2.2.8 Permissible break for PLP
A break between consecutive working days in the work test period will be a permissible break (1.1.P.130) where it was between 2 days on which a person performed qualifying work, and the break was no more than 84 consecutive days (12 weeks) in length.
For children born or entrusted to care as part of an adoption process on or after 1 July 2020, a person can count the days they have received flexible PPL (for a previous child) as qualifying work for a new claim.
Note: For children born or entrusted to care prior to 1 January 2020, a break between consecutive working days is permissible if it was less than 56 days (8 weeks). There are 2 situations when a break can be considered a permissible break. The first is where the break occurred between 2 work days in the work test period (that is, in the 392 days before the expected or actual DOB, or the day the person becomes the child's primary carer) and the break is not more than 84 days.
Example 1: Jane is expecting to give birth to a child on 13 January 2020. Jane's 392 day work test period commences on 17 December 2018. Jane did not work on this day, but she worked on 20 December 2018 and then worked on 31 December 2018 and thereafter for a continuous period up to 13 October 2019.
To satisfy the work test, Jane needs to establish a qualifying period of 295 consecutive days between the start of the work test period on 17 December 2018 and when she ceased work on 13 October 2019. As Jane had performed qualifying work on 20 December 2018 and on 31 December 2018 and as the period between these dates was less than 84 days in length, Jane can be considered to have been on a permissible break between the start of the work test period on 17 December 2018, and the day she performed qualifying work on 20 December 2018 and 31 December 2018.
As a permissible break can count towards the work test, Jane is considered to have worked 301 days between 17 December 2018 and 13 October 2019. Therefore, providing the requirement for 330 hours of qualifying work is met, Jane would meet the work test, as the period of qualifying work performed during the work test period is at least 295 consecutive days.
In the example above, Jane's hours worked on 1 December 2018 do not count towards requirement for 330 hours or the 295 consecutive days as it was outside of her work test period. This day is only used to establish that a period within the work test period was a permissible break and provides some flexibility in circumstances where the claimant does not work on the start day of the 13-month work test period.
The second situation is where there was a break between 2 consecutive working days and the break started before, and ended after, the start of the work test period. In this situation, providing the period between the 2 work days was no longer than 84 days, the period from the beginning of the work test period until the first working day in the work test period can be considered to be a permissible break, and this period can be considered towards the qualifying period of 295 consecutive days.
Example 2: Salima is expecting to give birth to her first child on 12 December 2020. Salima's 392 day work test period starts on 16 November 2019. Salima finishes her job 20 October 2019 and does not start work in another job until 18 January 2020, a break of more than 84 days. Salima then works every week from 18 January 2020 until 14 November 2020, a period of 300 consecutive days. The break between working days that occurred early in the work test period is not a permissible break as it was a break of more than 84 days.
The break does not affect Salima's eligibility for PLP because there was still a qualifying period of at least 295 consecutive days in the work test period where Salima performed qualifying work or had a permissible break, that is, weekends off work.
A break of more than 84 days between 2 consecutive working days is considered not to be a permissible break.
Example 3: Maria is expecting to give birth to her second child on 6 July 2020. Maria's 392 day work test period commences on 10 June 2019. To prepare for the baby's arrival in July Maria took unpaid leave from 12 December 2019 until 13 March 2020. From 13 March 2020 until 22 June 2020 Maria returned to work, 3 days a week. The break between working days between December 2018 and March 2019 was more than 84 days, therefore it was not a permissible break.
In the example above, as there was no period of qualifying work performed during the work test period of at least 295 consecutive days (including permissible breaks), the claimant will not meet the work test requirements and will not be eligible for PLP.