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New Job - Contract and tax credits query

(4 Posts)
ticketstub Fri 16-Aug-13 09:38:39

I'm a single parent with 1 dd (2 years) and 5 weeks ago I've recently started a shop job doing 16 hours a week (yay!) but I've got a few issues that I'd be grateful for help with.

1. I have a 16 hour contract (not a zero hour contract). In the first week I only did 8 hours for the training and they didn't give me any more shifts that week although I was ready and available for work. I've just been paid and I've only been paid for the 8 hours. I thought that having a 16 hour contract meant that they had to pay me for at least those hours. Is this right?

2. The shifts vary each week so, for example, some weeks I do 14 hours and some weeks 23 hours, but the average over the past 5 weeks has been 17 hours per week. I know I need to work at least 16 hours a week to qualify for the tax credits etc but do the tax credits agency accept it as 16 hours/week if that is the average number of hours worked over a certain period (eg, 2 months)?

3. I get the Childcare element of the Working Tax Credit to pay for 70% of the 16 hours childcare. But because I work shifts, the childminder can't always cover them although my mum can babysit at evenings and weekends. But the childminder wants at least 16 hours during the day between Monday and Friday although she is flexible about which days those are. Therefore, if I am working 3 evenings (6pm-midnight) one week then my mum can babysit but I still need to put my dd with the childminder for 2 full days that week to keep the place, even though I'm not actually working at that time. Does anyone know if this will cause problems with the tax credits?

I can't seem to find answers to these questions on the internet so any guidance will be gratefully received.

RedHelenB Fri 16-Aug-13 23:37:45

Childcare sounds fine & so do your working hours so don't worry. If you drop below 15 hoiurs average then you would need to let tax credits know.

ticketstub Sat 17-Aug-13 16:35:11

Thanks redhelen.

PearlyWhites Sat 17-Aug-13 23:17:18

Tax credits are only interested in the amount of money you pay for your childcare not how many hours you use childcare for.

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