Ipswich Unemployed Action.

Campaigning for Unemployed Rights.

Jobcentre Plus illegal dismissals and sanctions

with 19 comments

I have found a website that claims that the sanction and dismissals made through Jobcentre Plus by training providers awarded a contract by the Department of Work and Pensions are illegal. If correct, this is a major concern. This website specifically mentions about the Gateway 2 Work provision even though I presume it is the same with the main 13 week New Deal courses. New Deal participants may be extremely interested in reading this…

The website claims that because the New Deal courses are provided by a private organisation that in fact the training provider has NO legal right to force Jobseekers to:

  • Sign agreements to comply with the New Deal course(this obviously means everything other than the referral form given at the Jobcentre)
  • Provide private and personal information(the organisation has already received this information from the Jobcentre anyway)
  • Sit in packed or uncomfortable rooms or have to stand
  • Undergo educational exercises by unreasonable methods such as motivational exercises, proactive and reactive exercises, and psychological stressing
  • Provide copies of job search, job applications, CV’s, speculative letters and other letters
  • Be photographed for any reason whether for security or job related reason
  • Supply contact details of family (including Next of Kin) and doctor
  • Take part in physical team building exercises
  • Complete self-assessments and company evaluation forms
  • Disclose medical conditions and disabilities
  • Disclose details of any criminal convictions and probation
  • Be referred for counselling of any kind or forced into mentoring
  • Be lectured on personal hygiene, clothes or mentality/personality

The problem however is on a daily basis people are dismissed for refusing the above which they are in their rights to do however Jobcentre Plus warrants the dismissal and applies for sanctions. Even small elements such as not completing questionnaires/evaluation sheets are categorised under not cooperating, not participating in the activity and not making a contribution – these are nothing to do with the New Deal course!!

The site continues:

After a ‘home’ telephone call and/or a short 1 hour hearing (or both) with a single Jobcentre Plus ‘Area Manager’ and without any legal representation, Jobcentre-Plus are authorised by The Law and with the Authority of the Secretary of State to refer you to The Benefits Agency for a Sanction by reducing or stopping benefits for:

  1. two weeks for a first failure to meet New Deal Option requirements;
  2. four weeks for a second failure incurred within 12 months of a previous New Deal sanction;
  3. twenty-six weeks for a third failure incurred within 12 months of a previous sanction;
  4.  

     

Whatever the outcome of the referral, your  case is not likely to be properly represented by The Benefits Agency because the decision makers have little else other than the ND3 Jobseekers Declaration and the recommendations of The Jobcentre Plus ‘Area Manger’ to  help them make a  decision.

This seriously has to stop and I hope this wont continue with Flexible New Deal even though we both know it will.

Ipswich Unemployed Action calls for an independent body to regulate dismissals, complaints and sanctions.

I would like to know anyone who has been dismissed for one of the reasons above even though they had no authority to demand you to do so. What are your views? Would love to hear your views on this one. DWP included!

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Written by Universal Jobmatch

May 18, 2009 at 11:33 am

19 Responses

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  1. New Deal providers are par excellence
    at stitching up their “customers” for
    “misconduct”. These organisations are EVIL – pure and simple and must be resisted in every which way.

    New Deal

    September 3, 2009 at 11:14 am

  2. New Deal providers will “send customers back to the JobCentre” for the most trivial of reasons just on the off-chance that a sanction is applied. Even if a sanction is not applied the resulting uncertainty places the client under undue stress.

    New Deal

    September 3, 2009 at 11:18 am

  3. Refuse to co-operate with these scum organisations. I.E REFUSE TO SIGN THE DATA PROTECTION ACT (& EEC SPAM DIRECTIVE WAIVER!) Do your utmost to hamstring these tinpot dictators. These scum will leave you hungry and homeless given have a chance.

    New Deal

    September 3, 2009 at 11:21 am

  4. In case of any confusion the above comments were not left by me (see the different image).

    New Deal

    September 4, 2009 at 11:20 am

  5. it appears that discontent/bad treatment within job centre plus is widespread,found this interesting comment on a consumer forum.

    My friend’s solicitor has told him that the DWP do their utmost to stay out of court and in the cases he has dealt with, they’ve settled at the last minute every time.
    I agree with Mrs Jeeps that a High Street solicitor on a conditional fee scheme ie no win/no fee, is a good bet.

    it comes as no surprise and typically represents the previous experiences of the job centre,they are very keen to avoid bad publicity.they will back down when cornered.

    ken

    November 25, 2010 at 8:24 pm

    • Good idea, ken! Go and sue the arse of the DWP/Providers. What’s it with claimants and their mistaken belief that once you make a claim for benefits you become a nonentity with absolutely no legal rights whatsoever. No-one in any other situation or position would tolerate the abuse that claimants put up with.

      Quantum Claims

      November 25, 2010 at 8:44 pm

  6. do advisors have to hit targets, hence issuing more sanctions?

    richard bennett

    May 18, 2011 at 4:26 pm

  7. The jobcentre sanctioned me as i’d refused to apply for a job which I had previously been employed with before, which I must say, was a bad experience finanially as the job was not as advertised.

    The sanction was apparently imposed in march yet I reieved not one letter of notification or whisper of it from the jobcentre staff. Along came june and I had recieved no allowance for donkeys and was obviously wondering why. I decided to phone the jobcentre who THEN informed me that they had sanctioned me until september.

    I went to the local Citizens advice bureau who informed me that it was ILLEGAL for the jobcentre to impose any sanction on a person without prior notification as this affects their right to appeal against the decision in the first place.

    So, sadly I’m having to take this up with my local MP to scare the willies out of the jobcentre and hope something good comes from this.

    Izzy

    August 9, 2011 at 3:44 pm

  8. They are a law into them selfs the dwp but u ave rights under human rights act and I believe it comes under article 8 that no body shall interfere with a mans corresponds or his emails or home life what other situation would u waver your human rights u would’nt it is illeagal for them to ask u to do that seek leagal advice be 4 u sign anything and under article 4 the anti slavery law it states that no man shall be forced to take a job they dont want check check and check ya rights with a solistor b4 u sign sumthing thats illeagal for them to ask u to do and threating u with sanctioning is also an offence of scare mongering and also its mental pressure seek legal advice is my advice work programmers

    Wayne

    November 7, 2011 at 10:46 am

  9. I’m in Leicester and having similar problems. I’ve recently been sanctioned for non-attendance, despite attending every work programme appointment. I’ve had the work programme provider contact the job centre by phone and letter to confirm this, and after three weeks, the only response I’ve recieved is a reproduction of the automated letter I was sent in the first place. I’ve been unable to find out how this happened. I don’t like consiparcy theories, but speaking to other people experiencing similar problems I can’t help but feel there’s a policy underway to deliberately squeeze people, whether they are looking for work or not. I too will be contacting my MP to see what shakes loose, and will keep you posted.

    Daniel Gilbert

    November 29, 2011 at 7:58 am

  10. just thought i would share my expereince here,i need to tell somebody,as all the other forums and site for santion info seem locked out:
    I was sanction In jan 2012, for a so called missed One to one with AVANTA in leigh (North west)that should have taken place on the 14 th dec 2011, i receduled this and it was agreed on by my advisor although she said she would have to get back too me with an appointment and this later came in the post, my next apointment was just before exmas but within the two weeks/before my next apointment would have been due for makeing, This was denied as being a receduled apointment and i was sanctioned, i also got no letter to warn me or to apeal, only to say the sanction would happen that following payment from DHSS, and that did not take place until the 14th feb 2012.

    Now what has stressed me again and so much more,I choose to do a work placemnt for BQ of my own back, and on one of my one to one appointments with avanta, i was told- as i was on a placement i would not need to call in for mt next one to one, it would be a phone appointment on the 5 april 2012,But the week leading up to this, i fell ill, with ongoing issues i have, so i decided to give up my placement at BQ I just could not carry on(I have asked for IT training so as i dont have to do warehouse type work anymore, for these health reasons), but still no joy. Anyhow My Phone appointment one to one on the 5th came, and went, then i got a letter telling me i missed my next one to one at the avanta office , apparently i should have attended on the 12th april 2012, i was told that it was said on the phone, i know it was not, and i would never have guessed i would have had another one to one appointmment so soon after the phone one to one on the 5th april 2012,they are normally every 2 weeks up to a month apart depending on how busy they are i guess(Although we all know they do Hardley anything the place i go is always quite empty and all they seem to do is chat amongst themself, inbetween the odd drifter like me), anyway back to the point’they have railroaded me again and i am uncertain if i have any rights or not becuase of the extremly short Space between these apointments 5th april 2012 – 12th april 2012 and becuase i have had no Proof of this appoitment by way of written letter delivered to me beforehand ? only the so called missed appointment letter and next appointment for the 27th april 2012, and guess what same day delivery for this letter to say i had an appointmnet on the 12the april 2012, how suspect that was!
    again i do not expect an apeals letter from the DHSS, but at lesat this time i have warning of what is to come.

    Any advice on my situations is greatly appreciated

    J Gray

    April 17, 2012 at 6:05 pm

    • You can still claim housing & council tax benefit even if you are sanction. Go to the council and tell the to re-instate your housing & council tax benefit because you have “nil income”.

      If your sanction is for more than 2 weeks and you have no money to live on, you should go to the jobcentre & apply for “hardship payments of JSA”.

      Charlie D

      April 17, 2012 at 6:43 pm

  11. i have been sanctioned by cdg for not turning up to my initial interview even though i was not informed of the date. the job centre knew of this so asked for the sanction to be stopped. but cdg took it upon themselves to send the incident to the decision makers and thus i will be without money for 2 weeks.

    louis

    July 25, 2012 at 9:01 pm

  12. Hi, my kids dad is going through this, its a joke he lives in a large block of flats so all the numbers on the doors are similar, didnt recieve his appointment letter until after the appointment, he phoned the work programme Seetec to notify them and they still sanctioned his claim for 2 weeks, its quite surprising how much stress it puts on people. I can totally understand they are cracking down on people that live life on the doll for really long term unemployed who take the mick out of the system, but i sit here helping him apply for every job he can possibly apply for each week!! He even has his neighbour willing to confirm that his letter went through his door, been to the MP which was of no help what so ever. Just said they would be in touch, told him its urgent and a week later have not heard anything, been to job centre and Seetec complainaing, wrote an appeal, applied for a crisis loan he cant get but still getting it reviewed anyway as he has interview for a job on Monday and no money, no interview clothes and no help!! We could totally understand if he has done nothing since left school and been a total bum but he has worked and asked for placements etc so he can stand a better chance in getting a job. Also looked down the college route to find a couple of other people got cuaght out in catch 22 and only now get 20 quid a week!
    We are going to complain to royal mail also. but this is all due to Seetec training course marking him down as absent, where he rearranged an appointment and they said a sanction would not affect him, now they deny all knowledge of it and blame the job centre, yet the job centre says he is refferred to this work programme and it nothing to do with them!

    Anyone know of any good solicitors/where can get legal advice from in Ipswich? Just I cannot afford to support him as I am out of work too plus with the cost of everything so expensive right now little money can only go so far.

    We don’t know what more we can do, we have complained and complained and appealed and heard nothing, and it does not look like we are going to get anywhere, as they just pass you on to next person, who still aint got a clue!

    Sending everyone to college or on an apprenticeship scheme no matter what age would be a whole lot cheaper than these ridiculous work programmes, which do not help at all.

    REVOLUTION NEEDED IN GREAT BRITAIN!!

    Rach

    November 9, 2012 at 1:53 pm

    • This kind of case is becoming so common it’s an open wound in our society.

      The solution?

      Sending people on real training?

      You’re having a laugh!

      Andrew Coates

      November 9, 2012 at 4:59 pm

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    The Source Diet Reviews

    November 10, 2012 at 3:13 am

  14. I had to go with CDG Greenwich in East London. Very poor, incompetent provider. Made me go on mentoring which was crap basically. I attended it reluctantly. Then wanted me to go with Career Ignition just a web blog with occasional one to one really for a professional with an established career not someone three years out of work. ICE are anything but independent and throw the complaint back which just goes round and round in circles. Now I have a GP letter saying the stress of not getting any help is actually affecting my mental health and eating, and they keep threatening me with sanctions but I can’t see how. They don’t know how to deal with long term unemployed professionals and expect you to take anything just so they can claim their cash. Crap. Worst organisation ever

    Gabby

    June 19, 2013 at 8:23 pm

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