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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

More info here

Viviennemary Sun 03-Feb-13 16:36:55

I think most people feel sympathy for a family who has fallen on hard times. But what usually happens. Scenario. One person loses their job. Can't manage. Not entitled to any benefits because one person still working. Not entitled to housing benefit because they have a mortgage. So that is why I have lost faith in the benefit system. Not because I am unsympathetic. So these people might have paid in for years but get nothing because they don't qualify.

ruddynorah Sun 03-Feb-13 16:39:12

Just added mine up as per that link and it comes out as the same amount I get now. Me on my own, two dc aged 3 and 6, working 19hrs a week just above nmw.

AnAirOfHope Sun 03-Feb-13 16:44:04

The govenment want us all to pay in but to take nothing out.

Scrazy Sun 03-Feb-13 16:46:56

From what I've read the sad thing is that we are still borrowing more money and the deficit hasn't been reduced.

garlicblocks Sun 03-Feb-13 16:58:50

You're an enigma to me, Scrazy grin

You understand the welfare system cocks up (in its present form, let alone the vastly more complex UC system that is unfit for purpose) and how devastating the impact of those cock-ups can be fore real people. You know what it's like to have certain reasonable expectations of the insurance you paid into, only to have the rug pulled away as you step on it. You're aware this regime of 'cuts' is actually inflating the deficit.

Yet you still post the views of a Daily Mail reactionary. How come? confused

Darkesteyes Sun 03-Feb-13 17:08:59

Anyone earning NMW really NEEDS to read this.

janey68 Sun 03-Feb-13 17:16:33

I am sure many of us think NMW is too low. But I would urge people to read the actual source from which that green benches article is written... Don't rely on anything that joker writes himself.

Scrazy Sun 03-Feb-13 17:18:31

garlic, nothing have I have posted is a kin to a daily mail reader, how very dare you grin.

I do know and understand the struggles people face, I've faced them myself but I was brought up with a very strong work ethic. Just because you work hard and think that people should if they are capable of doing so, as much as you can to get by, doesn't make one a Tory supporter.

When I was mainly working 30 hrs as a lone parent I would work out that I could work for 24 and only be about £20 a week worse off but that £20 meant the difference between sink or swim and perhaps a day out with DD.

lazybastard Sun 03-Feb-13 17:21:40

We'll I highly resent the implication I have no sense of social responsibility. I don't need need your sympathy, what I do need though is for you to stop insulting me and metaphorically kicking me while I'm down. How can anyone think I wanted everything to turn to shit?

Scrazy Sun 03-Feb-13 17:26:12

lazy, who was that post to?

lazybastard Sun 03-Feb-13 17:39:37

Sorry my last post was to Janet.

lazybastard Sun 03-Feb-13 17:44:00

I mean Janey sorry.

janey68 Sun 03-Feb-13 17:50:33

Wrong person- im not metaphorically kicking anyone or insulting anyone.

Never been a Tory voter in my life; I think NMW should be raised and I think a citizens wage should be paid to everyone to provide the basic human needs, and then earnings should be on top of that, so that there is an incentive to work more without losing money.
Why would anyone would have a problem with that? .

Scrazy Sun 03-Feb-13 17:57:18

I've read on another thread that it comes in nationally in 2017 and that no-one will be worse off than they are now. So no need to panic yet.

garlicblocks Sun 03-Feb-13 17:59:11

^ I would urge people to read the actual source from which that green benches article is written^

... eh? confused The actual source is linked in the article. The actual source is the government.

lazybastard Sun 03-Feb-13 17:59:45

I'm revering to your comments about 'sense of entitlement ' and saving your sympathy for people who deserve it.

garlicblocks Sun 03-Feb-13 18:02:21

... mind you ...

Don't rely on anything that joker writes

The government? Good advice grin

janey68 Sun 03-Feb-13 18:05:08

Yes garlic- the source is a govt report which people should read if they are concerned and interested. I know these things are often pretty lengthy but honestly- if people are prepared to post on forums about important issues, surely it makes sense to inform themselves?

Greenbenches is a blog by a bit of a twit who obviously is going to put his own spin on things. It seems pointless to advise people to read it- it's like directing people to the daily mail for information!

janey68 Sun 03-Feb-13 18:07:56

Garlic- btw I am not suggesting there arent jokers among the govt too grin I'm just pointing out that the actual reports are where you find the info on what's actually happening. Not from some spin off blog

monkeysocks83 Sun 03-Feb-13 18:19:30

I'm not pregnant yet but am I to understand from this impending change to the system that if I need to claim benefits when I do have a baby I will either be forced to go back to work full time paying almost every penny I earn to someone else to look after my child or I go part time and am not even given the chance to organise my own diary on my days off? No full time time worker (unless contracted), myself included, is available for work at a moments notice and neither are the part time workers I know (excuse me if this has already been covered in previous posts I may have missed them). If my boss called me on a Saturday and told me I had to be in work in half an hour or face the consequences I'd be seeing his ass in court as would my part time peers. So why then does the government feel they have the right to tell anyone that they WILL do something/be somewhere? Days off are days off regardless of whether you work 1 or 5 days per week. If we lived in China we would all be part timers as we don't work 6.5 - 7 days per week. I know this particular issue is about benefits and while this doesn't effect me right now (trying to conceive atm) it may well do in the very near future and I do not relish the idea of some jumped up little tw*t telling me that because I only work half the hours they do (but twice as hard most likely) irrespective of whether I actually have no choice in the matter I will have to cancel that smear test tomorrow that I have been looking forward to for soooo long because they need me to go interview for job I don't want/need. And with my psychic ability (being able to read every govt official like a book just like everyone else) I foresee having to prove to said jumped up tw*t that I am indeed going for a smear test by disclosing private medical information to them. And what happens if I want to do something on my days off that they don't see as important like take the dog to the vets/groomers or get my hair cut, meet friends or god forbid, spend time with my baby??? It makes me so sad that it's so hard for people who really need help and are deserving of that help to get it when they need it yet we all know that people who don't need it get more than what they deserve by scamming the system we all pay in to

garlicblocks Sun 03-Feb-13 18:22:20

janey, I've only read it quickly. I undertsand the government's position is that:
1. Average wages have not kept up with inflation
2. National minimum wage has been increased in line with inflation
3. The NMW as a percentage of average earning has, therefore, grown (though chart 2.7 appears to contradict that)
4. Growth in NMW should be kept below the growth in average earnings - which is already below inflation.

So, when they say:
"In order to reduce the ‘bite’ of the NMW, it would be necessary for the NMW to grow by less than average earnings.
"The evidence on the bite, combined with weak annual GDP growth and the emerging empirical evidence noted above, suggests a cautious approach, concentrating attention on any possible adverse effect on employment, when recommending changes to the adult NMW rate."

... they mean they want NMW to increase LESS than average earnings, which are already increasing LESS than inflation. So, a double 'bite' to the low-waged if I may borrow their weaselly word. They want NMW earners to get even poorer in relation to other earners, and to be hit even harder than others by inflation.

And their justification for this, of course, is "Employers might not like a fair increase."

I don't think Green Benches was wrong on this! Incidentally, I always check sources, being a pedant, and his tend to be impeccable.

lazybastard Sun 03-Feb-13 18:29:14

Are average wages not coming down in terms of spending power due to a combination of inflation and people having to accept pay cuts, pay freezes or hours cut to avoid redundancy.

Carrie1983 Sun 03-Feb-13 18:41:50

As a newly single parent (since last year), to a (nearly) 3 year old child, this did worry me. I'd heard of Universal Credit, but I've only recently started to claim tax credits, so I hadn't really thought about it.

A brief look over the last half an hour, has put my mind at ease. I work 30 hours a week, term time only. I am a qualified Teacher, though not in a Teaching role at the moment; I am in a temporary rolling contract (until 2014 when it will be reassessed) for the county council. I am not on what would be considered a low income; but I am not on a great income. My childcare bill is currently £148 a week, but my daughter will get her EY entitlement from September, which will significantly reduce it; and it isn't until October at the earliest that I might be forced onto the Universal Credit. It is the childcare that I really need the help with; otherwise I could manage without any form of benefit at all.

I am currently looking for a permanent contract so that I can take my mortgage in my own name (take my ex off it), and feel confident that by October I will have one. However, with a young child, I was not hoping to work more than full time term time only or part time all year round.

I am still confused about this UC, and whether I'd be affected by these ridiculously high expectations to attend interviews for unsuitable jobs, given I am not on a low income and have a child under 5. However, I feel reassured that there is breathing space of at least 6 months until I need to think about being transferred over to it, and by that time childcare won't be nearly as much of an issue.

aamia Sun 03-Feb-13 18:44:40

That bit about NMW increasing less than inflation - I only WISH my salary would increase AT ALL! Have been in a pay freeze for so so long (as has DH who has a different job in a different sector of the economy), every year I do the same job for what, in real terms, is less money than the previous one!

LineRunner Sun 03-Feb-13 18:52:08

Can I just say of the EY entitlement. Although the government is saying it is new money for councils to pass on, it kind of isn't really.

Cut a long story short, many councils will be struggling to meet these and other funding requirements and as a result of this and other squeezes most will NOT be making up the 10% council tax benefit defecit being passed down from government. People on council tax benefit will have to make up the defecit.

If you think this might affect you, and cause real problems, find out now if there a hardship fund at your council that you can apply to, and get in early.

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