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JSA questions and advice please - returning to work

(11 Posts)
FleurPearl Fri 02-Nov-12 17:41:42

Hello, I have spent the last 3 years a SAHM, mainly because when we looked at childcare it cost more than my salary and my husband and I agreed that it would make more financial sense for me to stop work. This has all been fine but recently money has become a little tight and with my daughter starting pre-school I have had time on my hands and there is only so much house work I can find myself to do. Anyhow I want to look for work but to make it financially worthwhile I was looking to do night shifts or evening work. This would mean that I would still be able to look after my daughter when not at pre-school and during holidays etc. Also if there was an emergency and she had to be sent home I wouldn't have to be the one having to take time off of work. It is more difficult for my husband to do this.
Sorry to ramble but basically I was told that I would be entitled to jobseekers allowance but I'm a little confused as to how it works and what jobs I would have to do. Essentially could I say to them I want (could only really do) nights or evening work a few times a week would they then make me work during the day? And if I turned down those jobs would the allowance then be stopped even though I'd stated that I couldn't work those hours.
I'm not trying to not work but I want to do what works best for my family and financially too.
Any advice would be really appreciated.
Thank you.

Gumby Fri 02-Nov-12 17:44:21

I don't think you'd be entitled to job seekers allowance as you haven't needed to claim it before I'm guessing your partners salary is too high?

FleurPearl Fri 02-Nov-12 17:48:21

Hi, I didn't claim before because I wasn't looking for work. I believe I am entitled as my husband's salary is approx £32000 as far as I know that is within the entitlement but this is all new for me.

Shakey1500 Fri 02-Nov-12 17:51:12

Is there a reason you haven't claimed it earlier? It doesn't work that you can claim it when you decide to start looking for a job (I don't think?) confused

Anyway, if you are entitled to claim then if my memory serves me correctly, you can stipulate that you wish to look for xyz type of work within xyz mile radius initially. If after the alloted time (can't rememer how long exactly) you haven't found work in that field, then the Jobcentre will insist you widen the search by type and area/mileage. I am 99& certain that you cannot stipulate what hours you are prepared to do. You can't pick and choose them.

LIZS Fri 02-Nov-12 17:58:30

There are 2 types of JSA, income based and contribution based. You may not be entitled to the former as your dh earns a decent salary so would need to be assessed as to whether you qualify for contribution based (not sure if the credits from claiming Child Benefit count towards it). You may find you are expected to be more flexible in using childcare when looking for a job especially during holidays if you say you are available to work even part time.

FleurPearl Fri 02-Nov-12 18:00:04

Hi Shakey, I haven't dealt with the JSA before so I've no idea if I can just start claiming or not. Before I left work after having my daughter I had always been in employment and when I left work I never claimed for anything as we felt that if we were doing ok then there was no need to. I'm only looking in to it now as money has become a little tight and I was advised that if there were entitlements out there then I should look in to getting them. I haven't started looking yet for work but was just interested to know what steps and help was out there.
Thank you for the info about what hours I might have to do and how they search etc.

AnnoyingOrange Fri 02-Nov-12 18:00:26

If you are looking for work you can claim jobseekes as far as I understand it.

However contribution based jobseekers is based on your NI contributions for the last two tax years before the year in which you make your claim. So if you claim in 2012, the two years that they look at are 2010/2011 and 2009/2010.

If you weren't at work in that period, then I doubt that you will qualify for contributions based jobseekes allowance.

AnnoyingOrange Fri 02-Nov-12 18:03:26

Having said all that, if you do make a claim, they can only say no, so give it a go

FleurPearl Fri 02-Nov-12 18:04:55

Hi LIZS, thanks for that, that's what I was wondering about flexibility as I can't be that flexible I was worried that it would be a problem and therefore best if I looked for a job without JSA but they might have those jobs, I don't know. The problem with the childcare is as I stated previously I gave up work because of the cost of childcare so don't really want to have to then put my daughter in to longer childcare to do a job that is then just paying for the childcare if that makes any sense?

FleurPearl Fri 02-Nov-12 18:06:02

Thanks AnnoyingOrange, I guess nothing ventured nothing gained!

LIZS Fri 02-Nov-12 18:50:48

but presumably your dd would qualify for the free 15 hours soon if not already? It is n't about what jobs the JC may or may not have access to, I think they are published online anyway, but your availability to work. How about trying a seasonal retail job - for which you may be able to choose evenings or weekends - for now ?

Even if you got offered a much sought-after school hours/term time job such as midday supervisor there will probably be times when she won't be in preschool and you need to work. During those hours you may make very little after childcare costs but that would be offset by the times they do coincide. I'm afraid that is just life and if you need income you may not have much choice but to use childcare. Why not at least see what flexibility there may be regarding sessions at the current preschools (could she do 2 full days and one half ?) and speak to childminders who do pick ups etc to at least give you an idea of costs you may face and what hours may be possible before you go to the JC , otherwise you could come across as very uncompromising.

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