Overcoming the gap between the end of employment and claiming JSA

Thursday 29 September 2016

Secretary of State for Work and Pensions (IS) v MM [2015] UKUT 128 (AAC) (Judge White), 18 March 2015 Addressing the delay between the end of employment and claiming JSA in a case where the claimant’s employment ended on 8 April 2011 and JSA was not claimed until 16 May 2011.

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Secretary of State for Work and Pensions (IS) v MM [2015] UKUT 128 (AAC) (Judge White), 18 March 2015

This judgment addressed the issue of delay between the end of a period of employment and claiming a jobseeker’s allowance (JSA) in a case where the claimant’s employment ended on 8 April 2011 and jobseeker’s allowance was not claimed until 16 May 2011.

The claimant’s appeal was allowed, applying the approach laid down in Secretary of State for Work and Pensions v MK (IS) [2013] UKUT 163 (AAC), namely, to ask whether, having regard to all the circumstances of the case, there has been undue delay in meeting the requirements of the Citizenship Directive: 

“48.  I have made a finding of fact that the claimant’s third employment ended on 8 April 2011. There was therefore a delay between then and 16 May 2011 when a jobseeker’s allowance was claimed.

  1. The claimant’s representative has this to say about the delay [at page 124 of the documents I have]:
  2. From 10/04/2011 to 13/05/2011, [the claimant] was in the hope of a new job offer being made by the agency and thus did not make any social welfare benefit claim despite being eligible to claim Jobseekers Allowance (JSA). [The claimant] has informed us that following the termination of her work, between the periods 10/04/2011 to 13/05/2011, she was able to live off the remainder of her savings.
  3. As nothing had transpired from the agency, on the 13/05/2011, our client had no option but to sign on for JSA. … .
  4. The claimant herself, in her letter stamped as received by the Upper Tribunal on 21 February 2014 [page 186 of the documents I have] said:

During the period between the end of employment and registering at Job Centre I did not work, I was waiting for work (I was already pregnant and there was no work for me) …

  1. In these circumstances and in the face of a delay of around five weeks, I would not regard there as being undue delay in making the claim for a jobseeker’s allowance. The claimant acted promptly when it became apparent that there was no further work for her from the agency. I also note in passing that Easter Sunday in 2011 fell on 24 April, so the period of delay included the Easter weekend.
  2. The result is that the claimant as at May 2011 retained her status as a worker under Article 45 TFEU in accordance with the provisions in Article 7(3)(b) of the Citizenship Directive.”

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