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8 July, 2021 Open access

Reintroduction of the universal credit minimum income floor over the 12 months to 31 July 2022

New statutory instrument

New regulations have been issued to give the DWP flexibility to manage the reintroduction of the minimum income floor (MIF) over the 12 months to 31 July 2022.

In force from 31 July 2021, the Universal Credit (Coronavirus) (Restoration of the Minimum Income Floor) Regulations 2021 (SI.No.807/2021) further extend three measures that are currently being applied by the Secretary of State to the end of July 2021, subject to some modifications, for a further 12 months.

The measures being extended are those that allow the Secretary of State to -

The explantory note to the new regulations outlines that, during the period of the extension, the application of the MIF easement is subject to the following further provisions -

Where the MIF easement is already being applied when these Regulations come into force (that is in all cases where a claimant had been determined to be in gainful self-employment before a general suspension of the MIF was applied from 13 March 2020 by regulation 2 of SI.No.289/2020 the Secretary of State must restore the MIF in the next assessment period after determining that the claimant continues to be in gainful self-employment or, if the claimant was in a 12 month start-up period on 13 March 2020, once the balance of the period remaining on that date has expired.

But the Secretary of State may still apply the MIF easement in certain limited circumstances. The claimant’s business must remain affected by the outbreak of coronavirus disease and the MIF easement must not be applied for more than two assessment periods on each occasion and not for more than six assessment periods in total.

The Secretary of State may decide that no further reductions of the MIF are to be given if satisfied that economic conditions have sufficiently improved. Any period for which a reduction has already given will be allowed to expire.

SI.No.807/2021 is available from legislation.gov.uk

Update: Work and Pensions Minster Mims Davies has issued a Written Statement to Parliament on the changes introduced by the new regulations. For more information, see Written Statement: Minimum Income Floor, Universal Credit Gainful Self-employment Tests and Start-up Periods.