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South Lincolnshire Citizens Advice Bureau braced to support struggling workers

Experts are braced to need to step up and support south Lincolnshire’s struggling workers – as the economic impact of the pandemic takes its toll.

Citizens Advice South Lincolnshire has revealed some of the employment issues it has been tackling on behalf of workers in our area.

The body has reflected on the past year – and re-iterated that it’s there to support employees who might face tough times in the coming year too.

Simon Richards, chief officer for Citizens Advice South Lincolnshire (44882521)
Simon Richards, chief officer for Citizens Advice South Lincolnshire (44882521)

Juliet Godbeer-Dunbar, research and campaigns lead for Citizens Advice South Lincolnshire, said: “With the best will in the world, although employers often want to do the right thing they are sometimes stepping over the boundaries of legality and what’s good practice.”

In its latest Spotlight newsletter it revealed:

l A n agency care worker was sent out to visit a patient with Covid-19 without being told they had the virus. They caught the virus, had to isolate and were then wrongly refused sick pay.

l An employer refused to fund repairs to a charity worker’s laptop when they were working from home.

l Another client was refused sick pay after being told they did not earn enough to qualify.

l A shop worker with health worries was forced to wear a mask even when the rules were not enforced for customers.

l A client from Spalding called the migrant helpline about a business that had said there were too many sick days being taken during Covid-19. The firm wanted to change the rules so that workers had to take unpaid waiting days and that rewards were given to those with 100% attendance, even though Government advice suggests people should be encouraged to isolate.

l A 40-year-old was made redundant at short notice after working for a company for 10 years, apparently without proper consultation or discussion.

There’s also a broader concern that many workers are struggling with their household finances after a long period on 80% pay under the furlough scheme.

Mrs Gobeer-Dunbar said: “Those things mean that people struggle to keep up with things like food and fuel costs.”

Writing in the Spotlight newsletter, chief officer Simon Richards said: “It continues to be a busy and challenging time for Citizens Advice South Lincolnshire, helping our communities through the latest lockdown. We continue to assist thousands of people with a range of problems.

“We have highlighted some of the employment issues that people have faced due to Covid-19. These problems will remain with us in the coming months and it is more important than ever that people can access our high quality services.”

Anyone in need of support can contact Citizens Advice South Lincolnshire’s freephone adviceline on 0808 278 7996. It’s open Monday to Friday, 10am to 4pm.

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