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Forum Home  →  Discussion  →  Universal credit administration  →  Thread

MIF and gainful self-employment

Smithbull
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Universal Support, Citizens Advice Northumberland

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Total Posts: 3

Joined: 9 January 2019

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.

Charles
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Accountant, Haffner Hoff Ltd, Manchester

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Joined: 27 February 2019

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.

Smithbull
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Universal Support, Citizens Advice Northumberland

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Total Posts: 3

Joined: 9 January 2019

Thanks for that. Does the fact they employ members of staff not come into it then?

Charles
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Accountant, Haffner Hoff Ltd, Manchester

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I don’t see why it should. I don’t think he’s any worse than a sleeping partner in a business partnership.

Smithbull
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Universal Support, Citizens Advice Northumberland

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Total Posts: 3

Joined: 9 January 2019

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.

Charles
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Accountant, Haffner Hoff Ltd, Manchester

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Total Posts: 470

Joined: 27 February 2019

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).