MIF and gainful self-employment
Hi there. I’d be really grateful if someone could shed some advice on how DWP should treat the following situation.
Couple would like to make a UC claim. One partner is self-employed but due to ill health is not working or taking an income from the business. They employ their partner in the business who works variable hours but never takes a wage of more than £500 pcm (despite often working 50 hours p/w). The business is not making a profit but employs 3 other part time staff.
Normally I’d argue the self-employed partner is not gainfully self-employed due to a long-term health condition and therefore the MIF shouldn’t be applied but I don’t know how this will be viewed by DWP because they employ their partner.
Am I making it complicated when, in fact, it should be treated no differently to normal?
Does the fact the employed partner doesn’t earn NMW factor into it at all?
I have, of course, discussed with them the option of giving up the business as it’s not making a profit but that’s an entirely separate issue.
Thank you in advance for any words of wisdom on the matter.
If DWP accept he is not, and for the foreseeable future will not be, working in the business, then he is not gainfully self-employed, as this is not “their main employment” (reg 64(a)) - in fact he is not employed at all. He simply owns the business.
Thanks for that. Does the fact they employ members of staff not come into it then?
I don’t see why it should. I don’t think he’s any worse than a sleeping partner in a business partnership.
Ah when you put it like that it makes sense. Seems I’ve got myself tangled up when actually it’s pretty straightforward. Thanks again for your help.
In practice, DWP still consider s/e claimants off sick to be gainfully self-employed. You may therefore have to show that he is unlikely to return to work at all (or at least for not more than a few hours a week).