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2 October 2006

The earnings limit for higher limit, supported and PCA exempt permitted work have increased in line with the minimum wage from 1 October. Claimants can now earn not more than £86 per week, up from £81 per week, under the permitted work rules.

Our factsheets on Permitted Work and Which benefits can I claim? have been updated to reflect the changes. (Which benefits can I claim? has also been updated in line with the abolition of statutory sick pay age limits following the introduction of age discrimination legislation on 1st October).

The earnings limit for lower limit permitted work, however, remains at £20 for yet another year, making it increasingly unrealistic as a stepping stone back into work. With the minimum wage now at £5.35 per hour claimants who want to take advantage of the lower limit permitted work rules can only work for around three and a half hours a week. Worse still, each year, as the minimum wage rises, they are obliged to reduce the number of hours they work. Clearly, finding someone to employ you under these terms is extraordinarily difficult.

As a result, Richmond Fellowship Scotland have launched a Gimme Five campaign to push for the earnings limit to be raised to £25 a week.. To find out more about the campaign, sign the petition and download a letter to send to your MP, visit the Gimme Five Campaign