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Financially worst off going back to work :-(

(7 Posts)
Kat1924 Mon 05-Sep-16 10:01:16

Can anyone help? For the first time ever I had to give up work two years ago because I had a breakdown after years of domestic abuse. I left my abusive husband and become a single mum with 3 children but be some very ill and ended up on full benefits. I have struggled for two years on full benefits but can't make ends meet and got behind with my rent and bills so recently took on a part time job. I went on the benefits calculator and it's showing I'm going to be around £180 a month worst off!!!! I haven't yet declared that I have gone back to work as I desperately needed to catch up on my rent so I'm now also worrying that I am now going to get into trouble when I contact benefits and tell them I'm now doing part time work.
I just don't know how everyone else seems to cope as I have many friends on full benefits who seem to be able to make ends meet and go out every weekend and buy new clothes for their children but I just couldn't cope and no I don't have a lavish lifestyle, far from it. I am still ill with depression and really was not recommended to go back to work yet by my dr but I felt I had no choice and now I wish I hadn't started this new part time job. My boss is horrible and won't let me take time off like the odd hour for children related issues, he asks me lots of sexually explicit questions and often asks if I would have sex for money if a stranger offered me money, always asks about my private life as he knows I'm single (he has not made any move on me or touched me) but all of this is making me feel more depressed and after looking at the benefit calculator and seeing I'm going to be worst off financially by working I'm thinking of just giving it all up again now :-(
Has anyone had the same experience and found they are worst off financially by working then what they were on full benefits??

OllyBJolly Mon 05-Sep-16 10:11:16

Your boss sounds awful - that kind of behaviour is just wrong. What kind of company is it - do you have an HR department?. Re the time off - TBH- most companies wouldn't be too happy about a newish PT worker wanting time off for any reason. You would normally be expected to plan things around your working hours.

Yes, when I first went back to work (suddenly single parent with 2 DCs under 3) I didn't have any money left over and in fact survived on debt (which I don't recommend. This was before tax credits were introduced) However, that situation didn't last long and a few job changes and pay rises meant within five years I was covering costs. A few years on I was quite comfortable.

The longer you are out of work, the harder it is to get back into it, and the less likely you are to get a decent wage - in general.

LyraMortalia Mon 05-Sep-16 10:22:20

Yes I was financially worse off as a single working parent than I would have been on benefits now however I'm mortgage free semi retired and much better off because of those years. Once dc are at school it gets easier once they are teenagers even easier you can work more do extra training, once they leave home you will be far, far better off. Lots of my friends struggled to get back in the habit of working had to retrain or take jobs they didn't want. My best friend has a great HA house but she will still be paying rent for ever. Our other bestie has to move out of her long term much loved rental as she no longer needs three beds or qualifies for housing benefit. Neither has any real pension plans either. They had a good ten years of being better off than me but I wouldn't swop benefits are a trap as well as a helping hand don't fall for it you will always be better off working, if you can, in the long run.

Kat1924 Mon 05-Sep-16 11:55:48

I work as a pharmacy assistant so it's just me and my boss. My children are 15, 11 and 9 but the hours I do are 2 til 7pm Monday to Friday which means I only see my children off to school in the morning and I'm not home for them when they get back from school at 3 and I'm not gone til 7pm so have to rush round getting dinner then getting them to bed so no quality time with them. Under a court order they go to their fathers every other weekend Friday at 6 til Sunday at 6 and I am suppose to be with them for handover on a Friday night so have had to ask my boss if on every other Friday I can come in an hour earlier and leave an hour earlier so I'm there for handover as per court order and he has caused so many problems for me with that :-(
I just don't know what to do as I do love the job and it's local (just walking distance from where I live) but it's compromising my time with my children and having gone through domestic violence my children really need me also being worst off financially doesn't make sense as I thought benefits want to get people back to work but being nearly £200 worst off a month is just too much, I don't understand the system at all :-(

annandale Mon 05-Sep-16 12:08:33

The first question is, can you actually survive on the money? Because if you can pay the bills, keep going for now.

The next question is, can the handover be changed, could their father take them later.? I'm not good on the legal side though.

The NEXT question is, having got a job (go you!) you are being subject to sexual harassment. Keep a log each day of the creepy things your boss says and does. Google the ACAS helpline and talk to them at home.

Yes your children need you but they need you to model adult life for them. You are there every morning, one day you will get a job with better hours. Hang on in there.

Kat1924 Mon 05-Sep-16 13:12:42

Thank you, I really appreciate what you say and I know I'm showing a better example for my children, it's just all a bit hard. I am struggling financially now I'm working can't even get school uniform/shoes for kids and it's making me more depressed and all becoming a bit of a vicious circle as the reason for not working these last two years was depression, anxiety and high blood pressure. I have been in this part time job two months now and the stress of it all took its toll 3 wks ago, I collapsed and bled from my nose, was rushed into hospital with blood pressure of 240/180, they thought I had suffered a mini stroke and I'm still undergoing tests as an outpatient. I obviously had to take 4 days off work (two as I was in hospital) and the other two because I was too ill to go into work. My boss done nothing but moan about my time off. I live in a small town which has been incorrectly assessed under the housing benefit scheme so when on benefits I loose out on the housing benefit side hence the reason I felt forced back to work before I'm ready but I never realised the hours I work (on min wage) would have such a massive effect on all my benefits and make me worst off financially a month, I also don't get any child support as like many abusive fathers he says he is not working and lives off his partner (all lies he does cash in hand work, but that's all another story and I can't get anywhere with CSA)

ohh Tue 06-Sep-16 22:03:42

Hello. I seriously feel for you. I have a lovely man that allows me to be a stay at home mum after previously being forced to work full time 6 days a week when 1st chikd was 4 months old. I recently looked at going to a different type if work and I was £45 a week worse off part time. I know don't work and am very very lucky that my husband supports us. Only on £24k but no flash clothes here! No holidays. But happier

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