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Going Part Time or Not? - Benefits

(21 Posts)
Shapna1 Wed 08-May-13 16:25:08

Hi, I am new to this site, but hope someone can answere this for me. i currently work 37.5 hours a week, and my take home after tax/NI/Pension is 1350 per month, and I also get Tax credits of 47 per week, I have 1 5 year old child and we both live with my mum. I would really like to reduce my hours, but how can I work the minimum number of hours and get maximum benefit? - sorry sounds a bit crass, but I have worked since I was 17, and I am a single parent. Also if i didn't drop my hours and got a house through social housing (cant' afford to buy!) would I be entiteled to any housing/council tax benefit?

I dont agree with that way of thinking at all, benefits are a safety net, not a lifestyle choice.

Pollydon Wed 08-May-13 16:34:11

Hi Shapna, there is a benefits calculator on the you gov.com website.

BenjaminButton172 Wed 08-May-13 16:51:46

I wouldnt do this because you are not better off financially. And dont you want to show your child that you have to work for what they want.

HappyMummyOfOne Wed 08-May-13 22:21:44

You would be mad to rely on benefits as you fancy working less. The government will switch to UC and the criteria is far stricter than tax credits.

Given your child is of school age, theres no reason to do the bare minimum hours. Regardless of whether you have paid tax since 17 (and as you have a young child it cant be that many years anyway) its not a saving scheme that you can cash in when you fancy.

Shapna1 Thu 09-May-13 09:04:07

Thank you for the comments, I think you guys have th wrong opinion of me, I am 31 I have worked since the age of 17 and completly agree with you about working and benefits not being a great lifestyle! I came back to work when my child was 8 months old, I work hard to give her things that she needs, which means working long hours and I feel like I never see her, the reason I want to drop my hours is because my mum looks after my daughter for me, as I am a single parent. My mums health is not what it used to be and she is struggling, that is why I posted my dilema on this page hoping I could get some advice!

My child is my world and when she says all other mummies stay at home with their children so why can't I it breaks my heart - try explaining to a 5 year old about how money/having a jobs pays the bills and the nice things she wants!

LadyKooKoo Thu 09-May-13 09:17:33

What do you mean by minimum hours? If your child is at school then surely you could still work 9-3? That is 30 hours a week and you would still get tax credits so wouldn't be far off what you are getting now anyway. Fair enough being there to take her to school and pick her up but what about all the hours inbetween?

iloveweetos Thu 09-May-13 09:22:26

I explain to my 5 year old that I need to work to buy nice things and to pay for the house etc
Short term sacrifices for long term gains - your child learning that you need to work for things.
30 hours a week seems a good idea though.

Shapna1 Thu 09-May-13 10:42:58

Thanks. 30 hours sounds good, I will deffinately look into it. I couldn't do school hours as I spend 4 hours a day commuting to and from work on public transport so It would mean starting work at 10.30 and finish at 1 to be back in time to pick her up from school! so not feasable

But the 30 hours sounds like a plan! - Would I still get Tax credits if I did this?

I don't really understand how benefits work, and how some people manage to 'play' the system and get as much as they can out of it. I was having a bit of melt down when i posted my original message because it is annoying how some people mange to sit around at home all day and have babies every couple of years just so they can claim benefits and not work!

Ledkr Thu 09-May-13 10:48:25

I think it's perfectly ok to cut down a few hours so that you can spend more time with your child.
A single parent has to do all practical stuff and only has one lot if holidays to spread out.
This is about. Child's right to spend time with their parent which is often limited as a full time single working parent.
If a married woman works part time to do some of the childcare and claims tax credits nobody bats an eyelid.
Check out the online calculator op.

redskyatnight Thu 09-May-13 14:19:04

Sounds like it is the commute that is killing you - perhaps look at full time jobs nearer home?

You might want to read up about Universal Credit (Or maybe someone hear can advise). I'm fairly sure there is a minimum number of hours you have to work if your child is school age.

Skinnywhippet Fri 10-May-13 18:01:20

You want to work part time. Who doesn't! Sounds like you don't really have that luxury though.

Entitlement to benefits is changing massively. I can understand your logic having been a single parents, but I think you have worded it badly.

If I understand what you are saying, you want to work 30 hours over four days a week. Then you could take your child to and from school one day a week. As universal credit rolls out, you will then be expected to demonstrate on a fortnightly basis that you are looking for additional work in the hours your child is at school.

Red sky is right - it sounds like it's your commute that is the problem. If you had, say, a one hour commute every day, you would have an additional 15 hours a week with your child. That should be your focus, not getting benefits.

blueshoes Fri 10-May-13 21:16:08

37.5 hours a week is not long hours.

Arisbottle Fri 10-May-13 21:37:24

I agree 37.5 hours is a short working week, I do double that and have explained to my children that they may miss me being at home, but for most of us working is just something that has to be done.

Shapna1 Mon 13-May-13 11:43:36

Thanks All, QueenofWhatever, true I did word it all wrong! Like I said I was having a bit of a meltdown when I posted my originial question. I absolutly do not want to live of benefits, I cannot imagine not ever working - I would go mda! smile

I appreciate and understand a lot of people work a lot longer hours then me- hats off to you all!

When I posted the original comment I was thinking about reducing my hours slightly and was concerned about how it would affect my TCs that's all. I never have and never would let benefits become a way of life for me and my daughter.

Thank you all for some very help ful advice!

Shapna1 Mon 13-May-13 11:45:01

I realised I may have offended some people with the way I worded my original question and I tried to delete it, but didn't know how or if I could

PS - meand mad not mda! in my last comment smile

Ledkr Mon 13-May-13 12:12:35

Much easier to work ful time if you are part if a two person parent family thus being able to split house chores shopping and some childcare.
Also twice the amount of leave to split to spend time with the children.
Don't feel guilty op even if you had a bit of top up in benefits it would be nothing compared to what some people claim.

OneLittleToddleTerror Mon 13-May-13 16:30:47

Don't feel guilty about wanting a bit more time to spend with your child.

I think the advice here is mainly on you need to keep your eyes open before you jump into the unknown. You need to understand how the universal credit is going to affect you. Go on the govt benefit website and work out different scenarios you are thinking of.

And I agree with others that it's actually the commute that's killing you. Can you look for work locally? I've got a 15min commute on bike to work, and I can tell you it will take a lot for me to give up my current job. Whenever I saw friends and their higher pays, I feel jealous for a moment. But then I am reminded of my short commute every day and felt blessed.

Also, it's much harder to be a single parent.

Metalgoddess Mon 13-May-13 21:18:19

I think most of the people on here are being way too harsh on you tbh. I have been a single mum and worked 3 days a week and still found it very difficult.

There is so much to do when you are on your own and totally different than being in a partnership. I think you should definitely go part time and spend more time with yr daughter, life's too short and it's not like you are purposely giving up work, just adapting it to suit your individual circumstances. Also I think 37.5 hrs is a long working week particularly if you have children, it's just that society has somehow now deemed it acceptable to work well over that and double in some cases. In my opinion children need parents who spend time with them more than big houses, cars, expensive toys etc. good luck with whatever you choose smile

bunchamunchycrunchycarrots Mon 13-May-13 21:23:26

You need to have a look at the turn2us website and input your details to find out what hours you can work and be the least worse off in your circumstances. I've used that when working out my entitlement and to see how increasing or decreasing my hours will affect my income. I can't link but google turn2us and you'll get the right website.

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