My honourable Friend the Minister of State for Employment (Guy Opperman MP) has made the following Written Statement.
The Government laid regulations to amend Regulation 99 (6) of the Universal Credit Regulations 2013 to raise the Administrative Earnings Threshold (AET) level to £617 for individual claimants and £988 for couples in Great Britain from 30 January 2023. This builds on the Administrative Earnings increase which took place on 26th September 2022.
The new AET levels are equivalent to an individual working 15 hours per week at the National Living Wage or claimants in a couple working a total of 24 hours per week at the National Living Wage.
Increasing the threshold will bring an estimated 120,000 claimants into the Intensive Work Search regime from the Light Touch regime. This change will allow our Work Coaches to support those claimants with very low incomes to access opportunities to increase their earnings. This could include developing their skills, progressing in their current role, or by changing their job.
The change in the AET level will complement the new In Work Progression offer that is being rolled out to all Jobcentres throughout 2023. Through this new offer, more people who are in work and on low incomes will be able to access Work Coach support to increase their earnings and move into better quality jobs.
Corresponding legislation for Northern Ireland was laid in parallel to this instrument.
We will communicate the rise in the AET to claimants through national press coverage. In addition, claimants impacted by the rise in the Administrative Earnings Threshold level will be contacted by the Department for Work and Pensions through their Universal Credit journal. Our Work Coaches will then review and agree new Claimant Commitments, providing support and setting appropriate requirements to help claimants access opportunities to increase their earnings.
This statement has also been made in the House of Commons