CHAPTER 11 People aged 50 and over

The New Deal for people aged 50 and over started in Pathfinder areas in 1999 and became available nationally in 2000. It is a voluntary programme (NDPG (50+), Ch 1, para 8).

The aims of the New Deal 50+ are to help into work:

Eligibility

To enter the New Deal 50+ you must (NDPG (50+), Ch 2, para 2):

Separate periods on any of these six benefits are counted for New Deal 50+ provided they are not separated by breaks of more than 12 weeks.

You are eligible to join as a dependent if (NDPG (50+), Ch 2, para 5):

There is no early entry into the New Deal 50+.

Programme content

The New Deal 50+ is made up of three elements:

Caseloading

On the New Deal 50+, you will be allocated a New Deal personal adviser (or a disability employment adviser) who will:

Caseloading will last from 3 to 6 months and the number of interviews will depend on your needs and circumstances (NDPG (50+), Ch 3, paras 12-15). The interviews will last approximately 30 minutes. Caseloading will end when you (NDPG (50+), Ch 3, para 18):

Employment Credit

An Employment Credit is a weekly sum paid to New Deal 50+ participants who take up a job which gives an annual income of less than 15,000.

For a job to be eligible for the Employment Credit (and therefore the Training Grant see below) it must comply with employment legislation (e.g. the Minimum Wage), offer an expected salary which gives an overall income of less than 15,000 and be expected to last 5 weeks (NDPG (50+), Ch 4, para 17).

An Employment Credit of 60 is payable for full-time work (over 30 hours or over) and 40 is payable for part-time work (16 hours or more but less than 30 hours) . It can be paid for a maximum of 52 weeks (NDPG (50+), Ch 4, para 6). It will be paid initially for 10 weeks, then a further 16 weeks after confirmation of employment and then for the remaining 26 weeks upon re-application and continued eligibility. The Employment Credit is paid into your bank/building society account or by giro to your home address.

Training Grant

A Training Grant of 750 is available to Employment Credit recipients. It is split into a payment of 600 (which can be awarded at any time during the 52 weeks and may be paid in one or more instalments) and 150 (which can be paid into an Individual Learning Account if the participant has one). The grant can be used to pay for training which relevant to the job but also to develop transferable skills to support future employment (NDPG (50+), Ch 4, para 115). It cannot be used for equipment (except workbooks/open learning materials where these are part of the structured provision), specific job induction or foreign language training where it is not needed for the employment (NDPG (50+), Ch 4, para 119).

Self-employment

The Employment Credit and Training Grant can be offered to those taking up self-employment (NDPG (50+), Ch 4, para 19). Self-employed clients must provide evidence of expected income (probably a business plan) and continued training. As a minimum the training plan must include the aims and objectives of the business, source of funding and target earnings. If you do not have a business plan you cannot receive an Employment Credit until you have attended a business start up training course.