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Appeals & Complaints Officer

  • Employer: London Borough Of Waltham Forest
  • Reference: 1237
  • Published: Mon 24/06/2024, 1:03 AM
  • Closing on: Fri 28/06/2024, 1:00 AM
  • Working Pattern: Full Time
  • Hours: To be confirmed
  • Salary: PO2 £39,951 - £42,840
  • DBS Check: No
  • Location: To be confirmed
JOB DESCRIPTION

Organisation: London Borough of Waltham Forest

Salary: PO2 £39,951 - £42,840

Contract Type: Permanent, Full Time and Part-time

Working hours per week: 36 for Full-time and 18 for Part Time

Application Deadline: 28th June 2024

Proposed Interview Date: 09/10/11 July 2024

Reference:1237

About Us:

Bursting with culture, energy, and opportunity, the London Borough of Waltham Forest is a fantastic and exciting place to work.

We are a highly ambitious borough. Driven by culture and the innate creativity of our residents, we have developed new and innovative ways to build our communities. Our Council is relentlessly resident-focused, insight-led, digitally driven and commercially minded; a Council focused on meeting the needs of our existing and future residents.

London Borough of Waltham Forest is one of the Mayor of London's Good Work Standard employers. This accreditation is a proof of our commitment to creating a healthy, fair and inclusive workplace. This includes fair pay and conditions, workplace well-being, skills and progression and diversity and recruitment.

About the role:

We are seeking a highly motivated and capable individual to join our Appeals and Complaints Team in the Revenues and Benefits section of the Finance and Governance Directorate.

The successful candidate will have experience in considering and processing appeals against Housing Benefit and Council Tax Support decisions, To act as the council's advocate at relevant Tribunals. Scrutinizing and, where appropriate, appealing Tribunal decisions.

The successful candidate will have experience in dealing with complaints made regarding Council Tax, Business Rates, Housing Benefits, Council Tax Support (CTS), Free School Meals (FSM) and Resident Financial Services.

The successful candidate will have experience of answering complaints and enquiries from Councillors / MPs regarding Housing Benefit, Council Tax and Business Rates. Experience of responding to Ombudsman complaints is desirable but not essential, as training will be given.

Applications are invited from candidates with a thorough and up to date knowledge of Housing Benefit legislation and Council Tax legislation. You will need excellent written and verbal communication skills and the ability to deliver quality work within tight deadlines.

We are looking for an enthusiastic and self-motivated officer. Working as part of a small team, you will be flexible, well organised with the ability to pay attention to detail and prioritise your own workload.

Part of the selection process will be a written test. This test will last for approximately 1 hour. The Test and interview will be held on the same day.

>> Click here to download the Role Profile <<

Key Responsibilities:

When a decision is subject to appeal, form and act upon a judgement as to whether; a) submit the matter to the relevant tribunal, b) revise the decision in question or c) determine whether the matter can be disposed of by a way of agreement between the parties. In case where a tribunal decide to revise the authority's decision; a) to decide whether a statement of reasons is to be requested and b) where such a request is made decide whether an appeal ought tot be lodged against it.

Deal with appeals against FSM (Free School Meals) decisions where Judicial Review proceedings appear likely.

Liaise with external agencies as necessary including the; Court & Tribunal Service, Department for Work and Pensions, HMRC, solicitors, MPs, Council members and welfare rights organisations.

To decide whether County Court proceedings are appropriate under the tort of deceit or with regard to the recovery of Housing Benefit overpayments and or excess Council Tax Support and, where this is the case, initiate proceedings.

Investigate the circumstances surrounding first stage complaints, to decide whether the complaint ought to be upheld. In cases where a complaint is upheld to decide whether compensation ought to be offered and form a judgement to an appropriate amount. Prepare the authority's response on behalf of the appropriate head of service.

Investigate the circumstances surrounding enquiries from MPs and Council members. To decide whether any further action if required in light of those enquiries and if so ensure this action is carried out within the specified timeframe.

Prepare written reports following escalation of the complaints process at either the corporate level or to the Local Government Ombudsman.

Ensure that all policies, procedures and statistical measures used by the team are up-to-date and fit for purpose. Make judgements as to when these can be amended without the need for sign-off from a more senior officer and when recommended amendments ought to be referred.

Produce statistical reports for head of service or for inclusion in service-wide reports.

Qualifications and Requirements:

EXPERIENCE

Experience relating to benefits and revenues including direct customer contact and contact with legal and/or political representatives.

Experience in investigative procedures.

Experience in dealing with difficult and or irate customers.

Experience in prioritising workloads.

Experience in using online revenues/benefits and CRM computer systems.

Experience in using Microsoft Packages.

SPECIAL ABILITIES/APTITUDES

Ability to scrutinise and explain or, as required, change decisions with regard to revenues and benefits.

Ability to resolve and manage issues relating to appeals and complaints.

To communicate verbally and in writing at a high level.

To have the necessary numerical and I.T. skills for solving problems related to revenues and benefits.

Ability to meet, maintain and exceed targets and deadlines.

KNOWLEDGE AND SKILLS

Detailed knowledge of revenues and/or benefits legislation including case law.

Knowledge of Tribunal Rules and their practical application.

To have knowledge of the local complaints system and statutory framework regarding Local Government Ombudsman.

Indicative Qualifications

5 GCSE's grade C or above which include Mathematics and English or its equivalent from a recognised institution.

Terms and conditions:

The below terms and conditions apply to this role:

Satisfactory employment references and CIFAS identity checks;

Satisfactory declaration of interest;

Satisfactory DBS check;

As a public authority, we must ensure that members of staff in public-facing roles are able to speak fluent English. This means that they must have a command of spoken English, with confidence and accuracy, sufficient for the effective performance of their role. This requirement does not refer to any particular English language qualifications, regional or international accents, dialects, speech impediments or the tone of conversations. It does not require staff to speak only in English.

How to Apply:

Interested candidates are invited to submit their applications online by pressing the 'Apply' button below. This includes a supporting statement that outlines to us how your skills and experience make you a good candidate for this vacancy.

We reserve the right to close this vacancy early if we receive sufficient applications for the role. Therefore, if you are interested, please submit your application as early as possible.

Equal Opportunity Employer:

Waltham Forest is a diverse borough where diversity is valued and is integral to both, service delivery and employment of its staff. The Council is proud of its rich mix of communities and as the largest employer in the area, it works hard to respond to the changing needs of its population. We use our statutory duties on race, gender and disability equality and best practice in respect of age, faith and sexual orientation to ensure equality of opportunity in the workplace. The Council is committed to meeting its 4 equality objectives: - Promoting equality of opportunity - Opposing all forms of discrimination, intolerance and disadvantage - Ensuring our workforce reflects the diverse communities of Waltham Forest at all levels. - Providing fair, appropriate, accessible and excellent Services to all. Respecting Diversity is a core Council value.

To support the above and reduce the risk of bias in its recruitment activities, the council is operating an anonymous shortlisting process, which hides personal information that can identify individuals until their application has been considered for shortlisting. The council also operates a scheme whereby, for jobs graded up to and including scale SO2, internal candidates are considered first. This includes those candidates who self-identify as having a disability for the purposes of the Disability Confident scheme. For more information, please refer to our recruitment and selection policy.

We are keen to support employees to balance their working life with other commitments. Therefore, wherever possible, we will consider working arrangements that suit an individual's personal circumstances whilst still meeting the needs of the Council. If you would like to discuss the possible flexible working options that might be applicable to this role, please contact the person named below or feel free to discuss this during your interview.

For more information on the benefits of working for the Council, please visit https://www.walthamforest.gov.uk/jobs-and-training/find-jobs-and-other-opportunities/working-us.

Contact Information:

If you have any questions about this vacancy or the application process, please contact Michael Clifford, Appeals and Complaints Manager at michael.clifford@walthamforest.gov.uk or 0208496-3000 ext 2811

If you have any technical issues when trying to apply for this post, please contact our Recruitment Team via email at recruitment@walthamforest.gov.uk.

The Council's preference is for online application. However, if you have a disability and are unable to complete an online application, please email recruitment@walthamforest.gov.uk so we can arrange an alternative application method.

Click here for further information on the Human Resources recruitment privacy notice.

Apply Now

  • Employer: London Borough Of Waltham Forest
  • Reference: 1237
  • Published: Mon 24/06/2024, 1:03 AM
  • Closing on: Fri 28/06/2024, 1:00 AM
  • Working Pattern: Full Time
  • Hours: To be confirmed
  • Salary: PO2 £39,951 - £42,840
  • DBS Check: No
  • Location: To be confirmed