Money Wellness
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calendar icon16 Aug 2023

Single parents urged to write to their MPs about how changes to universal credit in autumn will affect their family

A new online campaign is calling on the government to reverse upcoming changes to universal credit as they will have a significant impact on the lives of single working parents with young children.

The changes, due to be introduced in Autumn, affect conditional earnings threshold (CET) – the minimum amount a universal credit claimant must earn to be moved out of all work-search support.

The Department of Work and Pensions (DWP) plans to increase the maximum amount of work undertaken by parents of children aged between three to 12 to 30 hours.

Currently, that figure stands at 16 hours a week once your youngest child turns 3 and 24 hours once they turn 5. When your child turns 12 the CET increases to 35 hours a week – this will not be affected by the new changes.

This has led campaign group, Single Parents Rights to call for parents to write to their local MPs to petition against the changes.

The charity believes pushing parents to work 30 hours a week when their child is 3 years old is unacceptable and penalises single parents, who will face sanctions if they fail to meet their universal credit wok commitments.

CET is based on the number of hours worked. It’s calculated as the amount you would earn for working those hours at minimum wage.

Single Parent Rights said if the changes end up based on earnings, lower paid single parents would be pushed into working longer hours than higher paid workers, which would not be in the best interest of their children.

For more information on how the changes will affect single parents or help to write to your local MP, visit

Avatar of Caroline Chell

Caroline Chell

Caroline has worked in financial communications for more than 10 years, writing content on subjects such as pensions, mortgages, loans and credit cards, as well as stockbroking and investment advice.

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