Working in any job can throw up many challenges, but for parents working full time jobs, there are many more things to juggle, both at home and at work. With many households having both parents working full time hours, it’s important to know what assistance is available to you. The UK Government supports those parents working full time with kids in the form of various benefits which are designed to help them balance work and family life and help out financially.
Some benefits for parents and families are means-tested, so the amount you may receive can vary depending on your circumstances. Educating yourself about the available benefits can help with family finances or take time off when needed.
Maternity and paternity leave for parents in full time jobs
It’s worth knowing that assistance is available even before you become a parent. Expectant mothers are entitled to paid leave to attend antenatal appointments, provided they give their employers ample notice. Once a mother has given birth, they entitled to maternity leave and pay, providing they meet certain criteria. The must earn at least £120 a week and have been working for their employer for at least 26 weeks.
You are entitled to up to a year’s maternity leave in the UK, although you will not be guaranteed to receive pay for all it. You will be entitled to statutory maternity pay for 39 weeks, but anything above that is at the discretion of your employer. Mothers who do not meet the criteria for maternity pay may be eligible for maternity allowance. Fathers are entitled to two weeks paternity leave, although it is up to your employer whether you receive full pay for two weeks or one.
For parents who work full time hours, you may be entitled to additional ways to add to your income. Child benefit is a mean-test allowance which gives you money towards expenses for your children. Parents who are working full time with kids can claim for child benefit for each child they are responsible for under the age of 16.
Parents who work full time hours may not be eligible to receive child benefit if they earn more than £50,000 a year. Child benefit is paid at a rate of £21.05 a week for your first child and then £13.95 a week for each additional child. You normally receive child benefit as a lump sum every four weeks.
Universal credit for parents working full time jobs
For parent who work full time hours but who are low income, there is government assistance available. Previously, parents who were working full time with kids could avail of a number of different benefits, but these have now been brought under the umbrella of Universal Credit.
Universal Credit is a relatively new benefit which replaces a number of other benefits. Specifically for parents working full time jobs, it is now available instead of benefits such as Employment and Support Allowance, Income Support, Child Tax Credit.
Working parents may also be able to get additional assistance depending on their circumstances. Some parents working full time with kids who are on low incomes, can receive help with the cost of fresh fruit and vegetables, school meals and transport to and from school.
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