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Universal credit - I appear to be better off working part time - can this be right?

(24 Posts)
Overthinkingeverything Tue 20-Mar-18 22:00:38

Or at least I wouldn't be any better off full time.

I can work 20 hours within school hours and not need childcare. Would rely on UC to top up.

Working 36 hours, the difference in income and UC just about covers wrap around childcare.

Am I missing something? There is a pop up on the various calculators about help with childcare costs but it just informed me about tax free childcare - but I would lose UC.

Of course earned income is better than relying on benefits but I'd still depend on UC either way.

The impact of my working hours would be significant for DC, obviously school hours preferable if there's no financial benefit.

MrsSquiggler Tue 20-Mar-18 22:05:36

When you were doing the calculation based on working 36 hours, did you enter your estimated childcare costs into the calculator?

Overthinkingeverything Tue 20-Mar-18 22:23:25

Yes. Monthly take home roughly -

P/t 20 hours
1000 earnings
450 UC

F/t 36 hours
1400 earnings
750 UC
-650 childcare

MrsSquiggler Tue 20-Mar-18 22:54:39

I think the figures look right unfortunately, as I understand it

You would be earning an extra £400
You lose 63p in UC for every pound you earn, so - £252
- £650 childcare
But you can claim 85% of the childare cost back, so £552

So £400 - £252 - £650 + £552 = £50

You would be £50 better off which is the same result the calculator has come back with

Happy to be corrected!

Overthinkingeverything Tue 20-Mar-18 23:01:00

Thank you for checking. smile

Plantlover Tue 20-Mar-18 23:03:37

But with UC there is conditionality. You will be expected to be spending time looking for full time work and may be required to go the job centre etc.

Thehogfather Tue 20-Mar-18 23:05:18

It isn't just about the money. It's about the position you'll be in a few years time. There's very few careers on your salary that allow you to progress up the ladder working pt. Ft you might not be better off much now, but in a few years promotion could mean you are. Not to mention when he's older and you don't have much choice but to work ft.

The only way I'd say that pt is the better option long term is if you intend to use the free time for qualifications.

And on that income even £600 a year could make a significant difference.

OldHag1 Tue 20-Mar-18 23:06:00

I am not sure if this will help....

JoJoSM2 Tue 20-Mar-18 23:07:52

Your take home pay doesn't seem tI stack up. Working 16h extra per week would gain much more than £400/month (even taking tax and pension into account).

Overthinkingeverything Tue 20-Mar-18 23:22:20

I have also tried out a £35k job (assuming I could get back to similar level) that requires a commute and it wouldn't leave me much better off but is a logistical nightmare. (Difft school drop offs, difft childminders).

I know long term it's better but DC are very young, one not yet at school, and quite a bit of weekend time with their dad so I'd barely see them. So need to weigh up immediate needs.

Would I be under pressure from dwp immediately to find full time hours? I've no idea what is required.

I'll go double check my figures.

Overthinkingeverything Tue 20-Mar-18 23:33:20

I'm slightly out. It'd be about £500 extra going full time rather than £400. But that extra hundred would be £35 altogether as the difference would be reflected in the UC I receive.

Loandbeholdagain Tue 20-Mar-18 23:36:05

All things equal, spend more time with the kids. They grow up fast.

Overthinkingeverything Wed 21-Mar-18 00:00:15

The only way I'd say that pt is the better option long term is if you intend to use the free time for qualifications. I know that sounds easy but actually between 9 and 2.30 I'd be working 4 hours each day so it's not lots of free time, it's time with DC.

MyDcAreMarvel Wed 21-Mar-18 00:10:22

Conditionality is 20 hours until your child is 13.

MyDcAreMarvel Wed 21-Mar-18 00:11:13

Youngest child.

Overthinkingeverything Wed 21-Mar-18 00:17:16

Thanks for clarifying.

wishedforchild2016 Fri 08-Jun-18 20:24:30

Time with Little's ones is precious , from dad's POV am making most of part time as know can't be forever .

MessySurfaces Fri 08-Jun-18 21:17:33

Only you know whether the extra £85 is worth it- but I'm guessing it won't be! It's even cheaper for The Taxpayer if you stick to 20h for now so no need for any moralising!

wishedforchild2016 Fri 08-Jun-18 21:37:12

This is true , interestingly point op makes do you do right thing morally I.e earn the money . Or let uc top up and spend time with child and get slightly less according to figures 🤔.

wishedforchild2016 Fri 08-Jun-18 21:39:07

Tbc not say yes or no either way or whether right or wrong , just that's interesting point brings up based on calculations given. I don't get uc but guess the appts/conditionality I believe have to do , as mentioned makes slightly less attractive unless real need for the extra money ..

Babyroobs Sun 10-Jun-18 19:32:28

Its 25 hours until your child is 13.

wishedforchild2016 Sun 10-Jun-18 21:01:04

That's fairly reasonable , but on other hand it's like gold dust pt fitting around school/nursery . I feel extremely lucky to have it as know many dad's don't. But i worked many years ft time prior to dd and will do in future. Priorities change time with her overides material things /luxuries and you adapt your lifestyle.

Tuckingfypo Mon 11-Jun-18 11:34:24

I'm in the same situation OP, I can work 30 hours and pay 2 days childcare or work 20 hours and pay for 1 days childcare. The estimated income plus estimated level of universal credit I will receive means I will be £129 per month better off doing 30 hours, which seems crazy.

For the stress of another 10 hour shift and missing an extra bedtime I'd rather work less hours and sacrifice the drop in income whilst DC are so young (one is 4 and the other is 4 months!)

wishedforchild2016 Mon 11-Jun-18 14:19:16

Wow that is crazy when see figures in black and white and how better off will actually be taking everything into account . As tucking said is extra 129 worth it for 10hr extra a week , definitely not as said stress level etc and life balance . Can dego see op pov also , seems bizarre system no incentive !.

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