A new service which provides advice on employment issues to low-income households and people impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic launched in Renfrewshire on Friday.
Fair Work Renfrewshire will give help, support and advice to people who need it on employment matters including redundancy, dismissal and the end of furlough as well as benefits entitlements for those who may have had a change to their employment status.
The two-year project, which is run by Renfrewshire’s Citizens Advice Bureau and funded by Renfrewshire Council, will also work with partners, including the council, to reach people in Renfrewshire who are vulnerable to employment issues, ensuring they receive help and support when they need it.
Anyone who uses the service can also receive help for other issues, like debt and money advice, or be referred to partners and council teams for support on matters which are not related to employment.
Gavin Lovesey, Service Development Manager at Renfrewshire Citizen’s Advice Bureau, said: “We are delighted to be able to provide the new Fair Work Renfrewshire service which will deliver advice and representation on employment issues.
“At a time when we know employers face difficult decisions, it is vital employees and workers have access to free, confidential and impartial advice.
“Our team is looking forward to helping people understand their rights and what options are available to them. If you think you have been treated unfairly in your workplace or have any other work-related concerns, please get in touch.”
Renfrewshire Citizens Advice Bureau received £100,000 funding for the service in the Council’s 2021/22 Budget.
The funding was part of the council’s Social Renewal Plan, which sets out the work the council will do with its partners to tackle inequality and poverty, and support families and communities in the wake of COVID-19.
Councillors approved £665,000 funding for the next stage of the plan, which focuses on tackling poverty and supporting communities, in June. The money is being used to fund projects which will tackle poverty, support people struggling with rising fuel costs, improve access to benefits and affordable credit, and help community organisations tackle food insecurity.
Renfrewshire Council Leader Iain Nicolson said: “The pandemic has been particularly tough for people in Renfrewshire who are on low-incomes and facing job uncertainty, and the end of furlough will make things tougher for some households.
“Fair Work Renfrewshire will help support people during these tough times, giving them access to the advice they need on employment issues.
“The service is being funded by our Social Renewal Plan which continues to provide support for projects that help our communities and tackle the issues they are facing as we navigate our way out of this pandemic.”
The Social Renewal Plan will inform the next stage of the council’s successful Tackling Poverty programme, which generated almost £800,000 of additional income for households in 2020/21.
It also supports the council’s Economic Recovery Plan, which will help support Renfrewshire’s businesses and support people into employment and training in the wake of COVID-19.
If you think Fair Work Renfrewshire can help you, call the Renfrewshire Citizen’s Advice Bureau on 0141 889 2121 or visit https://www.renfrewshirecab.org.uk/.