Bradshaw Johnson Chartered Accountants

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Universal Credit changes
20/05/2024

Universal Credit claimants working less than half of a full-time week will have to look to increase their hours but will be able to benefit from extra work coach support. These changes will see 400,000 Universal Credit claimants receive more help to progress in work.

The changes come as the PM announces once in a generation welfare reforms to help people find work, boost their earnings, and grow the economy.

Before 2022, someone could work only nine hours a week and remain on benefits without being expected to look for more work.

The latest rise in the Administrative Earnings Threshold (AET) means someone working less than 18 hours – half of a full-time week – will have to look for more work.

These Universal Credit claimants will move into the ‘Intensive Work Search group’, meeting with their work coaches more regularly to plan their job progression, boost their earnings and advance the journey off welfare altogether.

Combined with previous increases, 400,000 claimants are now subject to more intensive Jobcentre support – and with that the expectation that those who can work must engage with the support available or face losing their benefits.

The move comes as last month the Prime Minister announced a once in a generation package of welfare reforms to help thousands more people benefit from employment, building on the Government’s £2.5 billion Back to Work Plan providing extra help to over a million people to break down barriers to work.


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