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ADM 2024: Usdaw delegates welcome Labour’s commitment to reform Universal Credit

Date: 01 May 2024 Retail trade union delegates at their Annual Delegate Meeting (ADM) in Blackpool’s Winter Gardens closed the conference with a call for reform of the social security safety net and reform of universally discredited Universal Credit.
Addressing the annual conference in the final debate of the week, Paddy Lillis – Usdaw General Secretary said: “The vast majority of Usdaw members, like so many other low paid workers, are paid four weekly, but the Tories insist on paying Universal Credit monthly. If you are paid four weekly, two weekly or weekly, you receive more payments than usual in one of your assessment periods, dramatically reducing your Universal Credit payment and causing havoc for workers trying to budget for essentials. When your payment is reduced to nothing, it's up to you to restart your claim, creating yet another barrier to workers with busy lives getting what they are entitled to.
“Since Universal Credit was introduced Usdaw has been clear that it is grossly unfair to introduce a benefit that does not recognise the working patterns of low-paid workers. The Government don't lack understanding of this problem, they lack the political will to fix it. They've been told by Usdaw, poverty action groups and even the High Court, that assessing universal credit payments monthly rather than four weekly is, to quote the judge, ‘irrational and unlawful’.
“Labour has committed to look at assessment periods in Government and we welcome this, but there is a role for employers here too, because after all it’s employers who decide when and how staff will be paid. Given the point-blank refusal of the current Tory government to act, employers need to take some responsibility to support employees who are in a difficult position. Usdaw is no stranger to those conversations and we will continue to push employers to do the right thing by their staff.
“Our social security system, like so much under the Tories, is flawed. It has failed. It needs fundamental reform. We need a Labour Government that listens, a Labour Government committed to fixing the safety net, a Labour Government that works for workers.”
Notes for editors:
Usdaw (Union of Shop, Distributive and Allied Workers) is one of the fastest growing unions in the TUC and the UK's fifth biggest trade union with around 360,000 members. Most Usdaw members work in the retail sector, but the union also has many members in transport, distribution, food manufacturing, chemical industry and other trades www.usdaw.org.uk
For Usdaw press releases visit: http://www.usdaw.org.uk/news and you can follow us on Twitter @UsdawUnion

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