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Term-Time Working

Volume 406: debated on Wednesday 4 June 2003

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To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions whether term-time workers in education are deemed unemployed and able to claim jobseeker's allowance during unpaid holidays, for the purposes of calculation of their hourly rate. [116693]

Jobseeker's Allowance is paid to support people who are available for and actively seeking employment and who are not engaged in remunerative work of 16 hours or more a week. For people who have regular breaks in their employment, like term-time workers, whether or not they are engaged in remunerative work depends on the average number of paid hours that they work each week. The average is calculated over the whole cycle of their work—which for term-time workers is the full year, including both terms and holidays. If this average is under 16 hours a week, term-time workers may be entitled to Jobseeker's Allowance, provided they meet the other conditions for entitlement.

To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what progress has been made with the review of term-time working; and if he will make a statement. [116689]

Our view is that the most appropriate form of help for low-paid term-time workers is through in-work support. The introduction of the Working Tax Credit in April has improved and extended the provision of in-work support, and there are specific provisions to ensure that term-time workers 1 pattern of work is taken into account for the Working Tax Credit.