such as these are the reason there's a lot of ire right now towards people on benefits.

It's a moot point now, but really, this type of lack of responsibility has a lot to do with why there's such a move on to see off the welfare state.

That being said, zero hours contracts are shit and should be illegal.

Tell your H to take on something like an Avon/Bettaware round and claim the missing hours are spent on that.

akaemmafrost Wed 27-Feb-13 15:37:58

Does she live where YOU do so it IS an option for her?

I didn't realise that describing my own relevant experiences would create conflict.

Anyway it's all moot as a previous poster says the OP's pregnancy is high risk so dog walking and cleaning in a work capacity not possible for her anyway.

RedHotRudieParts Wed 27-Feb-13 15:43:47

Yes, zero hour contracts are becoming the norm. Fine if you're working for 'pin money' not so good if its to support yourself. Th I think stores should only be allowed to open if they employ a certain number of fulltime staff and minimum hours offered of 16 for other staff, not pissing about so they pay less tax.

Op, are you surrenders you won't get help ?? My friends just started working 16 hrs and is better off.

FillyPutty Wed 27-Feb-13 15:50:28

As I understand it it's common, as SolidGoldBrass says, to take up light-weight jobs such as mystery shopping, and other self-employed-type jobs to get up to the WTC threshold.

I believe if you post on Money Saving Expert there are experts on how to get on to WTC with minimum effort.

SaskiaRembrandtVampireHunter Wed 27-Feb-13 15:52:52

SGB has a good idea! I think there's an initial outlay for Avon and similar schemes, but it's an extra income, and you could use it to bump up the numbers of working hours so you're eligible for WTC.

akaemmafrost Wed 27-Feb-13 15:53:21

I am never sure what lectures about "irresponsible" pregnancies are supposed to achieve because it's obviously not for the ops benefits as she is clearly feeling pretty shit anyway or she wouldn't have posted.

Nuckinfutter Wed 27-Feb-13 16:21:56

I think where part of the problem lies is that jobs as delivery drivers for fast food companies used to be filled mainly by people as a second income ie young guys / retired men with cars who were available to do a few hours each week, they could pick and choose when it suited them to work, they didn't really want too much commitment, leading to a high turn over of staff with no ties on either side.
Now, for many of the people applying for this type of work it is their only source of income and these type of companies just can't or won't commit to set hours for staff.

BoringTheBuilder Wed 27-Feb-13 16:29:19

People live like this in many countries around the world, count yourself happy you receive any help at all.

morethanpotatoprints Wed 27-Feb-13 16:29:53

FFs, kick a girl when she's down why don't you.

OP I am so sorry you are going through this at a difficult time for you all. I too had a little miracle, she is 9 now and her brothers are 18 and 21.
The week before I poas, the doctor told me I was on the change.

I hope it works out for you and agree that your dc need food in their bellies and you need the bills paid. You are good role models in that you are looking for work, if it isn't going to pay, then you are better off on benefits. I have been sahm for 20 years. My eldest ds has 3 jobs and has a great work ethic, so shoots the role model theory in the foot.

CressidaFitass Wed 27-Feb-13 16:34:53

This sounds like a windup.

Friends can't afford a second baby until first is at school (due to childcare) so are waiting.

morethanpotatoprints Wed 27-Feb-13 16:40:24

Cressida and?

Lucyellensmum95 Wed 27-Feb-13 16:42:23

So, the OPs husband managed to get a job for a shit company that doesn't treat him well - they are worse off because they cant claim WTC? Its a no brianer - Don't do it!!!!! Seriously, i think your DP would be better off doing voluntary work tht would give him more of a rounded set of skills and make him more attractive to potential employers than doing the job he is doing now.

That way he is contributing to society so no guilt for benefits and becoming more employable in the long run.

Could that work?

Lucyellensmum95 Wed 27-Feb-13 16:43:42

Your friends are idiots then aren't they because if they wait til first child at school then it will be even longer before they will be in a position where childcare less of an issue - so actually, its YOUR post that sounds like a windup.

MrsDeVere Wed 27-Feb-13 16:48:27

I don't agree that you are better off on benefits.
Not if you work full time.

If you are a couple and one of you gets a part time job of course you are going to be worse off than a couple on benefits.

But not worse off than a couple with one working full time.

No-one should be forced to take a job that cannot support the family if the other family members are unable to work. That is the bloody point in WTC, to avoid this situation.

Trouble is, part of this governments propaganda campaign has been to spread the idea that people are deliberately working as few hours as they can get away with because they are too lazy to bother.

IME this is not the case. The people I know who work part time would not be able to work at all otherwise. WTC keeps them in the tax system and working.

Yes cressida that is of no hlep, and actually makes no sense, so thanks for that hmm

Faloola23 Wed 27-Feb-13 16:50:54

Ruledbyheart - your partner should be entitled to the Job Grant if he's been claiming for over 26 weeks without a break in claim. Also should get 4 weeks help with housing benefit and council tax.

CloudsAndTrees Wed 27-Feb-13 16:52:15

What is someone who can't afford two lots of childcare an idiot? It makes a lot more sense to do that and pay your own way through life than it does to make bad choices and have to claim money earned by other people so you can have children without worrying about how to pay for them. Some people have morals, some don't.

MiniTheMinx Wed 27-Feb-13 16:56:54

>>>>Friends can't afford a second baby until first is at school (due to childcare) so are waiting, that is not the fault of OP or anyone else.

there was a time when one full time wage was enough to live on. Not only have wages almost halved in real terms since the 60's, we have double the amount of people looking for work and in work at a time when fewer and fewer workers are actually needed because of changes to tech and production.

_Businesses are sitting on some on a £777bn in cash because they have squeezed wages_ and productivity and then decided to have a sulk and stop investing. The answer to this is to mire everything in so much confusion that working class people attack each other.

MiniTheMinx Wed 27-Feb-13 17:00:39


and some people have empathy whilst others are moralisers who for some reason think they have some kind of "shit won't happen to me shield"

morethanpotatoprints Wed 27-Feb-13 17:04:54


There would be far fewer dc in the world if nobody had them unless they were rich.
The OP needs help, support and kind words not being told she is immoral.
There are many reasons people are unable to work.

morethanpotatoprints Wed 27-Feb-13 17:15:22


I hope you feel like the majority on here have offered support, kindness, empathy and help.
However, we live in a society where there are many who fail to be able to offer the above.
I noted from your first posts you were very vulnerable emotionally and personally think your thread will go progressively worse.
If you don't feel up to the bashing, take the kind words offered and run, there are some horrible people out there.
Wishing you well with the baby, work and the future.

Mouseface Wed 27-Feb-13 17:17:57

OP - it sounds as though you're really having a shit time of things just now.... sad

I would seriously be thinking about talking to the Citizens Advice Bureau, just to see if they can help with managing any debts that you have, try to reduce monthly repayment plans etc?

Also, your DP could do with a visit to the GP if he's depressed as this is all piling on top of him, Zero Hours contracts are not even worth the paper they're written on. They should be illegal, but so many honest, genuine people who want to work are happy or feel pressured to sign them, that they keep cropping up and it seems a cheap way to get labour for employers who actually don't give a shit.

Would he consider a cleaning job? Stacking shelves? Bag packing? Shift work? ANYTHING to pay the bills and feed you guys?

Is he in any kind of programme at the job centre? Is there any support for him to help him find a new role? CV help, setting up interviews via an agency?

Is he registered with any employment agencies? WTC would certainly be the best way forward but he needs those 16 hours in the first place. It's vicious circle isn't it?

I hope something comes up soon for you all x

CloudsAndTrees Wed 27-Feb-13 17:31:07

I was responding to a poster who said that people who space out children so that they can afford their children and their childcare costs are idiots. This poster claimed that such common sense sounded like a wind up FFS.

I did not call the OP immoral. Nor did i say people should only have children if they are rich. you don't have to be rich to be able to afford your own children. Perhaps you should re read the post.

It is possible to have empathy at the same time as having morals.

akaemmafrost Wed 27-Feb-13 17:52:42

I don't read any empathy in your posts to be honest clouds.

TheSecondComing Wed 27-Feb-13 18:14:42

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Bunfags Wed 27-Feb-13 18:35:56

Don't feel bad. The remark about pregnacy was below the belt.

The zero hours contracts are bebcoming more common. So many people have lost their jobs in the last few years and I think that people should be encouraged to do what they can. What's the point in penalising someone for trying?

If/when the economy picks up again and there are more jobs, employers are going to want people like your DH, rather than people who sat on their arses thinking "what's the point".

The initial outlay with these catalogue businesses is variable; it's worth looking into a few. You can make some money with them: not that much, but it's worth doing just for the extra hours.

ruledbyheart Wed 27-Feb-13 18:51:38

Thank you for the helpful responses, frankly the people making judgements on me and my family can fuck off cos at least we are trying, surely better than sitting our backsides living of the government but still not good enough for some.

I will make an appointment with CAB to see if they can help and will continue to try and look for

Unfortunately the one employment agency won't take DP on as they once upon a time offered him a job he could not do and he had to turn it down (accounts work with no accounts trainingincluded DP is badly dyslexic).

Job centre won't help now DP is signed off they don't want to know.

DP has gone to work and will make sure he sits down with the manager and explains his situation to see if they can sort these hours out.

If nothing changes then we will make up a plan B.

ruledbyheart Wed 27-Feb-13 18:55:10

Mouseface DP has applied for everything going that he possibly can I have helped him with the applications everything, he has had a few interviews but unfortunately DP never got any of the jobs except this one but its not for lack of trying.
He would work 24/7 if it meant he could provide but at the moment this is all thatson offer.

pouffepants Wed 27-Feb-13 19:04:38

Where are you op?

I'm an owner driver, and belong to a forum of us. Lots are self-employed and have to cover for our own sickness/holidays etc. Our company operates 6 days a week, so people are often looking for someone regular one day a week. You only need to average 8 hours so that could be doable.

Just to show you can come from a shit situation. Once upon a time I was pregnant, by a severely disabled, terminally ill man, I was homeless and penniless also. We fell through various gaps in the system, because we were unable to live together for 5 years since he was in residential care. This buggered up money, because I couldn't get benefits as a single person because we got married, but couldn't as a couple because we lived apart. The system wouldn't help us because social services wouldn't provide care until we had appropriate housing, and housing wouldn't help us because we had no care. Clearly both were hoping he would die before they had to do anything with us. He eventually died at 31, 13 years past his life expectancy.

During this time I always did odd jobs involving driving. Leaflets, parcels, phone books, food etc. I am now pushing towards earning 30k from this type of work. It is doable.

AllDirections Wed 27-Feb-13 19:10:58

I have a zero hours contract and it sucks.

I booked and paid for childcare last week for the 3 days I was due to work and at the last minute they took the 3rd day off me. So no pay and £16 down because I'd paid for childcare angry

Maybe we could start a Mumsnet petition to abolish zero hours contracts.

Lucyellensmum95 Wed 27-Feb-13 19:23:27

Clouds and treees err, the previous poster suggested that the OP was on a windup because she dared to have another child when they were hard up. As for their friend being an idiot, maybe a bit strong but a bit niave really to think that was a better financial option than having the children closer together, having to fork out more for childcare in the short term but at least then building their career so that when both children at school they will be in a better position, i was not for one minute suggesting they should rely on benfits.

OP Do please get your DH to consider volunteer work - genuine voluntary work that will build on his skills and possibly even qualifications, rather than working for this company. Those sorts of jobs are just not suitable for people with families to support. There is no sense in your DH doing this job, he will get better skills elsewhere - ok no pay but you wont lose out benfit wise and he will feel if he is contributing. Get in touch with your local volunteer organisation, send his CV and you will be surprised at how this will improve his self esteem and employability!

Lucyellensmum95 Wed 27-Feb-13 19:25:17

Also, if he is dyslexic he should not be discriminated against.

badbride Wed 27-Feb-13 20:01:13

I think a trip to the CAB is a good idea. As well as advising you on your benefit entitlements, they can also put you in touch with non-governmental organisations, such as food banks (e. g ) who can help you keep your head above water until things get better.

The thing about being employed is that it plugs you into a network of people who could help you advance and find new opportunities, as well as making you more attractive to other employers. A lot of jobs aren't advertised: you find them by way of mouth in your professional network.

My sympathies to you and anyone else who is trying to claw their way out of our arse-backwards benefits system. The important thing is to remember that you are not alone: there are people and organisations out there who can help you. I hope your situation improves soon.

beautyfades Wed 27-Feb-13 20:05:50

same happend to me. Got myself a job, told me no more shifts for me after 3 months which basicaly cocked everything up made me get into rent debt, live on own with two dc with no money, just a mess. It is frightening an i cant sleep for worry. Just applying like mad for anything an eveything, it so stressful.

HappyMummyOfOne Wed 27-Feb-13 22:14:41

Surely the 16hours is paying more than JSA anyway? On a low wage you will still get HB and CTC plus three lots of child benefit. Then theres maintenance for the three children.

Life is tough but as others have said, you are an adult and chose to have another child. Given you are only 24 from your other posts and already have three children then your CV is going to be very patchy so your new DP is realistically the only income earner.

Volunteering as mentioned would be good for both your cv's as its likely you will both need to work to support a household of 6.

ruledbyheart Wed 27-Feb-13 22:56:10

Maintenance whats that lol.

With all 3 dc I worked throughout and after its just this time round.

HB is the biggest issue after lots of research as having no real contract means they will work out entitlement ob a monthly basis which means having to work out how much of dps wages is going to have to go on rent and council tax every month and then sort every other bill out.

Problem is as well is although the amount he earns even on 16 hrs is more than jsa he still has to pay out for his own petrol (gets some milage but doesn't cover it) so he is no better off.

If the car goes bang then he cannot work yet will still technically be employed so cant sign on.

It's all such a mess.

We want him to work but financially we are worse off and although volunteering is a great idea it he can't sign on unless he is sacked.

Darkesteyes Wed 27-Feb-13 23:07:23

hmm If he has already asked about the 24 hours (which is after all what he was originally promised) and they keep promising but not following through then i can see that sooner or later you will probably have to use a food bank OP. Which might not look too good. An employee of a food outlet having to use a food bank.
Maybe this needs to be hinted at to this "employer"

ruledbyheart Wed 27-Feb-13 23:12:36

It really is ridiculous tonight he was meant to work 5-10 he walks in at 9.30 as they sent him home early this has happened every shift so far.

I can't deal with the stress of it, he said he'd spoken to them but yet again he is sent home early he is doing bugger all hours but yet has to stick to it or quit and not be able to sign on for 26week.

Shit shit shit.

I'm hormonal and stressed now

Darkesteyes Wed 27-Feb-13 23:14:10

Sounds like the time has come for him to do this.....

hmm If he has already asked about the 24 hours (which is after all what he was originally promised) and they keep promising but not following through then i can see that sooner or later you will probably have to use a food bank OP. Which might not look too good. An employee of a food outlet having to use a food bank.
Maybe this needs to be hinted at to this "employer"

IneedAsockamnesty Wed 27-Feb-13 23:42:53

Loads of zero hour contracts actually prohibit you from having other work as they require you to be available to work for them when ever they want you to.

Check that before he gets a second job

Darkesteyes Wed 27-Feb-13 23:44:50

Exactly Sock. Some of the posters on this thread have absolutely no idea.

Maryz Wed 27-Feb-13 23:52:36

God, some people on this thread are really horrible shock.

If the government want people to work, they should have some sort of system of topping up low/part-time wages to at least what the person would get if they weren't working.

That way people could afford to get part time low paid jobs with prospects, and would come off unemployment when their jobs were secure.

Surely it would pay in the long term. This system is just ridiculous - I can understand why someone on UB would just stay there - the devil you know being better than the devil you don't and all that.

Congrats on your pregnancy op, and yes, this will pass smile.

IneedAsockamnesty Wed 27-Feb-13 23:54:56

Also not much point in talking to wtc as they are a couple that means at least 24 hours need to be worked each week to qualify.those hours HAVE to be in paid employment so volunteer work does not count.

The trussel trust is only able to issue 3 units (1 unit is enough none perishable food for each person for 2 days) to each household in a 12 month rolling period.

Assuming the pay is nmw he cannot go on the sick as he is under the minimum earnings threshold for ssp.

gaelicsheep Thu 28-Feb-13 00:02:37

OP, I'm so sorry you're getting a hard time from the ignorant judgypants folk on this thread. And I am shock that some people have never heard of zero hours contracts. I have no advice to offer I'm afraid, but I really hope things work out for you and good luck with the pregnancy. xx

Viviennemary Thu 28-Feb-13 00:07:42

I don't think enough support is given to people coming off benefits and into work. No consideration of expenses such as transport to and from work and buying more clothes for work. I think you should contact the Citizens Advice Bureau and see what they suggest. It doesn't seem right that your DH is trying to provide for his family by getting a job and yet is losing out.

You sound to be in a terrible situation and I do really feel for you all. It sounds to me like the town you're in is never really likely to provide work from what you've said. Would moving be an option? I honestly can't see what else you can do with being locked into a zero hour contract and not getting the hours, plus you not being able to work, and then on top not being able to claim benefits.

I've been a SAHM for a few years, and I am now looking to get back into the job market. We don't get WTC or any other benefits apart from CTC and CB, as DH earns to much, but we are really struggling so it's more than time for me to find a job. I already work 7 hours a week but there is no possibility of more hours there.

I thought I had a job at my local supermarket after getting through group interviews and assessments and a 1-1 interview. The job was not high powered or interesting, but was supposed to be 20 hours a week. When the contract came through it said it was a zero hours contract, and I queried this with them.

They said that while they hoped to give 20 hours a week they could not promise it, and some weeks I would, based on their previous years workload and pattern, get no more that 4 hours. They also said this could change with 48 hours notice, which meant I could suddenly either be required on not and be told then. How can you plan long term childcare round that? All local childminders and afterschool/holiday clubs require far more notice than that, or need to be paid in full if less notice than contracted given. As we are already struggling, and between our salaries we would also be paying childcare, whether they gave me the hours or not, I had to decline the job. There was no way we could continue to pay for childcare if I did not have money coming in to balance it out! Zero hours contracts are awful, and more common than ever before.

GregBishopsBottomBitch Thu 28-Feb-13 09:49:17

Manky I've also been SAHM for 5 years, and the job market its awful, been on JSA 6 months now, and i've not even had an interview.

Orwellian Thu 28-Feb-13 09:54:55

The only reason why it is better for you and your husband to stay on benefits is because you have so many children and the government pay you more for each new child you have. In an overpopulated world, with no jobs, it is not only crazy to pay people to have more kids but it is unfair on people who aren't entitled to benefits and have to live according to what their after tax salary allows them because they are subsidising those who do. And nobody I know in work gets a raise from their employer when they have a new child. Hopefully child benefits will be capped in the near future and we end this ridiculous culture of more children = more money.

I'd love some of the people on this thread to actually experience anything like what the op is going through.

I had the zero hours thing a while ago. Had an interview for a job at a hotel and was assured it was minimum of 16 hours a week, probably more etc. Went in to do a days trial, and was offered the job. I was then told that although they were pretty sure that i'd get 16 hours a week, the contract was actually a zero hours contract.
There is no way in the world that I could accept a job not knowing if I would earn enough to feed my dc each week, and I wouldn't expect anyone to do so.

andubelievedthat Thu 28-Feb-13 10:11:52

Orwellian , out of complete and total curiosity? when your in your dottage ,wearing an adult nappy, drooling etc, who is going to change same nappy/wipe your drool ? (if not todays young) oh, i get it ,you will never end up like that ,right?watch you do not fall from that pedastal you have hoisted yourself up on to, it is one hell off a bang when you hit the ground/reality !

I'd love some of the people on this thread to actually experience anything like what the op is going through.

Yes, its very easy to advocate the worthiness of work when you know your rent/mortgage is paid and the cupboards are full! Walk a day in the OPs shoes. One day! See what you think then.

GregBishopsBottomBitch Thu 28-Feb-13 10:18:09

I agree that with that Zero hours contracts should be illegal, because only thing it does is save the companies money, nevermind the poor employees who are struggling.

cantspel Thu 28-Feb-13 10:25:18

I hate the argument that the working poor should shell out children as we will need someone to wipe our arse one day. Why does no one ask who will be the future lawyers, bankers and captains of industry?

It is saying all the children of poor parents can aspire to is low paid shit jobs.

Yes the op should have been more responsible with her contraception but the child is coming now so needs her husband to be earning a living wage.

If he is a driver can he pick up some extra hours as a delivery driver? parcels or even self employed doing betterware or cleaning?
You need 24 hours to get wtc but they can be spit over several jobs.

CrunchyFrog Thu 28-Feb-13 10:31:31

I'm better off on benefits. The 40% of my childcare that the WTC doesn't cover is55% of my salary. When I started work, my housing benefit went down by 60%. The rent is also 55% of my salary. So I'm paying out more than I earn just on childcare and rent. CTC covers everything else, thankfully. But the very fact that I get more in CTC than I actually earn is a bit mental.

I'll have to stop work or drop hours when the kids are off in summer, there is no actual way I can afford to pay the childcare then.

HappyMummyOfOne, the point is that the OP's H won't get CTC/WTC because he is on a zero-hours contract.
The only way to get round this trap is to do something 'self-employed' and flexible like a catalogue round along with your zero-hours job, and even then it can be tricky if someone in the benefits office decides to get overzealous. I am officially a writer along with my other jobs, which is good because it's hard for the buggers to measure accurately how many 'hours' I do, but when I first applied for WTC I could demonstrate that I earned regular money from freelance writing. I believe it's harder to get them to accept 'self-employment' in writing/painting/handicrafts if you can't show any evidence that you are making any money at all from it, whereas the Avon/Usbourne type jobs are generally regarded as legitimate because you can demonstrate order books etc.

IneedAsockamnesty Thu 28-Feb-13 10:51:46

Actually solid gold in the very near future they won't even be able to work those hours doing door to door stuff as unless they are able to earn the equivilent of nmw for each hour worked they won't be taken into consideration.

The rules are changing to activly prevent people doing that.

Your quite right tho it would be much easier to berate someone for claiming benefits if you actually had any knowledge about how they work and what rules apply to whom, but people who know that stuff tend not to berate because they know the perception is utter hog wash

gaelicsheep Thu 28-Feb-13 13:16:17

This thread totally bears out what I and many others have been arguing on several other threads in recent weeks (and feeling like we're wasting our bloody time frankly, according to the ignorance that is still on display here). The Government spouts all this crap, gets everyone fired up against "scroungers" and then implements rules that actively work against what they are supposed to be trying to achieve. Then who gets the blame? The poor sods who are trapped trying to do their best whilst having the rug pulled out from under their feet.

Orwellian (and others like you) - How about reading the thread and using your brain, just for a change?

gaelicsheep Thu 28-Feb-13 13:18:07

And as I've said before, the only people who can reasonably find their way through this minefield are those with family on tap to provide childcare at the drop of a hat while both partners do what work they can when it's given. Few people are that fortunate.

gaelicsheep Thu 28-Feb-13 13:19:40

cantspel - "Yes the op should have been more responsible with her contraception"

That is a despicable thing to say. The OP has explained the circumstances, how DARE you judge her?

David Camerons Big Society is a joke.

akaemmafrost Thu 28-Feb-13 13:35:21

gaelic that judgment has been a regular occurrence throughout this thread and it's hateful IMO.

gaelicsheep Thu 28-Feb-13 13:36:33

You're not wrong. Why aren't zero hour contracts illegal for all except the most transient casual work? Because it would upset the business-owning, money-grabbing Tory voters, that's why. B****%%%%ds.

Maryz Thu 28-Feb-13 13:40:07

Yes I agree judging her pregnancy is out of order angry.

If she had posted "I can't work because I'm ttc-ing at the moment and hope to have a baby next year", then fine, judge away.

But there is a lot of totally unnecessary nastiness on this thread.

gaelicsheep Thu 28-Feb-13 13:41:37

You know it is always always the way on this bloody website (and in society generally). If someone falls on hard times the first instinct of nearly everybody is to pick over the details of their life and crow about where they have gone wrong. It is shameful and cruel. Not to mention totally hypocritical.

Maryz Thu 28-Feb-13 13:42:43

Oh, and I had a zero hour contract with MacDonalds for my first ever job in 1979. For the first week, I had to be available (and call in) at 10 am every day to find out that they had no hours for me.

The second week I could check in by phone, but again no hours.

So I organised to go away for the weekend. Apparently they needed me at 7.30 that night (they rang my mum). I wasn't there, so they sacked me.

Luckily I was still living at home. But I can't believe that 35 years later it is still legal to "employ" someone like this.

expatinscotland Thu 28-Feb-13 13:44:22

Zero hours contracts need abolished.

MustafaCake Thu 28-Feb-13 13:44:56

Zero hours contracts are not totally crap, they can work really well for people who are happy to pick up work on an irregular and unplanned basis.

I work in HR and we have a few ZH contract staff who step in to cover work when people are on leave, off sick or when we have big events.

However, I make it very clear at interview that there is no guarantee of work (equally, the employee does not have to accept the work even when I offer it) and that this job can absolutely not be relied on as a steady stand alone income.

For that reason, my ZH contract staff are retired people, local students, people claiming benefits or the families 2nd income.

The OP's DH should absolutely not take a ZH contract, even if he is verbally promised work. He needs to find a job with regular contracted hours and remain on benefits until he does.

GregBishopsBottomBitch Thu 28-Feb-13 13:46:19

So I organised to go away for the weekend. Apparently they needed me at 7.30 that night (they rang my mum). I wasn't there, so they sacked me.

Thats disgusting that they still let employers get away with it, im gonna be more vigilant, in my jobsearch, no way am i settling for zero hours on a contract, i want atleast 16.

catsmother Thu 28-Feb-13 13:47:01

As Gaelicsheep has said better than I can there seem to have been a number of this type of thread lately which have all been prompted by the dreadful current employment situation for many and the (constantly changing) benefit rules which are often inhumane, illogical and seemingly designed (it often seems to me so far as I can understand it) to be more about reducing "figures" in various ways rather than actually helping people in need. On each and every one I've read there are always a small minority (thank goodness) who come on and presumably take some righteous pleasure by twisting the knife into people who are already at their wits' end and desperate.

Whether or not the OP (in this case) had 10 children and was expecting triplets isn't really the point is it ? The point(s) highlighted by stories like these and the stuff any decent compassionate person should be getting on their high horse about are issues like exploitative and restrictive zero hour contracts, like the 'trap' many low paid workers find themselves in by actually working when they move off benefits, like the fact the near impossible demands being made of many benefit claimants don't make sense and take little or no account of justifiable individual circumstances, like the fact that huge swathes of people are under so much stress and pressure just trying to survive that many are finding both their mental and physical health is being severely compromised - which in turn is going to cost the NHS dear and make it even harder for those affected to find and retain work.

It's the bloody inhumanity of it all which disgusts me and unless you are very very comfortable and are confident you could independently survive long periods out of work should you be made redundant or fall ill, this is something everyone should care about as many of us are a whisker away from being in the OP's position. Heck, scrub that, everyone, regardless of their own personal safety net should bloody well care because we are supposed to be a civilised society which means people in need are helped to maintain a basic standard of living when they can't, with the best will in the world, manage that themselves.

expatinscotland Thu 28-Feb-13 13:50:12

They don't work when the employer expects the individual to be available 24/7 for any shift.

They are a way to wriggle out of employment rights and gaelic is spot on.

Maryz Thu 28-Feb-13 13:52:08

No it's ok Greg - this was 35 years ago, surely (surely shock) they couldn't do it now.

Though I suppose if the op's dh took a second part time job and then wasn't available for the first job, they could technically sack him.

It's appalling.

And yes Mustafa - a zero-hours contract wouldn't bother me atm as I am looking for part-time flexible "fill-in" work - but it would be a problem if I had to be available 24 hours a day 7 days a week just in case. Such contracts only work if there is flexibility on both sides.

JuliaScurr Thu 28-Feb-13 13:59:47

The political situation has put people in this impossible position. This govt want to destroy the Welfare State and return to the 30's

Try not to let it get to you -loads of people are in your position

gaelicsheep Thu 28-Feb-13 13:59:54

I think the worry of a lot of people (or at least my worry) is that the new system of sanctions could be applied if people refuse to take work that happens to be on a zero hours contract. It's off topic for this thread I know, but in the case of finding school hours work LOADS of that is zero hours and it just will not work for so many people. I hope it doesn't happen already, but in the future what if people lose their benefits or get forced into Workfare because they refuse to take work that cannot earn them a living?

ParsingFancy Thu 28-Feb-13 14:06:03


The Resolution Foundation is doing research into the effects of zero hours contracts, and needs first hand accounts. Contact vidhya.alakeson (at)

This looks like a really good opportunity to get our voices heard (including positive experiences, though I didn't notice many of those...)

[Disclaimer: I'm not in any way associated with this think tank; I was looking for info to help OP and came across a call for evidence. The Resolution Foundation is a think tank that works to improve the lives of people on low to middle incomes. ]

MiniTheMinx Thu 28-Feb-13 14:15:45

I think that is a real possibility gaelicsheep

As I understand it, once people are passed over to these companies like A4e, they can be sanctioned for not applying for jobs or turning work down. The likes of A4e must love the zero hr contracts because it is a way of getting people off their books and picking up the lolly. Which leads me to think that whilst people are technically employed earning zilch and they are unable to claim JSA or other benefits because of the rule on hrs and under UC possible conditionality over NMW earnings threshold?????.......this means that there is simply a displacement of wealth. This might not even save the government simply moves money from the poor who need it to the shareholders of these companies.

MiniTheMinx Thu 28-Feb-13 14:16:18

X-post with ParsingFancy excellent find smile

expatinscotland Thu 28-Feb-13 14:24:35

Mini, this is exactly what will happen under UC.

morethanpotatoprints Thu 28-Feb-13 14:38:45

What worries me most is the change in societal attitudes. At one time most people would sympathise with the OP and offer help. Yes there was the odd judgmental person.
Now the judgmental type is increasing being reminiscent of bygone eras where families and children in particular suffered. It is such a shame that we seem to be going back to these times and society will either welcome this (the judgemental) or be able to do nothing about it (the sympathisers).
I pray that families are going to be able to stay together. I think many of the judgemental have forgotten that less than 50 years ago families were broken due to lack of a good welfare system. We are those children now and it still hurts many mothers.

MiniTheMinx Thu 28-Feb-13 14:50:55

morethanpotatoprints yy, I am reading a very good book atm A Brief History of Neoliberalism by Harvey. What is happening isn't just economic and about free markets, its about changing the way people think. For the wealthy to be able to consolidate their wealth and class power they need either our agreement or our ignorance.

Whilst there is diminished personal resources derived from the job market under neo-liberalism, there is pressure to transfer all responsibility back onto the individual. So whilst we in theory should have greater choices we don't and have is a situation where any failure is seen as a fault within the individual rather than owing to the economic situation.

ParsingFancy Thu 28-Feb-13 15:13:58

Agreed, Mini. And zero hours contracts are the epitome of transferring responsibility (in this case, financial risk) onto the individual. Typically the low paid individual, who is least able to absorb it.

morethanpotatoprints Thu 28-Feb-13 15:16:08


I go cold just thinking about it, its just so awful. Up until recently I thought the past was horrible and couldn't be repeated. I'm hopeful it won't but the judgmental in our society need to remember that it was people with their attitude that encouraged families to be split prior to the mid 1970's.
I have interviewed some of the mothers through past study, but it was so personal to me I had to abandon my research. I would be very interested to find any recent research done into this.

SaskiaRembrandtVampireHunter Thu 28-Feb-13 15:22:18

"What worries me most is the change in societal attitudes."

It's a return to the Victorian idea of the deserving and undeserving poor, and also a return to the true values of the Tory party - Clement Atlee was right about them.

MiniTheMinx Thu 28-Feb-13 15:53:11

I used to work with Nuns many years ago and they spoke about having to join the convent because there was no work and no men to marry in northern ireland, couple that with no abortion rights and huge levels of poverty and you have a situation where children end up in care, families end up split up or/& as economic migrants. These women went into the convent because they came from big families and the choice was to keep them or keep their younger siblings in the family. Its often women & children that suffer the most.

Writehand Thu 28-Feb-13 16:06:59

I would look into being self-employed, OP Is there any business you or DP could start? Cleaning? Typing? Proofreadin? smile Anything you can realistically do in your own time?

You start the business, you tell the Tax Credits people, and declare as many hours as you work. The important thing -- the key thing -- is that you get the Tax Credits even if the hours you're putting in are unpaid. It's the working that counts, not the income.

So if you spend 24 hours a week setting up your business - writing flyers, making calls, drawing up a business plan -- all this makes you eligible for Tax Credits even if you aren't being paid by anyone for the time you put in.

I work for myself and in the past couple of years I've had times when the business wasn't paying me anything. But I'm still entitled to Tax Credits.

Goodtalkingtoo Thu 28-Feb-13 16:13:31

I have been a mumsnetter for years, a while ago I left for a while as I was sick and tired of every thread getting dragged to pieces. I came back hoping to gain the support that at one time offered but some of the posts here are shamefull. Had this lady came on here and said I am sitting on my backside on benefits cos its financially better than working she would have been ripped to bits, but she comes on looking for support As her family is worse off working and gets ripped to bits. It's shamefull being a mumsnetter now, no longer are many posts designed to support but are written by lucky people on their high horses who haven't got a clue. Hope the those lucky few

Goodtalkingtoo Thu 28-Feb-13 16:14:20

Sorry ran out of space

Hope those lucky few never fall off

gaelicsheep Thu 28-Feb-13 16:15:34

Except you want to take a look at what UC has to say about self employment. I'll find a link later, I can't recall the details, but times are changing there too. I think you get a year to establish and then things will get tough.

Bunfags Thu 28-Feb-13 16:29:46

Writehand, the wtc rules are changing for self employed people in April. You will have to be earning more than the equivalent of 35 hours per week at minimum wage.. or something like that. It's another kick in the teeth for people who are trying to get by in this awful time of high unemployment.

It's a joke, because I wonder how many people will end up claiming CT benefit, housing benefit and unemployment benefit, when they could have been starting up a business and getting WTC?

Surely helping people to start up a business makes better sense? They have a chance of getting off benefits, but if you're unemployed it actually damages your prospects of getting a job.

SaskiaRembrandtVampireHunter Thu 28-Feb-13 16:46:14

Yes, it does make sense to help people to start businesses, but this isn't about sense. It's about increasing the pool of free labour for Poundland and co.

It does seem to me, sometimes, as though there is a deliberate strategy to create a serf class. But it's simply unworkable in the long run.

Orwellian Thu 28-Feb-13 16:55:09

andubelievedthat - The argument that the government needs to keep paying people to have more children so there will be people to work as carers when the population is old is not only false but also logically and economically unsustainable.

Firstly, there are already millions of unemployed people in this country as it is, so we do not need millions more unemployed to add to that figure. The UK is already home to hundreds of thousands of Filipinos, Indians etc who care for the elderly because so many British people will not work for such a low wage as they can get more claiming benefits (especially if they have children - see the OP's post).

Secondly, there is no guarantee that the children of a family that have been on benefits for years will go on to work, they are just as likely to become benefit claimants themselves and be a further burden on the state.

Thirdly, the logic that more children = bigger future workforce would spell disaster as there is finite land, resources and money and you are advocating a pyramid scheme, whereby there always needs to be more and more people at the bottom (workers) supporting those at the top (the elderly). This is simply unsustainable.

Darkesteyes Thu 28-Feb-13 17:05:36

gaelicsheepThu 28-Feb-13 13:19:40

cantspel - "Yes the op should have been more responsible with her contraception"

Its not only judgemental. Its also sexist and mysogynistic. Because it implies that its all down to the OP

Goodtalkingtoo Thu 28-Feb-13 17:09:36

Orwellian there is no guarantee that any child from working parents or unemployed parents will go onto work, in this climate even those from generations of hard workers can't find jobs.

Just like there is quarantee that a child from a non working household wont go on to be the next Allan sugar. Come on many successes have came from poverty.

No one should be worse off working than on benefits, and those on benefits, every last one of them has a life story that put them there.

The biggest flaw in Britain at this moment is not unemployments it's lack of compassion

Darkesteyes Thu 28-Feb-13 17:16:35

Orwellian what the fuck do you think the OPs DH is doing then if hes not working. Throwing parties in the delivery vehicle!!!!!

MiniTheMinx Thu 28-Feb-13 17:20:24

Orwellian, I would really recommend either reading up about neo-liberal economic theory and social policy or perhaps a couple of lectures on the basics smile

Talking about what we need as a country, is irrelevant to what our political class want or need. They no longer act in the interests of the nation state. They ONLY act in the interests of business & therefore the capitalist class. This is the real reason why the state is impoverished and can no longer afford welfare, education and health. There is a dialectic btw the debt and the ideology of small state. So the desire is for a small state, the conditions for this are created.

SaskiaRembrandtVampireHunter Thu 28-Feb-13 17:22:00

Darkest you mean men are involved in the process? Surely not. I'm sure I read somewhere that an angel appears in the kitchen and says 'right young lady, you're going to have a baby, but don't claim CB because Orwellian will be very, very angry'. If women wish to avoid pregnancy they should stop talking to angels. It's really very simple.

Darkesteyes Thu 28-Feb-13 17:37:03

grin at Saskia.

MiniTheMinx Thu 28-Feb-13 17:44:22

The reason we have so many immigrants taking up poorly paid care work is not because benefits are so generous but because wages are so poor. Where these immigrants come from the wages are poorer still. The fact is though that the elderly are not be cared for in residential and nursing homes....that care is increasingly falling to women to do for free. LA budgets are being decimated and services cut.

SaskiaRembrandtVampireHunter Thu 28-Feb-13 17:52:34

Also, many immigrants are being ripped off, and are working for less than minimum wage - employers were very quick to find ways around that. Of course, British people aren't taking those jobs, they know they aren't legal.

Paradisefound Thu 28-Feb-13 17:54:29

Your husband may find that once he proves himself to his employers that more shifts are offered. He also needs to let them know on a regular basis that he needs to able to feed his family. Also any work is better than no work in the long term as it is much easier to get a better job if you are already working. However you have got to be able to feed your family...having the uncertainty of a decent income can be scary. I have worked on zero contracts before and things have always improved with time.

Darkesteyes Thu 28-Feb-13 18:02:54

Paradise the trouble with that is that people dont have that "time" Because in that "time" more and young children are now being diagnosed with diseases and illnessess that were thought to be previously eradicated like rickets.
Sometimes families simply dont have the "time" to wait without it effecting their health or the health of their children.

Darkesteyes Thu 28-Feb-13 18:09:39

Exactly Saskia.

A large crowd in the Hope Centre are from Romania, and say they are waiting for food because collecting scrap metal and washing cars isn't enough to make ends meet. A bigger number is there because of benefit delays and cuts, or simply because they are no longer able to make their low wages stretch.

A local supermarket has delivered a load of stock just about to reach its sell-by date (it doesn't want to be named, to avoid getting caught up in discussion of the merits of giving food that is about to go off to the hungry) and today it is offloading industrial quantities of iced buns, which several families take home by the dozen.

The boom in Britain's food banks reflects a number of worrying and complicated trends. As well as rising unemployment, more people are seeing their hours cut at work. For the past couple of years, charities have been warning that a shift to a less generous way of uprating benefits in line with inflation, combined with rising food and fuel prices, would make life more difficult for people claiming benefits. Then there is the start of a new, harsher benefits regime, as a result of which it seems that more claimants are having their payments sanctioned – cut or stopped entirely – if they miss appointments. At the same time, the state system of a social fund and crisis loans is being wound down, so emergency cash payments from the welfare system for those deemed to be in extreme need are now exceptionally difficult to procure. Around 43% of visitors to Trussell Trust distribution centres nationwide come because of changes to their benefits or a crisis loan being refused.

MiniTheMinx Thu 28-Feb-13 18:37:42

I was offered window alarms today! this won't end well, if people are left literally with nothing, then we will have very many desperate people. I wonder what George and Dave will want done when crime shoots up.

8dayweek Thu 28-Feb-13 19:41:54

Ok, I had to join because I don't think you've had very good benefit advice (in general, not on here). Your partner can continue to claim JSA for you both as a couple as long as he is working ON AVERAGE under 16hrs p/week. He would just need to declare this fortnightly. That is one option. The other option is a partner or "dependent" on a JSA (or ESA) claim (presumably you on his previous JSA claim) can work under 24hrs p/ you can claim JSA as the "main claimant", he and could be the "dependent", however you would be liable to actively seek employment etc, not him.
If you claimed ESA, which it sounds like you could do under "incapacity by means of pregnancy", you would not need to meet the same conditionality (i.e. Prove you are actively seeking employment each fortnight) but would need a medical certificate from your GP and may be required to attend a medical at some point (though it's unlikely if it's primarily pregnancy related).
Although your partner's earnings may decease the amount of benefit you receive, even 10p of income-based/related benefit will be enough to enable you to automatically receive "passported benefits" (HB, CTB etc).
I'm sorry if this is long and rambling - first ever post and on my phone!
I would like to mention the person (waaaay) up post who gave you the advice of "go to GP, tell GP he's stressed, get signed off, claim relevant benefit" etc that it is exactly this kind of attitude that leaves mental health conditions subject to such scrutiny and not taken seriously - it's people that use it as a card to be played, or to get out of something they don't want to do, that devalue it for genuine sufferers. (Not suggesting that is you / your partner OP)

gaelicsheep Thu 28-Feb-13 20:17:32

8dayweek - thanks for joining. Can I ask, since it's thankfully years since I was in the system, how many times would he have to declare an average of more than 16 hours before benefits are stopped? Just once or is there some sense? And what us this black hole bet commnween 16 hours work = loss of JSA and 24 hours = start of WTC? Is that really the case?

gaelicsheep Thu 28-Feb-13 20:19:15

8dayweek - thanks for joining. Can I ask, since it's thankfully years since I was in the system, how many times would he have to declare an average of more than 16 hours before benefits are stopped? Just once or is there some common sense? And what is this black hole between 16 hours work = loss of JSA and 24 hours = start of WTC? Is that really the case?

gaelicsheep Thu 28-Feb-13 20:20:03

Sorry! Blasted phone keeps posting while I'm trying to edit!

greencolorpack Thu 28-Feb-13 20:29:17

Sorry op for your troubles.

I would like to know the name of the pizza company so that I can avoid giving them any of my money. If the customers walk away from employers who screw people over the companies might consider decent contracts. Start a campaign, name and shame!

Snuppeline Thu 28-Feb-13 20:55:42

It sounds like a tough situation to be in OP. I've been there several times in my life and hope not to be in that position again. However, since I had already known poverty and got through tough times when my family fell on hard times again (dh redundancy) I got creative. I set myself up as a babysitting service. Someone said up thread that you need references for that in London. Why let that stop you? That's where I lived. I babysat for free to get references from friends and aqaintances. I offered a much lower hourly rate than others in my area - and guess what I got plenty of work. One day I earned £60 to babysit a baby whilst the parents were at a wedding. Most weeks I did a few eveni gs and got 20 odd per night. I worked fulltime at the time and found it hard (long evenings, not being with my own dd). But that extra big of money made a difference.

What I am trying to say is that there are lots of reasons why something can't be done there are those that makes even thise those things work too - for a time. So why don't you look into doing something similar OP? Dh should also get more of the ZH jobs to increase his hours. If he isn't available for job 1 because he has hours from job 2 then so be it. One of the jobs may also turn into something a bit more secure in time.

Another thing, it sounds like there could be a maked in being a flexible childminder/babysitter for other parents in ZH/uncertain hours contract.
Why not look into setting yourself up for that?

I don't agree with ZH contracts by the way and think something should be done about them.

ruledbyheart Thu 28-Feb-13 21:16:55

I'm still lurking and taking in the useful information so thank you for all the helpful advice.

I've explained my circumstances regarding my dc and this pregnancy if you still want to judge fine, but I am its not going to change so I don't find the input helpful in the slightest and I hope no one finds themselves in the positions I have been in.
I could understand if I'm sitting on my backside reaping the benefits but my DP and I are trying to stand on our own two feet like we have both done all our adult life until we both took some unfortunate and unavoidable knocks in life last year.

Thats all I'm going to say on that matter.

DP has spoken to the job centre this morning and been told unless he gets less than 16hours a week they can't help but as soon as he does he can sign on just for the weeks with less hours, HB and jobcentre apparently communicate so will get worked out for us on a regular basis (I dont hold much hope of this).

DP is looking for other work and for now we will just muddle through and see whathours he can get.

You have to earn more than £238 a week in my area before HB is affected. CB isnt included and the first £25 of pay is disregarded.

You should find out the circumstances in your area!

CTC for two kids (for us) is only £110 a week so you should still qualify for the rent help you get on JSA. I hope its the same where you are.

Maryz Thu 28-Feb-13 21:39:46

Now, listen [stern glare] STOP defending yourself.

You have done nothing wrong and if the bitchy unsupportive twats want to judge you let them.

Let's hope the hours increase - make sure you keep records of exactly how much he gets, what hours he works etc so that he can at least have good evidence of what you are "losing" by him working.

LadyApricot Thu 28-Feb-13 21:54:37

Can you just tell wtc that he's working 24 hours even if one week he only does 16? How would they know? You'd still get the tax credits. Also I'm sure it's all worked out on an average so if one week is more and ones less it doesn't matter?
My husband only works 24 hrs a week, we have two dc's but we're definitely better off than on benefits
Hope this helps

gaelicsheep Thu 28-Feb-13 22:33:12

I don't see how you could do that really? It's fraudulent isn't it, and you can bet the one who really needs a break will be the one who gets randomly investigated and caught out. And to make the average 24 hours he'd have to be getting more hours than that some weeks, and it sounds like that really isn't going to happen sadly.

A few people have said (to paraphrase) that you need to suck up to your employer until they trust you enough to actually give you the work they employed you for. Well I'm sorry, but that might be OK for a school kid or someone on work experience, but the OP's DH is a grown adult and deserves to be treated like one.

IneedAsockamnesty Thu 28-Feb-13 22:35:43

Lady after 17 hours ni kicks in so hmrc would expect to see that

IneedAsockamnesty Thu 28-Feb-13 22:42:23

Wannabe HB does not work like that.

You have a upper earning bar and a personal income disregard and various circumstance related premiums. Someone who earns less than the bar then gets there disregard and premiums worked out that sum is deducted from the total income ( ex cb and maintainance) anything left is classed as available for rent.

LadyApricot Thu 28-Feb-13 22:44:49

Hopefully there is something that can be done to the employer for not providing the hours advertised. Definitely a trip to citizens advice is called for.
Offering a zero hour contract despite advertising for 24 hrs a week is very sneaky. Maybe the job centre could understand this as a reason for leaving?

Well thats how it works in my area. Theres a calculator website that explains it all.

IneedAsockamnesty Thu 28-Feb-13 22:51:16

Do you mean that in your area someone can earn that much and still get full HB?

Thats what the caculator said. Tbh I did think that was a bit much.

But I was checking what rent we would have to pay if I got a job I was applying for at the time. It was p/t and I wanted to see how it would work financially.

My income from the job (on the calculator) was 150, ctc was 110. So that was 250. Minus the 25 disregard. Total 225. Calculator said we were eligible to claim the same HB as we do now. Rent due £0.

BertieBotts Thu 28-Feb-13 23:24:02

You have to do an average of 24, so doing 16 one week is fine as long as you do 34 the next week to make up for it, but not doing between 16 and 24 constantly because the average will be too low.

I'm on zero hours currently (I average between 16 and 24 but because I'm a lone parent my minimum is 16 anyway) and it's such a pain to juggle it all the time. And people at my workplace have been given no shifts when management wants to get rid of them - it's supposed to be hush-hush but everyone knows about it. If you're ill too much they just drop your shifts right down to the minimum.

IneedAsockamnesty Thu 28-Feb-13 23:57:00

Wannabe. Its a bit like this ( not using actual figures using silly numbers for ease)

Say rent is £42 pw couple with 2 kids who earn £40 per week

Income disallowed £2 in work bonus
CB £2 as its not testable
£5 child care costs

This leaves £31

Child £1 x 2 =£2
Family premium £0.50
Couple premium £0.60
Liking green socks premium £7

These add up to £10.10

Deduct £10.10 from £31

This leaves £20.90

Therefore this family has £20.90 they would be expected to use for rent and ct the rest would be made up from HB.

Obviously the names of the premiums are made up and these are not the correct numbers,I cannot be arsed to walk downstairs to my office and get the names and numbers but its just to show how its worked out.

The premiums are basicly circumstance and family relevant and are used to protect different amounts that the gov says needs to be protected because that's what each circumstance says you need to live on.

IneedAsockamnesty Thu 28-Feb-13 23:59:01

Oh and HB or LHA do not work things out over a long time and average your hours its week by week Monday - Sunday so working 10 hours one week and you qualify that week if the next you do 50 hours then that week you would not qualify

gaelicsheep Fri 01-Mar-13 00:02:12

Christ alive. I remember when DH was liable to pay child maintenance on the evil CSA1. He had a variable income and it pretty much bankrupted us as it only took one week of higher earnings to scupper us for the next 6 months, even if he had no work for several weeks. I do hope the HB people are more efficient, but I doubt it.

Well when I put all our details in it came back with that result.

It takes ages to go through but if I get a chance tomorrow I will do it again and C&P the explanation at the end that mentions the £238. Thats for a couple with 2 kids btw.

IneedAsockamnesty Fri 01-Mar-13 00:12:16

No they are not.

I week of not qualifying and variable income each week will lead to about 6 weeks of over payments that get clawed back during each week if hours are still varied then each additional week award will be different unless you can provide a weekly payslip or employer letter if any differences go in your favour I.e result in more HB being awarded they will not backdate more than a month.

So effectively you end up in a constant over payment claw back cycle

DrRanj Fri 01-Mar-13 00:12:22

I don't mean to be judgey, but pregnancy does not stop you working, and if your husband is only working 16 hrs why can you not work when he is at home? I know it is not ideal, but sometimes it is necessary. I worked right up until I gave birth, and had 3 different temporary jobs, and returned to study full time when dd was 8 months and now we both are full time (dp working) and manage childcare between us, with minimal help from a childminder. Although granted I realise this must be harder with 3 kids.

I do sympathise with your situation though, it is not fair that your dp was promised hours he didn't get.

gaelicsheep Fri 01-Mar-13 00:16:55

ruledbyheart has already said she is struggling 1) because of the pregnancy and 2) because she has many medical appointments because she is high risk. Given that she is high risk and quite pregnant already it is unreasonable, in my opinion, to suggest she should be finding a job now. But as it stands she is trying and finding - unsurprisingly - that employers are unwilling to employ someone who is obviously pregnant and needs a lot of time off!

Sorry to speak for you ruledbyheart.

IneedAsockamnesty Fri 01-Mar-13 00:18:00

The 238 sounds like its your protected premium and your disregard but someone with a different sized family and different circumstances would have differing ones.

Someone working and paying £300 pw childcare (if the ages of the children re relivant)but with the exact same other circumstances would have a an additional £300 protected but someone with one less child no childcare would have a much lower protected income.

ruledbyheart Fri 01-Mar-13 00:18:37

DrRanj had you read my posts you would see I am a high risk pregnancy and although looking for work where I live there is fuck all and even less for someone who is obviously pregnant and having to find something to work around all my appointments.

Sorry for being snappy but getting sick of being judged when I have already given details on why I cannot find any bloody work and feel like I'm going round in circles having to explain my reasons to complete strangers on the Internet.

gaelicsheep Fri 01-Mar-13 00:19:16

Also, the whole point of this thread is that her DH does not know when or if he will be working at any point, so juggling that around medical appointments and 3 children sounds to me to be more than impossible.

I just want to say that I would not care one jot if ruledbyheart and her DH had decided to stay on benefits, given what they have to deal with. Except for the fact that they would have a shit life forever more, but then work doesn't seem to change that these days.

DrRanj Fri 01-Mar-13 00:20:47

I apologise. sad (Hope that's the right emoticon as on iPad and they look weird...)

ruledbyheart Fri 01-Mar-13 00:21:10

Xpost with gaelic sheep, thank you.
I feel like banging my head against a brick wall now

CressidaFitass Fri 01-Mar-13 00:28:07

If I knew the OP I would tell her to go to her MP. I don't know who her MP is but I would research it and make sure you said whatever was most likely to get a good response and some sympathy.

If a local councillor or MP here contacted the supermarket they might jump (on the other hand the MP or councillor might not want to annoy them- but you won't know till you ask).

I would also get in touch with local paper - our local squeak has always got dire tales of a local unfortunate in some dilemma or other. The upshot from that (as long as the speel is flattering and explains their predicament with empathy, not critically) I think there would be a chance that her poor DH might get a job out of it. There are few jobs round here but I would think someone might need a driver/ handyman/goodness knows what ( I dont' know his skills).

The bottom line as far as benefits is concerned, or any money from the tax payer, is that it is running out, pretending that we CAN pay for free health care for all and care for the increasing numbers of elderly and pay people who aren't working or subsidise childcare etc etc etc is pie in the sky, the money is running out, tax will have to go up, benefits will have to go down. If this means people having fewer children and caring for their own elderly then that is what will have to happen. Regardless of who is in government - our standard of living will fall and people will have to cut their cloth etc

gaelicsheep Fri 01-Mar-13 00:29:29

Which is fine if it starts with people cutting their silk and ermine to fit. But it doesn't does it?

When I worked I was in management, and I found myself in a conversation about how to get out of employing a girl who was pregnant without opening the company up to a discrimination claim.

I was disgusted with the company for many reasons, but that was the last straw. I found another job soon after.

Companies do not employ pregnant women. Getting a job while pregnant is pretty impossible.

CressidaFitass Fri 01-Mar-13 00:59:09

Gaelic , I think that the wealthy middle classes (especially the vast number on retirement pensions) are due for a hammering in the future - how on earth else can they be paid, especially for the vast numbers of retired former public servants. So many people, mostly in this category are being 'let go' or paid off early to cut staff and costs - all that happens is the tax payer takes on the burden. So not the ermine wearers but he comfortably off will be caught as there are not the younger taxpayers around to fund this.

olgaga Fri 01-Mar-13 01:29:01

There's no advice anyone can give you, only sympathy. I'm afraid the whole point of these welfare reforms is to send a message to anyone thinking of having children, and that is to think about whether you can actually afford it because the state is going to make life extremely difficult.

Lots of wonderful people who are great parents - and their children - will suffer for the achievement of this "culture change".

Are you in touch with local support services? Look at your local authority website to find your nearest family/children's centre where you can get good advice. Or contact Homestart or Turn2us

expatinscotland Fri 01-Mar-13 02:53:07

Pray tell me then, Cressida, if the money is running out, how we still have hundreds of millions to pay out in bonuses to a few bankers or else increase their 6 or 7 figure basic salary? Billions for wars, aid, a new train line we don't need, and billions more for private contractors to shaft the poor and working poor? The country is supposedly broke, but has money to pay huge bonuses, prop up the housing bubble with low interest rates whilst inflation fails to fall and pay out to private contractors?

Are people really still falling for this twaddle? If so then they deserve all they will get: a government stuck in the time of George III, a government which denied the vote to men who didn't own property, which was only 10% of them, a Whig party by another name.

The bankers bonuses (especially in a company making losses) are just disgusting.

gaelicsheep Fri 01-Mar-13 12:45:33

You know how people claim that those on benefits are crying poor and having their children go hungry while choosing to buy designer clothes, lots of booze and Sky TV?

Well I don't believe that is true at all. But that is exactly what the country is doing - spending money on luxuries it cannot afford while choosing to ignore the basic needs of its citizens.

CressidaFitass Fri 01-Mar-13 14:31:23

The money in bankers bonuses wouldn't fund the health care of a hundered oldies, we are in denial as to the cost of all this. Well the train line will provide jobs whilst being built, and then, hopefully, spread the wealth of the SE a bit wider.

They prop up the housing bubble to calm the populace - if everyone found out tomorrow that their house was worth half what they thought no one would spend anything, they'd just hunker down saving every penny towards vital things, care in old age, univ fees etc. and the country would almost grind to a halt.

gaelicsheep Fri 01-Mar-13 20:57:44

It is about being seen to be fair as much as anything, not that the Govt cares about that. The CB cuts for higher rate taxpayers - which I vehemently disagree with despite being a basic rate taxpayer - will raise barely any money. They were done to make a point. Well they're targetting the wrong people.

Why are MPs getting a food allowance? No other working person does that I'm aware of? Why do local counsellors get free hot meals while their low earning staff have to pay for them?

These are the kinds of things that make people mad when they themselves are suffering. It might be gesture politics, but it would sure be nice to see the right kinds of gestures for a change instead of picking on families (of all incomes) and the vulnerable.

Again, we cannot afford to be waging wars that we cannot win (although having seen the BBC programme on Afghanistan I can't believe we're withdrawing leaving a worse state than we started with - don't get me started on that). We can't afford to waste money on restructuring the NHS into a worse system than we have now. And I seriously doubt by the time all the changes have worked their way through, and the costs of those changes, that the benefits changes will save any money at all either. They will just make more people more poor, more miserable and more bitter while the Govt and Parliament and the bankers, etc. are perceived to be feathering their own nests as if nothing had changed.

gaelicsheep Fri 01-Mar-13 20:59:01

Sorry councellors as in interfering, expense-heavy, local do-no-gooders. Not counsellors as in hard-working low paid working people.

gaelicsheep Fri 01-Mar-13 20:59:51

Or even councillors. Blardy hell, my English. Sorry!

It's really down to absolute cluelessness. It might sound like a sidetrack, and it's not like I had a high opinion of him before, but when David Cameron had a go at Hilary Mantel over her supposed dissing of Kate Windsor it was a really scary demonstration of what he is: a knee-jerking thoughtless fuckwit. So, let's make all those benefit scroungers do some work translates into allowing large profitable corporations to profit even more by not having to pay wages. Let's stop paying any money to people with disabilities and hope they die quickly.Let's cut off every single option the poor might have to get out of poverty, and then blame them for staying poor...

theredhen Sat 02-Mar-13 07:57:32

Lady, with real time payroll coming in from April, employers are having to report actual hours worked to hmrc.

This is being brought in to co incide with the introduction of universal credit.

The self employed are going to be targeted in the same way in that anyone's profits who fall below minimum wage levels will be expected to find a job.

It's going to be very difficult to lie about hours worked.

But the low-paid are already quite often expected to work unpaid overtime. Is that going to be looked into?

theredhen Sat 02-Mar-13 10:40:41

I expect employers will not put the unpaid overtime on the reports to hmrc.

morethanpotatoprints Sat 02-Mar-13 15:28:26

My dh received a letter for registering his employees for RTP, its only him and possibly me if he can find me some hours.
It sounds complicated and you have to include hours on a weekly basis, which should make it hard for accountants.

CressidaFitass Sun 03-Mar-13 02:54:53

Listening to the evening news on Radio 4 (on Iplayer) it appears that the Welfare Budget is more than Education, Health and the Armed Forces put together. 1 in 3 pounds of Gov money is paid in welfare payments.

As I stated above, regardless of who is in power, the tax payer cannot afford to pay this.

Yes and the majority of welfare is pensions...

Darkesteyes Sun 03-Mar-13 03:00:55

And Cressida a lot of that will be HB being paid to people IN WORK who arent being paid enough to buy food pay council tax AND pay their rent.

theredhen Sun 03-Mar-13 06:58:32

Employers should be paying decent living wages and not doing things like zero hour contracts, the responsibility for ensuring less people rely on welfare should lie more with employers and less with the government.

This government is never going to do anything to burden employers though is it? They will say it would make us uncompetitive in the business world.

CressidaFitass Sun 03-Mar-13 14:27:37

Employers should be paying decent living wages

Yes, but don't you shop online/ compare prices at the store then buy elsewhere cheaper if you can - ime everyone does. So anyone paying decent living wages risks going out of business as their product is prob dearer than other people's.

We are the ones who want things cheap, and thus force the prices down.

I agree with what's been said but the answer isn't that simple.

People want things cheap because they have no money.

expatinscotland Sun 03-Mar-13 15:26:21

So cut the spending instead of addressing the reason why it's so large? Why are so many in work needing to claim HB? And that's not even touching the whole problem of spending on state pensions which was by far the largest expenditure at £138.1bn.

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