I am currently unemployed and getting Jobseeker’s Benefit. I work in a bar on Sundays and I don’t work any other days. I hear that the rules about working on a Sunday are changing. What is the change?
Since 20 February 2013 Sunday working is taken into account when calculating the amount of Jobseeker’s Benefit or Jobseeker’s Allowance to be paid. Any work on Sunday was previously ignored when looking at your pattern of employment and people who worked only on Sundays were considered to be fully unemployed. That is no longer the case.
To get either Jobseeker’s Benefit or Jobseeker’s Allowance you must be unemployed. However, you do not have to be fully unemployed. You can work for some days (although you may not work for a part of any day for which you are claiming a jobseeker’s payment).
Since 20 February 2013 Sunday is counted as a day of employment. Previously, to qualify for a jobseeker’s payment, you had to be unemployed for 3 days out of 6 consecutive days. Now you must be unemployed for 4 days out of 7 consecutive days.
People who do not work on Sunday will see no change to their jobseeker’s payment. However, as you have a working pattern of 1 day a week on a Sunday, you will now have this day counted as a day of employment.
If someone getting Jobseeker’s Benefit is working for part of a week, their entitlement is based on a 5-day payment week – this is different from the 7-day social welfare employment week. This means that if you work for 1 day in a week one-fifth of your weekly rate of Jobseeker’s Benefit will be deducted from your payment.
People getting Jobseeker’s Allowance who work some days have their entitlement calculated differently. If a person who is getting Jobseeker’s Allowance works on a Sunday their earnings from Sunday work will now be assessed as means and deducted from their Jobseeker’s Allowance payment.
Further information is available from the Citizens Information Centre below.
Know Your Rights has been compiled by Kilkenny Citizens Information Centre which provides a free and confidential service to the public. Tel: 0761 07 7910. Address: 4 The Parade, Kilkenny and at Callan, Graiguenamanagh and Mooncoin.
Information is also available online at citizensinformation.ie and from the Citizens Information Phone Service, 0761 07 4000.