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MIF coming back; questions

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Tax and Welfare Rights Officer, Equity

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Hi all,

I am trying to work through the effect of reg 2 of the Social Security (Further Measures) (Coronavirus) Amendment Regulation 2020 going forward now that claimants are already being contacted about their self-employment.

First of all to check - is it correct that GSE claimants who have had the MIF suspended during Covid-19 did not have a right to an appealable decision letter because the decisions were discretionary?

The government have announced that SE US claimants will be given opportunity to ‘review their self-employment status and activity’ before minimum income floor is reintroduced.  Is there any further detail about how this is going to be rolled out or how the process will go?

I put myself in the shoes of the SE UC claimant who is contacted about this – in the context of the UC claimant doesn’t have any self-employment work, or insufficient self-employment work on the horizon.  Will they be given a choice as to whether the are subject to the GSE test or will the GSE test be applied? 

I would think that if there is a possibility of the MIF being reapplied, the claimant will naturally want to avoid it out of financial necessity.  In that case they will be subject to conditionality – is there any guidance that exists or is in the pipeline to allow for some self-employment activity alongside job seeking etc?

Prior to lockdown, we had several enquiries from UC claimants who were told by UC staff that they must de-register as self-employed with HMRC before they could be considered to not be GSE.  This was completely incorrect of course. I am concerned about exactly what claimants will be told and whether they will understand their appeal rights.

Following on from my example above – in the hypothetical event that the reg 2 provisions are extended, how would the claimant get the discretion applied to their claim and challenge any refusal?


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Macmillan benefits team, Citizens Advice Bristol

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We are waiting on further announcements.

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Advice and Guidance Coordinator, CCP Gloucestershire

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Jumping on this thread. I have a client who is worried that the MIF will be implemented on him - HMRC do not consider him to be self employed but because of his UTR number Jobcentre say he is.

He is a plasterer and obviously there is no work out there. He really struggled with this before becuase of being a sub contractor.

Any ideas

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Debt Advice + Community Money Advice Launceston

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Hi Kizza, Here is the relevant legislation regarding the re-introduction of the MIF and notice the new discretion given to the Work Coach.
The Universal Credit (Coronavirus) (Restoration of the Minimum Income Floor) Regulations 2021
The Jobcentre Work Coach rather than the UC Case Manager makes the decision regarding the imposition of the MIF depending on UC Conditionality Group and the Gainful Self Employment criterion.
The Jobcentre is wrong as In most cases the UTR number is kept for life
As for the plasterer, he could state that he is now looking for work as an employee ( PAYE) and would therefore be returned to the AWRR conditionality group with Work Search requirements. He would no longer be ‘gainfully’ self employed and the MIF could not be applied.