Universal Credit concession

To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what assessment he has made of the effect on the roll-out of universal credit of the announcement by HM Revenue and Customs that small businesses will be permitted to submit PAYE information monthly rather than in real time from October 2013; and if he will make a statement. [161938]

Mr Hoban: The universal credit system will assess the payment to be made to a claimant monthly. Earnings used to calculate the universal credit payment will be determined from Real Time Information (RTI) data received in the assessment period and any earnings reported by the claimant.

In March, HMRC announced a temporary relaxation, until 5 October 2013, of requirements for reporting PAYE data for small firms employing fewer than 50 people. This recognises that those smaller employers who pay employees weekly, or more frequently, but only process their payroll monthly, may need longer to adjust their process to reporting PAYE in real-time.

This relaxation runs for a period of six months, broadly coinciding with the UC Pathfinder, during which we expect the number of employers of UC claimants to be relatively small. We will be utilising RTI data for claimants where this is possible. Where RTI is not available we will have alternative clerical processes to ensure their awards are based on accurate and up-to-date earnings information. Based on our knowledge of employers recruiting in the Pathfinder area, we would not expect the relaxation to have a significant effect. We will, however, be monitoring this closely during the Pathfinder.

HMRC have now announced that the concession will run until the beginning of April 2014 when it will be withdrawn. However, it is not expected that it will have a significant effect on the first months of live UC running. 

Hansard ..27 June 2013