Close

Work hours rules

Work hours rules

This work hours question helps the calculator determine whether to include questions about Employment and Support Allowance, Income Support, Jobseeker's Allowance and Working Tax Credit on the 'Benefits you currently receive' page as all these benefits include eligibility rules about work hours. There are no work hours rules for Universal Credit as it is one benefit whether you are in or out of work.

The work hours question is also used to work out whether you might have any income from earnings, which are treated more generously than other kinds of income when calculating benefits, so determines whether the net earnings page should be shown. 

'Work' is defined as carrying out qualifying remunerative work.

Currently on statutory leave

When you are employed but currently on leave from work for sickness, maternity, paternity or adoption you should always enter your current work hours rather than the hours you usually work when not on leave. In most cases this will be 0.

On the 'Benefits you currently receive' page you will be asked if you are receiving Working Tax Credit, which can continue to be paid when you are on statutory leave from work and may increase if your earnings for the current tax year are expected to fall by more than £2500 due to time spent on leave. 

If you are not currently receiving Working Tax Credit you may be entitled to Universal Credit, the calculator will check your entitlement to this benefit.

Working Tax Credit

You can no longer make a new claim for Working Tax Credit unless you have a current claim for Child Tax Credit. For more information see Working Tax Credit.

The calculator will still estimate your entitlement to tax credits if it is possible you could be eligible to make a new claim or to check you are currently receiving the correct amount.

If you work 30 hours a week or more a bonus is payable in Working Tax Credit. In couples it is your combined work hours that are counted when working out your entitlement to this bonus.

What hours do you need to work to claim Working Tax Credit (if a new claim is possible)?

If you are not responsible for children, you need to work the following hours to get Working Tax Credit:

  • if you are aged 25 or over, you need to do paid work of at least 30 hours a week
  • if you have a disability and are 16 or over, you need to do paid work of at least 16 hours a week
  • if you are aged 60 or over, you need to do paid work of at least 16 hours a week

To qualify for working tax credit if you are part of a couple and you are responsible for children, you must work at least 24 hours a week between the two of you. This is in addition to the existing rule that either you or your partner must be working at least 16 hours a week. If only one of you work, then they must work at least 24 hours. But the new rule does not apply if:

  • the one who is working at least 16 hours a week is either a ‘disabled worker’ or is over 60 years old or
  • the other partner is in hospital; or in prison; or getting certain benefits due to sickness or disability, for example employment and support allowance or disability living allowance.

If you are a lone parent with dependent children you have to work for 16 hours a week to qualify for Working Tax Credit.

If you are not currently receiving Working Tax Credit you may be entitled to Universal Credit, the calculator will check your entitlement to this benefit.

Income Support and Jobseeker's Allowance

It is no longer possible to make a new claim for Income Support or Jobseeker's Allowance but you may already be receiving one of these benefits if you are not working or working on average less than 16 hours a week. Partners of people receiving Income Support or Jobseeker's Allowance are able to work for, on average, up to 24 hours a week without their partner’s entitlement being affected.

However, in certain circumstances (carers, childminders, etc) you are able to work more than 16 hours (24 hours for partners) and still claim Income Support or Jobseeker’s Allowance. For more information see working 16 hours a week or more and claiming Income Support or Jobseeker's Allowance.

If you are not currently receiving Income Support or Jobseeker's Allowance you may be entitled to Universal Credit, the calculator will check your entitlement to this.

Employment and Support Allowance

You can no longer make a new claim for Employment and Support Allowance but you may already be receiving this benefit and working up to 16 hours a week without your entitlement being affected under permitted work rules.

If you are not currently receiving Employment and Support Allowance you may be entitled to Universal Credit, the calculator will check your entitlement to this benefit.

up
loader
;

We use cookies to improve your experience on our website. If you continue without changing your settings, we’ll assume you are happy to receive all cookies from our website. However, you can change your cookie settings at any time.

Continue