Universal Credit makes taking a holiday financially impossible.

Adran Gwaith a Phensiynau Nid oedd gan y wybodaeth y gofynnwyd amdani.

Dear Department for Work and Pensions,

If you take a holiday while working hard and claiming Universal Credit (UC) to top-up poverty pay wages you will pay huge price.
Let's say you work 30 hours a week on poverty pay and claim Universal Credit to top this up. You've been working 4 months and are tired and need a holiday. You take a weeks holiday in sunny Scunthorpe. You will need to come off UC because you are not prepared to spend 7 hours a day job searching while taking a well earned break. When you then make a fresh claim you will then have to serve 7 waiting days before you are entitled to any UC. Then you will have to wait a further 5 weeks to receive any UC. This Tory Government have now made it financially impossible for the low paid to take a holiday. This is not only grossly unfair, but will damage their health.
Please provide all documents that show that people making a fresh claim for UC after going on holiday for a week will indeed have to serve the 7 waiting days, and then have to wait a further 5 weeks for any money.

Yours faithfully,

M Boyce

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DWP Strategy Freedom of Information, Adran Gwaith a Phensiynau

Thank you for your Freedom of Information request.

You can expect a reply by 4 December 2017 unless I need to come back to you to clarify your request or the balance of the public interest test needs to be considered.

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Gadawodd Frank Zola anodiad ()

Forum discussion on holiday entitlement and Universal Credit requirements https://www.rightsnet.org.uk/forums/view... > http://www.parliament.uk/business/public...

Gadawodd M Boyce anodiad ()

Thanks for your post Frank Zola.

I'm not sure whether you follow what I have put in my FOI, but neither of your links addresses my question.

I am asking the DWP to provide documents that show/prove that if you come off UC because you want to take a weeks holiday without spending 7 hours a day job searching, then when you make a fresh claim for UC you will have to serve another 7 waiting days at the start of the reclaim. In other words you will have one weeks UC taken off you because you went on holiday (and not claiming UC) for a week. During your weeks holiday you were not claiming UC and you were living on your holiday pay from your previous poverty pay employment. When you get back off your legally entitled holiday and resume your work and make a fresh claim for UC to top up your poverty pay then the DWP slam you with another 7 waiting days. I have already asked the Shadow Secretary of State for Work and Pensions to ask the PM to address this serious issue during PMQ's . Let's see if the Labour Party is prepared to act and not just offer warm words.

Dear DWP Strategy Freedom of Information,

Your response is now overdue. Please supply a response within the next 48 hours.

Yours sincerely,

M Boyce

Dear DWP Strategy Freedom of Information,

OK, you're clearly not going to reply voluntarily. I have now forwarded this link to the ICO to ask them to investigate your law-breaking and non-compliance.

Yours sincerely,

M Boyce

Dear DWP Strategy Freedom of Information,

iCO now contacted about your law-breaking.

I will now contact you every working day until I receive a response. Let's see how many times I have to do this?

Yours sincerely,

M Boyce

Gadawodd Frank Zola anodiad ()

"I will now contact you every working day until I receive a response. Let's see how many times I have to do this?"

Suggest not doing this and allow the ICO process to take place' You will just bury your request in lots of replies and auto replies from the DWP that visitors to this site may find unhelpful.

Formal investigations by the ICO can take months!

Gadawodd M Boyce anodiad ()

Frank Zola

Yes, point taken. I have to agree it would only be like banging my head against a brick wall.
Something does have to be done, however, with this persistent non-compliance by authorities, like the DWP.
I suspect it is entirely deliberate in order to indefinitey thwart the FOI process. The more authorities ignore FOI requsts, the more complaints the ICO get, and coupled with year on year reductions in the ICO budget and staff numbers due to continued austerity, this provides the Government with a golden opportunity to almost indefinitely ignore their duties under the FOIA. The ICO need to act, and to act now, to stop this getting even worse. Will they be prepared to do this?

DWP Strategy Freedom of Information, Adran Gwaith a Phensiynau

1 Atodiad

 

 

FoI 4723

 

 

Please see the attached reply to your Freedom of Information request.

 

 

Yours sincerely

 

DWP Strategy FoI Team

 

 

dangos adrannau a ddyfynnir

Dear Department for Work and Pensions,

Please pass this on to the person who conducts Freedom of Information reviews.

I am writing to request an internal review of Department for Work and Pensions's handling of my FOI request 'Universal Credit makes taking a holiday financially impossible.'.

Your response is deeply inadequate, as usual.

You state:

'There is no document we can share as there would be no requirement for a claimant in the situation described to make a fresh claim.'

You are wrong; they would need to make a fresh.

As for your link to the House of Commons library. This tells me absolutely nothing.

A full history of my FOI request and all correspondence is available on the Internet at this address: https://www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/u...

Yours faithfully,

M Boyce

DWP freedom-of-information-requests, Adran Gwaith a Phensiynau

This is an automated confirmation that your request for information has
been accepted by the DWP FoI mailbox.
 
By the next working day your request will be forwarded to the relevant
information owner within the Department who will respond to you direct. 
 
If your email is a Freedom of Information request you can normally
expect a response within 20 working days.
 
Should you have any further queries in connection with this request do
please contact us.
 
For further information on the Freedom of Information Act within DWP
please click on the link below.
 
[1]http://www.dwp.gov.uk/freedom-of-informa...
 

dangos adrannau a ddyfynnir

References

Visible links
1. http://www.dwp.gov.uk/freedom-of-informa...

DWP Strategy Freedom of Information, Adran Gwaith a Phensiynau

Thank you for your Freedom of Information review request.

Please note that it is our internal target to answer reviews within 20 working days unless I need to come back to you to clarify your request, or the balance of the public interest test needs to be considered which we will keep you informed about.

If you have any queries about this letter please contact me quoting the reference number above.

Yours sincerely

DWP Strategy FoI Team

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Your right to complain under the Freedom of Information Act

If you are not happy with this response you may request an internal review by e-mailing [DWP request email] or by writing to DWP, Central FoI Team,
Caxton House, Tothill Street, SW1H 9NA. Any review request should be submitted within two months of the date of this letter. Please remember to quote the reference number above in any future communications.

If you are not content with the outcome of the internal review you may apply directly to the Information Commissioner’s Office for a decision. Generally the Commissioner cannot make a decision unless you have exhausted our own complaints procedure. The Information Commissioner can be contacted at: The Information Commissioner’s Office, Wycliffe House, Water Lane, Wilmslow Cheshire SK9 5AF
www.ico.org.uk/Global/contact_us or telephone 0303 123 1113 or 01625 545745

dangos adrannau a ddyfynnir

Gadawodd Nigel Lawrence anodiad ()

If a UC claimant subject to 'in work conditionality' were to take paid statutory annual leave entitlement, what is the mechanism by which the DWP would monitor the claimant's compliance with work search requirements during the statutory annual leave?

Or to put that simply, how would DWP become aware that a UC claimant did not perform job search activity while on annual leave?

Gadawodd M Boyce anodiad ()

Nigel Lawrence.
Because under your claimant commitment you are expected to work and/or job search, and provide proof of this, for 35 hours a week. When you go into the jobcentre for your fortnightly interview/ 'sign-on' with your work coach they want to see evidence of this 35 hours, and can ask for this evidence at any time.

Dear DWP Strategy Freedom of Information,

Your response is again long overdue.

You have been warned by the ICO to stop playing these games.

Please provide a response within 5 days or I will contact the ICO again.

Yours sincerely,

M Boyce

Pankhania Jasumati STRATEGY BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT, Adran Gwaith a Phensiynau

1 Atodiad

IR16

Please see the attached reply to your Freedom of Information request.

Yours sincerely

DWP Strategy FoI Team

dangos adrannau a ddyfynnir

Gadawodd Claire Sharp anodiad ()

Someone working 30 hours a week normally would be earning over £338 a month which would mean they would be placed in INDIVIDUAL EARNS OVER ART - LIGHT TOUCH REGIME.

Even although it is part of the all work group and not earning their expected hours if the CET is set at 35, they would have no mandatory work related activities.

So they would not be required to work search 7 hours a day on holiday or work search at all even if at home.

If between a couple (or even one person) they earn more than £541 per month they would be placed in HOUSEHOLD EARNS OVER AET - LIGHT TOUCH REGIME and again would have no mandatory work related requirements so would not be required to work search.

The reason why the AET is in place is to reflect JSA rules. It is set at monthly JSA plus £5

It can be difficult to locate info about it but it is in regulations and parliament papers

Here is an extra of ADM Chapter J3

Monthly earnings
J3231 The work search or work availability requirement must not be imposed where1 the
claimant has monthly earnings, or if the claimant is a member of a couple, the
couple combined monthly earnings, that are equal to or more than the following
amount multiplied by 52 and divided by 12
1. for a single claimant, £5 plus the applicable amount of the JSA personal
allowance for a single person aged 25 or over or
2. where the claimant is a member of a couple, £10 plus the applicable amount
of the JSA personal allowance for a couple where both members are aged 18
or over.
The reference amount applicable to a claimant or joint claimants is referred to as the
“Administrative Earnings Threshold”.
Note: The monthly earnings in 1. and 2. only include earnings that are employed
earnings.

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