Working hours: benefits rules - Calculating work hours: Seasonal Workers

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

Last reviewed 01 November 2023

Calculating work hours: Seasonal Workers

Income Support or Jobseeker's Allowance

If you are a seasonal worker, you are usually regarded as having a ‘cycle of work’ for that part of the year when you are working and you should not be treated as being in full-time work for the other part of the year.

If you have no recognisable ‘cycle of work’, then the average of hours over the five weeks prior to your claim for benefit is used.

Working Tax Credit

If you are a seasonal worker, your 'cycle of work' might be considered to only cover the period during which you are working, be that Summer or Winter for example.

You may count as unemployed for the periods in the year when you are not working, unlike term time workers.

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 earnings you get in an assessment period.


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