"it's your call" reaches more than 7,000
government's national "It's Your Call" campaign
reached 7,456 people in the North West in its drive to ensure
workers and employers know their National Minimum Wage rights and
The campaign was launched by Business Secretary Lord Mandelson in
Downing Street in November and staged roadshows in 27 towns and
cities across the UK. It reached 1,503 people in Blackburn,
3,282 in Liverpool, and 2,671 in Manchester during campaign visits
in January. Overall, more than 50,000 people across the UK
were reached by the campaign.
Employment Relations Minister Pat McFadden said:- "Over 1
million workers benefited from the national minimum wage rise in
October and I am determined to ensure people know about their
entitlements and that they are properly enforced. Advice given
to workers at the roadshows will be vital for those who have been
underpaid and need to know how to report underpayment.
The vast majority of businesses know their responsibilities and
treat staff fairly, but the small number who try to exploit their
employees are flouting the law and in so doing, cheating their
Beverley Hughes, Regional Minister for the North West, said:- "The
national minimum wage has had a huge and lasting impact on the lives
of millions of UK workers over the last 10 years. Around
132,000 people in the North West are better off after the latest
increase in the rate.
"This campaign gave some of the most vulnerable workers in the
region the face to face advice and support they needed, helping them
to take action where necessary. Anyone who may not be
receiving the National Minimum Wage or just wants advice about the
rules should call the helpline on 0845 6000 678."
Roadshow Manager Josh Connor said:- "The NMW "It's Your Call"
campaign has been very rewarding for both myself and my team - to be
able to offer genuine help to a great many people made it a very
worthwhile venture. We received a fantastic response to
the roadshows. Hundreds of people stopped to talk to us every
day, curious as to the new rates, what their entitlements were and
the courses of action available to them if they were underpaid.
Those who needed help were reassured through hearing about the
success of others on case study phones on board the trailer and
encouraged to make a complaint themselves. Many in fact returned
later the same day with the necessary wage slips and information."
The roadshows issued around 500 complaint forms so that people could
take action against underpayment. Enforcement officers can
investigate, demand repayment of arrears and prosecute where
necessary. Last year, nearly £4m in arrears was
recovered for 19,264 workers who had complained of underpayment.
From April this year, new rules include an automatic penalty of up
to £5,000 for employers who illegally underpay and a fairer way of
calculating arrears so that workers cannot lose out.
The National Minimum Wage rates are £5.73 an hour for workers aged
22 and over, £4.77 for 18 to 21 year olds and £3.53 for those aged
16 and 17.
THE Isle of Man Steam Packet
Company is pleased to announce an additional sailing at Easter.
Snaefell will make an extra trip to Liverpool on Thursday, 9 April
at 23.00, returning at 03.00 on Friday, 10 April 2009.
Isle of Man Steam Packet Company Chief Executive, Mark Woodward
said:- "Following the promising increase in passenger numbers
at the start of the year, we are pleased that forward demand over
the Easter period is at present encouraging. As a result we have
decided to add an extra sailing at this popular time to give
passengers even more choice."
Liverpool thanks caring staff
with disabilities are coming together to say a big, musical ‘thank
you’ to the city’s social workers. Tuesday, 17 March
2009 was World
Social Work Day, and young people and their families who attend a
unique community resource have marking the occasion by throwing a
special party for the staff who have helped transform their lives.
The young people attend the Fusion project at Norris Green Youth
Centre, Townsend Avenue, led by social worker Carol See and
supported by 55 staff from social services and other agencies. The
service, which has been running for four years, supports more than
900 disabled children, giving them access to a range of inclusive
opportunities, from music workshops and friendship groups, to
weekend breaks. One of its success stories is the achievements
of a 16 year from Fazakerley, who has asperger’s syndrome and
attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder. He uses the service for 10
hours a week and has tapped into the power of music to develop his
confidence, becoming a first-class drummer through workshops.
Fusion has given the boy’s family invaluable support and helped them
cope with his disability. He is now so passionate about music that
he has formed a band with three of his classmates who have autism. Together, they play the latest sounds, and cover tracks from
Liverpool band The Wombats. They also helped to say thank you to the
social workers for the work they do, by playing at the party.
The youngster had also written a special
poem paying homage to the staff at Fusion!
This special event was part of the city’s World Social Work Day
celebrations, honouring social workers in Liverpool and making sure
their important work with vulnerable children, adults and families
on a daily basis does not go unnoticed.
Carol See said:- “We are really proud of the work we do at
Fusion. Our work reduces the need for social worker intervention in
families by providing community-based support, tailor-made to meet
young people’s needs. Everything we do is aimed at promoting
the development of young people and helping them achieve better
outcomes in their lives. Most importantly, we place young people at
the heart of our work, empowering them and encouraging them to play
their part in shaping our services.”
World Social Work Day was backed by other young people
from the city. Jenny Taylor, 18, has been in foster care since she
was 18 months old, and has gone from strength to strength, with the
support of social workers. She was encouraged to become a member of
Liverpool’s fostering participation group, giving her the
opportunity to work with social workers and help shape and improve
care services for young people.
She said:- “Without the support of social workers, I wouldn’t
be the person I am today. Being a part of the fostering
participation group has help boost my confidence and opened a lot of
doors for me. I now have two jobs, at Alder Hey Hospice and Toxteth
Sports Centre, which both involve me working with young people.”
The theme for World Social Work Day 2009 was "Social Work and Social
Development", exploring how good social work practices can ensure
humanity thrives despite the troubled global climate and the
challenges facing social workers in the midst of social upheaval.
Liverpool City Council’s social workers work with a range of
vulnerable children, adults and families throughout the city. They
carry out a huge number of vital roles, including fostering and
adoption services, supporting older people to live at home
independently and helping people with mental health needs.
Denise King, a team leader from the city council’s safeguarding team
said:- “Being a social worker is not easy, but it is one of
the most rewarding jobs you can do. We feel a great sense of
responsibility for the people we work with, and every day brings new
challenges. At the heart of everything we do is the commitment
to support vulnerable people, and we feel really proud when we are
able to help improve lives.”
The city council’s executive member for children’s services,
Councillor Keith Turner, said:- “Our social workers are unsung
heroes, and World Social Work Day gives us the opportunity to thank
them and highlight the fantastic work they do.”