According to a research • Part-time workers UK 2021 | Statista currently there are over 7.8 million part-time workers in the UK. They constitute nearly 22 per cent of the UK’s 34.7 million labour force participants. Therefore, a council tax reduction on the basis of individual’s working hours may benefit a large part of the UK’s community.
While 2019 saw a large number of full-time workers shift to part-time working hours, recent data gathered and analysed by statista.com (available on • Part-time workers UK 2021) suggests that post-2020, these numbers are declining. A possible cause of this may be the increase in the number of people working from home. According to the same research, nearly 17.4 per cent of the UK’s labour force is currently working from home.
Can You Get Council Tax Benefit If You Work Part-Time?
No, being a part-time employee does not make an individual eligible for Council Tax Benefit; unless working part-time places them in the low-income band. The reason for this is that council tax benefit is not directly linked to one’s employment status as a full time or part worker, but it may definitely increase as claimant’s incomes fall.
When the criteria for council tax benefit is to be considered, it is based upon certain factors which include an individual’s age, residential status and income level. However, as the rates of council tax bills are decided by local councils, the eligibility for council tax benefit and the amount of benefit that may be extended to applicants is also at the discretion of local council schemes.
As a general rule, it may be confirmed that being a part-time worker does not qualify an individual for council tax benefits. However, if the part-time worker status is causing to be the reason for the claimant’s low income, the impact on council tax bills may change.
Based on the current London Living Wage of £10.85 per hour, individuals earning between £86.80 and £173.59 will be considered on a relatively low income and be considered eligible for a 50 per cent discount on their council tax bill.
Meanwhile, individuals earning less than £86.80 per week will be considered as earning a low income and will therefore become eligible for a 100 per cent council tax reduction. To find out more about income bands, click here Council Tax Support – Camden Council
Moving forward, we are going to learn more about circumstances that stand favourable for eligibility for council tax benefits; most of them being linked to income-based situations:
- entitlement for an income-based council tax benefit
- working out council tax benefits
- eligibility criteria for council tax benefits
- rights of part-time workers
How Do I Know If I Am Entitled To An Income Based Council Tax Benefit?
While an online benefits calculator Benefit Calculator (eden.gov.uk) may prove to be useful in calculating council tax, it may also help claimants know the criteria that may apply to their specific circumstances. These relate to certain demographic data including the number of children per household and the age bracket that claimants belong to.
Household without children:
Single individuals between the ages of 18-24 may be eligible for a council tax reduction of between £153 to £200; depending on the band they are eligible for (bands vary from A to D). Meanwhile couples belonging to the same category will be eligible for a reduction of £243 to £306 in their council tax bills; depending on their assigned band.
As an individual’s age bracket increase from over 25 to over state pension age, eligibility for increased benefits also increases. Singles aged 25-state pension credit age may be eligible for a council tax reduction of between £169 to £216.
Household with children:
A single parent with a child qualifies for a £255 council tax benefit and as age brackets and bands increase the discount may rise up to £419.
On the other hand, a couple with a single child qualifies for a £329 council tax benefit and as age brackets and bands increase the discount may rise up to £561.
To learn more about age and income-based council tax bands, this link may be helpful Are you entitled to a council tax reduction? (eden.gov.uk)
How Do I Work Out My Council Tax Benefit?
To work out your council tax benefit, you need to gather/calculate information regarding the following three main areas:
- the valuation band your property located in England, Scotland, or Wales belongs to.
- the amount charged by your local council as per their council tax scheme.
- whether or not you qualify for a discount on your council tax bill.
You can learn about your council tax band online by connecting to this link Working out your Council Tax
Who Is Eligible For Council Tax Benefits?
To qualify for a council tax benefit the general rule is that individuals above the age of 18 are eligible to pay as long as they own or rent a home. However, certain criteria need to be met to qualify for council tax benefits as well as the amount of benefit that one may qualify for.
Two adults who live in the same house qualify to pay full council tax; they may share the bill. However, if there is a single adult living in a property by themselves, they may be eligible for a 25 per cent reduction in the bill irrespective of the fact whether they are part-time employees or full-time ones. The same rule applies if an adult is sharing the premises with one or more individuals under the age of 18 years.
A 50 per cent council tax benefit becomes applicable if all the residents of the household are under 18 years of age. Complete exemption or a 100 per cent discount is applicable if all the residents of the said premises are full-time students.
Individuals on a low income or those receiving other forms of public support qualify for a 100 per cent discount on their council tax bills. To apply for this exemption, claimants may be homeowners or tenants; they may either be unemployed or working. Variation in homeowner and employment does not cancel out eligibility for council tax benefit; however, the amount that one is eligible for may vary. To learn more about benefits for individuals on a low income, click here Browse: Benefits and financial support if you’re on a low income – GOV.UK (www.gov.uk)
To summarise, whether or not an individual may be able to claim council tax benefit depends on the following factors:
- location of their property of residence as local councils decide the rate of council tax to be billed; as well as discounted
- claimant’s circumstances; this relates to the income, number of children and other benefits claimed by the household
- saving and pension of the claimant and their partner sharing residence of the property with them
- number of other adults sharing the premises
What Rights Do Part-Time Workers Have?
To qualify as a part-time worker, an individual is engaged in employment-related activities for less than 35 hours per week; the duration of this house may vary from individual to individual.
As per UK law, part-time workers are eligible for similar rights to full-time workers in the below mentioned key areas of employment:
- pay rates
- sIck pay
- medical pay leave (paternity/maternity/adoption)
- training and development opportunities
- promotion and transfer opportunities
- career breaks
FAQs: Can You Get Council Tax Benefit If You Work Part-Time?
What is the earning threshold for council tax benefit?
Individuals who are of working and are not employed or are employed but earning less than £86.80 are exmepted from council tax payments.
Who is eligible for council tax benefit?
To be eligible for a full council tax benefit, the claimant or their partner should be a pensioner or entitled to a disability premium. If there is a single adult living in a property by themselves, they may be eligible for 25 percent reduction in the bill. The same rule applies if an adult is sharing the premises with one or more individuals under the age of 18 years.
What benefits qualify for council tax reduction?
Individuals in receipt of Universal Credit, Jobseeker’s Allowance, Income Support or a Employment and Support Allowance may qualify for council tax reduction.
What is classed as low income?
Based on the current London Living Wage of £10.85 per hour, individuals earning between £86.80 and £173.59 will be considered on a relatively low income. Meanwhile, individuals earning less than £86.80 per week will be considered as earning a low income and will become eligible for a 100 percent council tax reduction.
Is council tax based on income?
Council tax is essentially a property based taxation system that generally varies with the value of the propoerty. However, if individuals belogn to a low income household, they may apply for a council tax discount or exemption.