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Category Archives: Employment

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CAB News 14 January 2022

Image result for rising cost of living uk

Friday 14 January 2022

Local and national Citizens Advice featured in a series of broadcast news items this week, including an ITV piece on rising costs of living and BBC coverage on energy price cap changes.


Cost of Living

Cost of living at crisis point

ITV News, 12/01/2022

Chief Executive Clare Moriarty appeared as part of a package looking at the mounting financial pressures facing households, with energy costs rising and tax increases due in April. ITV filmed at Citizens Advice Southwark and highlighted the growing number of calls received from households struggling to make ends meet.


Energy bill woes pile up: Households fear soaring prices as complaints about overcharging hit a record high

Mail Online UK, 11/01/2022

Image result for energy price cap going up

Our research that average energy bills could soar by £614 this year is cited.

Gillian Cooper, Head of Energy Policy at Citizens Advice, is quoted: “There’s clear evidence that billing systems and processes at some suppliers have not been fit for purpose. Ofgem [the energy regulator] must ensure suppliers are following its rules on providing accurate bills.”

Meanwhile, Principal Policy Managers Alex Belsham-Harris and Abby Jitendra appeared on BBC News warning of the storm faced by many households.

Why is the energy price cap going up?

The Sunday Times, 09/01/2022, p.1, Ali Hussain

Our research on supplier failures featured in The Sunday Times (print) and in The Daily Express.

Cost of Living

Sunak’s tax hikes and soaring inflation to deliver £1,660 pay cut for UK workers

The Independent, 09/01/2022, Ben Chapman

Our recent lines on the “desperate decisions” people are facing between eating or heating their homes made. Head of Policy Morgan Wild said: “With the hefty blow of further price hikes in April, things are set to go from bad to worse.”

Tom Togher from Citizens Advice Salford wrote about price increases for In Your Area. Tom said the charity is “already seeing the effects of the cost of living crisis in our data.”

Loyalty Penalty

Don’t trust the claim that curb on insurers will save you £4bn… you’ll end up paying MORE on home and car cover

The Mail on Sunday 09/01/2022, p.132, Jess Prestridge

 The article praises our campaign against the loyalty penalty, saying Citizens Advice “does sterling work, much of it understated and low key.”

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Back to the workplace: Your rights if you’ve been working from home

Ministers look to hybrid working after Covid rules are relaxed on 19 July

Friday 16 July 2021

With guidance to work from home set to end in England from 19 July, Citizens Advice sets out your need to knows if you’re asked to return to your normal workplace.

I’ve been working from home, can my employer ask me to return to my normal workplace?

The short answer is yes. When you enter into a contract to work for an employer you have to comply with ‘reasonable management requests’. That means your employer can ask you to return to your normal workplace if your original contract specified that you would be office-based or based elsewhere.

In practice, many employers are looking into or actively encouraging a blended working model – some time at home – some time in the office/workplace.

You can ask to keep working from home, but that doesn’t mean your employer has to agree. Start by having an open conversation with your employer about your wishes, and consider making a flexible working request, which is a legal right all employees have. You can include your reasons why working from home is better for you and will also help the business.

What can I do if I’m worried about safety measures at work?

Your employer has a legal duty under the law, and under your contract, to ensure that your workplace does not pose a risk to your health and safety. Current guidance says employers should complete a Covid risk assessment and take steps to prevent transmission, including frequent cleaning and social distancing. This is due to be updated.

While wearing a mask in an enclosed space will no longer be mandatory, employers will still be free to set their own policies or rules in place to require workers or customers to wear masks.

If you are unhappy with safety measures at your workplace, you could report your employer to the Health and Safety Executive, but ideally you and your employer can solve the issues together.

I’m uncomfortable about taking public transport, what are my options?

Your employer’s duty is limited to things that are under its control, and so there is no clear legal position about whether it has to take into account the risks you face when travelling to and from work, as part of its health and safety assessment.

That said, your employer should listen to your concerns if you’re worried about having to use public transport after being called back into work. You could reach an arrangement that you’re comfortable with, for example, asking to travel at quieter times of the day.

What happens if I need to self-isolate?

You shouldn’t go into work if you’re self-isolating because you have coronavirus symptoms or have been in contact with someone who has tested positive for coronavirus.

You must tell your employer that you have to self-isolate. It’s worth telling them in writing so you have a record for later use.

If you’re unable to work from home, you may be entitled to benefits, sick pay or a self-isolation payment of £500 from your local council. If you’ve been furloughed before by your employer, you might also be able to furlough you for the period you need to self-isolate. See the Citizens Advice website for more information.

Remember that the rules on self-isolating are changing. From 16 August, if you’ve had your second vaccination, you won’t need to self-isolate if you have been in contact with someone who’s tested positive for coronavirus. If you have symptoms you’ll need to self-isolate until you get tested.

Matthew Bradbury, Employment Expert at Citizens Advice, said:

“With restrictions ending and workplaces reopening, people will understandably have questions about their rights. While you can ask to continue working from home, your employer doesn’t have to agree.

“If you have any concerns, it’s important to talk with your employer as soon as possible so that you can reach a solution that works for both of you.

“For more information visit the Citizens Advice website, and if you need one-to-one help contact your nearest Citizens Advice. ”