Research and Campaigns
One of the dual aims of the Citizens Advice service is to campaign to improve the policies and practices which affect people's every day lives. Everyone who works for us contributes to this work, by identifying examples of unfairness and writing a report. These reports are dealt with by our team of dedicated volunteers who carry out further research and campaign to bring about improvements for the people of Rother District . The top subjects we are working on right now are:
Zero Hours Contracts
Over the past year we have seen many clients who have come to us with employment problems which are related to zero hours contracts. We carried out a survey and have produced a report which you can read here.
Zero Hours Contract Report.pdf (538kb)
As a result of our findings, we have started a campaign to ask employers to stop using zero hours contracts routinely and to consider the alternatives first. This would give employees more rights and more security which would make them feel more valued at work and feel more confident to plan for the future.
We are asking all Rother District employers to sign our pledge, to stop using zero hours contracts as a norm. To sign our pledge click here.
Standards of temporary accommodation
In conjunction with Bexhill& Battle Foodbanks we have been researching standards of temporary accommodation in Rother District. When someone goes to the Council as homeless they are usually placed in temporary accommodation such as bed & breakfast. Clients have reported to us very poor living conditions including:
- infestations like fleas or bed bugs
- damp and mold
- no bedding
Many people would be surprised to know that there are no legal minimum standards for what you can expect in this type of accommodation. We have started discussion with the Council's housing department and will continue to work with them to bring about improvements .
Problems claiming sickness and disability benefits
There have been numerous clients who have contacted us for advice on claiming Personal Independence Payment (PIP) and Employment and Support Allowance (ESA) and Universal Credits.The problems have included long delays, administrative errors and poor quality decisions where people who have serious health problems are found fit for work. Advice agencies locally report that over 90% of cases they deal with are successful in over turning DWP decisions at appeal.
This is a national problem and we continue to forward our evidence to Citizens Advice nationally. They in turn, collate all the information they receive and campaign with government ministers to being about improvements. We have shared our findings with local MP, Huw Merriman and will continue to report our findings.
If you would like to support our campaigns or are interested in finding out more about this work you can contact us via Adviceline 03444 111 444. You can read more about National Policy Research here and Campaigns here.