"Last month, HMRC published a list of the most bizarre excuses employers had given as a reason for underpaying minimum wage to their workers.
The list includes an employer arguing that staff born outside the UK did not qualify for receiving minimum statutory pay, while another argued that an employee “only makes tea and sweeps floors”, suggesting that her duties made her ineligible for the minimum wage."
"The most recent round of UK Government welfare reform recently came into effect in Scotland and the rest of the UK; the “benefit cap” as it is known has been met with hostility and criticism from campaigners and activists for the impact it will have on some of the most vulnerable in society. But what exactly is the benefit cap, and what impact are we expecting to see in Edinburgh?"
Starting from today, we have simplified how you get in touch with Citizens Advice Edinburgh. You can now contact any of our Bureau locations to book an appointment for 100% free, independent, impartial, and confidential advice by phoning a single telephone number.
Most people associate the run up to Christmas with shopping, festive jumpers, turkey, or generally catching up with family and friends. Edinburgh, during this period, becomes a sought-after tourist destination, with the Christmas Market and Hogmanay celebrations attracting tens of thousands.
Despite many people looking forward to Christmas, this is only one side of the coin. The other side is made up by underpaid or overworked workers, who don’t know their rights and whose employers may take advantage of. The same force bringing tourists here, boosting our economy, creates ideal conditions for exploitation and for dodging statutory employment rights over wages and entitlements. While most of Edinburgh’s employers are trying to get it right, it is those who are undercutting those businesses by not meeting their legal requirements that are negating this positive impact to our local economy.
As the end of the year approaches, I can reflect on great service that Citizens Advice Edinburgh has continued to provide to those in need of independent and impartial advice and support in the city. Over the last year we have dealt with 28,000 enquiries leading to us resolving over 43,000 issues and helping some of the most vulnerable in our community deal with over £4 million of unmanageable debt. With our advice and support, clients in Edinburgh achieved nearly £3 million of financial gain, through access to welfare entitlement, resolving debt, employment and consumer rights issues.
Citizens Advice Edinburgh helps thousands of local residents solve big and small problems that affect their lives. Some of our clients face complicated issues that require several sessions with a specialist adviser to get resolved. But complicated issues are far from being the most common ones. In fact, many of our clients need help with filling in paperwork to claim benefits, or want to know what their rights are when it comes to working conditions, or simply need some support and reassurance to feel confident that their debt problem can be solved.