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Hiring: Senior Caseworker (Part Time)

Job Title: Senior Caseworker (Part-Time)

Location: Bristol

Salary: £28,311 per annum (pro rata)

Job Details

Darren Jones MP is seeking a highly skilled and experienced individual to take on the busy and challenging role of Senior Caseworker in his Constituency Office. The Senior Caseworker will lead on responding to all casework enquiries where an MP’s assistance is required and will provide support to constituents on a range of issues, including housing rights, welfare benefits, immigration and asylum claims, consumer rights, ASB and SEND. This is a part-time role for 18 hours per week.

The Senior Caseworker will be responsible for:

  • Managing a large and varied caseload of complex cases, working in a professional, confidential, caring and sensitive manner
  • Ensuring that all cases and decisions are properly documented, writing clear concise reports containing analysis, explanation of the findings and conclusions, and appropriate action plan, to include monitoring and communication procedures
  • Maximising the throughput of work through excellent case management and time-management skills
  • Engaging professionally and confidentially with care and integrity with members of the public, through telephone enquiries, emails and face to face
  • Ensuring all cases are logged; monitoring progress and ensuring all identified actions are taken
  • Ensuring records are kept and information managed confidentially and in line with data protection legislation
  • Exercising a high level of autonomy in reaching decisions on cases based on the evidence and taking decisions to enable the welfare and benefit of constituents
  • Analysing, evaluating and interpreting data to ensure the Member is accurately informed on key issues and is aware of trends
  • Ensuring casework effectiveness through the application of knowledge and skills and maintaining knowledge of specialist areas through continuous professional development
  • Liaising with Government agencies, voluntary sector, local authority and other agencies and teams as required, to resolve constituency matters; developing rapport to enable effective partnerships and joint working
  • Assisting with surgeries and other meetings and following up as appropriate
  • Demonstrating excellent intra-team working and supervising other members of staff working to enable casework, providing coaching and mentoring when required

The successful applicant will need to demonstrate the following knowledge, skills and experience:

Essential:

  • Demonstrable knowledge of or experience in working with at least two of the following: – housing rights, welfare benefits, immigration and asylum claims, consumer rights, ASB support, and SEND
  • Experience of working sensitively and empathically to support vulnerable persons in complex situations
  • Ability to prioritise requests for assistance, respond and inform in a timely and professional manner
  • Excellent written communication skills, including the ability to draft letters, briefs and other information required for the MP
  • IT literacy and experience of utilising a case management system or logging and maintaining personal data and correspondence
  • Ability to manage and take initiative on casework decisions, with excellent organisational and time-management skills to handle a large caseload
  • Ability to communicate effectively and co-operatively with colleagues from other agencies.
  • Ability to support and develop others within the greater team, informing and working alongside others when required
  • Ability to understand the limits of the role, avoid constituent dependency and disengage appropriately
  • Ability to work outside normal hours on occasions and offer flexibility in working practice when needed

Desirable:

  • Knowledge of local and national voluntary sector agencies and partners
  • Ability to travel independently, (i.e. with a full driving licence) to meetings, local and national

The role will be based in Bristol in the Constituency Office but initially, work will be undertaken from home due to Covid-19 restrictions. Whilst working remotely, line management will be primarily conducted over Slack and Microsoft Teams.

The role holder will be provided with an office laptop, laptop stand, screen, keyboard, mouse, headset and desk chair to facilitate working from home. Whilst working from home, a fixed allowance of £26 per month will be paid each month to contribute to additional utility costs.

If the role holder is unable to work from home, we may be able to provide access to our Constituency Office subject to our COVID-secure risk assessment.

Upon appointment you will be required to comply with the Baseline Personnel Security Standard, undertaken by the Members’ Staff Verification Office (MSVO). See Members’ Staff Verification Office (MSVO) page for further info. MPs generally pay staff in accordance with IPSA guidelines.

 

Closing Date: 5th April 2021

 

Interview/Start Dates

Interview date: Online interviews will be held via Microsoft Teams in the week commencing 19th April 2021 and shortlisted applicants will be asked to complete a task prior to the interview taking place.

If you are successful in being invited to interview, you will be informed by 14th April 2021.

Start date: May 2021

 

Application Details

Please e-mail darren.jones.mp@parliament.uk with ‘APPLICATION: Senior Caseworker’ in the subject heading.

In the body of your e-mail, please explain how your skills and experience evidences the requirements set out in the role description. Please attach an up-to-date CV with references (references will only be contacted with your agreement).

Website: http://www.darren-jones.co.uk

 

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“Support our pubs now, or risk losing them for good,” says Darren Jones

Darren Jones joins with 24 MP to call for urgent support to protect pubs from the economic fall-out of Coronavirus restrictions.

Thriving pubs are a source of pride throughout Bristol and are vital community assets worth protecting. Earlier this Month, Darren urged the Chancellor to extend much-needed financial support to protect pubs by cutting Beer Duty. While pubs and hospitality rebuild from this pandemic, they need support in meeting their overheads. By changing the Pubs Code to allow pubs to renegotiate rents, the Government would finally starting meeting their promise to protect pubs and the livelihoods connected to them.

Steps such as these are necessary to prevent the closure of more pubs in Bristol North West. Sadly, the Eastfield Inn was forced to close after 9 years of doing business in Henleaze. The small business Minister needs to come forward now and announce a policy to halt further closures.

You can read the full letter sent by Darren and other MPs below:

 

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Your March Update:

Your Voice in Parliament

As your voice in Parliament, I have been focussing on the roll out of testing and vaccinations in our city, as well as lobbying for the economic support we need to come out of this pandemic on a stable footing, ready for recovery. As part of this, I have started a new Parliamentary committee on data poverty, working with the Government and internet providers to introduce a low cost ‘social tariff’ for broadband got families on lower incomes. With internet providers already signing up to provide cheaper broadband for low-income families, you can follow our progress here. I’ve been meeting with experts on anti-poverty policy throughout February. I expect to announce exciting news soon about a broader piece of work on child poverty; building on progress made in January.

I have also been preparing for the Spring Budget, expected to be presented in Parliament tomorrow. This budget is the Chancellor’s last opportunity help the millions of people who have been unfairly excluded from financial help so far. Having consulted with constituents excluded from covid support, businesses struggling in lockdown and industry leaders about our national strategy, I’ve written to the Chancellor spelling out Bristol’s expectations for this Budget. We need a change in approach from the Chancellor that goes beyond flashy branding and headlines. We need a compressive skills-focussed jobs program, targeted support for highstreets, retail and hospitality, proper funding for nurseries and early years; as well as a review of the employment rights system that places Britain bottom in Europe for sick-pay. Ahead of the budget, you watch a summary of my Business Committee’s recommendations and read my personal thoughts about what’s needed next for the United Kingdom to succeed.

My work on climate change has also increased in priority, with the UK hosting the UN international summit – COP26 – this November. As chair of the energy committee, I have been closely involved with the Government and the COP team on preparations for November, as well as our own domestic work in the UK to decarbonise by 2050.

I’ve also been involved in Bristol’s bid for the ‘Great Western Freeport’ to Government. I have many reservations about the Government’s policy on freeports – which would designate parcels of land in Avonmouth and Severnside as having tax and/or customs benefits – but the West of England may as well take part and so I have lent the bid my support, albeit with several conditions. If you’d like to know more about this, please do get in touch.

Your Champion in Bristol

Bristol is making huge strides in the campaign to get our city vaccinated; we’re currently the seventh best performing region for the roll-out. A huge thank you to our local GP surgeries, pharmacies and other health and social care staff and volunteers for working so hard to get the vaccine out as quickly as possible. With the success of the community surge testing effort in Bristol and beyond, I am confident our city is in a great place to start opening back up. I welcome the Prime Minister’s roadmap to lift lockdown restrictions, but this strategy must be accompanied with continued economic support until the restrictions have been fully lifted. In a pre-budget report from my Committee in the House of Commons, I have set out our cross-party expectations of the budget for workers and businesses.

I know some constituents are anxious about when our loved ones will get their vaccine appointment or are hesitant about getting a new vaccination. Last month, I sat down with Dr Tim Whittlestone to discuss how the vaccine approval process works, what you should expect when you go to your vaccine appointment and why it is important to get the jab. You can watch our full video and subtitled highlights here: darren-jones.co.uk/vaccine. As this roll-out progresses, I am continuing to engage fully with our regional NHS Clinical Commissioning Group overseeing Bristol’s vaccination effort. My casework team and I have been successful in raising and resolving edge-cases for vaccine eligibility. I’m confident that we’re in a fantastic place to complete our roll-out, support people nervous about getting the vaccine and drive down hospital admissions.

My next topic-focused online briefing will be on the use of Neonicotinoids, the Environment Bill and Agriculture Act. I’ll be hosting more of these throughout the summer; picking a policy area based on what constituents are most frequently writing to me about. For this briefing and Q&A, on April 14th, I’ll be joined by the Shadow Secretary of State for Agriculture, Luke Pollard MP. You can sign up for tickets to join us on Zoom, and watch my initial video briefing summarising my position on our current Environment and Agricultural strategy, as well as the use of pesticides on bee populations, at http://darren-jones.co.uk/aabriefing/. I hope to see some of you on April 14th!

Finally, thank you to all those that attended the Excluded UK Bristol North West forum in February. I’ve written to the Chancellor ahead of the Spring Budget with your feedback, alongside a report from my Committee which calls out the discrimination in financial support between employed and self-employed workers, and for recent mums who have taken parental leave in the past three years. I was also delighted to host so many residents to discuss Bristol’s Clean Air Zone last week, the feedback from which I have now sent to our Mayor. Although this is a change put onto Bristol from the Government, and a chance to fix our city’s air pollution problem, I’ve sought assurances that it will not disproportionally impact local business constituents or residential communities.

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Fix the flaws in previous budgets so Britain can recover and grow, Darren writes to Chancellor

The Spring Budget, expected on Wednesday, March 3rd, will be the Chancellor’s last chance to help the millions of people that have been unfairly excluded from COVID support so far.

Ahead of the budget, Darren wrote to the chancellor outlining the steps that need to be taken to protect livelihoods in Bristol and set the country on the correct path to recovery and growth. These recommendations come after consultation with constituents excluded from covid support, businesses struggling in lockdown and industry leaders.

Darren’s letter calls for action to:

  1. Extend support for those excluded from COVID support including self-employed and new mothers
  2. Finally put in place a multi-year funding plan for nurseries, maintained nursery schools and early years learning.
  3. Keep the £20 uplift in universal credit for families hit hard by this pandemic.
  4. Extend that uplift to unpaid carers, currently receiving only £67.50 per week.
  5. Revamp their business communications strategy so that Bristol’s businesses are not left in the lurch or bearing the cost of more COVID adaptations if we see another COVID case spike.
  6. Target extra support to retail and hospitality, including a cut in beer duty to support our pubs and restaurants.

You can read the full letter here: