CCLC’s Employment work

Employment Case Study (1)

L was a 70 year old woman who worked at a breakfast supervisor for a large hotel chain. Her wages were very low. L’s manager repeatedly discriminated against her because of her age. He tried to put pressure on L to retire saying that she was “too old” and “forgetful” even though this was entirely untrue and L planned to continue working for a number of years to come. The company then took disciplinary action against L before sacking her. However, L successfully appealed and was given her job back.

On the day she returned to work, management gave L a dirty apron to wear and demoted her from her supervisor position to only cleaning and laying tables One of the senior managers later shouted at L saying “there is no room for you in this establishment” and she was handed a letter at midday saying that was she was being suspended for “bullying colleagues”. A completely baseless application. After this latest incident, L chose to resign because she could no longer cope with the terrible treatment she was suffering at the hands of the employer.

Camden Community Law Centre had taken on L’s case in the period when she was deciding whether to leave the company. We advised L that she had a potential claim for ‘constructive dismissal’ and age discrimination. We helped L take her case to the employment tribunal and represented her at the 4 day final hearing. We then also represented L at the remedies hearing, which decides how much in damages a successful applicant should be awarded.

Camden Community Law Centre helped L to secure an award of just under £64,000 – a combination of the amount she lost in earnings and for the injury to feelings that the company had caused. At the hearing, the tribunal also recommended that the company apologise to L.

L was extremely happy with the outcome and Camden Community Law Centre’s assistance in helping her to win her case.

Employment Case Study (2)

J was a 32 year old pregnant woman who had left her job as a beautician in November 2016. She was not well paid and hadn’t been treated well by the owner but didn’t want to take any action against her former employer. When J left her job, she had been owed 7 days’ wages, which her employer was refusing to pay. Camden Community Law Centre wrote a letter to J’s employer requesting that they pay J the full amount she was owed. J’s employer ignored our letter. It was clear that they were taking advantage of J as her first language is not English and she was not familiar with the legal system and

Camden Community Law Centre took on the case, firstly assisting J at early conciliation at the Advisory, Conciliation and Arbitration Service (Acas) and then at the employment tribunal after early conciliation was unsuccessful. Within 28 days of J’s employment tribunal claim being issued, J’s employers then offered to settle the case for the whole amount. J accepted the offer and was very happy with the outcome. All she had ever wanted was to be paid what was owed to her. J used her payment to buy things for her unborn baby who was then born in February 2017.

CCLC’s Housing work

Housing Case Study (1)

K was a refugee who had fled to Britain after the 1996 Bosnian war. He is now a British Citizen. He, his wife and children experienced severe trauma as a result of the war and so the London Borough of Camden accepted a full re-housing duty towards them. They were housed in temporary accommodation in Camden whilst they waited to be rehoused in permanent accommodation. Although the family had been awarded a high level of points on the council’s allocations register, they had been unsuccessful in bidding for over 100 different 3 bedroom properties with secure tenancies.

In October 2016, the council offered K and his family a 3 bedroom house in Camden but then withdrew the offer on the grounds that it had been a mistake.

The implementation of the 2011 Localism Act 2011 meant that Camden, along with all other local authorities were able to tighten their allocations criteria and the council had reassessed the family’s points’ assessment and decided that they were no longer eligible to be offered the property.

The decision came shortly before K was due to go into hospital for major heart surgery and just before the family were moved to alternative temporary accommodation in Croydon.

Camden Community Law Centre successfully challenged the council over the legality of its retrospective implementation of its new allocations policy by threatening to issue judicial review proceedings on the family’s behalf.

Just before Mr. K was discharged from hospital following his heart surgery, the family was finally offered a suitable 3 bedroom property in Camden, which they accepted.

 

Housing Case Study (2)

Ms S is a European national with two children under 2 years old. The London Borough of Newham had accepted that S was homeless and thus also accepted a full re-housing duty towards her. However, she and the children were placed in unsuitable accommodation in Hackney.

The accommodation, which was situated within a terraced house, was a basement room with a shower cubicle and a cooker all in the same room. The house contained 9 such rooms in the building. All were occupied by a family. There was no lift and S and the children had to go up and down 34 steps to leave and enter their room. The room was also damp and the children were disturbed by the couple next door who were constantly fighting and could be heard through the flimsy partition wall.

Camden Community Law Centre requested that the council review of the suitability of the accommodation. The London Borough of Newham offered S and her children a newly converted 3 bedroom flat in Witham, just outside Newham, prior to completion of the review.

 

CCLC’s Immigration and Asylum work

Immigration Case Study (1)

M was an Indian national who had lived in the UK for over 20 years. She had significant disabilities, including being partially deaf and blind and wheelchair bound.

M had been granted numerous periods of discretionary ‘leave to remain’ in the UK as she cannot afford the fee needed to make an application for indefinite leave to remain.

M visited Camden Community Law Centre’s Wednesday morning immigration drop-in to seek advice after an application she had made for further leave – with a fee waiver – had been rejected on the grounds that she was not destitute. As a result of the decision, M’s benefits had been stopped.

Camden Community Law Centre prepared a ‘pre action letter’ arguing disability discrimination and unlawful failure by the Home Office to apply both Government policy and the Law reasonably.
Following our intervention, the Home Office withdrew the decision and M had her benefits reinstated. She was also granted a further three years ‘leave to remain’ in the UK.

 

Immigration Case Study (2)

T is Ethiopian with a British husband and two British children. T is carer to her husband who is disabled. T originally entered the UK on a spouse visa. She then applied for further leave to remain and as part of that application. The Home Office requested DNA for the couple’s older child even though its parentage had not been in dispute when T had first applied for a visa.

The family provided DNA evidence of their older child’s parentage but despite this T’s application for further leave to remain was rejected. One of the reasons for the Home Office’s decision was that T’s younger child, who was four years old, had not been in the UK for 7 years!

Camden Community Law Centre prepared an appeal for T and represented her at the appeal hearing. The Home Office withdrew its decision at the hearing. Camden Community Law Centre continues to assist T and her family whilst her application for further leave to remain is reconsidered. We are also assisting the family to apply for passports for the two children.

 

Immigration Case Study (3)

W is a Nigerian man whose wife is British. W’s wife suffers from advanced and debilitating MS and W is her carer. W’s wife receives specialist treatment at the Royal Free to manage her condition.

Before they could get married, W had had to obtain permission from the Home Office and the couple were required to undergo a marriage interview to prove that their marriage was genuine.

After the couple had married, W applied for leave to remain in the UK based on their marriage. He meet all of the criteria set out in the immigration rules but his application was refused on the basis there were no exceptional circumstances to the couple’s case. The Home Office argued that W’s wife could receive treatment for MS in Nigeria.

Camden Community Law Centre prepared an appeal for W and represented him at his appeal hearing in the First Tier Tribunal. The appeal was successful and W was granted ‘leave to remain’ in the UK within the rules.

 

CCLC’s Welfare Benefits work

Case Study

P was a 58 year old woman who suffered from chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, bowel problems and multiple hernia operations. She was in and out of hospital frequently. P had previously been in receipt of Employment and Support Allowance (ESA) but was refused ESA following a fresh medical assessment and had to claim Job Seekers Allowance (JSA). P requested a reconsideration of the decision but was refused.

Camden Community Law Centre helped P to appeal the decision. The appeal was successful and not only was P’s ESA award reinstated, she was also placed in the ‘support group’ meaning that she would also no longer be forced to seek work and would be granted an additional support group award, as well as an ‘enhanced disability premium’ award. As a result, P would receive an extra £2,700 per year going forward and a backdated ESA award of just over £1,400.

Camden Community Law Centre also assisted P to make a claim for Personal Independence Payment (PIP). P was awarded the standard daily living component of £55.65 a week, which also entitled her to have a ‘severe disability premium’ of £62.45 a week added to her ESA award. Both P’s PIP award and severe disability premium were backdated to the start of her claim.

In total, Camden Community Law Centre successfully assisted P to increase her income by £8,814 a year going forward and backdated payments totaling approximately £2887.05.