The decision regarding whether work is 'genuine and effective' is based on European case law, and is assessed on a case-by-case basis.
The decision maker should consider the following:
Voluntary work does not qualify. ‘Cash-in-hand’ work might qualify in certain circumstances if there is evidence of the work taking place (e.g. payslips, some kind of work agreement). ‘Zero hour’ contracts will be assessed individually.
If you have not earned an average of £166 (in 2019/20) per week over 3 months, but you think your work or self-employment should be considered 'genuine and effective' you may need specialist help to put your case forward.