View Full Version : Abolition of ESA permitted work time limit!

28-05-16, 13:15
I've only just read this. Just passing it on!

It is really good news for many ESA claimants in the WRAG.

No one knows when the rule change will come into effect though.

If you're interested, keep an eye out!


28-05-16, 13:41
This sensible idea has been known about for a while now, but nobody is holding their breath just yet.

The first time that I saw it was in a commons debate, on the 2nd of March, on the Welfare Reform and Work Bill.
(That was the bill that brought in the £30 cut for new ESA WRAG awards in 2017).

(I note that the B&W article has that same date, but they seem to have got a minor point wrong, it was Priti Patel who announced it not Lord Freud. see column 1047 of the hansard report linked below).

I changed my standard advice on permitted work that I give on here to mention this proposed abolition of the 52 week limit.

If your interested you can find a link to the record of that debate in this post:

28-05-16, 15:11
Thanks for the link nukecad.

It certainly is a sensible idea! I've just done some digging and found that Lord Freud also mentioned it in the Lords on the 29th February, as well as Pritti Patel in the Commons. It was a concession to appease the Lords over the cut in ESA, I think.

I for one am certainly hoping they won't change their mind! I don't think it's that likely, since two ministers have now spoken about it.

Just found something else:- the website entitledto is claiming that the 52 week limit will be abolished in April 2017. I hope that will mean that anyone who starts Permitted Work now, will not have to stop a year later.

I suppose we'll have to wait for the detail.

29-05-16, 00:29
Well when you stop and think about this it's another announcement that actually means little or nothing.
(Just another 'aren't we compassionate' publicity stunt).

Because as announced it only affects ESA WRAG (ESA SG already does not have the 52 week limit).

ESA WRAG Income Related will be replaced by Universal Credit Limited Capability for Work (Eventually).
ESA WRAG Contribution Based only lasts 52 weeks anyway, at which time you have to switch to IR, which will have been replaced by UC LCW.

There is no ‘permitted work’ under Universal Credit.
Instead you will be encouraged to do some work, even if only for a few hours a week, if you can manage it.
There is no time limit to how many weeks you can work under UC.

So by the time they bring this change in it will only realy apply to those already on ESA WRAG IR who have not yet been transfered to UC.

Eventually all ESA WRAG will either be CB for 52 weeks only or Universal Credit LCW, and so this change will become meaningless.

30-05-16, 11:15
I know what you mean nukecad. It could be seen like a bit of "the emperor's new clothes", since it really is only a temporary measure. It seems to be there to smooth the transition to UC. They're probably hoping it will help "acclimatise" more people to doing a small amount of work, in advance of UC.

However, it is an opportunity for some to gain a little extra income, without it affecting their benefits, if only for a temporary time.

From a very personal perspective, I was worried about what would happen once the 52 weeks were up, knowing I'd have to go back to only keeping £20/week, as well as having no idea when UC will become available to me.

The worry of not knowing when UC will come in, combined with that rather silly 52 week rule, has been putting me off trying anything. Like most people here, I am very vulnerable, but this rule change does encourage me. I will make sure that I will be covered by the rule change in April 2017, (if it does indeed come in!), if I try and start something in the near future.