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HRT and genuine & effective employment

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Citizens Advice Hillingdon

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Joined: 3 October 2018

I have quite a few EU clients whose HRT status was affected by the pandemic, because they were not able to work and earn enough to be assessed by DWP as in genuine and effective employment or self-employment. I have few appeals in the system.
Are you getting any sense how those pandemic-related interruptions to employment will be treated by the Judges?

I always argue that neither period of employment, nor level of earnings, or number of hours by themselves should be a deciding factor- that the whole picture should be taken into consideration, but someone who ended up doing 7 hrs a week because his employer did not have enough work them might look as not genuinely and effectively employed.

To be clear, I am not talking about those who lost a job and were able to argue “retained worker” etc. I am just talking about those who ended up working just 2 days a week, for example, and have no other R2R grounds.

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benefits section (training & accuracy) Bristol city council

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i would be suggesting that if the work was deemed “genuine and effective” prior to the pandemic, then any changes caused by th pandemic ( being furloughed, or working reduced hours because of lack of business etc) wouldnt alter the g&E of the employment - rather than for the customer to prove that it is, it is for the decsion maker to explain whats changed in the nature of the employment which means its no longer G&E

Ruth Knox
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RAISE Benefits Advice Team, Liverpool

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There’s quite a lot of European and UK case law on “genuine and effective” which I assume still applies.  R(IS) 12/98 - au pair earning £35 a week.  Vatsouras and Koupantze where they earned around £150 monthly. Genc v Land Berlin - 5.5 hours a week, Megner and Scheffel, 10 hour working week,  [2009] UKUT 58 (AAC) - self-employed interpreter, 3 to 4 hours a week. and there’s a lot more where work is interrupted or irregular. There’s a concept of “feast or famine” especially for self-employed.  So I think you have a strong argument.