Benefits For Part-Time Workers Could Be Cut Unless They Work Longer Hours

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The advisor is set to announce that more than 100,000 people working part-time could face a reduction in benefits if they fail to properly seek more work or work longer hours.

Kwasi Kwarteng suggests a major change in the welfare system, where claimants work up to 15 hours a week on the national living wage are required to meet a work coach regularly and take “active steps” to increase earnings.

These obligations can include applying for jobs, attending interviews, or increasing working hours.

If they fail to do so, under the plan, their benefits can be reduced.

Kwarteng described the policy – which will form part of his mini-budget on Friday – as a “win-win” way to fill 1.2 million job openings across the country.

Under the changes, applicants over 50 will receive additional support from job coaches, while newly unemployed people will receive nine months of targeted sessions.

The Treasury believes that rising economic inactivity among those over 50 is contributing to a labor market shortage, driving up inflation and limiting growth.

A return to pre-pandemic economic activity among people over 50 could, the government estimate, increase GDP by up to one percentage point.

“Our labor market is remarkably resilient, but it is not perfect. While unemployment is at its lowest rate in nearly 50 years, the high number of job vacancies that remain and inactivity in the labor market is limiting economic growth.”

We must make Britain work again. These incremental changes focus on getting people back to work and increasing the number of hours people take to help grow the economy and raise living standards for everyone.

“It boosts household incomes and helps businesses get the domestic labor they need, all while supporting economic growth.”

The latest announcement comes ahead of Friday’s mini-budget, in which Kwarteng is set to outline government plans to boost growth and attract investment, including how it will pay for energy price guarantees for households and businesses.

In addition to reversing the increase in National Insurance contributions and canceling a planned increase in corporate tax, which Liz Truss promised, the chancellor has been reported to be cutting stamp duties in another attempt to spur growth.

Work and Pensions Secretary Chloe Smith said of the plan: “Whether it’s increasing their hours in their current role, entering a new sector or changing careers, we want people of all ages and all stages to be able to progress toward achieving jobs.

“The expertise that our dedicated DWP business coaches bring will help drive this change by removing barriers to advancement and opening up opportunities for training and skill building to increase profits.”

Labor was quick to respond to the plan, with the Labor and Pensions secretary pointing to the Conservatives’ reported plan to scrap banker bonus caps.

Jonathan Ashworth tweeted: “Conservative ministers believe the reason there are over a million vacancies is because low wages are not working hard enough and need to be threatened with sanctions, but bankers need bounty bounties.”

“We need a serious plan to support people to return to work and increase the supply of labor,” he said.

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