About Sam Ashton

Sam is the Campaigns Officer at Z2K. He is a politics graduate from the LSE and used to work at the Greater London Authority.

DWP admits to 80% Mandatory Reconsideration target

It has long been suspected by many that the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) has set targets for certain decision, whether that be the number of sanctions imposed or claimants found fit for work. But in a recent response to a Freedom of Information request the Department actually disclosed that it has a target for the number of Mandatory Reconsideration (MR) decisions that are upheld.

MR was introduced in 2014 for all benefits where there is a right of appeal to the Social Security and Child Support Tribunal, including Employment and Support Allowance (ESA) and Personal Independence Payment (PIP). Previously, if you disagreed with a DWP decision you could appeal to the tribunal, who would look at it again. Now you must first ask the DWP to ‘reconsider’ their decision before appealing. Continue reading

Vacancy: Casework Support Volunteer

Title: Casework Support Volunteer

Reports to: Volunteer Manager/ project co-ordinator

Commitment: 1 day a week for a minimum of 3 months

Location: Z2K or South West London Law Centres Offices (to be discussed at interview)

Purpose: To assist the caseworker on the Stepping Stones project in providing vulnerable debtors with free and confidential support, advice and information. To operate within Zacchaeus 2000 Trusts (Z2K) & South West London Law Centre policies and procedures. Continue reading

Vacancy: Right First Time Volunteer

Using complaints procedures to achieve better outcomes for our clients

Title: Complaints Caseworker Support Volunteer

Reports to: Volunteer Manager/Complaints caseworker

Time Commitment: 2 days a week Monday to Friday.

Location: Z2K offices in Victoria or Queens Park

Closing Date: 26th May at 5pm

Purpose: To provide assistance to our full-time caseworker who manages our Right First Time complaints project. The purpose of the volunteering roles is to assist with the promotion and liaison with other advice agencies and organisations, handle basic complaints again social welfare and housing services, follow up on outstanding cases, collate monitoring information and provide ideas and feedback on complaint responses. Continue reading

Jerome Rodger’s tragic death underlines the urgent need for Bailiff reform

In January 2016 Jerome Rodger’s was visited by a bailiff. Jerome worked as a motorbike courier and had incurred two £65 fines, one for driving in a bus lane one minute for before he was allowed to do so and one for an illegal U-turn. By the time the bailiff was on his door step Jerome’s two small fines had ballooned to £1,019 in debt as a result of court and bailiff fees. Continue reading