Many people across Scotland are struggling to live on the wages received from working insufficient hours. The nature of the job market means many people are unable to improve their situation through increasing the hours they work – either in their current job, changing their job or taking on a second job. People are often willing to work more hours, but face the barrier of the current economic climate.
Many of those people turn to their local CAB with a variety of issues caused by under-employment such as debt, employment rights, difficulty in paying bills, and accessing in-work benefits. Paula was one such CAB client.
Paula had a zero hours contract for approximately ten months. She was receiving around 30 hours per week until two months ago when her hours dropped significantly. Recently, some weeks she has worked ten hours and some just four. She has earned so little she has had to borrow money for petrol to get to and from work. She cannot afford to keep working under these conditions as it is costing more in petrol than she is able to earn. Paula turned to her CAB for advice as she was concerned that if she left her job she wouldn’t be able to claim JobSeekers Allowance as she is likely to be sanctioned for leaving her current job. She doesn’t know how she can cope financially in either situation.