FENLAND: Council reveals how it has helped and is helping workers under threat

PUBLISHED: 09:44 28 January 2009 | UPDATED: 08:51 02 June 2010

BENEFIT teams from Fenland District Council are moving swiftly to help companies where workers suddenly find themselves under threat. The team with one of the best records in the country for handling claims is taking a proactive approach to help employees

BENEFIT teams from Fenland District Council are moving swiftly to help companies where workers suddenly find themselves under threat.

The team with one of the best records in the country for handling claims is taking a proactive approach to help employees fearful of losing their jobs.

The news came as it was revealed to councillors at the joint overview and scrutiny committee and Cabinet meeting, how staff stepped into help Woolworth employees in both March and Wisbech.

"The council was one of the first authorities in the country to identify the urgent need to support Woolworth's staff who suddenly found they would be made redundant just before Christmas," said a council spokesman after the meeting.

"The council's Benefits Team moved quickly over Christmas and New Year to provide advice and support to all the staff at the Wisbech and March Woolworth stores, which have now closed down.

"As soon as it became clear that Woolworths was in serious financial trouble council officers approached the management at both stores offering to step in with practical help on the range of benefits and support available to all those facing redundancy."

Up to 60 staff across both stores were offered advice and provided with one-to-one support on claiming benefits.

Councillor Mac Cotterell, portfolio holder with responsibility for benefits, said the benefits team is offering to help other companies where large or small numbers of redundancies are on the cards.

"Fenland staff took the initiative and moved quickly to provide Woolworths staff with much-needed financial advice and support at a particularly difficult time," he said. "I'm sure the advice and practical support they gave Woolworth's staff being made redundant helped ease some of the anxiety they faced just before Christmas.


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