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How much is job seekers allowance? As I am offering a good job, maternity cover, well above minimum wage but very few people have applied for it

(26 Posts)
Foxinsocks Wed 05-Oct-11 07:09:40

It's part time which might be why but I thought some people might go for it. A few Spanish and Italians have applied but no British people - 2 enquirer but once they found out the pay were not interested. I know both were out of work as they told me. So how much are the benefits they are likely to be on (these were 25-29 year olds, no kids, just unemployed). Need to understand what I am up against!

Missingfriendsandsad Wed 05-Oct-11 07:20:46

JSA is just under £70 a week, if you add average housing benefit (£50 pw) plus council tax benefit (£20 pw) then you need to be offering over £140 net per week for it to be worthwhile. This just highlights how low some wages are, and how low the minimum wage is - when a society has millions of workers working for the same wages as emergency subsistence payments so that shareholders (people with spare money) can make even more from the profits those companies operate at, it is utterly shameful.

I read that a firm in Birmingham was complaining that it only had two applicants for a £10K a year job. To my mind it shouldn't be in business if the only jobs it can offer are half of what the minimum living wage is.

I used to work at the University of Warwick - it paid more than half of its non-academic staff ess than two thirds of the minimum living expenses it recommended to students for living in the area.

Foxinsocks Wed 05-Oct-11 07:26:07

The job I am offering is well above the minimum wage but it's part time and that's what is causing the problem I think

Missingfriendsandsad Wed 05-Oct-11 07:34:42

also by the way, if the job is quite involved and these are sensible job seekers they won't be only seeking jobs that give them the minimum they need to live on, they will be seeking roles that reflect the value they offer to the business

Think of this like any other transaction, this is like going into a cafe and saying 'I would really like a cup of tea' but then expecting to pay only 10p because that is what you would give to someone begging for a cup of tea and then blogging on mumsnet about how tea is 'only water and a tea bag, how lazy are cafe owners these days' - ignoring the value of having it madde for you, the location in town, the rental on a room for you to sit in and drink it, the presence of the person there to take the order, keeping the water hot for you etc etc.

If employers pay minimum wage what they ought to be getting is staff who are not together enough to sign on - i.e. the people with less than minimum living wages, or people who are not eligible for benefits (that is why the 'immigrants are prepared to 'work hard' argument arises, not because of british laziness).

Also factor in that being on the dole all day without having to travel, grab lunch from a cafe, launder work clothes etc allows you to save money and manage the household more easily than having a job.

Missingfriendsandsad Wed 05-Oct-11 07:35:57

how much over the minimum wage? minimum wage is about half of the 'living wage'

Chopstheduck Wed 05-Oct-11 07:37:33

An applicant would probably still get some housing benefit if only working part time and not bringing in as much income. The problem is that they won't earn much more than what they would get on benefits. When I was a single parent on IS I would have only been £10 a week better off. Not much of an incentive to go back to work full time and barely see my children. sad

lubeybooby Wed 05-Oct-11 07:40:16

How many hours are you offering? I'm not unemployed but wouldn't look at anything under 20 hours and definitely not under 16 hours back when I was jobsearching.

ArmageddonOuttahere Wed 05-Oct-11 07:47:36

It could depend when the hours are to be worked as much as how many hours there are.

If the hours could fit around school runs you'd likely get a huge response, but if it's 8am - 5pm two days a week it's less attractive to a whole group of people i.e. parents.

Himalaya Wed 05-Oct-11 07:58:18

If you are benchmarking the job against benefit levels, rather than people doing comparable jobs then you are looking for 'anyone who needs the money' rather than a specific set of skills?

It sounds like you are recruiting through the job centre? people on benefits may be reluctant to take on a part time, temporary maternity cover job because when it ends they will have to reapply for housing benefit etc.. And if that is delayed they could get into rent arrears/eviction.

People who might suit this job (women returners to the job market) may not be at the job centre at all, so you might have to think about your recruiting strategy.

Foxinsocks Wed 05-Oct-11 09:40:21

god sometimes mumsnet is a nightmare

where did I say I was benchmarking it against benefit levels? I was just wondering what they were to see whether it was a reason people weren't applying for the job. And no, I didn't advertise at the job centre specifically, I use agencies and websites etc.

I employ people for my work and this is a personal job (nanny).

we have had 2 vacancies at work recently (so not this one - my work renowned for paying excellent above market average salaries), 2 British people applied, 18 non British people (Spanish, Italians, South Africans etc.). Both came to the interview completely disinterested and said they had to accept interviews and turn up so that they could sign on again. Neither of them wanted the job.

I just keep reading about all the unemployed British people but they aren't applying for jobs at work or this one (which is a nanny maternity leave cover).

I was just interested in hearing what the benefit levels were to see if it was a reason it was putting people off.

This maternity cover job is only for 6 months really. It would suit local mums tbh, that's why I thought some would apply. My children are quite old so not much hassle but it's the sort of age people aren't really interested in looking after! If I can't get childcare cover, I can't work so it's a bit of a vicious circle. I could up the salary but it's already the top level of what a nanny would be paid in SW London so I'm a bit hesitant to do so :-).

Foxinsocks Wed 05-Oct-11 09:41:42

but yes I agree, it's the hours and the temporary nature I guess. Oh well. Will just have to come up with a plan B <scream>.

Foxinsocks Wed 05-Oct-11 09:54:34

(sorry just a bit stressed as have 4 weeks left to find someone, 1 week of which I am travelling, and no back up plan arrrghhh!)

prh47bridge Wed 05-Oct-11 10:59:17

Another big issue for those on benefits is that the current system means it isn't worthwhile taking on low paid jobs. The rate at which benefits are withdrawn gives a very high effective tax rate. After taking into account travel costs and so on they may actually be worse off.

NotJustKangaskhan Wed 05-Oct-11 11:29:27

I think it will be the temporary nature for the serious job seeker - when it's done, if they are unable to find other work and have to sign on again, it will start what's available for them back to nought (most programmes and extra help are only available if you've signed on for 6 months, year+). The system does seem to actively discourage temporary work.

FannibalLecter Wed 05-Oct-11 11:53:11

Fox where ru advertising the job? This could make a big difference, I don't know who ur target person might be but you might have more luck aiming it at specifically younger people/mature people/students or something like that.......i.e. advertising with connexions, local uni or college employment service. As most people signing on for JSA will be unwilling to take on part-time work as it just isn't worth losing the money/housing benefit compared with how much a p/t job will pay; you often can't make ends meet. maybe these other type of people will be more looking for p/t work?
Sounds frustrating, hope you find someone!

Madlizzy Wed 05-Oct-11 11:55:02

If you were in my area, I'd be there like a shot. I'm desperate to work.

Himalaya Wed 05-Oct-11 15:06:07

To be fair Fox you were benchmarking against benefits in your OP - you weren't asking 'what is the going rate for nannies in SW London'.

What is the problem with the Spanish or Italians that have applied? Were they not right for the job, because they were not British, or just happened to be not right for the job AND not British. Is being British part of the job description??

It sounds like the agency you are using is not doing its job - shouldn't they screen applicants for you so only get people who are interested in PT nanny work at the rate you are offering?

notabankersmum Wed 05-Oct-11 15:42:37

When I was a single parent on IS I would have only been £10 a week better off. Not much of an incentive to go back to work full time and barely see my children.

Sadly that mirrors what a lot of people find - there isn't enough of a reward from the wages to offset the "extra" benefits you can't really put a price on easily... free glasses, prescriptions, dentist, school meals, hell, when I was on partial benefits for a year due to illness, later, i found out i would have been entitled to quite a few other things that I wasn't aware of. Apparently if you show proof of being on certain benefits to some places they have concession rates you can pay. I never knew this (maybe it didn't apply at the time i was on them, though).

I've forgot free tuition for courses in that too.

and then you have to factor in things like commuting costs, work clothes, packed lunches or extra costs like needing to run a car often too (i'm very lucky in that we don't need a car for my work, as it's within walking distance - just). and the stress of a job or not getting to raise your kids yourself on top.

I wish i had the numbers from when DH was working part time (when I was ill) to support us, but i was shocked. it was something like:

Council tax benefit £15 (we had a few quid to pay on top)
Tax Credits £180 ish
DH Wages at least 2, but often, 3 days a week - minimum wage at the time so £135 ish for the 3 days he did
Child benefit £50 (obviously they've been making changes to this recently)
Housing Benefit £145 (I think we were paying £10 or £20 on top)
WTC £15 (ish)

I mean, if you tally it all up, we ended up with far far less disposable income (in cash terms) by being in that very stressful and upsetting position, BUT in terms of household income, that was like being on about a £26k a year salary when you calculated it all out - neither of us have ever earnt that, and it was only DH working then. I'm working and well now, but that fact has been in the back of my mind since. (esp. on days when DH and I get in late and barely see the kids before bedtime).

Employment clearly brings in more than just material rewards - self esteem, showing a good work ethic in the household, chance for promotion, pension contributions - but if that difference between not working and working is so miniscule as to be pointless (whilst not being there to see your children grow up), I honestly don't blame people for choosing the more logical option.

KatieMiddleton Wed 05-Oct-11 15:52:25

What is the job? And where are you advertising now?

KatieMiddleton Wed 05-Oct-11 15:54:47

OP are you near Richmond? If you are I'll post it on our local NCT group. You may find an interested parent or a someone who'll share a nanny

Himalaya Wed 05-Oct-11 16:10:36

KatieMiddleton's approach sounds like a good idea.

You are not looking for a randomn unemployed person, so getting into a big debate about benefit levels is a bit of a red herring.

You are looking for a nanny who wants a temporary job. Probably your best bet is to find a nanny whose employer is herself going on maternity leave and so will nanny share with you.

Best place to look would be local NCT groups, 1-o-clock clubs etc... or a good agency.

Missingfriendsandsad Wed 05-Oct-11 18:02:52

Sorry but that is the market, if you aren't paying enough to supply you with the labour you want you have to pay more or compromiise on the labour. Why is it 'all british people are lazy' and 'I want to pay what I want to pay' right wingers are somehow not 'let the market rule' right wingers when they want to get people to work for less than the market allows.

DiddyMary Wed 05-Oct-11 22:13:37

"What is the problem with the Spanish or Italians that have applied? Were they not right for the job, because they were not British, or just happened to be not right for the job AND not British. Is being British part of the job description??"

They weren't applying for the nanny post, they had applied for a job at Foxinsock's workplace.

ssd Wed 05-Oct-11 22:46:31

op, I'm going to be really brave here and ask what wage you are offering and how many hours does the job involve?

surely if people knew that you might get a better idea of why you haven't got many takers

ssd Thu 06-Oct-11 09:31:33

ha!!

I know how to kill a thread dont I!!

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