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Clarification of The 16 Hour Rule with New Style JSA

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Clarification of The 16 Hour Rule with New Style JSA

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Hi all

I am a PAYE freelancer, so have gone from March until now with £0 income or furlough. I managed to get onto new style JSA about a month ago which has helped my situation a little. I wasn’t expecting my job to start back up again until Oct, so have been looking for new jobs, but out of the blue have been asked by my old employer if I’m available for some last minute shifts. This is likely to be 1-3 days a week and will vary sporadically week to week, i.e they might ask me in 3 days in one week, but then not again for another 3 weeks.


The JSA t&cs states you can work up to 16 hours per week and remain on the scheme. My understanding is that the JSA amount is docked per £ you earn, which is fine. My concern is how they calculate the 16 hour rule. Is it capped at 16 hours every week, or is it averaged over a time period? I’m worried that if I accepted 3 days work one week, and then wasn’t asked to come in again for another 3, I’d be kicked off the JSA scheme and out of pocket compared to if I just worked a max of 2 days. Can anyone shed any light onto this?


Also, if I accept any work, do I have to manually declare this to them, or do they know from my tax/paylsip and adjust accordingly? I know when I applied I wrote down my employer's name and address and wrote the average amount of hours I was doing with them (0..), so they are aware that I 'have' an employer. Job centres are currently closed, and I have not been given a work coach (or any information at all really), so I feel a bit in the dark!


I’ve tried calling up two days in a row to ask but been on hold over and hour before getting cut off, so thought I’d try here too. Thanks for any advice.

Replies

  • poppy12345poppy12345 Forumite
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    Although it does state you can work up to 16 hours per week and still receuve JSA i've never really understood why it states this. Unfortunately, this isn't all that it seems. You will only be able to keep £5 of your earnings and then your JSA will be reduced £1 for £1, so it's likely to reduce it to zero working those 16 hours.
    You maybe better off claiming Universal Credit. If you have savings/capital of £16,000 then you'll be excluded from claiming. A claim for UC will end any tax credits you may already be claiming.

  • soxiezsoxiez Forumite
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    Although it does state you can work up to 16 hours per week and still receuve JSA i've never really understood why it states this. Unfortunately, this isn't all that it seems. You will only be able to keep £5 of your earnings and then your JSA will be reduced £1 for £1, so it's likely to reduce it to zero working those 16 hours.
    You maybe better off claiming Universal Credit. If you have savings/capital of £16,000 then you'll be excluded from claiming. A claim for UC will end any tax credits you may already be claiming.

    Thanks for this - I know I will get £0/£5 from JSA when I work, I don't mind that much as I'll earn more than JSA so I end up better off. Unfortunately, new style JSA is the only benefit I qualify for, thank you for the calculator though!
  • sammyjammysammyjammy Forumite
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    The 16hr rule is on a weekly basis rahter than averaged out over a period of time, it'll be weekly according to the benefit week that your claim is based upon which could be any Monday to Friday.  This would be the day they require regular attendance on but you won't have done that yet.
    "You've been reading SOS when it's just your clock reading 5:05 "
  • edited 25 July at 10:16AM
    calcotticalcotti Forumite
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    edited 25 July at 10:16AM
    9 hours of work on minimum wage would reduce entitlement to nil. I guess the difference is that the claim remains open if work is below 16 hours whereas it is presumably closed if over 16 hours.

    https://www.gov.uk/jobseekers-allowance/report-a-change-of-circumstances
    Information I post is for England unless otherwise stated. Some rules may be different in other parts of UK.
  • soxiezsoxiez Forumite
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    The 16hr rule is on a weekly basis rahter than averaged out over a period of time, it'll be weekly according to the benefit week that your claim is based upon which could be any Monday to Friday.  This would be the day they require regular attendance on but you won't have done that yet.
    When I applied it stated I had to work less than 16 hours on average, so I thought it may have been over the two week period between each JSA payment. Thanks for clarifying!
  • TheShapeTheShape Forumite
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    The 16hr rule is on a weekly basis rahter than averaged out over a period of time, it'll be weekly according to the benefit week that your claim is based upon which could be any Monday to Friday.  This would be the day they require regular attendance on but you won't have done that yet.
    I have a very hazy memory of being able to take an average of weekly hours worked over a fortnightly benefit period eg 20 hours worked one week, 10 the next, averaged to 15 hours per week.  

    That may have been useful for a claimant where closing the claim would mean having to make a Rapid Reclaim and especially a housing benefit claim stopping and re-starting.  Whether there was a financial benefit one way or another would depend on exactly how many hours (an what deduction to benefit) fell in each week.
  • TheShapeTheShape Forumite
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    If New Style JSA works in the same way as Legacy JSA and OP does, for example, work three days in quick succession and then has no work for a time the most financially beneficial action would be to end the claim the day before starting work and reclaim on the first day after work ended.  This way, you lose the JSA for those days (£8-£10 ish per day) but didn't have to declare those earnings and receive a deduction for that benefit week.
  • calcotticalcotti Forumite
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    The 16hr rule is on a weekly basis rahter than averaged out over a period of time, it'll be weekly according to the benefit week that your claim is based upon which could be any Monday to Friday.  This would be the day they require regular attendance on but you won't have done that yet.
    Not sure that is right. See https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/890801/admr2.pdf

    If you are only paid monthly the earnings will, I think, be treated as a monthly amount and converted back to a weekly rate. If that is correct it could mean that if you do one week of work and earn £350 that would mean that no JSA is payable for the whole month. See https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/881137/adms2.pdf
    Information I post is for England unless otherwise stated. Some rules may be different in other parts of UK.
  • TheShapeTheShape Forumite
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    calcotti said:
    9 hours of work on minimum wage would reduce entitlement to nil. I guess the difference is that the claim remains open if work is below 16 hours whereas it is presumably closed if over 16 hours.

    https://www.gov.uk/jobseekers-allowance/report-a-change-of-circumstances
    I those 9 hours were worked on one day (as a one off rather than as a regular pattern) it was often sensible to close the claim on the day before the work and reclaim the day after.  That way, rather than lose the full payment of JSA for the full week, you'd only lose one day of JSA allowance.

    I don't know if you could do this on New Style JSA but you could on Legacy JSA.
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