Social policy work, or working for change, is a vital part of the service provided by the Bureaux. Within the CAB service the term social policy is understood to cover those issues arising from work with clients where it appears that there is an underlying problem with a policy, service or practice.
Social Policy work is the work we undertake to try to resolve these underlying problems by raising concerns about policies, services and practices, with the aim of producing a change for the better. In this way, social policy action can be a more efficient way of tackling the root cause of a problem than repeatedly working on behalf of individual clients who are all experiencing the same difficulties. Often, problems will not be unique, but will be part of a more general trend.
The Scottish Living Wage V National Living Wage
There has been some confusion recently between the Scottish Living Wage and the introduction of the new National Living Wage that was introduced by the UK Government on 1 April 2016.
The UK Government’s new National Living Wage is now law and applies to workers aged 25 or over and not in the first year of an apprenticeship. These workers are legally entitled to £7.20 per hour. If you are a worker and under 25 then you are still entitled to at least the National Minimum Wage which is £6.70 for 21 – 24 years olds and £5.30 for 18 – 20 year olds. For a full list of National Minimum Wage rates and how it affects you click here.
The Scottish Living Wage on the other hand is a voluntary scheme and amounts to £8.25 per hour in Scotland and for the whole of the UK, outside of London. The Living Wage was introduced in April 2014 and is based on the cost of living and adds up to £2,000+ more in pay each year than the UK Government’s National Living Wage of £7.20 per hour. Employers can choose to pay their staff the Scottish Living Wage and become accredited through the Scottish Living Wage Accreditation scheme. You can find out if your employer is a Scottish Living Wage employer accredited through the scheme by clicking here and searching for your employer.
One of the main differences between the National Living Wage (25 or over) and the Living Wage is that the National Living Wage is law and must be paid by employers to employees that are 25 or over, whilst the Scottish Living Wage is voluntary and applies to those 18 or older. Both are also calculated differently. The Living Wage is a % of median income which is currently 55%, however it aims to reach 60% of median income by 2020. The calculation for the Scottish Living Wage is made according to the cost of living based on a basket of household goods and services.
Fair Enough…? Angus CAB Briefing Paper on Unfair or Illegal Employment Practices
Angus CAB Social Policy Team has produced a briefing paper on the prevailing concerns of unfair or illegal employment practices, based on the evidence collected by Angus CAB. The paper covers employment rights and measures of potential redress, as well as recommendations towards employment best practice. The use of Zero Hour contracts by employers is examined in particular detail. Read the full paper here – Angus CAB – Fair Enough report
Tayside Social Policy Conference- Stability Matters – 26th August 2016
The Angus Social Policy Team played a leading role along with Dundee CAB and Perth CAB during 2014, in organising the first Tayside wide Social Policy Conference entitled, ‘True Cost…? Conference 2014’. This was an opportunity for each Tayside Bureau and it’s partner organisations to discuss and highlight some of the key issues affecting our local communities and plan social policy work for the year ahead.
Following the success of ‘True Cost…? Conference 2014’ we, along with Dundee and Perth CAB , organised another Tayside-wide social policy conference, titled ‘Stability Matters’, which was held in Dundee on Friday 26th August 2016. The topics that were discussed focused on issues that affect an individuals stability and included:
- Disability including Mental Health
- Welfare Reform/Introduction of Universal Credit
The Stability Matters Conference Report, it’s Findings and Recommendations are all available below: