Advice for people looking for work

Whether you’re new to working, have experienced dismissal or redundancy, or are re-entering the workforce after a career break, you’re probably finding your job search a full time job! The rules around your support and entitlements can be complex, so if you need help, or believe you’ve been treated unfairly, call our Service Centre on 0800 389 6332.

Government benefits for job seekers

There are several different kinds of benefits available to job seekers – the kind and amount that you will get depend on your circumstances. However, to qualify for a basic Jobseekers Allowance, you just need to be over 18 (but under State Pension Age), and be available for work. To work out exactly how much you are entitled to, you can use a Benefits calculator.

Useful facts:

  • If you have left your job without due cause, you may have a long wait before you will be eligible for the Jobseekers Allowance. (Up to 26 weeks.) You may however qualify for a Hardship Payment, which pays a reduced benefit amount.
  • You can work for up to 16 hours a week without affecting your benefit
  • You can still claim Child Benefit and Child Tax Credit while you’re claiming a Jobseekers allowance.
  • You many be eligible for Universal Credit instead of a Jobseekers’ allowance.
  • If you have a great business idea, you may be able to apply for a New Enterprise Allowance, which helps you to start your own company, with business support and mentoring.

Redundancy or dismissal

If you have just lost your job, due to redundancy or dismissal, you should be aware of your rights. After one year of employment you have rights regarding to unfair dismissal, and after two years you are likely to have the right to redundancy pay.

At all times, you have the right not to be discriminated against for reasons of your gender (including being pregnant), your race, sexual orientation, religion or belief, disability, age or for being a member of a trade union.

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