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Universal credit and child aged 3

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hi
I have recently been made redundant working for a company for the past ten years. I have a child who is 3 and due to begin nursery 2 days a week due to previous work schedule.

I have been applying for jobs since being made redundant a the end of March however struggling to find any that fit in with childcare. My husband works shifts 5 days a week out of 6 varying from 6.30am to 7pm and finds out the week before his shifts. 

Where do I stand with looking for a job I have never claimed before and unsure what is expected of me? Each day I look online and apply for anything suitable but I need something 2 to 3 days a week with set shifts in order to suit childcare. I have no family around who can help with childcare.
Am I expected to return to work with any job or would they take into consideration my childcare issues?

Many thanks for help
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Replies

  • pmlindyloopmlindyloo Forumite
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    Are you claiming any benefits at the moment other than child benefit?
  • kirsty_bairdkirsty_baird Forumite
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    I signed up for universal credits and just got my first payment this month. I selected looking after a child under 5 when I applied online if that helps.

    Thanks for the reply
  • edited 1 July at 4:27PM
    Spoonie_TurtleSpoonie_Turtle Forumite
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    edited 1 July at 4:27PM
    UC can pay towards childcare costs if both parents are working - i.e. if you found a job and with your partner working. Your personal expected hours of work / work search are based on your child's age, so for you currently a maximum of 16. https://www.entitledto.co.uk/help/Your-dependent-childs-age-Universal-Credit

    However if your husband earns over a certain threshold then you should be put in the 'Light Touch' regime which in practice means you shouldn't (can't) be pushed to do anything*. The threshold is £547 as far as I can find
    https://www.uceplus.co.uk/light-touch-regime.html 

    (*I was speaking about normal times, pre-pandemic - currently conditionality is suspended, and how and when they'll reimpose requirements, I'm not sure anyone really knows yet.)
  • kirsty_bairdkirsty_baird Forumite
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    Problem is we car share so struggling to find anything suitable with set hours I can get to and from after dropping at nursery. 
    Husband works 47 hours a week and earns over that.
    I am trying to find work hating being off never not worked in my life but finding something suitable is a struggle. 


  • NedSNedS Forumite
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    (Once things are back to normal at jobcentres), on Universal Credit with a child aged 3 you will be expected to be available and looking for work for 16h/week. From what you have described above you are clearly meeting those requirements so you have absolutely nothing to worry about on that front.
  • kirsty_bairdkirsty_baird Forumite
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    Thanks that's great was just worried I would need to go to job centre alot and it would fall on times my childs not in nursery etc.

    Not sure if we qualify for light touch but looks like we may too.
  • NedSNedS Forumite
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    Thanks that's great was just worried I would need to go to job centre alot and it would fall on times my childs not in nursery etc.

    Not sure if we qualify for light touch but looks like we may too.
    Appointments would normally be every 3 or 6 months, but given the present situation I would not imaging you will be high on their list of priorities for appointments. If you do want help and support though, do contact the jobcentre and I'm sure they will be happy to help
  • kirsty_bairdkirsty_baird Forumite
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    Thanks so much for your help.
    If need be just take my child with me and hope they behave.

  • Spoonie_TurtleSpoonie_Turtle Forumite
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    Thanks so much for your help.
    If need be just take my child with me and hope they behave.

    Lots of people do that so they'd be used to it :) and not just one child - I've seen a parent come in with 3 very young ones before!
  • edited 3 July at 9:47PM
    tomtom256tomtom256 Forumite
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    edited 3 July at 9:47PM
    Thanks so much for your help.
    If need be just take my child with me and hope they behave.

    Jobcentre staff are used to it, so don't worry, not everyone has a good support network.
    Most face to face appointments are only booked for 10 - 20 mins for this very reason, unless it's a none routine query or a verification activity.
    If you get a decent work coach they may even do it over the telephone.
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