Light touch getting heavy touch?

If someone was on light touch all they had to do was accept their commitments every now and then?

But now it seems some people have been told they have work search requirements or at least try to earn more?

can anyone point me in the right direction what the rules actually are? What are the limits for staying on light touch? What if you occasionally earn less and sometimes earn just over light light touch limits?


some jobs these days are less than 16hrs some weeks and more than 24hrs other weeks.
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  • R200
    R200 Posts: 167
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    I do wonder if there are clear rules and it’s somewhat upto your work coach if they say light touch or not.

    maybe it’s evened out over the last year or something to see what your average earnings are not on a per week basis?
  • Yamor
    Yamor Posts: 312
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    Technically, you (currently) fall within the "light touch regime" if your 'monthly earnings' are equal to at least £677/month (15 hours/week at the NMW). Alternatively (only if you are on a joint claim), if you and your partner's combined 'monthly earnings' are at least £1083/month (24 hours/week at NMW), that would also put you in the light touch regime.
    Please note that these thresholds are due to increase soon, and only include employed earnings (not self-employed earnings).

    Now, 'monthly earnings' has a specific meaning in the legislation, and is supposed to be calculated based on an average where your earnings fluctuate or are likely to fluctuate.
    In practice, the starting point will be what you have earned in your most recent AP. It would be for you to try and argue that it is reasonable to average out your earnings in some way.

    Coming to the requirements being placed on people in the light touch regime:
    Legally, UC can call you in for interviews and ask you to carry out 'work preparation' activities when you are in the light touch regime. They cannot insist you look for more work, or even be available, and actually take up, more work.
    In practice, until very recently, those in the light touch regime have been left alone completely, and this is actually still the case for most (all?) claimants.
    However, the government have announced that going forwards they will be rolling out new rules which will require claimants who are in the light touch regime to attend interviews and potentially carry out work preparation activities. My understanding is that the interviews are likely to be quarterly interviews.
  • R200
    R200 Posts: 167
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    Thanks so much for very helpful post

    its not at all clear though is it. I wish it was just a case of mathematical equations either you are or you are not accurately on light touch or not
  • R200
    R200 Posts: 167
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    There doesn’t seem to be consistency though,

    someone in a couple we know who only works Monday and Friday about 9hrs per day, so 18hrs week about £13hr is not taken off light touch


  • TheShape
    TheShape Posts: 1,775
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    R200 said:
    There doesn’t seem to be consistency though,

    someone in a couple we know who only works Monday and Friday about 9hrs per day, so 18hrs week about £13hr is not taken off light touch


    Someone with those hours/wages would earn, on average, £1014 per month.  If they were paid that in each Assessment period they would be in the Light Touch regime due to having earnings of £677 or over.
  • R200
    R200 Posts: 167
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    edited 26 January at 7:31AM
    TheShape said:
    R200 said:
    There doesn’t seem to be consistency though,

    someone in a couple we know who only works Monday and Friday about 9hrs per day, so 18hrs week about £13hr is not taken off light touch


    Someone with those hours/wages would earn, on average, £1014 per month.  If they were paid that in each Assessment period they would be in the Light Touch regime due to having earnings of £677 or over.
    No they are a couple whos combined 'monthly earnings' need to be at least £1083/month (24 hours/week at NMW

    but they only earn £1014 and still on light touch
  • the_pink_panther_2
    the_pink_panther_2 Posts: 330
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    edited 26 January at 8:15AM
    Here is a link to the .Gov website which gives requirements.  Seems to have been recently updated. 

    https://www.gov.uk/guidance/universal-credit-and-earnings

    No idea how it works in practice but would be interested to hear about people's experiences on this and I understand that these requirements will be updated, following the update they are expected to be stricter than they currently are. 
  • Yamor
    Yamor Posts: 312
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    edited 26 January at 10:17AM
    R200 said:
    TheShape said:
    R200 said:
    There doesn’t seem to be consistency though,

    someone in a couple we know who only works Monday and Friday about 9hrs per day, so 18hrs week about £13hr is not taken off light touch


    Someone with those hours/wages would earn, on average, £1014 per month.  If they were paid that in each Assessment period they would be in the Light Touch regime due to having earnings of £677 or over.
    No they are a couple whos combined 'monthly earnings' need to be at least £1083/month (24 hours/week at NMW

    but they only earn £1014 and still on light touch
    The one who is working would still be in light touch, as they earn enough in their own right for the single threshold.

    It's only the other member of the couple who shouldn't be in light touch. Are you sure they are?

    Do they have children?

    If yes, how old is the youngest?
  • R200
    R200 Posts: 167
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    Yamor I don’t think you’re right about this.

    usually in a couple where one is working just bellow the earnings threshold it’s the one not working that gets put under pressure with job search requirements 
  • Yamor
    Yamor Posts: 312
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    I'm not sure what you're disagreeing with me about?

    I said that the one who is earning £1k-odd is correctly in light-touch.
    If the other one is not being asked to look for work, it will be due to other reasons. Perhaps because they are the main carer for a young child, or a different reason.
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