FOI Request - Housing Benefit Regulations Interpretation
I would like to enquire how this Council Housing Benefit Team interprets, under Section 35 2 (b) of the Housing Benefits Regulations (extract attached), the Legal requirement for a Teacher to pay The General Teaching Council for Scotland ( GTC) Teachers Professional Fee of £65.00 annually.
Please note that the GTC Professional fee should not be confused as being a Union subscription, but the GTC Fee is an annual Professional Fee which must be paid before a teacher can teach in Scotland.
The link to the General Teaching for Scotland Website is noted below ****
Housing Benefit Regulation Section 35 2 (b) states:
“Any payment in respect of expenses wholly, exclusively and necessarily incurred in the performance of the duties of the employment”
My 2 questions are therefore:-
Do you as a Council Housing Benefits Team take the General Teaching Council for Scotland Professional Teachers Annual fee into consideration by deducting the amount (£65.00) as expense which is “wholly, exclusively & necessarily incurred” ( under Housing Benefit Regulation Section 35 2 b) when calculating the claimants earnings for that particular award period when the Fees are taken from a claimants salary?
Do you as a Council Housing Benefits Team ignore “necessarily incurred expenses” for example, the General Teaching Council for Scotland Professional Fees (therefore ignoring Housing Benefit Regulations Section 35 2 b ) when assessing a claimants earnings for the salary period that the Professional fees are paid in?
****Link to The General Teaching Council for Scotland Website here ….. https://www.gtcs.org.uk/registration/registration-fee.aspx
All registered teachers are required to pay an annual registration fee to remain on the Register and be eligible to teach in a Scottish school, this is a legal requirement. The annual registration fee is £65 and is due in April each year.
• Currently employed by a Local Authority (supply work included) – the annual registration fee is deducted via your salary by your employer. This will show in your March or April pay slip. If you are working for more than one employer: The system identifies this and when we attempt to uploaded details from a second employer the system rejects, and that employer is then advised to refund you directly.
• Currently retired but wishing to stay on the register - if you have recently retired/left your permanent employer, but wish to stay on the register, you will be notified by letter/email to pay the fee direct to GTC Scotland.
• Currently on Maternity Leave – although you may still be technically employed, the annual registration fee may not be deducted from your maternity pay. You will be notified by letter/email to pay the fee direct to GTC Scotland.
• Currently not in employment/ working outside Scotland/ on a career break/ long term illness – you will be notified by letter/email to pay the fee direct to GTC Scotland.
Please remember it is a legal requirement for any teacher to be registered with us whilst teaching in a Scottish school.
Reg 35(2) acts as an exception to Reg 35(1), so is referring specifically to payments received from the employer. As the money is a deduction and not a payment received it would not fall into Reg 35 2(b) and therefore not be deducted under this regulation.