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'90 minute travel time to job' rule?


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Don't know if this has been discussed previously on here but has anyone any clarification on whether the 90 minutes travel time is calculated by bus/train timetable information or calculated by actual travel time?

 

For example, according to the timetable my morning bus takes 52 minutes to reach town, but as the rush-hour traffic is considerable the journey actually takes 1hr 20 mins on average - sometimes even longer. Add to this the fact that after you get off the bus, a further walk may be required to reach the job.

 

In their usual fashion, the DWP info is totally vague and just mentions 'travel time'.

 

I would class 'travel time' as the actual time it takes to reach the job, not the theoretical time on the timetable. Buses may run nearer to the timetable during the mid-day but they certainly don't during the morning rush hour!

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I've always argued that it is actual travel time from leaving the front door to arriving at the place of work rather than calculated times based on timetables. However, I have never needed to put this to the test.

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I think that if something like this got as far as a tribunal, they would be looking at actual travel times. Whether anyone would think it worthwhile to risk going without benefit by turning down a job which the DWP thiink is within the travel time is another matter.

 

I'm currently having a dispute with ATOS over travel times to assessments. I suspect they use something like Google which gives an estimated travel time by car in ideal circumstances (the rule is 1 hour by car or 90 minutes by public transport for ESA/PIP assessments) and assume that so long as that number is below 60 minutes, it meets the guidelines. Of course 'ideal' travel conditions only exist, if at all, at 3 am, so actual travel times are always going to be much greater, and they certainly don't take into account what time buses/trains start running or how often - if the service is only once an hour you could end up having to arrive 55 minutes early for example. The assessment they booked for me was at 9 am on a Monday morning and would have involved leaving home at 6.35 am if I'd even considered trying to get there, but they still maintain it was reasonable.

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If we are limiting ourselves to public transport, I could be in the middle of Amsterdam in 90 minutes. Not sure I'd want to pay out over £200 per day for the commute.

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In 90 minutes I could be at Gatwick Airport - but in practicality as a working location I would need to time my work hours around the coach service.

 

The last job I did involved two busses and three trains each way - and if the trains didn't tie in - which frequently they didn't on the way home, the 1 hour 15 minute journey would be nearer 3 hours.

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In 90 minutes i can be on the outskirts of Birmingham or in Bristol. A bit far for me to commute everyday. I would assume that walking to a bus stop/train station would be in included in the 90 minutes traveling time? The train station nearest to me is a 35 min walk.

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The Jobseeker’s Allowance Regulations 2013, Section 14 (2), sets out in statute the specific limitations on travel to work time. This also makes it clear that the same limitation applies to "a work search requirement and a work availability requirement."

 

Work search requirement and work availability requirement: limitations

14. (1) Paragraphs (2) to (5) set out the limitations on a work search requirement and a work availability requirement.

(2) A work search requirement and a work availability requirement must be limited to work that is in a location which would normally take the claimant—

(a) a maximum of one hour and 30 minutes to travel from home to the location; and

(b) a maximum of one hour and 30 minutes to travel from the location to home.

 

Those Regulations were introduced as a 'Statutory Instrument' which means it's the law.

 

Here is a DWP explanatory note about the Regulation:

 

Travel to work time

Claimants must be willing to travel 90 minutes each way to work, by a route and means of transport appropriate to their circumstances (for example, car for some, public transport for others, walking etc). Limitations can be agreed due to health conditions or caring responsibilities where it means that a shorter distance is necessary.

The claimant's travel to work time is recorded on the 'Availability' section of the claimant's record.

The claimant's travel to work time is recorded by selecting the drop-down menu in the 'Travel Time In Minutes' field and selecting the appropriate time. This will default to 90 minutes but can be changed if limitations have been agreed.

I agree with Mr P. that if one is reliant on public transport the time required to get from home to bus stop, or station, and the time from bust stop, or station, to location of job has to be included in 'travel time'. Also to include would be time between buses if more than one was required. As would be the prevailing conditions at the time of the journey. If one could get to work in one hour on a bus, that would be irrelevant if one was to have to get to work before buses start running in the morning, or the location was not on a bus route. Obviously if one had a helicopter one could get farther in 90 minutes, that is why the law stipulates 'in your circumstances'.

 

Now here is a conundrum that a lot of claimants may not have considered:

 

A careful and accurate interpretation of sub-section (2) has to be that "A work search requirement and a work availability requirement must be limited to work that is in a location which would normally take the claimant—".... means that I, as a claimant, must, must no less, limit my work search requirement to "(a) a maximum of one hour and 30 minutes to travel from home to the location; and (b) a maximum of one hour and 30 minutes to travel from the location to home."

 

Failure to comply with this legal requirement would leave me at risk of a sanction for not actively seeking and not making myself available for work as the law says that I 'must'.

 

If then, as a claimant, I am given a 'work search requirement', told or 'mandated' by an adviser to sit at a computer and undertake work search activity, that adviser would have to ensure that the computer must be prepared for my individual circumstances every time I use it, by which I mean only jobs that fall within the limitation that my circumstances dictate are included.

 

Searching for work outside those limitations would put me in breach of this part of the law. Making me search for work outside those limitations would put him/her in breach of that part of the law.

 

The adviser, therefore, must prepare that computer for my individual use every time I use it, and has to ensure that s/he has only included jobs that I, in my circumstances, can get to in 90 minutes. Consideration here must be given to, for example, if the location of the job is on a bus route, if shifts are involved with starting or finishing time when no buses run, etc.

 

I wish I had thought of this when I was on the Work Programme and been able to test it on some unsuspecting flunky.

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Good replies as always. Nice to see the 90 minute rule also applies to getting home too - if anything, that takes even longer on public transport.

 

It's crazy to assume that buses would run perfectly to timetable, especially in the early morning and early evening rush hours; mine are usually 15 mins late even turning up so there's 1/6th of the permitted travel time gone straight away. The best I can do in 90 mins is to travel into the city centre - and no further.

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Claimants must be willing to travel 90 minutes each way to work, by a route and means of transport appropriate to their circumstances

 

My circumstances presently mean I cannot afford public transport and as I have no other means of transport apart from walking I therefore presume at an average walking pace of 4 miles per hour I can only be obliged to search for jobs no further than 6 miles away from my home address.

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The Jobseeker’s Allowance Regulations 2013, Section 14 (2), sets out in statute the specific limitations on travel to work time. This also makes it clear that the same limitation applies to "a work search requirement and a work availability requirement."

 

Work search requirement and work availability requirement: limitations

 

14. (1) Paragraphs (2) to (5) set out the limitations on a work search requirement and a work availability requirement.

 

(2) A work search requirement and a work availability requirement must be limited to work that is in a location which would normally take the claimant—

(a) a maximum of one hour and 30 minutes to travel from home to the location; and

(b) a maximum of one hour and 30 minutes to travel from the location to home.

 

Those Regulations were introduced as a 'Statutory Instrument' which means it's the law.

 

Here is a DWP explanatory note about the Regulation:

 

Travel to work time

Claimants must be willing to travel 90 minutes each way to work, by a route and means of transport appropriate to their circumstances (for example, car for some, public transport for others, walking etc). Limitations can be agreed due to health conditions or caring responsibilities where it means that a shorter distance is necessary.

 

The claimant's travel to work time is recorded on the 'Availability' section of the claimant's record.

 

The claimant's travel to work time is recorded by selecting the drop-down menu in the 'Travel Time In Minutes' field and selecting the appropriate time. This will default to 90 minutes but can be changed if limitations have been agreed.

 

I agree with Mr P. that if one is reliant on public transport the time required to get from home to bus stop, or station, and the time from bust stop, or station, to location of job has to be included in 'travel time'. Also to include would be time between buses if more than one was required. As would be the prevailing conditions at the time of the journey. If one could get to work in one hour on a bus, that would be irrelevant if one was to have to get to work before buses start running in the morning, or the location was not on a bus route. Obviously if one had a helicopter one could get farther in 90 minutes, that is why the law stipulates 'in your circumstances'.

 

Now here is a conundrum that a lot of claimants may not have considered:

 

A careful and accurate interpretation of sub-section (2) has to be that "A work search requirement and a work availability requirement must be limited to work that is in a location which would normally take the claimant—".... means that I, as a claimant, must, must no less, limit my work search requirement to "(a) a maximum of one hour and 30 minutes to travel from home to the location; and (b) a maximum of one hour and 30 minutes to travel from the location to home."

 

Failure to comply with this legal requirement would leave me at risk of a sanction for not actively seeking and not making myself available for work as the law says that I 'must'.

 

If then, as a claimant, I am given a 'work search requirement', told or 'mandated' by an adviser to sit at a computer and undertake work search activity, that adviser would have to ensure that the computer must be prepared for my individual circumstances every time I use it, by which I mean only jobs that fall within the limitation that my circumstances dictate are included.

 

Searching for work outside those limitations would put me in breach of this part of the law. Making me search for work outside those limitations would put him/her in breach of that part of the law.

 

The adviser, therefore, must prepare that computer for my individual use every time I use it, and has to ensure that s/he has only included jobs that I, in my circumstances, can get to in 90 minutes. Consideration here must be given to, for example, if the location of the job is on a bus route, if shifts are involved with starting or finishing time when no buses run, etc.

 

I wish I had thought of this when I was on the Work Programme and been able to test it on some unsuspecting flunky.

 

When i was on the work programme my advisor would constantly give me jobs beyond the 90 minute traveling time. She would forget that i didn't have a car (I do have a driving license though) and say things like "This job is only 45 minutes away" It wasnt until i would look at how to get there by public transport that i found out it was over 90 minutes. I would tell her this and then she would just say "can't you apply anyway or get a car from somewhere"

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She would forget that i didn't have a car (I do have a driving license though) and say things like "This job is only 45 minutes away" It wasnt until i would look at how to get there by public transport that i found out it was over 90 minutes. I would tell her this and then she would just say "can't you apply anyway or get a car from somewhere"

 

I never let on that I had a driving licence. If and when asked, I would just say "I don't drive".

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