Universal Credit: Working mum loses latest round of legal fight with DWP

By Brian Farmer, PA & Max Channon

A working single mother has lost the latest round of a legal fight against the Government’s Universal Credit rules for assessing earnings.

Sharon Pantellerisco won a High Court fight last year when a judge ruled the Department for Work and Pensions’ (DWP) approach to calculating earnings for claimants who are paid on a four-weekly basis was “irrational and unlawful”.

But three Court of Appeal judges on Friday overturned that ruling after lawyers representing the DWP mounted a challenge.

Mr Justice Garnham had ruled in July 2020, after a High Court hearing, that claimants were “entitled to a declaration to the effect that the earned income calculation is irrational and unlawful in respect of employees paid on a four-weekly basis”.

He had said: “I cannot see how any reasonable Secretary of State could have struck the balance in the way the SSWP (Secretary of State for Work and Pensions) has done in this case.”

Lord Justice Underhill, Lord Justice Haddon-Cave and Lady Justice Simler allowed an appeal by Work and Pensions Secretary Therese Coffey after considering the case at a Court of Appeal hearing earlier this year.

They said they did not believe “irrationality” had been established.

For more stories from where you live, visit InYourArea.


What is inkl?

Important stories

See news based on value, not advertising potential. Get the latest news from around the world.

Trusted newsrooms

We bring you reliable news from the world’s most experienced journalists in the most trusted newsrooms.

Ad-free reading

Read without interruptions, distractions or intrusions of privacy.