If you have applied for and been offered a job, a Work Trial allows you to try it out while still receiving benefits. It also enables the employer see how you get on in the post before deciding whether to take you on permanently. Most Work Trials only last for a few days.
For a Work Trial to take place:
- the employer must have a Work Trial Agreement with Jobcentre Plus
- you must be eligible (see below) and willing to take part
- your Jobcentre Plus adviser must agree that the trial is appropriate
- the job must be for over 16 hours per week and must be expected to last at least three months.
You will automatically be eligible for a Work Trial if you are 18 or over and getting one of the following benefits:
- Jobseeker's Allowance for six months or more
- Income Support
- Employment and Support Allowance
- Incapacity Benefit
- Severe Disability Allowance
- Carer's Allowance
- Bereavement Benefit
- Pension Credit.
Some other unemployed people are also eligible for a Work Trial, so if you want to apply, you should ask your Jobcentre Adviser about this.
The employer will guarantee to consider you for permanent employment if you prove suitable but the employer or you can terminate the trial at any time. Your benefit will not suffer if you or the employer decide not to continue with the trial.
On a Work Trial, you will continue to receive your usual benefit and will also be able to claim travel expenses.
If you are offered a job at the end of the Work Trial but decide not to accept it, you will not suffer a benefit penalty. If you are not offered a job, Jobcentre Plus will ask the employer and you for feedback. Information given in the feedback may be used by your personal adviser when considering how you should continue your search for work.
You can find out more about Work Trials and how to arrange one on the Directgov website at www.direct.gov.uk.
Citizens Advice Bureau