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20 October, 2020 Open access

Universal credit claimants will be given opportunity to ‘review their self-employment status and activity’ before minimum income floor is reintroduced, says Minister

Secretary of State adds that decision whether to extend suspension of the MIF, which is due to expire on 13 November 2020, is 'still under review'

Universal credit claimants will be given the opportunity to 'review their self-employment status and activity' before the minimum income floor (MIF) is reintroduced, the Minister for Employment Mims Davies has confirmed.

Asked during oral questions yesterday in the House of Commons about how much discretion will be shown towards self-employed universal credit claimants as the MIF - which was temporarily suspended due to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic - is reintroduced, Ms Davies replied - 

'I can assure my hon. Friend that claimants will always be contacted before the MIF is applied to them. Universal credit claimants who were subject to the MIF prior to the pandemic will be given the opportunity to review their self-employment status and activity, ensuring that their current circumstances are reflected and their business continues to be viable before any reintroduction of the MIF.'

Responding to a later question about whether the suspension of the MIF will be extended beyond the policy's current expiry date of 13 November 2020, the Secretary of State Dr Thérèse Coffey said - 

'That policy is still under review. Clearly, this is a matter of discussion, because the regulations do come to an end. It is important to recognise that we have different measures happening around different parts of the country. We do need to try to take a national approach to the overall policy, but as ever, we trust and empower our work coaches to make the best decisions for the claimants they are helping, usually to help them get back into work.'

The responses from Ms Davies and Dr Coffey are available from Hansard.