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Employment

Citizens Advice is asking the Government to take urgent action to ensure that workers are treated fairly and safely during this unprecedented crisis.

Why things need to change

We are facing the worst jobs crisis for a generation. New Citizens Advice research shows 1 in 6 (17%) are facing redundancy. Businesses are having to make difficult decisions about people’s jobs to stay afloat. Most employers want to do the right thing, even in these difficult times. But a picture is emerging in our data that many are not.

One area is of particular concern: discrimination. Our evidence suggests a danger of unfair and discriminatory practices by employers when selecting people for redundancy. 

Parents, carers, disabled people and those who previously shielded are at least twice as likely to face redundancy as the rest of the working population. Our polling showed that:

  • 1 in 4 disabled people (27%) were facing redundancy

  • Half of those who were in the shielded group (48%), as they were extremely clinically vulnerable to coronavirus, were at risk of redundancy

  • 2 in 5 parents or carers (39%) faced losing their job

There are 6 national organisations which enforce workers’ rights, but employees who have been unfairly sacked or treated often don’t know where to turn, or can’t guarantee their situation will be investigated. While they could take their issue to an employment tribunal, there was already a backlog of 400,000 cases going into this crisis. 

Without urgent government action, the jobs crisis risks being faced unequally. This will affect people who have historically faced higher barriers in finding suitable work.

What we're doing 

The government has rightly recognised that the enforcement system in the UK is in need of reform. Last year, it committed to addressing this urgent problem by establishing a Single Enforcement Body for employment rights. 

We’re asking the Government to:

  • Put emergency funding into existing enforcement bodies, to ensure people are treated fairly and safely by employers during this unprecedented crisis.

  • Fast-track its plan for setting up a Single Enforcement Body. People need a single point of access where they can go and expect to have their rights enforced.

What we’re saying

View our employment policy research

View our press releases

View our latest government recommendations