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Universal Credit makes taking a holiday financially impossible.

We're waiting for M Boyce to read recent responses and update the status.

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, Department for Work and Pensions

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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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,
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Frank Zola left an annotation ()

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

M Boyce left an annotation ()

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

Frank Zola left an annotation ()

"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!

M Boyce left an annotation ()

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, Department for Work and Pensions

1 Attachment

 

 

FoI 4723

 

 

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

 

 

Yours sincerely

 

DWP Strategy FoI Team

 

 

show quoted sections

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, Department for Work and Pensions

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...
 

show quoted sections

References

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

DWP Strategy Freedom of Information, Department for Work and Pensions

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

------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
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

show quoted sections

Nigel Lawrence left an annotation ()

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?

M Boyce left an annotation ()

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.

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