Campaign Against Cruel Sanctions
While the so-called conditionality week appears to have been scaled down, across the UK jobcentre staff are still being asked to take part in events including quizzes using offensive anagrams, offering financial rewards for staff and there are dedicated sessions looking at how to impose tougher sanctions on claimants.
We are outraged by the DWP decision to run such a week, ‘celebrating how far we have come since the introduction of tougher sanction levels last year’, according to the department’s headline news page.
At best, this is poor taste, at worst these are cynical actions intended to pressurise staff to make sanction referrals and to normalise the impact that sanctioning has on claimants and their families.
We are shocked that the DWP would think the concept of a celebratory conditionality week is acceptable, especially given media reports of the rise in the number of families using foodbanks and in some cases claimants self-harming because sanctioning. We are also very concerned that even harsher changes to welfare programmes are being announced at the Conservative party conference this week.
Real routes out of poverty
We believe the government needs to invest in more staff to deliver a more holistic public employment service. PCS has long campaigned for a welfare system that gives people the support they are entitled to and offers real routes out of poverty.
What’s your experience?
We would like to hear your experience of benefit sanctions, either on the receiving end or having to impose them.
Email – anonymously if you prefer – what you have witnessed or experienced to firstname.lastname@example.org