Advice for my sister please

(8 Posts)
chelseamorning Fri 01-Mar-13 12:10:23

Some background:

My sister is in her late 40s. She is dyslexic and has some social problems although has never been diagnosed with anything. At school, they just described her as 'slow' and so she had no additional help, and consequently left school with no qualifications. She has spent much of her working life in the catering industry on minimum wage. She is fun, kind, very trusting and eager to please, which leaves her vulnerable at times and she has suffered at the hands of bullies, both at school and at work.

The problem:

She was taken on in her current low paid job last year as a full-time catering assistant. However, she has seen her hours reduced down to just 12. Her employers expect her to flexible and to come in to work at very short notice, including covering sickness when she was supposed to have her allocated day off. However they give nothing back in return and have recently refused her time off at short notice to sort out a family problem. One day last week she had to go in for just 2 hours at the end of the day to clean up after that day's shift!

She just can't afford to work there and, because of the erratic demands of her employer, is unable to find another part-time job to fill in the gap. She is scared to confront them as she desperately needs the job, and certainly lacks the social skills to do so, but they are clearly taking the p**s.

She can't get any help from the State as apparently her and her partner's income means they don't qualify. However what the State fails to take into account when they assessed them is the fact that over half of his wages go directly to his ex-wife and two sons, which his ex-wife won't even let him see! Don't get me started on that issue!!!

Can anyone please give me some advice as to how to help her? Anyone been in this situation?

NatashaBee Fri 01-Mar-13 12:15:49

Why is her partner giving half his wages away? He should open a claim via the CSA - it doesn't have to be the resident parent who contacts them.

chelseamorning Fri 01-Mar-13 12:30:08

He's had an arrangement with his ex-wife for over 2 years, to pay a certain amount. Recently she contacted the CSA and they now take over £700 each month from his bank account before he even sees it. He's spoken with the CSA but they are adamant he has to pay. He hasn't seen his kids for 2 years because she refuses. He's started the court process to get access but now doesn't have the money to pay and so has had to shelve it. His boys are 7 and 9 and so I just hope it's not too late for him.

Perhaps I should post this elsewhere! I really wanted advice for my sister's situation, although the two issues are linked.

Shenanagins Fri 01-Mar-13 12:31:48

You should start by looking at the number of hours she is contracted to do and also what it states about coming in at short notice.

as for them not letting her go at short notice, they can do this but it does sound like it is all one way in their favour as most reasonable employers would let you go for a family emergency.

chelseamorning Fri 01-Mar-13 12:45:17

Thanks, I'll ask her.

Our mum is very ill atm and my sister lives closest to her. Her employer didn't let her leave early to see her. They won't even let her have her mobile with her in case mum is rushed to hospital. Her employer is out of order.

Just wishe I could get a job for my sister. She's so lovely, kind and helpful and just wants to work hard, earn a living and and be respected. Not much to ask!

raisah Sat 02-Mar-13 10:59:46

is her employer private or public sector? My friend works in catering at a university and she enjoys it. It might be worth looking around public sector or posting her c.v online with brook st tempting agency & see what she gets.

RedHelenB Sun 03-Mar-13 09:45:29

If it's through tjhe CSA he will only be paying 1/5 of his wages, no more no less. For the sake of 12 hours minimum wage i would start telling them "no". Worse case scenario they will let her go but actually I think they will start giving her more regular hours when she shows she won't be pushed around. Is she any good at cleaning cos maybe then she could work for herself & she sounds an ideal candidate for that.

chelseamorning Tue 05-Mar-13 13:23:26

Thanks for the replies.

raisah, it's private sector. I'll mention agencies to her. Her English and spelling aren't too hot so she tends to cringe away from application forms.

ReHelenB, that's what the CSA are taking out but don't know all the details. He's supposed to be appealing so will see. Her employer does take advantage. However I'll mention your suggestion and, you're right, losing 12 hours work at minimum wageis a small price to pay to get her dignity back! Fantastic idea about the cleaning business! She's very conscientious and so with the right emotional and practical support, it might just work for her.

Thank you!

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