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Forum Home  →  Discussion  →  Conditionality and sanctions  →  Thread

UC, self employed, MIF applied, giving up s/e and sanctions

 

Peter Turville
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Welfare Rights Worker, Oxford Community Work Agency

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Further to my post at https://www.rightsnet.org.uk/forums/viewthread/14572/

UC have now re-calculated my clients earnings going back a considerable period and applied a MIF generating an overpayment of £7K.

Understandably my client is not only somewhat ‘miffed’ but intends (has no practical option) but to give up s/e. Imposition of the MIF leaves them effectively destitute (profit will not even cover full rent). It remains unclear why DWP had not applied the MIF earlier (client had been on live service UC and full service now for 15 months all whilst declaring s/e earnings).

Does anyone have any experience of whether DWP will sanction a claimant if they give up s/e due to the imposition of the MIF? I note the guidance in ADM K2282 and case law ref. there.

     
HB Anorak
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benefits consultant/trainer, hbanorak.co.uk, east london

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No experience of how it works in practice but surely the whole point of the MIF is to discourage conditionality avoidance through spurious self employment. If the claimant says “OK, I accept I’ll have to seek work because my self employment isn’t going anywhere” they are doing exactly what the policy is designed to nudge them to do. It would be perverse to sanction someone in those circumstances: the price they paying is acceptance of full conditionality.

     
Dan Manville
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Mental health, Wolverhampton CC Welfare Rights

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At the Equality for All conference a few months back Tom Royston was rumbling about a JR into the MIF.

I was gutted as I had a decent candidate but they didn’t want to pursue it and went into full time work instead.

Might be worth seeking advice…

     
Charles
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Accountant, Haffner Hoff Ltd, Manchester

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No sanction should be applied if giving up self-employment. See para K2224 here.

     
Charles
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Accountant, Haffner Hoff Ltd, Manchester

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Just to add: You may have some luck in getting DWP to agree that your client is not “gainfully self-employed”. Even if they are, they could partially give up the self-employment, leaving them not gainfully self-employed.

     
davidsmithp1000
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Brighton Unemployed Centre Families Project

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Have just emailed Leigh Day for an update,

https://www.leighday.co.uk/News/News-2018/December-2018/?Flawed-Universal-Credit-system-leaves-self-employ

      [ Edited: 12 Jun 2019 at 05:29 pm by davidsmithp1000 ]
Peter Turville
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Welfare Rights Worker, Oxford Community Work Agency

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Charles - 12 June 2019 03:12 PM

No sanction should be applied if giving up self-employment. See para K2224 here.

Charles- thanks for that (missed it!).

This case deserves its own thread.

In addressing some of the s/e earnings reporting issues etc with the claim DWP have now retrospectively imposed a MIF and generated a £7K overpayment! I’m sure we will be arguing not gainfully employed and a host of other potential arguments! Partnership team already involved and very soon MP! Trying to establish if UC claim has now been ‘closed’ and if client will have to make a new one as no longer gainfully employed.

Dear DWP spybot - UC does not encourage / support self-employment in practice!

     
davidsmithp1000
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And the update is,

Charmaine Parkin was granted permission for a judicial review in March: https://www.leighday.co.uk/News/2019/March-2019/Permission-granted-for-judicial-review-of-universa

The hearing has been listed for 17-18 July 2019.