Monday, September 13, 2010
Hackney Unite's resident blogger Mz Lashmore reports on another successful Workers Advice Session for Hackney Unites...
Although there was strong competition with Hackney’s Youth Parliament hosting their very first conference in the Town Hall, it was clear that members of the community are very concerned about jobs and impact the austerity cuts will have on their livelihoods.
The Community Centre on the Wilton Estate, Greenwood Road, Hackney E8 provided a comfortable meeting point. The session began with a brief overview of organisations and their rights to change employee’s working conditions. Of most interest was developing the understanding that changes to work do not leave the individual unable to do their job.
There was also an update from an advisor on Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs (HMRC) Family Tax and Working Tax Credits. Crucial information was shared and most noteworthy was the fact that HMRC allow claimants up to three months to inform them of changes in their material circumstance before beginning proceeding for benefit fraud. Apparently there continues to be about £6 billion unclaimed from the Working Tax Credit purse. Those who are single and in full time jobs, but earn less than £14,000 are eligible to apply.
We then moved on to the private sector. Members of the public were able to inquire into the generic conditions of Constructive Dismissal before moving on to have private ‘one to one’ advice from employment lawyers and/or trained union employee reps.
Although these sessions are scheduled for two hours those who attend also have the opportunity to obtain a specialist’s employment law services, should they require. I find these public meeting provide a brilliant opportunity for Hackney residents to obtain support and advice about their individual work matters.