Jobs, Lone Parents, The Benefit System, Welfare to Work

Welfare Reform: Where are we?

Welfare Reform: Where are we?

House of Lords that’s where


The 2011 Welfare Reform Bill is now in Grand Committee Stage in the House of Lords.

  • It will replace existing out-of-work benefits and tax credits with a single Universal Credit.
  • In-work conditionality (see Briefing note 11) will be defined by an earnings threshold: the equivalent of a 35-hour week on the national minimum wage (currently £212.80). Workers who fall below this threshold must increase their work.


  • The threshold for single parents with a child under 13 will be about 20 hours with gross pay of £120. With children over 12 they will be expected to work full time within 90 minutes of their home.


  • Conditionality will be Personalised (see Briefing note 12). Mothers and fathers will be treated as separate individuals rather than as a family. With a child under 13, one must be designated as the carer who will be under the same conditionality as a single parent. The other will be treated as a single worker. A couple with children over 12 will both be expected to work 35 hours.



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