Nick Smith

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Nick Smith MP requires a senior caseworker for his constituency office in Brynmawr, Blaenau Gwent.

The role will involve providing advice and guidance to constituents on a variety of issues through liaison with Government agencies and others to resolve matters effectively and efficiently; knowledge of the UK benefits system would be advantageous.

The role is varied in scope with the main emphasis on processing casework for the Member which can at times be of high volume and requires strong administration skills with a methodical approach. 

The role is full time and office based; the person will be required to attend meetings with the Member on an ad hoc basis. There will also be an element of community engagement work within the role.

2-3 years previous experience of dealing directly with members of the public in an advocacy/advisory role is required along with strong administration and ICT skills.

Please send CV and covering letter to: nick.smith.mp@parliament.uk clearly marked  ‘Senior Caseworker Application’ (CV to include 2 referees).

Closing date for applications:      Wednesday 1st November

Interviews will be held on          Friday 10th November

Salary range £ 28K depending on experience

Fixed Term leading to permanent

Key Tasks

  • Provide advice and support to constituents on a variety of issues through liaison with Government agencies, the voluntary sector and others to resolve matters.
  • Provide information, advice and support for individuals on a range of financial, health, housing and other  issues.
  • Liaise with the appropriate Government agencies, the voluntary sector and others to resolve matters for constituents.
    • Draft correspondence and manage constituency diary

Key Responsibilities

  • Attend surgeries and other meetings to assist the Member in dealing with constituents’ issues.
  • Deal with daily queries from members of the public by phone or in person, taking the appropriate initial action to resolve, document or escalate their concerns or enquiries.
  • Gather relevant information from constituents in order to progress or close the case.
  • Manage own caseload and progress of casework, ensuring all cases are logged updated with any actions taken and outstanding queries are followed up, with urgent cases reported to the Member.
  • Draft responses or respond to constituents on any issues raised on behalf of the Member.
  • Maintain an up-to-date knowledge of relevant guidelines/legislation as appropriate in dealing with casework. Knowledge of  the UK benefits system.
  • Ensure cases are dealt with in a sensitive and confidential manner.
  • Analyse patterns of enquiries and produce reports.
  • Ensure records of contact with constituents are kept, with details of each case by adhering to the Data Protection Act principles and respect the confidentiality of data at all times.
  • Undertake general administrative/secretarial tasks e.g. managing the diary.
  • Assist with the work of other colleagues as required and communicate appropriately with internal and external contacts. 
  • Competent use of IT including casework management systems, Microsoft Office package, email and internet to support the above.
  • Responsibility for updating Social Media sites  and for maintaining website

Any other duties related to the post and appropriate to the pay band as directed and agreed by the Member.

Job advert - Senior Caseworker

Nick Smith MP requires a senior caseworker for his constituency office in Brynmawr, Blaenau Gwent.

USDAW.jpg

Nick Smith MP has joined a union’s call for staff in shops to be treated fairly by customers this festive season.

USDAW’S “Respect for Shopworkers” campaign is asking shoppers to keep their cool in the festive rush and not take out frustrations on retail staff across the country.

The Blaenau Gwent MP has backed USDAW’s festive campaigns in the past and is again championing their message in the buildup to Respect for Shopworkers Week on 13-19 November.

People can get involved themselves by signing up for the USDAW Thunderclap at www.usdaw.org.uk/FFFThunderclap and help spread their word to their friends and family online and offine.

Mr Smith said: “We all know how hectic it gets in the build up to Christmas. Squeezing in big shops and squeezing through busy streets can take their toll, but we shouldn’t take it out on staff.

“I’m glad USDAW are carrying on spreading this message, as we shouldn’t forget the damage just one act of abuse, or even worse violence, could make to someone’s wellbeing.”

John Hannett, Usdaw General Secretary said: “As we head towards the festive season, a period when incidents of verbal abuse can increase dramatically, customers can be stressed, stores are really busy and sometimes things can boil over. No one should have to put up with violence or abuse at work.”

If you are a shopworker, you can also take part on USDAW’s survey of violence and abuse against retail staff at: www.usdaw.org.uk/respectsurvey

Backing the union call to protect shopworkers

Nick Smith MP has joined a union’s call for staff in shops to be treated fairly by customers this festive season.

Nick Smith MP has joined a cross-party group of MPs urging the Government to delay the planned roll out of Universal Credit.

While new claimants in Blaenau Gwent have been on the system since 2015, next April jobseekers across the borough will be transferred onto UC.

The complicated system of claiming has been causing hardship across the country and Mr Smith is one of 123 MPs calling for the current roll out plan to be put on hold.

The Blaenau Gwent MP has been aware of the problems with Universal Credit for years, having been part of the Public Accounts Committee team that exposed the bungling of its £303m IT system.

According to the government’s own figures, almost a quarter of claimants wait longer than six weeks for their payment.  

Some families wait 12 weeks or more, pushing many into rent arrears or a spiral of debt that is almost impossible to get out of, as their income under Universal Credit is too low to pay off the loan.

Mr Smith said the system for claiming Universal Credit is a shambles, even with only five new areas being rolled out a month at the moment. 

“The Secretary of State for Work and Pensions must now do the decent thing and delay next week’s planned 11-fold expansion until Universal Credit systems are working properly”, he said.

“If he doesn’t, then hundreds of thousands more families each month will have to suffer weeks with no money, causing them long-term financial problems.

“It would be a huge injustice for so many families to suffer simply because the government will not admit they still can’t get Universal Credit working properly.”

In their letter to the Secretary of State, The MPs also pointed out that less than 40% of claimants register successfully with the government’s compulsory online portal, and that the phone ‘helpline’ is simply an automatic message, directing claimants to the website, so they can’t find out what is happening with their claim.

Citizens Advice has already called on the government to delay the programme in light of the evidence from the people they help, of whom over half had to borrow money whilst waiting for their first Universal Credit payment.

Councils and Landlords’ organisations have also called for the roll-out to be delayed as over half of recipients of Universal Credit are in rent arrears.  Many tenants are in danger of eviction and some landlords now refuse tenants who are on Universal Credit, making housing problems worse.

Government needs to think again on shambolic Universal Credit rollout

Nick Smith MP has joined a cross-party group of MPs urging the Government to delay the planned roll out of Universal Credit.


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