§ Mr. Ralph Howell
asked the Secretary of State for Social Services under what circumstances a claimant can work on (a) Saturdays, (b) Sundays and (c) after normal working hours and continue to claim full unemployment benefit.
§ Mr. Whitney
Unemployment benefit is a daily benefit payable for six days a week for Monday to Saturday. A claimant can work on those days and continue to receive benefit only if his earnings do not exceed £2 for the day, he is available to be employed full-time on that day, and the work done is not in his usual main occupation (unless it is done for, for example, a charity). Whether the work is done after normal hours is irrelevant. Work on a Sunday does not affect unemployment benefit because benefit is not payable for that day.
In addition to this, it is a basic principle of the unemployment benefit system that benefit should not be paid for days on which a claimant would not normally be employed. Thus, if he has worked to the full extent that he would normally work in a week, benefit is not payable for the days on which he does not work. In this context it does not matter whether the work is done on Sunday or other days, or at what hours. Whether a person has worked to his full normal extent is a question for decision by the independent statutory authorities on the facts of the particular case.