HC Deb 02 July 2003 vol 408 c345W
Mr. Salmond

To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what steps he will take to ensure that offshore workers are not treated as employed for benefits purposes during periods for which they receive no remuneration. [122328]

Mr. Pond

People are not entitled to jobseeker's allowance if they are engaged in remunerative work of 16 hours or more per week. If a person's hours of work fluctuate then they are averaged over a complete cycle of work. In the case of an offshore worker, any period on shore in the cycle of work is therefore included in the averaging process, whether or not they receive remuneration for that period.

If an offshore worker has no recognisable cycle of work, then a decision maker will establish whether there is a continuing relationship between the worker and their employer. If there is, and the work averages 16 hours or more per week, then the worker continues to be classed as in remunerative work during periods when they are on shore and not physically working or being paid. We have no plans to change this.

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