Working hours: benefits rules - Calculating work hours : Employees

Benefit entitlement can depend on how many hours of paid work you do per week.

Last reviewed 01 November 2023

Calculating work hours : Employees

Income Support or Jobseeker's Allowance

If you are employed, the number of hours you actually work are taken into account. This can include overtime if it is done routinely. If you do more than one job you should add your total hours together.

Working Tax Credit

You count the number of hours you would normally work. This means what you regularly, usually or typically do. The number of hours you normally work may not be specified in your contract of employment or may vary from what is specified. It is the hours you actually work that matter. If you routinely do paid overtime you can argue that these are hours you normally work and they should be included.

Universal Credit

Working hours do not affect Universal Credit. Universal Credit is paid to people in or out of work, and you (or your partner) can work any number of hours and still qualify. Your Universal Credit payments will adjust to your earnings. You can use our Benefits Calculator to find out how increasing your hours or starting a new job could affect what you get. 


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