Scottish Affairs CommitteePublication date:February 2017
Scotland’s CAB network provides a substantial amount of advice relating to problems at work. In 2015/16, citizens advice bureaux in Scotland advised clients on 48,530 new employment issues.
Examples of unfair employment practices that have affected CAB clients include unfair dismissal; not being paid for work carried out; being paid considerably below the National Minimum Wage; being denied sick pay or paid holiday; and instances of bullying and discrimination including racism, and women who were dismissed when they became pregnant.
Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy CommitteePublication date:December 2016
The emergence of so-called new forms of employment relationships between
workers and employers has put a strain on existing employment protections. In
particular, the misuse of zero hours contracts has been a major concern for CAS over the past three years.
UK Parliament Work and Pensions CommitteePublication date:May 2016
Citizens Advice Scotland is extremely concerned about the potential negative impact of the abolition of the ESA Work Related Activity component. The removal of support for the additional costs faced by disabled people through this component could have the effect of creating additional barriers to them gaining employment. The majority of people affected by the move are far from the labour market, with 73% of Scottish claimants in the ESA Work Related Activity Group having been in receipt of the benefit for more than two years, and in some cases will never be fit for work again.
An analysis of employment advice provided by Scotland’s CAB networkPublication date:April 2016
The Citizens Advice Service is the most common external source of advice for employees who experience problems at work. In Scotland last year, clients brought over 50,625 new employment issues to their local CAB.
Report Stage and Third ReadingPublication date:November 2015
This briefing focusses on amendments tabled to the Scotland Bill addressing areas where the
Bill does not appear to meet the intent of the Smith Agreement. Citizens Advice
Scotland is concerned that, as currently drafted, there are risks of detriment
to CAB clients, who sought advice on 220,000 new
benefits issues in 2014/15 and who have been subject to recent changes to reserved tribunals which have
had a marked and detrimental effect on consumers in Scotland.
CAS submission to the Scottish Parliament Economy, Energy and Tourism CommitteePublication date:August 2015
Scotland’s Citizens Advice Service is the most common external source of advice for employees who experience problems at work. In 2014/15 clients sought advice on 50,625 new employment issues, a number that has been increasing in recent years. Additionally, citizens advice bureaux see first-hand the effects of in-work poverty, with a growing number of working clients seeking advice because they are struggling to pay for essentials. These twin problems – unfair employment practices and low paid jobs – represent a worrying trend in recent years and ones which CAS believes need to be addressed.
CAS written evidence to the Scottish Parliament Devolution (Further Powers) CommitteePublication date:August 2015
Whilst there are a number of areas of the Scotland Bill that fully meet the word and spirit of the Smith Agreement, Citizens Advice Scotland (CAS) believes that, as currently drafted, there are a number of sections of the Bill relating to social security and tribunals that do not appear to meet its intent. CAS is concerned that without changes being made there are clear risks of detriment to CAB clients, who sought advice on 207,875 new benefits issues in 2013/14 and who have been subject to recent changes to reserved tribunals which have had a marked and detrimental effect on consumers in Scotland.
Publication date:June 2015
Employment problems are one of the most common types of issues that people seek advice on at a citizens advice bureau. Citizens Advice Scotland (CAS) has published reports showing the impact of poor employment practices, Employment Tribunal fees, non-payment of Employment Tribunal awards, and the misuse of zero hours contracts, which are causes for concern based on the negative experience of CAB clients in Scotland. This briefing was sent to all MSPs ahead of the debate on Employee Rights and Access to Justice tabled by The Cabinet Secretary for Fair Work, Skills and Training, Roseanna Cunningham.
Publication date:April 2015
The Scottish Government’s consultation focuses on changes to the public procurement rules in Scotland. These changes are as a result of new EU legislation, and are designed to further simplify the public procurement rules, and to support wider public policy aims including delivering sustainable economic growth. CAS’ response highlights the need to make sure that the changes deliver positive outcomes for the paying public, and deliver value for the service end users. Our response also emphasises that the changes to the procurement rules need to ensure that public bodies promote fair employment practice through public procurement.
Publication date:April 2015
A study of employment issues amongst BME workers within Perth and Kinross
The impact of Employment Tribunal fees on CAB clients in ScotlandPublication date:March 2015
This report presents findings from a collaborative research project between the University of Strathclyde and Citizens Advice Scotland (CAS) into the views of Citizens Advice Bureaux (CAB) advisers within Scotland on the impact of Employment Tribunal (ET) fees.
Scottish Parliament debate - 'An End to In-Work Poverty'Publication date:March 2015
The most recent figures from the Scottish Government show that in-work poverty is rising. The majority of working age adults in poverty (52%) are now from working households and it is not the case that work by itself is a route out of poverty. Citizens advice bureaux in Scotland are reporting a growing number of cases where clients are in work, but are struggling to pay for essentials. Citizens Advice Scotland’s ongoing ‘Working at the Edge’ series of publications examines the growing problems caused by in-work poverty through the stories of the thousands of clients advised by citizens advice bureaux in Scotland, and makes recommendations for change.
Protecting Scotland’s Workers from Unfair TreatmentPublication date:February 2015
Consultation on Tackling Avoidance from Department for Business, Innovation and SkillsPublication date:November 2014
Based on evidence from bureaux, CAS has consistently raised concerns over misuse of zero hours contracts by employers. The UK Government proposes to ban exclusivity clause in zero hours contracts as part of the Small Business, Enterprise and Employment Bill, and consulted on how avoidance of the ban could be tackled.
House of Commons Public Bill CommitteePublication date:October 2014
The Small Business, Enterprise and Employment Bill proposes changes on three specific issues of concern to CAS – the misuse of zero hours contracts, the non-payment of Employment Tribunal awards, and workers being paid less than the National Minimum Wage.
Publication date:September 2014
CAS responded to the Low Pay Commission's consultation on what future rates of the National Minimum Wage (NMW) should be set at. Based on bureau evidence showing that workers earning the National Minimum Wage are increasingly struggling to afford essentials, CAS recommends the purpose of the NMW should increasingly focus on tackling low pay and in-work poverty, together with a proactive approach to targeting employers who do not pay their staff the National Minimum Wage.
Publication date:July 2014
This briefing focusses on a concerning aspect of the rise of the zero hours contract – the insecurity of working hours and income caused by workers being guaranteed no set amount of work, or even any hours at all in any given week. The human impact of the insecurity of income can be seen through the stories of CAB clients who have been forced to borrow from payday lenders and even resort to food banks because of significant variances in their pay from week to week. In this situation, budgeting can be impossible and the safety net of the benefits system inaccessible because of the unpredictable nature of their working hours. We make a number of recommendations including a call for workers on a zero hours contract to be given a statutory ‘right to request’ a contract that guarantees hours, without fear of dismissal.
Working at the EdgePublication date:March 2014
National statistics show that more than half of the people living in relative poverty in the UK live in a household where at least one person works.
Response from Citizens Advice ScotlandPublication date:March 2014
Clients facing problems with zero hours employment contracts have been increasingly reported by CAB. Based on their evidence, CAS responded to the Department of Business, Innovation and Skills' consultation on the issue.
CAS responsePublication date:October 2013
Citizens Advice Scotland has reponded to the Scottish Affairs Committte's request for written evidence on how zero hours contracts affect people in Scotland.