Refund for employment tribunal fees

Until recently all employment applications had to be accompanied by fee (or a wave). We have just found out that  the government has finally issue details for  a scheme for clients to reclaim fees at the next paid. The scheme is due to be launched in the next four weeks, however the government has committed […]

Housing disrepair case study

Landlord disrepair Case Note: Jan and Rik (Pseudonyms) were successfully re-housed in a property owned by a housing association. Unfortunately, their second baby was born with a serious condition and had to spend months in hospital after birth. Their baby was in need of sterile and clean conditions. However, the problem was the bathroom in […]

Fees for Employment Tribunal claims – now ruled unlawful

The system of fees for bringing employment tribunal claims was ruled unlawful by the Supreme Court on 26th July 2017. Fees are not payable for claims brought now, and fees paid in the past should be repaid. Nucleus has argued that the fees deter people from exercising their rights. There is also an argument that […]


A new Protocol for creditors bringing debt claims will operate from 1 October 2017, issued by the Master of the Rolls under  the Rules of Court. Prior to this date there is no specific Pre-Action Protocol for debt claims, although parties are expected to comply with the existing Practice Direction for Pre-Action Conduct. WHEN THE […]

Key benefit cahnges April 2017

The Government is currently bringing in a number of changes to benefits, some of the key changes are listed below. Full details can be found here. * The minimum wage has gone up. The main wage is now £7.50, and all of the rates can be found here. * The rate for the ESA work-related activity group […]

The Big Issue …Wipe out: The tax debt scandal forcing people from their homes. A special report by Nucleus Chair Alan Murdie

Council tax arrears are now the single biggest issue clogging up British courts, as fees and fines cause the original debt to spiral. The result is often homelessness. In a special Big Issue report, barrister Alan Murdie describes a chaotic and faceless system.


On  6th February 2017  the Government announced plans to sell the collection  of 12 billion pounds of outstanding student loans to private debt collectors. These are debts which have arisen from the failure to repay student loans taken out before 2006, which otherwise were normally recovered when a certain threshold in earnings was reached direct […]

Social Tariffs are being phased out – what to do…

Home energy bills are one of the biggest expenses faced by many households. But if 10% or more of your income goes on paying for your gas and electricity, the government classes you as being in “fuel poverty”. And this means that you can qualify for grants and cheaper tariffs – called social tariffs – […]


Nucleus has long experience with advising on energy bills and debts. With the £23 000 benefit cap looming many people in receipt of benefits are facing a squeeze on income. More people will be entering fuel poverty as a result this winter. Under the old definition fuel poverty was where 10% or more of your […]

National Minumum Wage and National Living Wage

From 1 April 2016 the National Minimum Wage rises from £6.70   to £7.20 for people aged 25 or over and will be known as the  National Living Wage. The NMW will continue to apply for those aged 21 to 24, with the premium added on top for those aged 25 and over, taking the total […]

Nucleus at Toynbee Hall and Capitalise Debt Conference

Debt and the future of debt advice were themes explored at the Capitalise Debt conference held in London on 26 February 2016, organised by Toynbee Hall and the  Capitalise Debt partnership. The partnership is funded by the Money Advice Service (MAS) and attracted money and legal advice workers from across the capital. Alan Murdie, chairman of Nucleus […]

Expanding Access to Immigration Advice for local residents

Do you know your rights about staying in the UK, whether you are allowed to work or bring your loved ones into the UK?  Do you want to apply to become a British Citizen? Kezia Daley, Associate Solicitor at Darlingtons, is the latest volunteer solicitor to join our pro bono project. She can give advice […]

Nucleus Urges engagement with consultations on local authority finding : Two important local Government consultations

Nucleus Legal Advice is urging people to respond to two important Government consultations on the future of local government funding. Local Government settlement 2016-2017 and Council Tax Support Review were launched in December but there are concerns many people have missed them. Nucleus is responding to both of these consultations as we deal with many […]

Tax aid helps Nucleus client (finally) write of his tax debt.

ver the last few years we have noticed an increase with clients falling foul of bad decisions by HMRC. The most recent example of the atrocious service HMRC are providing  involved a client who was sent  a bill for nearly £7,000 for an underpayment of tax. Over the last year we have worked with Tax […]

New protection for assured tenants

This months we have seen some much need ( small but welcome) improvements for short hold assured tenants:   If there is serious disrepair which w you have reported you landlord may not be able to evict you for 6 months – as long as you have followed the correct procedure and involved the local authority who […]

Major new Consumer Rights Act 2105

Consumer law changed on 1 October 2015, as the Consumer Rights Act came into force. What are the key changes? The most important reform under the new Act is the right to a refund within 30 days if you buy something that’s faulty, whether you shopped online, in a high-street store, or at any other […]


Enquiries concerning welfare changes, housing issues and personal debt were the top three areas for advice enquiries at the Ealing Advice over this summer. The rise in welfare enquiries has occurred not only as a result of the Chancellor’s Summer Budget but from the roll out of Universal Credit for single adult claimants formerly on […]

Empoyment Advice Service

As of today our new employment team have dealt with their 200th employment case. Over the last year we have seen the importance of keeping your job or if need must to leave with your reputation in tact with a good reference.  Without either one you can face difficulties getting  a new well paid job […]


In the last few months considerable interest has been stimulated by the apparent endorsement of sending legal notices of proceedings by Facebook, the social media service.Several County Court judgeshave purported to approve such a process, and a recent memo issued in June by the Citizens Advice Bureau has encouraged this view,certainly onewhich some lawyers working […]

Supreme Court overturns key test on homeless people and vulnerability

The Supreme Court has today issued a landmark ruling in three linked appeals over when homeless people are to be considered ‘vulnerable’ under the Housing Act 1996 and therefore in priority need.   Summary Judgement Full judgment   A key effect of the judgment is said to be that the test set out in the […]


By Alan Murdie, chair  of Nucleus and Ealing Advice service  and editor of the Council Tax Handbook (CPAG) An important judicial review hearing on the amount of costs which can be charged when making any application for a liability order for unpaid council tax reaches the High Court on Thursday, April 30th. Last October the […]


By Alan Murdie, chair  of Nucleus and editor of the Council Tax Handbook (CPAG) An important judicial review hearing on the amount of costs which can be charged when making any application for a liability order for unpaid council tax reaches the High Court on Thursday, April 30th. Last October the High Court (Green, J) […]

Benefit recipients could save half on water bills

Benefit recipients could save half on water bills Thames Water has a new discount scheme to cut water bills in half for people on low incomes. WaterSure Plus is a new scheme which is available to many more people than previous discount schemes offered by Thames Water. This new scheme is available to anyone who meets two […]

The DWP has confirmed that that Universal Credit will start its ‘roll-out’ in Ealing from 13th July 2015.

niversal Credit intends to  bring together a collection of working-age benefits into a single streamlined payment. It intends to help claimants and their families become more independent and, in the process, simplify the benefits system. As of January 2015, there were 26,940 claimants on Universal Credit: most of whom have simple claims ie single people […]


Council taxpayers are entitled to apply for discretionary reductions in any amount owed in council tax, regardless of when the liability may have arisen. That was the decision of the Valuation Tribunal for England on February 25th 2015 following a test case involving a disabled pensioner Jenny Morgan  in an appeal backed by Nucleus which has […]

Job seekers allowance sanctions; an increasing problem

When you claim Job Seekers Allowance  you are obliged to agree to  and follow a certain set of rules in return for receiving your benefit e.g. apply for a certain number of jobs every week. It is important  to keep records / proof of all your efforts. If you break any of these rules, the […]

Wills and Probate

Planning is essential when planning yout will. It ensures that  your wishes will be met after you die, it ensures that  close relatives,friends or causes you want to get your money will get it.  It  helps your excutors administate your estate quickly and effectively saving time, money and hopefully any disputes. Other reasons why it’s […]

Watch out for the courier scam

We have been wanted about a “new” scam  by the local police. People  are  being phoned up at home by someone pretending to be from their bank or credit card provider claiming they have seen fraudulent transactions on their card and advising them to move their savings to a new, secure account. To give the […]

Food banks – a feeding Britain : a new report on the gaping gaps in the welfare support system

We have been working with the local food banks for over 2 years. We can refer clients who have no money for food but only if we have provide advice and the clients is taking steps to  resolve their issues. Most of the referrals we have made are for 1. people appealing against a refusal […]

New Debt advice service for Ealing

. Most poepl fall into debt after a major life event – redundancy , sickness or the death of a close family member. Debt caused worry and anxiety and is the major cause of relationship breakdown. We are delighted to announce that Nucleus , a  Capitalise partners, has launched a new debt advice and counselling service in […]

Money Lives – research by Money Advice Service

Money Advice Service – which helps fund some of our debt advice work has published a great new report: Money Lives. The reports build on the needs for skills and knowledge on money matter to include the need for financial capability: the art of making end meet and the take real control. In our financially capability […]

Payday loans: 10 things you should know before you take one

The media  and MPs seem  finally to catch up with the  problems with pay day loans… By Alison TerryConsultant, Positive Numbers Elizabeth Matthews took four different payday loans Continue reading the main story Related Stories Payday loan interest calculator Q&A: Payday loans Payday lenders face tougher rules If you’re under pressure to pay your bills, […]


COUNCIL TAX BENEFIT IS BEING ABOLISHED – AND 90% OF PEOPLE STILL DO NOT KNOW. BENEFIT CLAIMANTS WILL HAVE TO APPLY FOR LOCAL REDUCTIONS – IF THEY EXIST IN YOUR AREA Council tax has undergone major changes, the biggest since the tax was created in 1992. Council tax benefit is being abolished but 90% of […]

Ministry of Justice – proposals for reform – MOJ consultation – answers due in by 24th January

The consultation was launched on the 13th December taking into account the Christmas and new year break it leaves little time for consideration of such a very serious issue. It can be seen at.   They propose reducing the three months within which an application must be made to 30 days for procurement […]


CHANGE YOUR BANKACCOUNTTO A BUILDING SOCIETY ACCOUNT BEFORE APRIL 1ST 2013 IF YOU ARE ON BENEFITS Big changes are ahead with the benefit system. Don’t be caught with the wrong account! Do not use a bank account to receive your benefit money, use a building society or credit union account instead. To protect yourself make […]

Rising rents push more into debt

Rising rents have prompted a record 12,000 tenants who are struggling with arrears to contact a debt advice charity this year. The Money Advice Trust (MAT) says the number of calls it dealt with about rental arrears between January and August was the biggest in the 26-year history of its National Debtline and around double […]

Universal Credit Pathfinder and national rollout

Universal Credit will go live in the Greater Manchester and Cheshire region in April 2013, six months before the national rollout, Work and Pensions Secretary Iain Duncan Smith has announced. The way in which Universal Credit will be introduced from October 2013 has also been confirmed. It will begin in seven locations across the country […]