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The Universal Credit (Miscellaneous Amendments) Regulations (Northern Ireland) 2020

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This Statutory Instrument corrects an error in the Universal Credit (Benefit Cap Earnings Exception) (Amendment) Regulations (Northern Ireland) 2017 (S.R. 2017 No. 145) and is being issued free of charge to all known recipients of that Statutory Instrument.

Statutory Rules of Northern Ireland

2020 No. 107

Social Security

The Universal Credit (Miscellaneous Amendments) Regulations (Northern Ireland) 2020

Made

18th June 2020

Laid before Parliament

22nd June 2020

Coming into operation in accordance with regulation 1(2)

The Secretary of State for Work and Pensions makes the following regulations, in exercise of the powers conferred by sections 5(1A), 165(4) and (6) of the Social Security Administration (Northern Ireland) Act 1992(1) and Articles 5, 17, 38, 48(2) and 101(4)(c) of the Welfare Reform (Northern Ireland) Order 2015(2).

Those powers are exercisable by the Secretary of State by virtue of Article 4(1)(a) and (b) of the Welfare Reform (Northern Ireland) Order 2015.

Citation, commencement and interpretation

1.—(1) These Regulations may be cited as the Universal Credit (Miscellaneous Amendments) Regulations (Northern Ireland) 2020.

(2) These Regulations come into operation on 13th July 2020.

(3) The Interpretation Act (Northern Ireland) 1954(3) shall apply to these Regulations as it applies to an Act of the Assembly.

Amendments to the Universal Credits Regulations 2016

2.—(1) In regulation 37 of the Universal Credit Regulations (Northern Ireland) 2016(4) (meaning of “relevant childcare”)—

(a)after paragraph (2)(c) add—

(d)by a home based childcare provider approved by a Health and Social Care Trust in Northern Ireland in line with Department of Health for Northern Ireland Approved Home Childcare guidance.;

(b)for paragraph (3) substitute—

(3) Care provided for a child outside Northern Ireland—

(a)by a childcare provider approved by an organisation accredited by the Secretary of State; or

(b)in any other case, by a childcare provider approved or accredited under the legislation of the relevant state, where evidence of such approval or accreditation is provided to the Department by the claimant..

(2) In regulation 82(5) (exceptions–earnings)—

(a)omit paragraph (3)(a);

(b)in paragraph (3)(b) omit the words “in any other case,”; and

(c)after paragraph (4) add—

(5) For the purposes of paragraphs (2)(a) and (3), when calculating the amount in accordance with paragraph (1)(a) the reference to regulation 4 of the National Minimum Wage Regulations is a reference to regulation 4 as in force at the beginning of the assessment period or month for which the calculation is performed..

Amendment to the Universal Credit, Personal Independence Payment, Jobseeker’s Allowance and Employment and Support Allowance (Claims and Payments) Regulations (Northern Ireland) 2016

3.—(1) In regulation 37 of the Universal Credit, Personal Independence Payment, Jobseeker’s Allowance and Employment and Support Allowance (Claims and Payments) Regulations (Northern Ireland) 2016(6) (evidence and information in connection with an award)—

(a)in paragraph (1) for “apart from paragraph (7)” substitute “apart from paragraph (7) and (9)”; and

(b)after paragraph (8) add—

(9) A landlord, in a case where a claimant’s award of universal credit includes an amount in respect of housing costs or where the award may be revised or superseded to include such an amount, must supply such information or evidence in connection with the award, or any question arising out of it, as the Department may require, and must do so within one month of being required to do so or such longer period as the Department considers reasonable..

Signed by authority of the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions

Will Quince

Parliamentary Under Secretary of State

Department for Work and Pensions

18th June 2020

EXPLANATORY NOTE

(This note is not part of the Regulations)

These Regulations amend the Universal Credit Regulations (Northern Ireland) 2016 (S.R. 2016/216) (“the UC Regulations”) and the Universal Credit, Personal Independence Payment, Jobseeker’s Allowance and Employment and Support Allowance (Claims and Payments) Regulations 2016 (S. R. 2016/220) (“the Claims and Payments Regulations”).

Regulation 1 provides for citation and commencement.

Regulation 2 amends regulations 37 and 82 of the UC Regulations

Regulation 37 is amended so that care provided for a child in Northern Ireland by a home based childcare provider approved by a Health and Social Care Trust in Northern Ireland is relevant childcare for the purposes of regulation 37. It is further amended to ensure that the definition of relevant childcare includes care provided for a child outside Northern Ireland by a Secretary of State accredited childcare provider as well as a child care provider which is approved or accredited under the legislation of the relevant state and where evidence of such approval or accreditation is provided to the Department by the claimant.

Regulation 82 provides for an exception to the benefit cap that otherwise would apply in accordance with regulations made under Article 101 of the Welfare Reform (Northern Ireland) Order 2015. The amendment makes it clear that claimants are exempt from the application of the benefit cap if their previous employment was paid at the national living wage in force during that period of employment. This ensures claimants benefit from having a history of sustained employment even if the national living wage has subsequently increased.

Regulation 3 amends regulation 37 of the Claims and Payments Regulations to enable the Department to request, and landlords to provide, evidence regarding a claimant’s housing costs where a change of circumstances has occurred.

(1)

1992 c.8. Section 5(1A) was inserted by article 104(3) of the Welfare Reform (Northern Ireland) Order 2015 (S.I. 2015/2006 (N.I. 1)).

(2)

S.I. 2015/2006 (N.I. .). Article 101(7) was amended by articles 2(2)(b) and 5(4) of the Welfare Reform and Work (Northern Ireland) Order (S.I. 2016/999 (N.I. 1)).

(3)

1954 (c.33) (N.I).

(5)

Regulation 82 was amended regulation 2(3) of S.R. 2017 No.145.

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