UNIVERSAL CREDIT INFORMATION FOR EMPLOYERS
Universal Credit is a new benefit that supports people who are on a low income or out of work and helps ensure that they are better off in work than on benefits.
Universal Credit will replace 6 current allowances or benefits:
• Income-based Jobseeker’s Allowance
• Income related Employment and Support Allowance
• Income Support
• Working Tax Credit
• Child Tax Credit
• Housing Benefit
This is a major change in the way in which benefits are administered and assessed and, as a result, Universal Credit is being introduced in stages.
How Universal Credit will work for employers
Universal Credit will increase the financial benefits of work and provide employers with a more flexible workforce.
What is Universal Credit?
Universal Credit is a new single monthly payment for people who are on a low income or out of work. It ends the 16 hour a week rule that may previously have led people to restrict the hours they work to avoid losing their benefits.
Universal Credit aims to ensure that people will be better off in work than on benefits. This means claimants won’t lose all their benefits at once if they are on a low income as their Universal Credit payment will reduce gradually as their take home pay increases.
How will this affect my business?
Universal Credit will have a positive effect on your business as you will:
• Find it easier to fill any job as more jobseekers will be willing to consider short term or irregular work
• Be able to identify opportunities for flexible working using your existing part time employees for overtime and extra shifts at peak times, without the overheads associated with recruiting and training new staff
• Have access to a wider pool of applicants for your jobs, many of whom are registered on our Universal Jobmatch service, to help you fill your job vacancies more quickly.
As Universal Credit rolls out nationally and more groups of claimants are included, some of your employees may start to receive it, or you may recruit someone who is receiving it.
Universal Credit payments are linked to how much money an employed UC claimant has earned. This is captured through the new way of reporting PAYE information to Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs (HMRC) in real time. You may have seen this referred to as Real Time Information or RTI.
You can find more information about how to report PAYE in real time, along with how to get the right software to do it, from HMRC Website
The Department of Work and Pensions is working with employers and employer organisations to understand the most effective methods to support people to stay and progress in work. DWP has started to pilot new approaches to determine the best way to do this before introduction nationally.
When will the changes happen?
Universal Credit is being introduced in stages, rolled out to all jobcentres and local authorities across the country during 2015. Gloucestershire will be included during June 2015 but the expansion will apply only to new claims from single jobseekers at first.
For more information visit www.gov.uk/universalcredit