Universal Credit and your employer

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Universal Credit and your employer

Post by Caker on Fri Aug 04, 2017 7:48 pm

https://thepoorsideoflife.wordpress.com/2016/04/29/you-cannot-serve-two-masters-universal-credit-and-your-employer/

thepoorsideoflife wrote:Here are two different cases concerning universal credit and work. Both prove the point extremely well that universal credit and the  work conditionionality contract linked with this is completely unworkable. Politicians from all parties are not taking this issue seriously enough. Luckily we are.
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Re: Universal Credit and your employer

Post by Absolut on Sun Aug 06, 2017 8:50 am

http://www.youblawg.com/employment-law/economic-tort-inducing-breach-of-contract

The economic tort of knowing inducement of breach of contract intends to prevent the knowing violation of the rights of an employer (or former employer) by a third party by that third party interfering with its lawful contractual arrangements without just cause.

https://www.turn2us.org.uk/Benefit-guides/Universal-Credit/Claimant-Commitment-Conditionality

you will be expected to prepare for a move into work, additional work, or better paid work.

The JSA/UC rules do not give any DWP employee the right to induce claimants to breach their contract of employment, nor does it give them any right to induce a cliamant to give up one job in favour of another if that breaches their contract of employment.  If the DWP could interfere in contracts of employment I'm sure such provision would be included in the legislation (and it isn't).

If you are earning below your threshold you will be expected to make efforts to increase your income. The DWP suggest that this may include increasing the hours you work, finding additional work or finding a new job with a higher income.

Finding a new job with a higher income doesn't mean the DWP can make you swap one job for another because that would be third party interference in a contract of employment.

If any DWP employee induces you to give up your job make sure to get it in writing and then take that admission to your employer who will then be perfectly within their rights to sue the DWP for economic loss (on your leaving it would cost them to hire another person and so be economically damaging to them and their business).
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Re: Universal Credit and your employer

Post by Caker on Sun Aug 06, 2017 4:30 pm

Absolut wrote:you will be expected to prepare for a move into work, additional work, or better paid work.

.....so this is nothing more than an 'expectation' with no legal compulsion whatsoever Twisted Evil
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Re: Universal Credit and your employer

Post by Absolut on Wed Aug 09, 2017 10:17 am

The "expectation" must be backed up with a threat of punishment if you do not comply otherwise it's an empty threat. The only punishment that the DWP can mete out is a financial sanction - i.e it's a sanction against a person who is working. This breaches their "worker versus shirker" narrative and shows it up for what it is  - a lie.
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Re: Universal Credit and your employer

Post by Brutus on Mon Aug 14, 2017 8:28 pm

It is actually worse than that.
If I recollect rightly, if a sanction to a P/T worker is mated out, in the likely case that the claimant do not receive enough "personal allowance" to cover the whole of the sanction, the rest is taken out of the victim's housing benefits.

It is an evil situation where to be on benefits is equivalent to be constantly blackmailed.

Control is the key factor.
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Re: Universal Credit and your employer

Post by Caker on Tue Aug 15, 2017 9:42 am

I did not know that B. I thought the housing element, of CC, was ring fenced. I was mistaken. What a dire situation. Evil or Very Mad
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Re: Universal Credit and your employer

Post by Admin on Tue Aug 15, 2017 9:53 am

it was at one time caker but nowadays its its means tested

basically its forced to find any full time job or by taking multiple jobs to equal full time hours up
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Re: Universal Credit and your employer

Post by Caker on Tue Aug 15, 2017 3:59 pm

So the housing element can be sanctioned if a person is only claiming that and nothing else?
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Re: Universal Credit and your employer

Post by Brutus on Thu Aug 17, 2017 1:36 am

 

It is a confusing scenario.
I checked my original sources:

Mainly an article from 214 “Inside Housing”



However, the Department for Work and Pensions has confirmed to Inside Housing that under the government’s flagship welfare reform, where a tenant is working less than 35 hours a week at minimum wage and is not eligible for JSA or ESA, the housing element can be sanctioned instead.



A discussion on Rightsnet confirmed this but also enlarge (I have not understood all the ramification of the term “taper”, however)



It’s odd this has suddenly been reported now - it has been a feature of UC from the outset.  It is not strictly correct to say that the housing element will be sanctioned: it would be more accurate to say that UC can be sanctioned in cases where the claimant only retains entitlement to UC after the taper is applied because there are housing costs included in the award.  For example a taper of £80 would knock out a single non-householder’s UC completely, but it would leave a “renter” with some residual entitlement.  That residual entitlement is not the housing element as such, it is just whatever is left of the UC award after the taper is applied.

For the same reasons, it could also be said that the child elements of UC can be sanctioned (it would happen where an owner occupier works part time and does not comply with work seeking conditionality).

In both cases, it is a result of conditionality and the accompanying sanctions regime extending to people who work a fair amount but tantalisingly not quite enough




More recent references, seem to indicate a ringfencing of the Housing Elements under Universal Credit. It is not clear however if they are retained in the case  commented above.

For example from the BRIEFING PAPER Number 6547, 12 June 2017 “Housing Costs in Universal Credit” says:



2.19 Conditionality & sanctions

The Welfare Reform Act 2012 enshrines the principle that, in order to
receive financial assistance, claimants must look for work. All claimants
of UC are required to accept a claimant commitment. It is expected
that most claimants will fall into the “all work requirements” category
meaning that they must take all reasonable steps to search for work.
UC carries consequences for non-compliance and sanctions increase in
duration for repeat offences. The housing element of UC is unaffected
by these sanctions
but as UC, in most cases, is paid direct to the
claimant, there are concerns that the severity of the sanctions regime
may lead to some claimants failing to prioritise rent payments. The NHF
suggested that claimants subject to a UC sanction should automatically
be switched to direct payment of the housing element to the landlord in
order to prevent the accrual of rent arrears.3



As an aside the reasons why rent arrears may accrue is debated (of course it is clear enough, to us, the victims) and charities tend to blame law misinterpretation, especially Local Authorities for suspending housing benefits when they shouldn’t.

In the Public Accounts Committee, Oral evidence: Benefit Sanctions, HC 775, 12 December 2016

Maeve McGoldrick (head of Policy Campaigns for the homeless charity Crisis) thought that:



question 13:

We have been working with the Department in trying to decipher exactly where that is. Communications have gone out again to reinforce the message that housing benefit should not be stopped, but this error is still happening, so that message is not quite getting across. It is really hard to determine exactly where that is happening. One of the biggest problems is that we do not have very clear data sharing about the nature of the services that local authorities provide in issuing housing benefit and at what stage it should be started and stopped. One useful way would be to flag in the system if someone is sanctioned, to have clear communications.



and referring to JSA, the DWP seems to put the fault of arreas straight on the shoulders of the claimants “House of Commons Committee of Public Accounts “Benefit sanctions
Forty-second Report of Session 2016–17” (February 2017)

quote:


20. Some claimants of sanctionable benefits like Jobseeker’s Allowance also receive
Housing Benefit to help with their housing costs. The survey by Crisis showed that a third
of respondents who had been claiming Housing Benefit at the time of their sanction had
this stopped because of the sanction.45
The Department confirmed that Housing Benefit
should not be stopped when a sanction is applied.
The Department told us that it had
looked at this issue in 300 cases in one area but that it had found no evidence of the
problem.46
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Re: Universal Credit and your employer

Post by Caker on Thu Aug 17, 2017 8:18 am

@Brutus

Thanks for this.

So not only can people potentially lose their homes (affecting their children), but their child benefit can also be affected (affected their children). It certainly looks as if children will be punished either way if their parent is sanctioned (possibly through no fault of their own, as we know how these things tend to be applied Evil or Very Mad  ).

I am not sure how any of this makes work pay confused
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