A new employment advice unit offering free advice and support is proving to be extremely popular with Dorset residents.
The Employment Unit was started by Citizens Advice in Dorset in December 2020 to provide specialist advice across rural Dorset. The virtual unit supports clients with a range of employment related issues, including redundancy, dismissal, furlough, covid and pay related issues.
Daniel Cadisch, Chief Officer of Central Dorset Citizens Advice said: “At a time when many people are finding their employment doesn’t have the stability expected, we are available to give advice, answer questions, explain procedures, help draft letters, support in challenging what is happening as well as help navigate complex legal systems. Already, more than 100 people have come to the unit and have been supported by specialists.”
The unit is staffed by experienced advisers who bring a wealth of knowledge and wisdom from their career backgrounds and current training. The unit’s coordinator, Sarah Campbell said: “Our volunteers are incredibly generous with their time and work very hard on cases, some of which will take months to see through. They show dedication and care providing help and advice to people. They are supported by our paid specialists.”
“We are lucky enough to have a member of staff through a grant from the Ministry of Justice as part of the Legal Support for Litigants in Person project who brings great strength in HR, a legal specialist who is on her way to becoming an employment barrister and a senior specialist adviser who very experienced as she has been representing people with employment cases in Dorset for more than 30 years and is a font of knowledge.”
Sarah continues: “We have several cases which are with ACAS for Early Conciliation, and others on the long journey towards Employment Tribunals which due to the pandemic may mean a wait of over a year.”
“Internally, we have an ongoing training programme to keep up to date with the employment laws. We have had talks and questions answered by an Employment Partner at a local solicitor franchise, training from our regional ACAS representative, and shortly we will have a talk by our local Trade Union Representative. In the future we are looking forward to an HR specialist and NHS Steps 2 Wellbeing Employment Specialists helping us further enhance the skills we offer Dorset residents.”
Contact the Dorset Adviceline on 0800 144 8848 for more information or visit Citizens Advice Dorset website www.citizensadvicedorset.org.uk or visit your local office website.
For more information contact: Sarah Campbell, Dorset Employment Unit Coordinator, email [email protected]
We give people the knowledge and confidence they need to find their way forward – whoever they are, and whatever their problem.
Notes to editors:
About Citizens Advice in Dorset:
Citizens Advice in Dorset provides free, independent, confidential and impartial advice to everyone on their rights and responsibilities to enable them to find a way forward whatever problems they face. We value diversity, promote equality, challenge discrimination wherever we see it and aim to improve the policies and practices that affect people’s lives.
Citizens Advice in Dorset is located across three regions:
- Citizens Advice Bridport bridportca.org.uk tel: 0800 144 8848
- Citizens Advice Central Dorset centraldorsetca.org.uk tel: 0800 144 8848
- Citizens Advice East Dorset & Purbeck edpcitizensadvicedorset.org.uk tel: 0800 144 8848