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to think this makes no sense at all?!

(21 Posts)
aufaniae Sat 06-Oct-12 09:36:32

The Tories want to change minimum wage so that - instead if it being something that employers have a responsibility to pay you, it'll be something you have a responsibility to earn. Fail to meet it and you will be penalised.

If you work part-time for example, if you don't earn the equivalent of 35 hours at national minimum wage, you will be treated in the way the unemployed are now. You will have to attend the job centre and prove that you're looking for better paid work with longer hours. If they find a job with more hours, you have to take it - even if the prospects are much worse than your current job, it makes getting your kids to school impossible, or is just not suitable for whatever reason. Failure to attend an interview they set up for you within 48 hours will result in losing more UC (for up to 3 years).

Full UC will only be available to those who have no work, work up to 5 hours, or over 35 at NMW. You will be penalised for being on a low wage / not enough hours.

The idea is that it will incentivise you to find more hours / a better paid job.

But it takes no account of the fact that there are not enough jobs to go round. Not everyone can find a better job, no matter how hard ou "incentivise" them with a big stick! It will drive people on low wages further into poverty and many into homelessness. Also it will mean employers are not at all keen to employ people on a part-time basis who are on UC, as they could be forced to start a new job at any point.

What is the point of this policy, really?

aufaniae Sat 06-Oct-12 09:38:12

More on it here How universal credit will destroy part-time work

And here's what they plan to do with Self-Employed people

Feminine Sat 06-Oct-12 09:40:45


I am very concerned at the proposals to expect both parents to work in order to claim.

There are not enough jobs to fit with school hours.

I do like some of the ideas that will help lazy bums that have never risen from their sofas!

aufaniae Sat 06-Oct-12 09:44:53

I don't see how this will help "lazy bums" though? You get full UC if unemployed, or if working over 35 hours.

So it's a disincentive to get a part-time job as a stepping stone to more work later (when the kids are older, or better opportunities are available).

At the moment WTC tried to address the problem that you can be better off working than on benefits, and had some success. This reverses it.

The number of "lazy bums" is very small indeed anyway, compared with the vast number of honest working people who will be affected by this.

Whitecherry Sat 06-Oct-12 09:47:53

It's bloody worrying!

Whitecherry Sat 06-Oct-12 09:49:43

It's going to really affect lone parents!

JeezyOrangePips Sat 06-Oct-12 09:52:30

I won't be entitled to utc, despite being entitled to wtc. Nothing to do with hours or minimum wage, but because I have a share in a house that I can't sell - to do do I would need to incur thousands of pounds of legal fees on a legal case I might not win.

Thankfully my children are teenagers, so I won't have a huge amount of time to deal with it.

aufaniae Sat 06-Oct-12 09:55:32

IIRC in order get UC you need to have less than £16K in savings (this doesn't matter for WTC at the moment)

Do they take assets into account for this also Jeezy then?

CouthyMowWearingOrange Sat 06-Oct-12 09:56:25

There are meant to be protections for those with DC's between 5 and 12yo, for the designated 'main' carer, that they only have to accept school hours jobs. HOWEVER in practice, that is going to fall down in the face of a few JCP employees who ignore these protections and sanction people anyway. And that DOES happen.

I have been sanctioned once because of a Royal Mail fuck up - I had an appointment for a work focussed interview sent out, but the post office sent it to a road with the same name (though different postcode) about 12 miles away.

(It took a lot of digging, and the other address sending it back to the DWP for me to find this out...)

So I had no clue about the appointment until my Income Support was stopped (sanctioned) and I rung them up, to be told I had missed an appointment that I had no idea had been booked.

What makes the situation even worse was that the appointment was unexpected as my youngest DC was only 8 mo at the time, and work focussed interviews aren't meant to start until after they turn 1yo.

So I was sanctioned for non attendance if an interview I knew nothing about, AND shouldn't have had for another 4 months...

And I'm quite sure that these things will happen under UC too.

Which fills me with dread.

BertieBotts Sat 06-Oct-12 10:01:20

It will be utterly shit for lone parents. I work part time and DS is already in childcare from when he wakes up until shortly before bed time 3 or even 4 days a week if I get the wrong shifts, he's only just four, it plays havoc with his sleeping patterns. It would be totally unfair on him to cope with this 5 days a week.

However I like working, it's helping me meet people and gain confidence and gives me some space from DS - part time is perfect for me for now. I'll definitely look for something full time when he's a bit older but for now it would be such a shame if the option was taken away.

aufaniae Sat 06-Oct-12 10:16:40

I just can't get my head round the idea that they seem to believe if they persecute incentivise people enough, they'll all magically find work.

Where will all this extra work come from?

Either they have such a poor understanding of economics it's laughable, or - actually they're aware that there's not enough work to go round. And if so, then it must be the case that they are comfortable with their policies driving families on to the streets sad

Please, how can any of you vote for them? Surely anyone with an ounce of humanity can see this is going to cause untold suffering, and for what?

We will all be poorer as a result sad

Feminine Sat 06-Oct-12 10:17:11

My DH already works a 38hr week, at just over MW.

We are able to claim WTC &CTC.

Under the new universal tax credit deal, I will also have to find work for a min of 16 hrs. I live in a very rural area, DH and I share a car.

I'm not surprised this area will be one of the test spots, I'm sure they are trying to see if it will actually work in practice.

CouthyMowWearingOrange Sat 06-Oct-12 10:30:01

What gets me is the 90 minute rule. They say you have to take anything that is up to a 90 minute journey away.

In rush hour, by bus, 90 minutes barely takes you from my outlying estate into the town centre, due to a wholly inadequate road system in our town.

So I'd like to know if it is an ACTUAL RL 90 minute journey away, by public transport, or walking, or whatever form of transport is available, or if it is a theoretical 90 minutes away, what the JCP deems to be 90 minutes away from you.

I also want to know if getting your DC's to childcare is included in that 90 minutes. Because someone like me will have 2 different childcare settings to drop their DC's at. In different directions. Last time, I had a job on the industrial estate at the end of my road. It took me 45 minutes to get the older DC's to breakfast club. Then another 30 minutes to get my younger DC to Nursery. Then another 30 minutes getting to work. All by bus as I can't legally drive due to my disability.

(Which the DWP don't class as a disability despite not classing me as fit for FT work, but that's a whole other thread...)

By car, these would respectively be 15 minutes from my house to breakfast club, 10 minutes to the nursery and 10 minutes to work.

Public transport doesn't take the quickest route to places. Not all of us can drive, and not everyone can afford to run a car.

Wonder how the DWP would see this underUC rules...

BertieBotts Sat 06-Oct-12 10:41:55

Oh yes Couthy that's an excellent point about travel times.

JeezyOrangePips Sat 06-Oct-12 10:49:38

As far as I'm aware, the 16k in savings rule is effectively to come in line with housing benefit and income support, and yes, they include houses that you don't live in.

I wouldn't mind quite so much if I owned the house I live in, but I don't, and I can't live in the house I part own. So I have to pay rent and when I was unemployed earlier this year I was entitled to no help with the rent. If I had been in this situation and not been able to get some wtc I would have had to go looking for food parcels.

jojane Sat 06-Oct-12 11:05:29

I have just found a universal credit calculator
Put in my husbands wages and my part time wages (14 hrs a week) gave me amount for award, also stated at bottome that household would have to earn an extra £0 to avoid in work conditionality.
I then changed it to just my husbands wages and my not working, total amount for month state roughly the same (the various benefit elements went up and the same earn extra £0 at the bottom. Don't know how accurate this calculator is but if we get roughly the same over all income whether I work part time or not where is the incentive for me to work?!

It's on the policy in practice website if anyone interested

KittyFane1 Sat 06-Oct-12 11:23:32

Fully fit, physically and mentally able parents with physically and mentally able DC, who drive or have access to good transport links, who have a network of friends or family who can step in occasionally and have access to before and after school clubs will be fine.
I fit into this category and work 48 hrs pw.
I wonder if this ridiculous government realise that a lot of people don't fit neatly into their little box? It doesn't take a genius to work it out.
People who just can't be bothered despite having realistic opportunities, well they are a different matter.

ihearsounds Sat 06-Oct-12 11:57:35

Are they looking at the yearly income, hours worked weekly or contracts?
Yearly income is different to my contract because I do a lot of cover.
If based on how many hours you work what about those in education? I know of a few schools who don't pay TA's and mdm's during the holidays because they are not working.

I'm not sure if the calculator is accurate. Just used it. I worked out based on my earnings for last year, don't fall into the sanctions, but will also be better off financially that I currently am.
Redid the calculations based on mdms employed by our school, they fall under the sanctions, and basically need to convince the school to give them an extra 1.5 hours a week, or we loose them possibly.

Not every person falls under the governments ideal scenario, to work x hours and to earn x. Never mind there isn't enough jobs to go around, nor is there enough affordable childcare. What if a single parent only alternative job offer to get them out of sanctions is to do night work, they going to loose money because there is no childcare that offers an overnight service.

Whitecherry Sat 06-Oct-12 12:26:32

I'm going to have to do just that! Nights.... And leave teens in charge! Eldest is 18 and very capable, but she is off to uni next September. Life changes constantly and it seems there is no longer a safety net to fall into.... Not even a workhouse!

aufaniae Sat 06-Oct-12 13:28:32

For the self-employed, they propose to look at it monthly, so I imagine it's the same for part-time, although I haven't read it anywhere.

This is from an article about how UC will affect those who are self employed:

"It is likely that the Minimum Income Floor will mean that self-employed people are expected to earn the equivalent of the minimum wage for 35 hours a week or face a cut in benefits. As Housing Benefits are now to be lumped in with Universal Credit, this may mean homelessness for some.

Another aspect of the new regime will punish people who invest in tools, stock or other business expenses in order to increase earnings. Self employed people will now be required to report all income and business expenditure on a monthly basis as opposed to annually as under the present system. Expenses will not be carried over to the next month. This will mean if someone spends a couple of grand on stock this will only be reflected in their earnings for that month. The new system will make it impossible for self-employed people to invest on any significant level to improve their earnings.

It will not just be businesses that have large outlays, such as small shops or tradespeople, that will be affected by the monthly reporting. A freelance journalist who spends a month writing a piece in anticipation of it being sold will be penalised for not earning minimum wage during that period. Self employed people will be punished for injecting both time and cash into their business. The harder you work, the less you get.

And these are the lucky ones who have passed their DWP Dragon’s Den.

People who fail to impress the Government with their self-employment plans will still be permitted to earn money from self-employment, and will face the same monthly requirement to report any earnings. They will also however be given a Claimant Commitment, meaning they will not be treated as self-employed. This will mean that there will be a requirement to attend Mandatory Work Activity or attend pointless courses and workshops with Welfare to Work companies like fraud ridden A4e any time the DWP sees fit.

This will destroy people’s ability to take on small amounts of work on a casual basis. Should someone be offered a few days work on a self-employed basis they will not be in a position to guarantee they can turn up. They could be sent to work in a charity shop with no pay that week instead. Far from the stated aim of making all work pay, short periods of self-employed work will be a commitment that claimants can no longer make under the new regime. The DWP will decide how you spend your time and if you fail to comply you could face sanctions for up to three years."

WildWorld2004 Sat 06-Oct-12 15:03:59

I read that link & i am quite scared. Im a single parent with a 8 yr old dd.

I work part time. The job i do does not require a lot of hours. The majority of jobs that i see advertised are for part time hours only ie 8, 10, 12 hours per week. What are the government going to do about this. My place of work like probably a lot of other places employs more staff working fewer hours. Under the governments scheme more people will actually become unemployed as four people doing 10 hours a week is 40 hours so 3 people will have to lose their jobs for one person to be working the required 35 hours.

Its nonsense and very bad for the country.

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