In late 2020, we were approached by a service user who was fired by her employer for stealing fruit. She and her partner had been living for some time in in-work poverty, and were unable, on several occasions, to afford to feed themselves, but had not known who to turn to for support.
When this came to the attention of her employer, the times she had taken the fruit were viewed as repeated incidents, and she was let go without notice, exacerbating their financial problems. Due to the holistic nature of our support, we were able to signpost to various services that could support the couple.
With support from the Ethnic Minority Law Centre, the service user was able to understand her rights and we passed this element of the case over to be handled by EMLC’s lawyer.
We also provided support to the service user and her partner to review their entitlements, and employability support to find new employment as quickly as possible.
With this support, the couple were able to take stock of their situation and consider where they wanted to go with their careers, without worrying about how they were going to feed themselves day-to-day, or manage to heat their home.