How Universal Credit Will Destroy Part Time Work

Universal Credit, the Government’s new benefit regime, will prove devastating for part time workers and may mean part time work is no longer viable as a route out of poverty or unemployment.

The recent small fall in unemployment has been entirely down to the growth of part time work.  Unprecedented numbers of people are now working part time and are dependent on some benefits to meet their housing costs and other costs of living.  The number of people in full time work has continued to fall.

Despite this Universal Credit seems tailor made to punish any minimum wage worker who cannot find work for 35 hours a week.  Under the new regime those earning less than 35 hours a week will face ‘work conditionality requirements’ that may mean obtaining or keeping part time work is impossible.  Claimants will be forced to attend work related interviews and carry out intensive job search to find full time work during any hours they are not currently working.

Workers will face brutal sanctions for non-compliance.  Under the new rules a part time workers must be prepared to attend an interview for a job with longer hours within 48 hours of being dictated to do so by the DWP.  Should they fail to attend then they will face sanctions.  Should this happen more than twice then they will be sanctioned for up to three years, even if they have children to support.

Part time workers will also have to be prepared to hand in their notice and leave as soon as legally possible should they be offered a position with longer hours.

It is clear that this will lead to anomalies.  Someone working 30 hours a week may be forced to immediately leave and take up a 32 hour a week job.  The same will apply to someone working 10 hours a week, who may be forced to leave to work somewhere else for 12 hours.  Until the magic figure of 35 hours a week is reached, claimants will be continually hounded in and out of work.

It will not matter that perhaps the lesser paid job is providing training, has better prospects, is in the local area or fits with child care commitments.  Under the draft regulations as they stand it will not even matter if the job with longer hours is merely temporary.  Someone with a long term part time job could be forced to leave to take up a fortnight’s full time work.

Whilst Ministers will claim such experiences are likely to be exceptional, or won’t happen in practice, experience of the benefits system reveals the opposite to be true.  We can perhaps optimistically assume that the hundreds of thousands of people with life threatening and terminal conditions who have won tribunal victories to have sickness or disability benefits restored, were not expected to occur.  They too are anomalies, exceptions, cases that wouldn’t occur in practice.  We can hopefully presume that young people weren’t intended to have been forced to sleep under a bridge for no wages during the Queen’s Jubiliee.  Yet that’s exactly what happened.

With Jobcentre and benefit staff under continuous pressure to sanction claimants and meet targets, very often the worst case scenario envisaged when drawing up benefits legislation becomes the norm in practice.

It is the impact that these rules will have on employers however that will undermine the delivery of the new regime.  Employers are unlikely to take on part time workers knowing they are being forced to continually look for a job with longer hours elsewhere.  No Universal Credit claimant will be able to honestly show any commitment to their future role, knowing that at any moment the DWP could force them to take up work somewhere else.  Few employers will sanction workers skipping off for interviews with another employer with just 48 hours notice.  Some part time workers may even find themselves sacked for meeting this new DWP requirement.  Should they not be successful at the interview they may end up out of work all together.

Once again Iain Duncan Smith is launching sweeping reform of the benefits system with no real thought as to the consequences.

It is highly likely that employers will opt not to offer part time work to UK workers on Universal Credit.  No employer wants workers who are likely to leave at the drop of the hat and are actively undermining the workforce by sloping off for interviews every five minutes.

As ever these new rules are to be strictly targeted at the low paid only.  Part time workers who earn enough to meet the weekly income threshold – which is to be the weekly amount earned by someone working minimum wage for 35 hours a week – will still be eligible for in work benefits without being forced to look for longer hours.

Therefore a professional worker, who earns for example £20 p/h for eleven hours a week, will be exempt for these new rules and still eligible for in work benefits without harassment from the DWP.  A supermarket workers who works 30 hours a week however will be under constant pressure to increase their hours or leave their job.

Once again this Government is not just punishing people for being unable to find work.  It is punishing those who are unable to find well paid work.  As previously mentioned, even the Victorian distinction between deserving and undeserving poor matter not for this Government of millionaires.  If you are poor, whether in work or not, this Government blames you and is coming for you.

Universal Credit is set to be shambolic in implementation and brutal in practice.  In many cases it will punish, not reward,those who find work.  It will cost billions.  This isn’t stopping Iain Duncan Smith and his toff friend Lord Fraud from pushing ahead with this desperately out of touch legislation.  It’s almost like they’ve never had a proper job and have little idea of how the low paid sector works in practice.

The draft regulation for Universal Credit have just been published and are open to consultation at: http://ssac.independent.gov.uk/consult.shtml

Universal Credit’s Attack On Volunteers

How Universal Credit Will Split Up Families

68 responses to “How Universal Credit Will Destroy Part Time Work

  1. Eric Greenwood

    They are destroying everyone who isn’t in the privileged class. If people are forced to continually move jobs first it means no stability, Does this mean if someone has a 16 hour a week job, and theres an 18 hours a week job then they would say move here or else.. what happens is there is a 20 hours a week job will they be asked to move again..

    Who will be setting up the jobsearch session.. A4e, serco..etc..how much money will they give to them.

  2. Arbeitsscheu_UK

    Not so sure the recent small fall in unemployment has been entirely down to the growth of part time work given that #grayling recently claimed that thousands have been coming of JSA to avoid Mandatory Work Activity. Of course we know the clown lies through his teeth but this would seam a more feesable explanation for any reduction assuming, that is, they weren’t just lying about a reduction in the first place.As for Universal Credit why not just bring back concentration camps, I’m sure they would enjoy stomping about in Nazi regalia.

  3. Ian Duncan Smith is a Cunt

    Fuck this Nazi piece of shit!

  4. Reblogged this on LucyFurLeaps and commented:
    OMG…as a single parent currently retraining and hoping to freelance/teach so I can still do the school run this is a nightmare…

  5. Yes, you are right :-(

  6. ” Under the new rules a part time workers must be prepared to attend an interview for a job with longer hours within 48 hours of being dictated to do so by the DWP.”
    Hmmm… do they intend to actually create some jobs then? How? We know austerity destroys jobs and they’re still insisting there’s no plan B. It sounds to me like increasingly they’re retreating into some kind of fantasy world where everything can be fixed by punishing the poor. They’ve got nothing constructive to offer – but why would anyone expect them to? Just a bunch of rich kids who believed their own pubicity. Bring on the black economy, long will it prosper under these idiots.

  7. and this; “Claimants will be forced to attend work related interviews and carry out intensive job search to find full time work during any hours they are not currently working.”
    Where’s this supposed to heppen then? The job centres are all closing because Universal Credit (which already isn’t universal as it doesn’t include council tax) is supposed to be online by default. Are they going to be dragging people into the Tron universe for these meetings then? What a load of old rubbish. It just shows how utterly useless they are. “Look at me, everyone, my daddy’s rich, I’m going to play at running a country!” We’ll just have to ignore them and work things out for ourselves.

    • Eric Greenwood

      They will privatise the job centre, and you woulkd have to go to a4e, serco, ingeus.. for meetings..

      • You may be right on this on, My local jobcentre has been partly cleared out. Looks like they are about to shut up shop!

    • I wonder if anyone out there can answer my query. I am a part time worker in receipt of partial housing and council tax benefit. I live alone and do not work enough hours to be eligible for tax credits. How will this affect me under universal credit? Will I be hounded out of my job even though I do not receive tax credits?

      • Housing benefits will become part of the new Universal credit system, only council tax benefits are left out. So, you will be hounded to get a job with more hours if you want to keep getting housing benefit.

  8. Stalin could not have organised it better :(

  9. The system is broken

    Smug idiots currently employed by the dwp, that people are forced to deal with on a daily basis will be out of a job tho. I only wish I could point and laugh as their glass houses shatter around them.

    I am extreamly concerned about the fiuture, having recently secured a part time position it makes me wonder if I will ever be able to earn enough not to have to deal with the benefits system as a whole. How sad really.

    • I think this is going to cause a massive rise in “casual” self-employed work, some will take the risk of claiming unemployment benefits at the same time – not smart. So expect a lot of Sun and Mail stories on dole fraud, despite the fact that many will have little choice, but to do this or live on the streets.

  10. Where the hell is Labour in this mess? I can not believe any sane government could produce such clueless legislation… This has an agenda behind it and that agenda is not to improve employment prospects…

    Its like reading a story of a boy being told to continuously climb a 100ft greasy pole, if he doesn’t climb the 100ft pole, his feet will be burned every time he takes a step back to steady himself…

    How the hell can you make unemployment profitable and expect it to work? These people are beyond contempt..

    Bankers and technocratic lunatics, total mad men, i mean they dont even hide it anymore…. Reading this legislation is like reading a manual on how to persecute the unemployed in the 21st century and feel good about it. Its the most insidious and cynical legislation i think i have ever witnessed.. Its says so much about the government, if people stand for this, then god help you all.. STAND THE HELL UP TO THIS GARBAGE..

    • Eric Greenwood

      The problem is, if you stand up and speak out.. and are unemployed/sick whatever.. you are punished.. I have spoken to the press and i felt threatened by my provider..for daring to speak to the press.. It is the black box approach to the system, The unions arent speaking out because we are unemployed so its hard to get a voice.. Labour isnt speaking out because they are focusing on the unions and donors, Forget the unemployed. Only a few will speak out, I speak out using this name (not my real name btw but because i am terrified i will be found out and punished so i hide behind erics name, and the Anonymouse name)

      There is an agenda, its the dismantling of the system to benefit big business. Of course this draft could be a ploy they may put all this then say well we decided to only do half of this.. and people will say thats ok so long as it isnt the big thing..

      I am terrified of the future, just imagine the next generation what they will suffer they will grow up knowing no different. Labour set this scheme up.. they set up the precursor to this scheme. There are a few lone mp’s daring to speak out about things, but they are frequently bullied by the chief whips..to follow the party line. If labour speaks out now people will blame labour.. (rightly in my opinion) unfortunately both parties are pretty much identical .

      • It is like Nazi Germany all over again, obedient compliant citizens all sheepishly lining up for the train journey, lining up for the a “shower”, lining up to be shot in the back of the head and dumped in a trench and all along thinking: “This can’t be happening to me.”

    • Let’s not forget that Labour introduce the quoters to get people off the dole and allowed those quoters to be met by completely withdrawing someone benefits. A vicious and barbaric tactic, consigning large numbers to homelessness. I don’t hold any real hope that Labour will make the system they will, inevitably, inherit any more compassionate.

  11. Could not agree more Eric… We must start to call out these political parties for what they are… Illusion and fraud… They are not doing their jobs and they must be called out for it… We are drowning in fraud, corruption, persecution, regulation, rules, bullies, distortions and god knows what else, its like swimming in a shark invested waters while trying to play volley ball.

    They are creating a system that the only way to survive is to run away from the government… They know what they are doing, the agenda being pursued here is so destructive and predatory it beggars belief!!!

    Something has got to give… We are all entitled to half decent quality of life, and if the government can not create an economy based on fairness and decency and opportunity, then we have no society… This government and the last Labour government have failed us all… We need to take the fight to these peoples doorsteps… Identify who is behind this regulation directly, name their names, who have worked on it, who is pushing it forward, who in Labour are supporting it.. Target them all politically.. Look at all these charities who are helping to deliver these despicable policies… Inform as many people as possible to withdraw any donations if they are even remotely involved in these Hitler inspired schemes…
    Then explain to as many people possible that we are being subjected to brutal EU wide agenda called communitarianism..

    (no linking to silly conspiracies. thanks)

    Many agendas are being developed at local community level, they use your goodwill and energy and use it to undermine you, and use your own good energy against you.. we all need to become aware of what they are doing….

    • Censoring information now JV? C’mon sir? Why dont you let people decide that for themselves? You of all people banging on about how Cris grayling has been lying should really know better… Restore that link JV and let people decide if it all conspiracy theory if they so wish, they dont need you deciding that for them do they? WOW… Restore that link JV… or be part of the problem…

    • conspiracy theory :-)

      Infinite love to you all

      David

  12. So will they just waste all the specialised knowledge people in job shares have then? This fills me with the fear. and where are all these full time jobs? I can’t see how the 6 dinner ladies my childs school employs can carry on as they only do 1.25 hours each per day, but someone has to do it or there is no-one to supervise the children.

    • Exactly. None of this has been thought through.

    • You are absolutely right. All those currently getting by with part-time work and a small benefit claim, will be made to compete for jobs with those who have no work and are making a large claim. Part-time jobs will no longer go to credit claimants, for all the reasons stated above. So expect a rise in the long-term unemployed. And that will lead, inevitably, to a rise in homelessness.

  13. The Dissappeared

    Some time in the not to distant future, a small child to her Mum: “Mummy, mummy, where have all the old, sick, disabled and unemployed people gone?” “Don’t be silly dear, those people never existed, it was all a big lie, it said so on the TV.”

  14. My wifes part time work will be a no go anyway come october as she gets a pay rise and that will put her above the limit for carers allowance and as there are no extra hours to compensate for the loss of carers allowance we really are screwed one way or the other.

  15. When is SOMEONE actually going to DO SOMETHING about this Nazi government? If you tolerate this……

    • Very good point miki67. Do the Bullingdon Boys act on the basis that the English underclass might be revolting but never does anything more disturbing than moan amongst itself?

  16. This dovetails nicely with the recently announced punitive withdrawl of Working Tax Credit, if you happen to be a low-paid (part-time) worker, who decides to go on strike. Still, the Tories have never accepted that workers rights and striking are part of the democratic process have they?

    As for the TUC, and the Labour Party, well, when I heard that Dave Prentis, the boss of UNISON had joined the Bank of England as a non-executive board member, that just about sums up the situation. All of the poitical parties are in the pockets of the banks (and the Unions are in the pocket of Labour, and will do bugger-all for working people, waged or unwaged)-the sooner all of us come to terms with that fact, the better.

    The austerity we’re living under will never create growth, not for us. The bankers and their servants in Parliament really think they can make us competitive as a workforce with the Chinese economy, where people are paid £1.00 ph- So the question is, to the ‘wealth and job creators’ is where are the bloody jobs then? Or are you too busy counting your bonuses?

    The Tories Plan ‘B’ is the Parachute Regt and tanks on the streets, once they have destroyed all legitimate avenues of opposition and protest.

    • That could be interesting given that the army and the police are being cut too. Do you really think that the average police officer or soldier would risk his or her own life by killing unarmed UK civilians? Having said that, perhaps Plan ‘B’ includes out-sourcing population control to the forces of another country with a robust attitude to civilian control?

      • …. the Chinese Army for instance :-(

        • that would do it :(

          • ‘Do you really think that the average police officer or soldier would risk his or her own life by killing unarmed UK civilians? ‘ – Yes. Look at deaths in custody, and the glorious record of the Army in Northern Ireland…and then there was that small matter of Mark Duggan last year…

            • Numbers – the police and army do not have the head count or fire-power to deal with major civil insurrection – the thin blue line is actually very very thin and wholly dependent on a largely cooperative population. The Army were at war in NI: it knew it, so did PIRA. Mark Duggan was killed unlawfully and sub judice right now so no further comment save to say that he would not have been the only one had the state decided to use the Tienanmen Square method of public space clearance.

      • G4S chief predicts mass police privatisation

        http://www.guardian.co.uk/uk/2012/jun/20/g4s-chief-mass-police-privatisation

        Wonder how long it wil be before they will be securing the services of “Acedemi” the new name for the infamous Blackwater mercenary company.

        • :) here’s hoping it’s just a fishing/share price enhancing PR spin piece. Historically, depots have used their own armies to take and hold onto power

        • One wonders how they’d investigate corruption in any of their partner firms. Note how the BBC conspicuously avoids criticism of Atos, who do their IT work these days. That’s the problem with outsourcing, you lose your independence and become dependent for your mortgage on commercial interests. If they become corrupt, you aren’t an investigator anymore and invulnerable. Instead, you’re a whistleblower – and we know what happens to them!

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  18. what about people who are too sick to work full time – can manage only to work parttime only? Will they want to take our housing benefits? Will we have sick people dying in the streets, therefore? Beyond terrible times we are living in! it will be like the hungry 1840s.

    • Yes. People might as well die as soon as they are unfit for purpose, presumably the cost of disposal will be garmished onto their relatives?

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  24. I am starting to get a bit worried about this new scheme, I currently work 20 hrs a week at a school, which for me is brilliant as its a Term Time job which fits in around my 3 children, being a single parent who gets no help from their father, I am worried that I am going to be forced out of a job that I like and enjoy to find one with longer hours where I will then need to get childcare for the holidays :(

  25. Surely it makes far more sense if there is a new part time position it should be filled by those still not working at all; rather pushing than someone working part time already. Otherwise it will be a continuous musical chair. Someone moving from 10 hours to 16 hours and then you have to find someone to fill the 10 hours position and so forth.

    • @Concerned – or just make it all too complicated for people to bother claiming anything? I suspect that this is more about abolishing the concept of welfare than any suggestion of facilitating work? How long before the concept of the minimum wage is scrapped because it represents an unfair restraint on free trade that hinders the UK’s economic recovery?

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  27. Thanks for sharing wonderful information. Nice post.

    part time jobs

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  34. Sorry but this govt has gone mental. What’s next ? Maybe you find full time job then you get letter telling you that you got to have two or more jobs then letter saying it ought to pay more or letter telling you what socks to buy ..they have gone nuts

  35. Thank you for sharing valuable information. Nice post. I enjoyed reading this post.

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  38. The best we can hope for is an inactive politician. It seems to me that Government interference in the market is always the trouble. Minimum wage kills small business and destroys jobs, unions distort the economy, Taxes = theft. The best kind of government is the one that rules the least and the one that rules the least is no government.

  39. 36 Round 5: Ch 1, sc in each dc around, join. The next step is attaching the strips
    to the fabric with the strap inserted in
    between so that this is a huge problem,” says David A. So head out and find yourself that reusable tote and start conserving the environment, they will begin eating fish and meat. These are the eyesores with a combination of punches and/or kicks for a set period of time, each item features special significance for fashion industry.

  40. The problem is employees refusing full time work. I have great trouble getting anyone to agree to more than a few hours a day. Some were so part time they didn’t even make up a full day a week, and all because it doesn’t suit their lifestyle.

    People often blame all these part time jobs on employers, not wanting to give sick pay, pensions, leave, etc, but it’s the employees who simply won’t do it. We all know a good full time employee is worth a lot more than 2 part timers. The unemployed have therefore brought this upon themselves.

    I have gone through days of interviews before now with potential employees, often discarding all of them for either not wanting enough hours to be able to do the job, or showing total apathy or inability.

    My next employee has got to be polish, they take their work seriously, are better educated, and smarter. Most of all they actually want work.

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