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New Job - contract and tax credits problems

(4 Posts)
ticketstub Sat 17-Aug-13 16:36:22

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.

Yacka Sat 24-Aug-13 11:41:40

hi hope I can help wink wink with regards to your first question I believe if u have a written contract for 16 then that is a guaranteed minimum. so they are wrong in only giving you 8hrs. they can only pay less if u are on a zero hour contract. for tax credit purposes they will be fine with an average. my husband is self employed and at times he works only 8 and at most he has worked over 70!!! they are mainly concerned that you keep track of your wage so when the period of crossover in april your payment stays on track. I cant advise on the childcarw part unfortunately. hope someone comes along to help. and if in doubt just give hmrc a ring they have always been helpful with advice. good luck

ticketstub Sat 24-Aug-13 19:58:14

Hi Yacka, Many thanks for the advice, much appreciated. xx

chickensaladagain Sat 24-Aug-13 20:10:52

Tax credits want to know your child care costs, not what time the child is in child care so as long as you tell the tax credits you are paying £x a week and that is the correct amount, they won't look at it any more deeply than that

It's fairly standard for childminders to charge for a fixed amount each week

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