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Asking for reduced hours

em24jx Community member Posts: 2 Listener
edited December 2020 in Work and employment
Hi ?
Happy holidays

I've been offered a 6 month job at 25 hours. The only problem is that I would lose my benefits if it was over 16 hours.

I don't want to risk losing these because I won't be able to pay my bills and I would be out of a job in 6 months in any case. Or worst case scenario and I end up being too unwell and have to leave the job.

Then I would find it very difficult to get benefits reinstated as I am currently on ESA income related and would be moved over to UC if I had to reapply.

How can I ask for less hours without losing the offer?

Thanks in advance



  • woodbine
    woodbine Community member Posts: 11,942 Disability Gamechanger
    hi @em24jx hope you are enjoying the as best you can, as for the hours all you can do is ask and see what they say.
    2024 The year of the general election...the time for change is coming 💡

  • janer1967
    janer1967 Community member Posts: 21,964 Disability Gamechanger
    Hi there merry christmas 

    As above all you can do is ask they are not obliged to still give you the job if you cant meet the requirements as they would find it difficult to recruit to the additional 9 hours if this is what they need 

    Also in current climate there will no doubt be plenty of people who they could take in which could do what they require but no harm in asking 
  • poppy123456
    poppy123456 Community member Posts: 56,191 Disability Gamechanger

    As you're claiming ESA then it will need to be less than 16 hours for permitted work, if you work 16 hours and over than you won't be entitled to any ESA and it would stop.

    There are other options for you to look at but you'll need to get a full benefits check before doing this. One option would be to move to UC before starting work. This way your ESA award would be honoured in UC and you would be placed into the relevant group, so if you're in the support group for ESA then you would be placed into the LCWRA group for UC. You would then receive the extra LCWRA element on top of your standard allowance and any other elements you maybe entitled to.

    You will also be entitled to the work allowance.If you're claiming the housing element as part of your claim then you would be entitled to £292 per month, if you don't claim the housing element then you would be entitled to £512 work allowance. This means you'll be able to earn that amount of money before you start to see the 63% deductions in your UC entitlement.

    Do be aware though that if you're claiming tax credits and housing benefit then both of these would stop once you claim UC.

    Use a benefits calculator to check entitlement to UC. Or speak to an advice agency near you after Christmas for a full benefits check.

    Do also be aware that if the work you do contradicts the reasons why you're claim the benefits then it could go against you when you're next reassessed and you could also be reassessed early.

    If you do work less than 16 hours then you will need to fill out the PW1 form.

    I would appreciate it if members wouldn't tag me please. I have all notifcations turned off and wouldn't want a member thinking i'm being rude by not replying.
    If i see a question that i know the answer to i will try my best to help.
  • Tori_Scope
    Tori_Scope Scope Posts: 12,506 Disability Gamechanger
    Hello and welcome to the community @em24jx :) I hope you're having an enjoyable festive period.

    Just to let you know, I've moved your post into our employment category.

    Congratulations on the job offer! As the others have said, I think all you can really do is ask. Did the job advert say anything about the possibility for a job-share, or for the hours to be negotiable? I found that many jobs I was looking at included this in the job advert to attract more people, which could definitely give you some backing in asking for reduced hours.

    I haven't been able to find a template email or script after a quick Google, but you might be able to find one if you do some more digging. I'd say the main thing to focus on is keeping the email positive and solution-focussed. For example, I'd steer away from phrases like "I'm unable to work 25 hours a week", "unfortunately", and "what can you do about it?", and focus on explaining that you are able to work 16 hours a week, that you'd be happy to job share with someone else (if you are), i.e. them hiring someone for the 9 hours you're not able to take on, and that you're really excited about the job offer and are willing to be flexible as you're keen to make it work, and so on.

    I'll tag in one of our employment advisers here, as she may have some more advice on this when she returns to work. I'm definitely not an employment expert! @Dawn_Scope.
    National Campaigns Officer, she/her

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  • Dawn_Scope
    Dawn_Scope Community member, Scope Posts: 3 Listener
    Hi @em24jx  apologies for the delay in responding. I may well be an Employment Adviser but you have received the advice from others that I would have given, particularly around ESA and working hour / salary restrictions. poppy123456 has given a wonderfully thorough answer, and there isn't anything I could add to this.  You can request Reasonable Adjustments in your work place and this can include a change or reduction in hours. I've included a link to Scope Online Resources that hopefully gives you more information.  Adjustments for a new job | Disability charity Scope UK.  If you have been offered and accepted the role, do you have a contract of employment?  If so, it may be worth reviewing this around flexible working / job sharing and what procedures they have in place for making these requests.  I hope this is a useful response.  Thanks, Dawn :-) 

    Scope Employment Adviser and Self Employment Expert
  • em24jx
    em24jx Community member Posts: 2 Listener
    Sorry for the late reply, I haven't been well. Thank you all very much for taking the time to reply, this was very helpful :) 
    Take care x
  • Tori_Scope
    Tori_Scope Scope Posts: 12,506 Disability Gamechanger
    No need to apologise @em24jx :) I'm glad that the information was useful. Please feel free to stick around and get involved in our other discussions
    National Campaigns Officer, she/her

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