Hello! My youngest child is about to turn 5 and I have to move over to universal credits. I’m working 12 hours at the moment but have heard that you have to work 25 hours as a single parent on universal credits? I’m so worried as I don’t see how I’m going to be able to work that many hours at the moment. I don’t have much family around for support and the after school club at my children’s school is currently full. Does anyone know how hard they come down on you if you aren’t working 25 hours? Will I be expected to go to the job centre every week?! 😩 I’m so upset and stressed about all of this! Xx
I have heard quite a bit about having to work 25 hours as a single parent but don’t think this is the case. I phoned UC to enquire about this exact thing and the lady I spoke to said that they dont require you to work a set amount of hours, they just want to see that you are working. She said to me that if you find a job that only works 20 hours then so be it.
Not sure if each case is different but that was my experience.
You will be expected to work a maximum of 25 hours a week (or spend 25 hours a week looking for work). This might include some training and work-focused interviews.
However, if you are earning more than or equal to the equivalent of 25 hours@minimum wage (£821 per four weeks before tax and NI) they’re not likely to pursue you for training etc.
If they do expect you to carry out other activities it would be things like:
>meeting with your work coach
>creating and maintaining an online profile
>activities to improve your job seeking
>registering with an employment agency
>carrying out work searches
>applying for jobs and travelling to interviews
>taking part in training courses
>other agreed actions which increase your likelihood of obtaining employment
They have some flexibility over the 25 hours expectation, but from what I can gather they’re less likely to pursue if your wage is higher than minimum wage and you’re working close to 25 hours. I will be honest and say that I imagine they will be trying at 12 hours to get you to either find alternative work or additional hours.
However, theyre fairly pressed at the moment with understaffing so you may find that your coach is not present that frequently in your life! But just make sure that whatever commitments you have to agree to, you maintain.
They have to take on board your childcare commitments and you can be asked to prove that there is none available local to you.
That said, I know that they state that it is not unreasonable to expect someone to travel for 90 minutes one way to a job. Though it is supposed to be waivered for lone parents/carers.