Employment case study: ‘I am living on £25 a week, but at least I’m still working’
CATHERINE Summers is just one of Scotland’s near 700,000 strong army of part-time workers.
The 55-year-old is also one of those who, if the work were there, would give her right arm to get her weekly hours up so she can be classified as full-time.
She works 17 hours a week as a cleaning operative at the John Lewis department store, a job she turned to after the charity she worked for, Blytheswood Care, was forced to relocate.
An extra 13 hours would make all the difference – she needs to work 30 hours in order to qualify for a Working Tax Credit. She said: “I am actually worse off going to work now than I would be if I didn’t work. But this is a great wee job; it’s a brilliant job, and if I wasn’t doing it I’d just go into a hole.”
She is now speaking to Working Links, one of the two prime providers of the UK government’s Work Programme in Scotland, which seeks to help people find a route back into work, or build up their hours.
“Every job out there is just minimum wage, which is just £6 an hour,” she said.
“Even if you work overtime, most of it goes in rent and tax.
“I am living on £25 a week. That is what is left over until my next wage. At least I am still working though. I’m still hoping because of that.”
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Tuesday 21 May 2013
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