Q. What are your experiences of 'getting organised,' and your thoughts or plans about 'getting out'?
‘Getting out’ has actually been a hot topic in our house the last few weeks. We are both facing change within the system. Currently my husband is self-employed, he finished his first year during the pandemic and we have been relying on the relaxed minimum income floor as he isn’t earning enough. As the named career for a child under 3 I don’t have any work requirements. On Friday my youngest turns 3, which means I’m going to be required to work for 15hours a week (despite the fact he’s only actually in childcare 12 hours a week and during the summer holidays I will have my 6 year old at home as childcare provision is non existent where I live). At the end of July the minimum income floor is reinstated. My husband doesn’t earn enough. So we will lose money and I expect, in time he may be told he can’t be self-employed and needs to look for a ‘traditional’ job. He was made redundant from his previous job in university admin and it was a job that impacted his mental health baldly. He has been out of the workforce for 2.5 years, he won’t be able to walk into a well paid job. He’s 52, it’s unlikely whatever job he may be forced into will lift us out of poverty and off benefits. I’m in a similar position. My previous job caused many mental health problems, and I’ve not been employed for 6 years. I had reached the top of my career path (a failed government initiative that was then scrapped) and still had to give up my job because 100% of my wage would have gone on childcare. Even if I could walk back into a similarly paid position (which is unlikely) it would not be enough to lift us out of poverty, and there would be no progression to hope for. I’m trying to set up my own business but it’s a punt, I don’t know if I can make it successful enough to lift us out of poverty. The route that would really help us, and lift us into a much better position would be to return to education. My original plan when I graduated in 2004 was to do a postgraduate course but couldn’t fathom out the funding. Now there is a government bursary for Educational Psychology training - one problem, the degree I hold isn’t recognised by the BPS so I need to do a conversion course. That course costs £7000. So at the moment, I can’t see a solid way out.