Rotherham Metropolitan Borough Council established a new team of Employment Solutions Officers and Support Officers to help people achieve their goals, aided by the Better Off Calculator from Policy in Practice. The tool was also integral to the council winning a South Yorkshire Financial Inclusion Award
Rotherham Metropolitan Borough Council’s good news story from 2020
“Our biggest good news story this year has been the successful establishment of a team of Employment Solutions Officers and Support Officers. We have had some incredibly heart-warming stories of successfully moving people into work, helping them to clear debt and encourage them to achieve their goals. The Better Off Calculator has played an instrumental part of this. It was used to show how much better off in work the customer would be, it helped them to face their debt problems and generally helped people to budget for a better future.“
Glennis Leathwood, Employment Solutions Team Leader, Rotherham Metropolitan Borough Council
With the introduction of Universal Credit in 2013 and the changes taking place due to welfare reform, we wanted to ensure we could support our customers with the full journey in housing.
COVID-19 has undoubtedly added to our challenges. However, we can utilise the Better Off Calculator to support customers in ensuring they can access all the benefits they are entitled to during this period.
The calculator is easy to use and gives the bigger picture by incorporating both income and expenditure. This helps customers ensure they understand their financial position and the changes needed to help them sustain their tenancies. It is a tool that is simple to use and very effective.
We have definitely ensured people can afford the properties they apply for, and the calculator has helped sustain tenancies. It is now supporting people with better-off calculations via the new Employment Solutions Team we have just set up, it’s a good motivational tool.
I would say have a look at the tool, see it being used against what you currently use. It tells the whole story and helps the customer understand their own obligations; it empowers customers to think for themselves whilst getting the right support from us.
We know that more people need support now more than ever before. If we had known this at the beginning of 2020 we would have been able to ensure resource planning would have been better.
We want people to be aware of the success the calculator has had on people’s lives, to know how many people are better off as a result of doing a benefit check, and how it has improved our customer’s health and wellbeing. We believe the Better Off Calculator helped us with the South Yorkshire Financial Inclusion Awards earlier this year, as part of the South Yorkshire Good Credit Project.
“The Benefit and Budgeting Calculator is vital to the success of sustaining tenancies, maximising income, helping people budget and supporting our customers into employment. The work we have done has led to tenancy sustainment, reduction in arrears. The calculator has supported us to set up a new Employment Initiative with wrap around support. We were thrilled to win an award this year for Financial Inclusion, the calculator definitely supported us to achieve this.”
Glennis Leathwood, Employment Solutions Team Leader, Rotherham Metropolitan Borough