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Lower Earnings Limit

Volume 684: debated on Thursday 20 July 2006

asked Her Majesty's Government:

How many women who have a part-time job earn less than the lower earnings limit; and how many adults caring for a disabled person on any disability benefit for more than 20 hours per week have a part-time job and earn less than the lower earnings limit.[HL6697]

Evidence from the Family Resources Survey (FRS) suggests that around 1.4 million women working part-time in 2003-04 earned less than the lower earnings limit (LEL) from their main or only job. This figure includes women covered by national insurance credits and women protected by home responsibilities protection who may be building up entitlement to basic state pension (BSP) and state second pension (S2P).

We estimate that there may be fewer than 50,000 adults reporting themselves as caring for 20 or more hours per week, who also have a part-time job and earn less than the LEL in their main or only job.

The FRS, on which the information provided is based, is “point in time” analysis, so only provides a snapshot of the number of people in these particular circumstances at the time the data are collected. Individuals may not, of course, be in these circumstances all of their working lives.

As a result of our proposed reforms to the BSP, including the reduction in the number of qualifying years to 30, we estimate that by 2025, over 90 per cent of women and men reaching state pension age will be entitled to a full BSP. The extension of childcare credits in S2P to parents until their youngest child turns 12 means that from 2010 around an extra 780,000 women and 30,000 men will be accruing S2P.

People reaching pension age from 2010 will have far greater opportunity to build BSP and S2P entitlement over their working life. Provision of care or spells of employment with earnings below the LEL should no longer compromise this opportunity.

Notes:

1 Source: Family Resources Survey 2003-04.

2 Figures include both employed and self-employed people.

3 Due to small sample sizes these figures are subject to a high degree of variability and should be treated as indicative only.

asked Her Majesty's Government:

How many women currently receive home responsibility protection (HRP) for a youngest child over the age of 12 years; and how many women currently eligible for, or in receipt of, HRP are in jobs which pay them (a) less than the lower earnings limit (LEL); and (b) more than the LEL; and [HL6698]

How many women currently in receipt of home responsibility protection for children over 12 years are in jobs which pay them (a) less than the lower earnings limit (LEL); and (b) more than the LEL. [HL6699]

Evidence from the Family Resources Survey (FRS) suggests that approximately 300,000 women currently have their basic state pension (BSP) position protected through home responsibilities protection (HRP) for the youngest child over the age of 12 years.

This evidence also suggests that there may be around 600,000 women in jobs that pay below the lower earnings limit (LEL) who have their state pension position protected through HRP for caring and parenting responsibilities.

Around 100,000 women have their BSP position protected through HRP for children over 12 years and who are in jobs which pay them less than the LEL.

Women in jobs which pay them more than the LEL qualify for BSP and state second pension (S2P) through their earnings, and so do not require HRP.

The FRS, on which the information provided is based, is “point in time” analysis, so only provides a snapshot of the number of people in these particular circumstances at the time the data are collected. Individuals may not, of course, be in these circumstances all of their working lives.

As a result of our proposed reforms to the BSP, including the reduction in the number of qualifying years to 30, we estimate that by 2025, over 90 per cent of women and men reaching state pension age will be entitled to a full BSP. The extension of childcare credits in S2P to parents until their youngest child turns 12 means that from 2010 around an extra 780,000 women and 30,000 men will be accruing S2P.

People reaching pension age from 2010 will have far greater opportunity to build BSP and S2P entitlement over their working life. Provision of care or spells of employment with earnings below the LEL should no longer compromise this opportunity.

Notes:

1 Source: Family Resource Survey 2003-04.

2 Due to small sample sizes, these figures are subject to a high degree of variability and should be treated as indicative only.

3 Figure rounded to nearest 100,000.

asked Her Majesty's Government:

How many women have two or more jobs which each pay less than the lower earnings limit (LEL), but which added together pay more than the LEL; and, of these, how many (a) have a youngest child under 12; (b) have a youngest child between 12 and 16 years; and (c) do not have a dependent child.[HL6729]

The information requested is not available.

Evidence from the Labour Force Survey suggests that in 2005 there were fewer than 50,000 women who had two or more jobs that each pay less than the lower earnings limit (LEL) but which added together pay more than the LEL.

Due to the small sample sizes available in this dataset, we are unable to provide the additional information about this group.

The Labour Force Survey on which the information provided is based on “point in time” analysis, so only provides a snapshot of the number of people in these particular circumstances at the time the data are collected. Individuals may not, of course, be in these circumstances all of their working lives.

As a result of our proposed reforms to the basic state pension (BSP), including the reduction in the number of qualifying years to 30, we estimate that by 2025, over 90 per cent of women and men reaching state pension age will be entitled to a full BSP. The extension of childcare credits in state second pension (S2P) to parents until their youngest child turns 12 means that from 2010 around an extra 780,000 women and 30,000 men will be accruing S2P.

People reaching pension age from 2010 will have far greater opportunity to build BSP and S2P entitlement over their working life. Provision of care or spells of employment with earnings below the LEL should no longer compromise this opportunity.

Notes:

1 Source: Labour Force Survey Data—Four Quarter average: Spring to Winter 05.

2 Due to small sample sizes, these figures are subject to a high degree of variability and should be treated as indicative only.