Employed for less than a year; retained worker status and GPOW

I have an appeal where UC forgot to carry out a GPOW after 6 months for someone who had retained worker status as a result of less than one year of employment. They carried out a supersession 1.5 years late but with effect from the end of the initial 6 months. I am looking at arguing the necessary determination of GPOW failure after 1.5 years is the change of circs and can only take effect then; but they are claiming that the end of the 6 month period is automatically a change of circs in the absence of a successful GPOW.

(In essence they retain worker status until a failed GPOW is conducted vs they automatically lose retained worker status unless they pass GPOW)

I am having some difficulty reconciling some of the legislation and would welcome views. Reg 6 “Qualified person” under the EEA Regs 2016 outlines at 6(2):

(2) A person who is no longer working must continue to be treated as a worker provided that the person—

(c)is in duly recorded involuntary unemployment after having been employed in the United Kingdom for less than one year, provided the person—

(i)has registered as a jobseeker with the relevant employment office; and

(ii)satisfies conditions A and B;

Condition A and B are found at paras 5 & 6:

(5) Condition A is that the person—

(b)is present in the United Kingdom seeking employment, immediately after enjoying a right to reside under [sub-paragraphs (b), (d) or (e)] of the definition of qualified person in paragraph (1) (disregarding any period during which worker status was retained pursuant to paragraph (2)(b) or (c)).

(6) Condition B is that the person provides evidence of seeking employment and having a genuine chance of being engaged.

This seems to be a bit circular, but I assume its saying that if the person was here as a worker under 2(c) then you disregard the first 6 months as the period to which 2(c) applied as a retained worker before you apply Condition B (GPOW). But how does this sit with Reg 6(3)?

(3) A person to whom paragraph (2)(c) applies may only retain worker status for a maximum of six months.

I am a bit worried that it could be argued that someone with employment less than one year should never retain their worker status beyond 6 months, therefore the GPOW test is irrelevant in these circumstances and the DWP guidance is incorrect.

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