Unemployment has soared during the pandemic. Citizens Advice has found that among workers facing redundancy, parents, carers and disabled people are twice as likely to be at risk.
‘Anika’: Is this fair?
Anika is a single mother with three-year-old twins. She has worked for her current employer for the past 3 years. She told us the company had decided to make her redundant rather than a male colleague, because she had worked fewer hours over the previous couple of months.
She asked our advisers: “Is this fair? I had to take extra time off since I came back off furlough in August, but I couldn’t find a regular childminder for the twins.”
How we helped
The employer’s redundancy criteria appeared to affect women as a group worse than men. This meant indirect discrimination was possible because women are more likely to have childcare responsibilities.
We showed Anika our online page “Discrimination during Redundancy” This has more information about how to challenge a redundancy decision that seems unfair. We’re now helping her explore all her options.
Anika also asked us what benefits she could claim now that she had lost her income. We advised her to apply online for the means-tested benefit Universal Credit which would help her with everyday living costs and rent.
Anika’s 3 years’ employment and National Insurance payment record also meant she could apply for New Style Job Seekers Allowance (JSA); this isn’t means-tested. It’s a fortnightly payment that can be claimed on its own or at the same time as Universal Credit. If someone qualifies for both New Style JSA and Universal Credit, any payment for New Style JSA will be taken into account when Universal Credit is calculated. However, it may still be worthwhile because claimants often receive the JSA faster than Universal Credit.
Read our full online employment advice here