Social Security contribution credits and small income exception
When made unemployed through redundancy from full-time employment, application for Social Security Contribution Credits must be made to the Work Zone at Customer and Local Services within four weeks. The unemployed person must then register each week. The credits will then be made for up to twenty-six weeks, provided that proof that they are actively seeking work is maintained. Income Support claimants will be assigned a Job Coach. If not in receipt of Income Support, evidence of job-seeking produced at the counter will suffice.
For the first twenty-six weeks, the unemployed person will be able to look for work in the area of their choice, but after thirteen weeks they must seek to pursue any realistic job opportunities that fall within their skills set and ability.
Registration is subject to residence in Jersey for the previous twelve months and being available for full-time work. They should have had class 1 contributions above the threshold prior to becoming unemployed. Credits may then be made.
Contributions will be waived only from the date of registration to a maximum of twenty-six weeks, but each case is taken on its merits.
Self-employed persons cannot receive credits, but they should still register with Employment Services and their individual circumstances will be discussed.
Incomplete contribution records and pension rights
If a person has not made contributions for two years, their retirement pension may be liable to a reduction of 5%. However, it is their overall record of payments that is taken into account when they reach pension age and no deduction is made if their record is 94% or more.
Earnings below threshold
If employed eight hours a week a person is considered employed and will have to pay their own contributions until earnings reach ‘lower threshold’.
An application can be made for exception from paying Class 2 contributions, but income needs to be low.
Clients wishing to claim Small Income Exception should apply in person at Customer and Local Services. The effects on future entitlement will be explained.
Customer and Local Services Employer’s Guide states that ‘where an employee received a lump sum following redundancy, then no deduction of contributions should be made’.
A person who has received a Redundancy Payment should register with Customer and Local Services within four weeks of becoming unemployed and their contributions will be credited for the period of unemployment. A person who accepts voluntary redundancy is not entitled to contribution credits.
Periods of unemployment following Class 1 employment
Should you be made redundant following Class 1 employment (i.e. employed by an employer), you will have your Contributions credited for the period of unemployment provided that you –
- register at Customer and Local Services not later than each Friday of each week of unemployment
- have been unemployed for a period of at least six consecutive days (excluding Sunday)
- are not employed in a spare time capacity in addition to your usual employment unless your earnings from that employment are minimal
- normally rely on Class 1 employment for your livelihood
You will not receive Contribution Credits if you –
- leave your employment voluntarily
- lose your job through misconduct
- place unreasonable restrictions on the nature, hours, rate of pay or working district of employment having regard to your physical condition, local employment situation or any other relevant circumstances
- neglect to avail yourself of a reasonable opportunity of suitable employment
- refuse or fail, without good cause, to apply for, or accept any reasonable offer of employment notified to you by an officer of Employment Services
- are taking part in a stoppage of work due to a trade dispute (unless you are not financing or directly interested in it)
- are on holiday
- are still in a period covered by payment in lieu of notice. Credits will commence from the date that payment in lieu of notice expires if the person is still unemployed
- are a seasonal worker and the period of unemployment falls in the ‘off season’ during which you are not normally employed