Universal credit maximum 25 hour work commitment

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This topic contains 5 replies, has 3 voices, and was last updated by  Confused2019 2 weeks, 3 days ago.

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  • #33286 Report

    Confused2019
    Participant

    hi, I’m new to UC and currently unemployed. I’m not currently trained up to the level expected in my previous career (been a stay at home mum til partner left) so am going back in January to complete an 18 month course.

    My course is 4 hours at college and a mandatory 12 hours in a practical setting (unpaid)

    When I informed UC, my work coach said I’m expected to find extra work to take me up to the 25 hours work a week (25 hours due to my youngest child’s age) I queried this as obviously I will have study to do at home, a weekly staff meeting to attend and mandatory courses to attend (although they won’t be weekly)

    she told me I have to work 25 hours a week and under my commitments if I don’t, I could be sanctioned.

    However a lady I know well has been on UC for roughly 6 months and is contracted to work 16. She occasionally works more but it IS occasionally . I asked her about this and she has never been told to work 25 hours a week and has never been sanctioned because she doesn’t. (I don’t want her to but I don’t understand why it’s a different rule)

    we live in the same postcode area, our youngest children are exactly the same age and she’s a single parent like me. She doesn’t care for a disabled person or receive any DLA for her child.

    just wondering why it’s different for different claimants?  Also if the commitments state “maximum 25 hours a week” then surely there’s a minimum?

    Wondered if anyone was in a similar position, ie only part time and college with   9 hours spare of the 25 and how your work coach has handled it?

    I don’t want to ask my work coach because she seems to have a problem with me going to college. I was so excited and rather proud of going back (I’ve been unwell with MH problems)  and she said “to be honest, you’d better off working at Aldi or something” PLEASE note, I’ve nothing against working at Aldi but I loved my previous job and I’m so excited to be retraining.

    #33291 Report

    SOLOMUMMY
    Participant

    If the rule is correct it means you must earn the equivalent of 25x minimum wage. Does your friend earn more than minimum wage so doesn’t need to work 25 hours?

    #33295 Report

    Confused2019
    Participant

    I’ve been doing lots of reading and it seems the norm that if you earn over £338 in an assessment period, even if working less than 25 hours a week, the work coaches don’t ask you to work up to 25 hours a week, on the understanding that you work more hours if they were offered.

    i don’t know what my friend’s hourly rate is , but it’s possible that the above applies to her.

    Im studying/working 16 hours a week but obviously as I’m “voluntary” it’s unpaid. It’s mandatory with the course though so I do think it’s a bit unfair. If I was working in this job for those hours, I’d be earning over the threshold. I did try to obtain a trainee post at the higher level but was unable to find one. (They’re like gold dust) So voluntary was my only option.

    Im umming about going back to college now as it sounds like it would be simpler to work and let go of my idea of re-training for the job I loved

    So my next question…if I work search but am unable to find 9 hours work a week (seems dubious as it needs to be in school hours but I’ll try) how strict will UC be? I’ve briefly read about sanctions and frankly, it’s terrifying as the consequences would be dire for me and my kids (falling behind on rent/bills, eviction etc. Sorry if that sounds dramatic but I have severe anxiety and things other people can process, I find overwhelming. I need to have it straight in my head.

    Thanks

    • This reply was modified 2 weeks, 4 days ago by  Confused2019.
    #33299 Report

    SOLOMUMMY
    Participant

    You would have to prove that you have been fulfilling your obligations re job search, attending job centre probably fortnightly etc.

    #33309 Report

    Hi Confused2019,

    I’m one of the forum moderators at Gingerbread. Sorry to hear you’re feeling anxious about your work and studying situation.

    I suggest you give our free helpline a call – our expert advisers can help with a range of issues including Universal Credit. The helpline number is 0808 802 0925 and opening hours are: Monday 10am-6pm, Tuesday, Thursday & Friday 10am-4pm, Wednesday 10am-1pm & 5pm-7pm. Please do be aware that the helpline can be busy at times so you may have to wait.

    Jessica

    #33338 Report

    Confused2019
    Participant

    Thank you so much Jessica, I will give the helpline a call tomorrow.

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