Home > Action 4 employment, DWP, Government, intensive activity, Ipswich, jobseekers allowance, Suffolk, Unemployment, YMCA > New Deal final chance: Jobcentre forces Jobseekers on to New Deal

New Deal final chance: Jobcentre forces Jobseekers on to New Deal

Feedback has it that Jobcentre Plus is trying to push as many people through on to New Deal courses as possible regardless of the actual legal implications of them being unable to put through a lot of them – they are still hoping to catch people out who are unaware of the rules and are happy to participate in order to secure benefits. So much for the “passive receiver” trend the DWP and MP constantly claim.

This will result in a lot of people nationwide (especially in Ipswich) to be stuck in places such as Dencora House Detention Centre to spend 13 weeks wasting away and being mistreated.  This is because the New Deal contracts end soon as the scheme is being replaced with Flexible New Deal with it’s contracts starting this October 2009.

It is then of great pleasure for me to announce the following guide I have prepared to empower you in to avoiding being stuck on a New Deal course that contradicts with the promise they make towards you of support finding and securing employment.   I hope you find it useful: links to and comments welcome!

1. Period of Jobseekers Allowance Claim

If you have claimed Jobseekers Allowance (JSA) less than 6 months you are not required to do a New Deal course. If you have been selected to go on an New Deal course you have every right to refuse to – but make sure you do before being signed on to the course.

The New Deal course guidance states:

“If both you and your personal adviser decide that it is best, you may even be able to join if you have been claiming Jobseeker’s Allowance for less than 6 months.”

Please Note: It states if you “both”: you and your Personal Adviser, decides that it is best. It is common protocol for them to automatically decide which is best without consulting you.  So if you have been invited to a New Deal appointment remember the first thing you need to mention is that you have not been on Jobseekers Allowance for over 6 months and you are not legally required to do that course.

When it says “have claimed Jobseekers Allowance (JSA)” it refers to your latest claim.

It doesn’t matter if you have claimed Jobseekers Allowance for 4 years, got a job then later been made redundant and been on the dole for a few weeks or if you had your claim terminated for whatever reason and you have been claiming for several years non-stop.  Basically, if you made an application for Jobseekers Allowance less than 6 month ago and your application were successful then you have been claiming less than 6 months and do not have to do New Deal.

If you are over 25, to be eligible for New Deal 25+ (ND25+) you have to be receiving Jobseekers Allowance for over 18 months. If, for the same reasons as above, you have not been claiming that long you don’t have to go on New Deal. Also realise that period can be dropped if they force you into accepting that you wish to go on the course – you need to make sure it is clear that you don’t agree that it is in your best interest to go on New Deal.

2. Take advantage of “Taster” sessions

I couldn’t find any information on this for the New Deal 25+ or New Deal 50+ courses so seems to only apply for those on New Deal Young People (NDYP) – but you could always try it.

Helping young people make the right choice by providing ‘Tasters’

 

11. As a provider you have a responsibility to enable a young person to make an informed choice about the Option they may be entering. A ‘Taster’ should be a snapshot of your provision and may take the form of a discussion with you, a visit to a placement or a meeting with existing participants or students.

12. ‘Tasters’ can help to minimise the ‘drop out’ rates and encourage sustained attendance/participation on the Option.

13. For each young person that attends a ‘Taster’, you will need to complete form ND13 (Action Plan Review Record) and return it to the NDPA.

14. Although a ‘Taster’ provides an opportunity to market the Option, you should not formally agree to start the young person on the Option at the ‘Taster’. The young person should be referred back to their NDPA, who will discuss with them whether the Option is appropriate and refer them accordingly.

Referral to the Option

 

15. If the young person wishes to join the Option, either directly or following a ‘Taster’ or as a result of attending an ‘open day’, the NDPA will formally refer the young person to you for an interview. Young people attending ‘Tasters’ and referral interviews with you do so voluntarily and they can attend as many as is required before they make their choice.”

Your New Deal personal Adviser (NDPA) will not tell you about the “Taster” option so you will have to tell them before you commit yourself to the option. You don’t get told about this option due to the inhumane conditions imposed on New Deal participants – it allows a “loop hole” to avoid going on the programme – once you have signed on to the Programme the only 3 ways out of it are: 1) being exited, 2) securing employment (signing off) or 3) death.

To summarise:

  • You are not obligated to sign up for a New Deal for Young People (NDYP) Option until you have had a “Taster” session (or attended an Open Day).
  • A Taster session is designed for their basis to prevent “drop outs” – apparently.
  • You can attend as many “Taster” session and referral interviews as you want.
  • To sign up to the option, it can’t be against your wishes – even though it is compulsory – signing any documents without first having a “taster” session warrants your direct approval and wishes to want to do the course – you must not do this until you have your “taster” session.
  • You can only refuse a New Deal for Young People option on human right grounds if you have not formally been referred to that option.

Don’t mingle in with Induction peeps – that’s the highlight. You will spend 12 times longer confined to job search room. You therefore must, to get a fairer view, join those doing job search then discover whether you really want to do 12 weeks of that instead of what you were promised as those people in that room are those who are doing the same course as you and have done the Induction week.

A “taster” session can also be just talking to the provider or a past participant who has been vetted from telling the truth.  You must make sure it involves your attendance at their premises to get a realistic snapshot of their provision. Other methods are not reliable: The Provider’s employee isn’t going to say anything negative about the course and they wouldn’t approve a participant who has had a bad experience there to speak with you.

3. Gateway and Gateway 2 Work (GtW/G2W)

Before being entered on to a New Deal course you will be placed on the first stage of the New Deal which is called “Gateway” which lasts up to 16 weeks and includes a “Gateway 2 Work” course.  You are assigned a New Deal Personal Adviser (NDPA) who you will meet with weekly to help you find and secure employment.

You are entitled to their support and not just be stuck on the Second Stage of New Deal (the “Options”) because it is near the end of its life.

During these 16 weeks – most commonly less – you will be place on a 2 week course called Gateway 2 Work (GtW) which is designed to improve your employability chances by writing a new CV, filling in mock Application Forms, writing Covering letters and Speculative letters in addition to interview techniques and sometimes occasionally 2 days work experience.   This course is much better than the 13 week course in to helping you gain employment.

4. Other Options

There are other options to go on for New Deal than just the VS Option. Depending what you are looking for there is New Deal for Musicians and New Deal for Self-Employed – which might be of greater interest to you.

Even though Jobcentre Plus refuses to do this under law you are entitled to change option at any time.

Outside New Deal, if you refuse New Deal regardless of the validity of the reason they will claim you aren’t doing enough to look for work, there are various options you could negotiate instead:

  • Work Trial: up to 30 working days at a real employer. Voluntary, however gives real work experience as opposed to any (if you are lucky) with a placement on New Deal. You keep your benefits while doing Work Trial.
  • Volunteering: Keep your benefits while doing work for the local community. Work Trial would be better.

5. Reasons why not to go on New Deal (if all the above fail)

Numerous reasons exist for not going on New Deal VSO courses such as Dencora House in Ipswich.

The “loop hole” here is:

“If you are claiming Jobseeker’s Allowance, and you are aged 18 to 24, you must take part in New Deal for young people to carry on getting some of your benefits unless you have a good reason for not taking part.”

You cannot just turn around and refuse to do New Deal otherwise your benefits will be affected.  You must have a good reason to not take part, and this good reason cannot be because you read this blog or heard others experiences – they have to be your own.

You must get a “taster” session (don’t just sign away) to be able to get that experience of the poor conditions without formally joining the course.  If you join you will not be able to get out of it (unless you get exited or signed off – either way you risk losing your benefits).

“What is New Deal?

New Deal aims to help you get a job if you are out of work. It will give you the chance to train, learn and do work experience so that you: get more confident get new skills can be worth more to people looking for staff, and can find and stay in work.”

Taking the words in the New Deal for Young People (NDYP) leaflet it reads:

“What is New Deal for young people?

New Deal for young people will help you find and keep a job or start to work for yourself. It will help you improve the skills you have and learn new skills. While you are on New Deal for young people you will get help and support from your personal adviser. They will help you look at what you can do, and to build on the skills you have.”

“We will help you: work out the steps you can take towards getting a job, and set these out in your own action plan work out what jobs you could apply for fill in application forms and write a CV get advice on careers find other support if you need it, and pay for some of your costs, such as bus fares or train fares.”

Please notice the “will” and not “may”, “could”, “should” or “aim to”. The above snippets are altered to bold some words and bold and underline other words – other than that they are exact quotes.

From mine (and numerous other people to mention) people were not offered the chance to learn new skills, train for a career or even do work experience.  Most people got less confident since going on the course and became depressed. No one learned new skills – only exercises were based on naming the logo or working out television advertisement slogans. No one became more worthy to employers – applying for jobs were no different to doing it at home other than waiting to share resources. No one supervised job search sessions nor offered any support in finding work and definitely did not help secure sustainable employment.

I think it helped sustained unemployment more than anything.

Jobcentre Plus is just over promoting a course different to the actual one offered for deception in to fiddling with unemployment figures.

6. Follow-up on Taster session

Now you have attended a taster session – you should know the conditions you will be spending your time in.

Before signing up to the course – you must incorporate your diary of the “taster” session (I don’t have a diary neither but take notes on your experiences, your first impressions and how you thought the day went) in to reasons why you don’t feel the course is right for you.  You should tackle it from every possible angle and be observant. Your reasons can involve the other participants – not just reasons personal to you.

I don’t want to give examples to seem to stick words in people’s mouths and as when they are aware of this article your argument could be wasted if they match in whole or part.

Of course, if your experience was good – let us know!

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  1. June 12, 2009 at 8:12 pm | #1

    Thanks for providing some good advice. I was on the New Deal at A4e Edinburgh in 2008 so I know what a waste of time it is and demoralising too. And A4e was the only provider.
    As regards the “good reason” for not taking part I heard somwhere that A4e are partners with BAE (involved in armaments) so you could perhaps object to being sent to A4e on moral grounds.

    • Dan
      June 12, 2009 at 10:02 pm | #2

      You are welcome, thanks for commenting. The problem we had as you can probably guess is, we thought this was solely an Ipswich problem with YMCA Training a New Deal provider in the area.

      Then we realised it is the same everywhere you go, A4e, etc.

      New Deal (and the Flexible New Deal) are contracted out in regions which obviously like you mentioned limits choice. No provider truly have great results on finding clients employment anywhere you go.

      For example, YMCA Training which does a Cambridgeshire & Suffolk contract (in addition to an East London/Romford and Southend one) has like all providers a 45% Job Entry target. YMCA Training Cambs & Suffolk managed 12% one year, followed by 21% etc. all well below the target. They also had dreadful ofsted reports!

      You are correct that A4e have strong links with BAE and even run training centres in the middle east – I think that objection on moral grounds is a perfectly valid “good reason” – however people have tried this and had their Jobseekers Allowance claim terminated with sanctions.

      The Jobcentre wont acknowledge that as a valid reason unfortunately which is no surprise really when considered against their common practices.

      This article was focusing on:

      1) the Jobcentre “bending” the law in respects to fast tracking people straight into stage 2 of New Deal – this isn’t legit.

      You can decide to fast track yourself to New Deal if you can negotiate it anyway. The Jobcentre will only try to trick you into consenting by signing you up threatening sanctions if you agree against it.

      Jobseekers need to be aware of their rights. It is not their fault they don’t know as it is never explained to them. I have gone through a lot of tricks and unlawful procedures at the Jobcentre – it has only been the last couple of months investigating that I have realised it. What could I do back then? If I disagreed then or refused I could simply have been kicked off for 6 months.

      2) advice for those under 25 who should be offered a “Taster” session before committing themselves (they simply don’t tell you about it in most cases) – and – advice generally about the ability to change New Deal option – one to better match the person. Not to be stuck in the “Other” column (VSO etc.)

      3) Jobseekers being mistreated. I was horrified to hear about people all over the country being mistreated, crowded rooms, 30 hour jobsearch with inadequate resources, being dismissed for trivial and false reasons

      (they don’t register a reason when dismissing you – a dismissal form is just a piece of paper to advise a Decision Maker of attempting the maximum sanction – this is why the majority of the time it contains lies: they keep the full money for the entire 13 weeks even if you are there just 5 minutes and dismissed. The only way they don’t is if you exceed your absence limit. Places are always overcrowded they obviously don’t want people coming back to do “balance of time”)

      … the list goes on.. I wouldn’t wish this treatment on anyone. The brochures (such as one quoted above) are all lies. Most people don’t gain any work experience or new skills.

      4) If you are legally required to do New Deal – you still aren’t obligated to skip stage 1 of 16 weeks into stage 2 – 13 weeks…

      Refusing to do this however could result in terminations and sanctions – so it is always best to try and negotiate doing a Work Trial which are much better. Most of the DWP is corrupt: they will try the “not doing enough to look for work” clause on anyone (at their own discretion) who decline an option in most instances. A backup plan is always needed.

      I just hope a lot of the Jobseekers who have got a New Deal appointment coming up can read this article in advance and be able to hold their own ground.

      Of course, you are always entitled to take a friend or family member with you for support (I have heard cases where they refuse to speak with you but seems very rare).

      I hope this helps!

  2. Stuey
    June 25, 2009 at 11:18 am | #3

    Im on New Deal and they’re making me start a 13 week course in which i’ll get a job placement. Im thinking of signing off, so my question is how long do I have to sign off for so i can sign back on but not be on new deal? hope that makes sense

    • Dan
      June 25, 2009 at 5:18 pm | #4

      It all depends on the Jobcentre.

      Most will stick you on “balance of time” even if you make a new claim (i.e. not rapid reclaim) some weeks later.

      Have you had a ref2 interview appointment?

    • Evie
      November 29, 2010 at 2:38 pm | #5

      you have to have been off JSA for at least three months before you can claim standard Jobseekers allowance again otherwise they simply put you back on New Deal and you are back to square one.

      • Martin Black
        November 29, 2010 at 7:46 pm | #6

        Actually it’s 13 weeks. Best to stay out longer to make sure.

      • November 29, 2010 at 9:58 pm | #7

        Stuey: Unfortunately, the government have got wise to all these old dodges. Nowadays you can be fast-tracked back to FND if you have a irregular work history combined with signing-on.

      • Martin Black
        November 29, 2010 at 10:52 pm | #8

        I don’t think they can do anything to you as long as you’ve been out 13 weeks. I’d be interested if anybody really has definite information to the contrrary.

  3. Kathryn
    July 5, 2009 at 4:30 pm | #9

    Hi i found your article really helpful thanks im just about to start my gateway to work course,i was wondering if you could help me with where i stand when it comes to the 13 weeks second stage as im starting a course for childminding on the 3rd of september for 10 weeks, after completing this i will hopefully be starting employment. Would i still have to do a placement or would my course count as actively seeking work as i have a young child and cant get childcare. Thanks

    • July 6, 2009 at 8:12 am | #10

      Well the good news is…

      As of last week New Deal has ended in half the areas, bad news is it is being replaced with flexible new deal stage 3 (I am not sure what happened to stages 1 and 2 :S)

      http://newdealscandal.wordpress.com/2009/06/30/new-deal-ends-in-great-britain/

      As for the 13 week course… there isn’t enough time, New Deal is due to be replaced by flexible new deal in October – this said you could be required to do some of that time anyway but unlikely.

      For New Deal you are supposedly able to get childcare payments, I have seen New Deal contracts which mention them, this said, however, it could be a post code lottery.

      Hope this helps

  4. Kathryn
    July 5, 2009 at 4:33 pm | #11

    Hi again i meant to mention that i am not in receipt of benefits as such all they do is fill in my payment protection form once a month saying im looking for work dont know if that makes a difference thanks

    • July 6, 2009 at 8:07 am | #12

      I can’t personally advise on that.

    • July 23, 2009 at 4:57 pm | #13

      Kathryn: I’m probably a bit late in posting, and you probably already know the answer to your question-bu if not? If you are not in receiept of JSA or other state benefit you cannot be forced to go on the New Deal/F;exible New Deal.

  5. Lou
    July 6, 2009 at 12:22 am | #14

    As a tutor, previously for A4E, I can understand the concerns and investigations that are taking place. There are plenty of other providers in the training sector who shold be investigated too.
    Learn Direct are the worst offenders for falsifying the figures,

    • July 6, 2009 at 8:06 am | #15

      A4e aren’t the only ones under investigation or ever was under investigation. Reed in Partnership, Maatwerk etc. all were investigated in the past…

      Working Links, Pertemps and A4e are the main ones under investigation now.

      I presume that you were never involved in any fraudulent activities even while under pressures from managers etc. above?

      Do Learn Direct do New Deal courses?

      I have also listed a bunch of used techniques such as windowing, exiting and misrepresentation… are there any more techniques that you can anonymously share?

      • Lou
        July 8, 2009 at 11:31 pm | #16

        I was not delivering New Deal courses when I worked for them fortunately. I delivered basic skills under a different programme for unemployed through the job centre.

        Learn Direct don’t do New Deal courses that I am aware of but they do other courses which would do well to be looked into.

        Let’s face it, at the end of the day the only thing the companies are out for is fat profits for the corporate managers, not for the employees.

      • July 10, 2009 at 8:17 pm | #17

        Learn Direct are pointless – FREE courses… yeah if you have an employer.

        That means the unemployed can’t get them and they need the skills more -and- those with jobs can afford course but are able to get it free.

  6. Aaron
    July 22, 2009 at 9:25 pm | #18

    I attended the gateway to work 2 week course at the beginning of last month from the 1st June – 12th June and have just recieved another letter this week asking me to attend another interview probably to start the 13 week course. I was wondering if I would be reruired to go on this course seen as the new deal is being replaced in october?

    • July 22, 2009 at 9:48 pm | #19

      You will probably be attending a Stage 3 interview aka transition I hear they call it.

      I would have thought it would be too late for you to start New Deal in early August but I wouldn’t put it past them.

      Flexible New Deal has replaced New Deal in half the country.

    • July 24, 2009 at 9:54 pm | #20

      They should tell you at the interview. If not, ask them. The jobcentre are terible for not fully explaining things to jobseekers

      • Aaron
        July 27, 2009 at 2:55 pm | #21

        Yeah im just hoping its just a checkup interview to see if I got any word back for the jobs I applied for during the 2 week course.. Ive been on the new deal since the 20th May. I don’t think I could stand going on the 13 week course the 2 week one was boring enough, all I learnt was that I must wear a suit during an interview :/, like I didnt know that before.

  7. Chris
    August 18, 2009 at 11:55 pm | #22

    Im starting Gateway next week, I was on it last year so I know what it’s all about… Sitting in a room all day, being talked to like a kid and wishing for the clock to strike 3.30pm.

    Also, the Wise Group block all the website except Jobcentre, s1jobs and scotcareers – we cant even check our emails let alone check niché sites like IT jobs boards. Complete waste of time.

  8. Gary
    September 11, 2009 at 10:42 pm | #23

    I was wondering, I have read in other blogs that if you don’t sign on for 13 weeks n make a recliam that they start you from square one. But also I know the recliam process was 12 weeks that has moved up to 26 weeks. I will do anything not to do the new deal process and will listen to any advice. Thank you

    • September 12, 2009 at 11:26 am | #24

      13 weeks is… 3 months?!

      You can dodge it that way, however, you would lose out.

      It would make more sense to signup and don’t bother attending:

      a) The provider wont get paid for you being on the course (other than the period of the first week or so you were absent)

      b) you will go back to Jobcentre and get sanctioned 2 weeks… better than 3 months though lol.

      • September 12, 2009 at 11:27 am | #25

        Just to add I would make sure you attend the first day or first morning… otherwise they may try and accuse you of failing a jobseekers direction resulting in a 6 month sanction.

  9. keith
    October 6, 2009 at 2:09 pm | #26

    Interesting, I remember being fed this guff by a rather unpleasant New Deal adviser: learn new skills, the opportunity to train, learn, gain confidence, careers advice ….

    My first day at CDG I felt suicidal. Is it always this bad I asked one of the old lags. No he replied, it gets worse. He said he too felt suicidal when he started and saw how bad it was.

    A typical day was sitting around bored witless, bullying was widespread, a complete waste of time and money.

    I had to redo CVs for inmates because CDG staff had made such a bad job.

    Training? No. One guy got threatened with sanctions when he took in his laptop to revise a driver theory test. He had a job lined up if he passed.

    Careers advice? You got to be joking!

    To my knowledge, and everyone I spoke to, no one got a job out of it. Nor was anyone on work placement, not that many were happy to do this. Objection was we are not working for nothing, if you have a job then employ us and pay the going rate.

    I tried to line up a work placement with a friend. I was happy to help him out in his office, just to get me out of CDG. CDG did not want to know.

    When another inmate found a work place, he was told by the tutor to fuck of and keep his nose out. I had a similar response.

    I was told to go to a company and do data entry. No discussion with me on my background or what I wished to do, which is laid down in their contract. I am dyslexic when I type. What to do? I could have refused to go. I decided best was to turn up, explain that I was dyslexic when typing and drop CDG in the shit. Next day I was frogmarched out of CDG on false allegations.

  10. October 10, 2009 at 5:52 pm | #27

    Hi – Just pasting this from your helpful article above – There are other options to go on for New Deal than just the VS Option. Depending what you are looking for there is New Deal for Musicians and New Deal for Self-Employed – which might be of greater interest to you.

    “Even though Jobcentre Plus refuses to do this under law you are entitled to change option at any time.”

    Can you point me to the legislation that supports this as I was told I could not follow this route a few weeks back by the JC as I was being placed on 13 weeks work experience.

    Thanks

    • October 11, 2009 at 5:47 pm | #28

      For NDYP:

      “Transfers

      34. As part of the flexibilities introduced via New Deal Streamlining from 26 April 2004, the time limit previously set which inhibited participants moving between NDYP Options has been removed. Participants are fully involved in the discussions with their NDPA’s when agreeing which New Deal Option best suits their needs. However, if at any time it becomes apparent that they are attending the wrong provision then you should notify the NDPA who will arrange a transfer to a more suitable Option for the balance of time remaining.”

      Thats the provider guidance.

      • October 11, 2009 at 5:49 pm | #29

        Chapter 11 – http://www.dwp.gov.uk/docs/pg-chapter-11.pdf

        The problem is people require the support of the provider to initiate the move.

        This might vary in Scotland but I think its a UK wide guidance.

      • October 12, 2009 at 4:48 pm | #30

        Hi Flexible New Deal

        Thanks for the reply and link. I’m on New Deal 25, where “Transfers” are not mentioned in the guidance paper for us – I found all the papers here – http://www.dwp.gov.uk/supplying-dwp/what-we-buy/welfare-to-work-services/provider-guidance/ – Make a handy link on these site as it’s always helpful to know your adversary.

        I again asked today to be placed on NDSE but did not feel I had the support of my NDPA. My request was refered to another level. Whereupon, I was duly informed that it had been refused:

        a) I was too far down the line in relation to my 13 week placement, which hasn’t even started yet :/

        b) That NDSE *may* cease in March – Maybe this is something that could be looked into, as its news to me? But it hardly makes a valid ground for refusal, in any event.

        Ahh well. I better rattle of a letter to my NDPA requesting information on grievance procedures :)

        Thanks to those that have taken the time to put these blogs up up until a few months ago I was never even aware of New Deal and its various guises. Also being in a very rural area we don’t have the same support structures in place that are found in urban areas.

        If any one has any thoughts or advice then they’ll be gratefully received :)

        My area currently falls out of the recent Flexible New Deal that was introduced to certain areas of Scotland._

      • October 12, 2009 at 6:18 pm | #31

        Sand Tiger – I had exactly the same situation, had the same problems and given the same excuses although we are completely different parts of the UK.

  11. October 12, 2009 at 7:12 pm | #32

    Hi Flexible New Deal

    These are strange times indeed! The irony of depressing an already depressed job market to allegedly combat unemployment is beyond believe. NDSE would have been very suitable and useful in providing possible skills and assitance, as it is I’m due to be placed on an IAP that will not be able to provide me with anything useful.

    The only thing that I can be slightly relived about is the fact that A4e/YMCA fear to venture this far north :)

    Today’s search of the Jobcentre Plus site, “all preferences” ticked and within a “100 mile radius” throws up just 9 vacancies of which 8 are infeasible due to low hours combined with a low rate of pay, ie; The wage would not even cover travel. And the other 1 requires either a Phd.

    My GTW meetings with my NDPA would, without fail, go along the lines of…

    “Hello, is there any work for today?”

    “Erm, no, not really, it’s a bit quite this week, maybe things will pick up next week”

    “Oh, nothing again. Well as you say, it may pick up next week, speak to you in a couple of weeks then.”

    Now I’m on ND I realise just why there’s such a lack of work – Because some poor sod has been made to fill it to earn their benefit, you really couldn’t make it up :?

  12. October 12, 2009 at 11:55 pm | #34

    I was told to mention being on ND when applying for it as this would be viewed favourably by this employer. Then I stumbled across Employment Subsidy
    Para 21. at http://www.dwp.gov.uk/docs/pg-chapter-9.pdf.

    A4e did have their claws into Edinburgh http://edinburghanarchists.noflag.org.uk/2009/03/a4e-to-claimant-get-a-job/ but this site hasn’t been up dated for a while now.

    The Wise Group have the FND contracts issued here.

  13. Danny
    October 13, 2009 at 4:07 pm | #35

    Hi, i got a letter today about starting New Deal next week…. i have several friends who have done it and say all you do is sit in a classroom doing nothing all day. i was wondering if there is any way atall of avoiding doing the New Deal course? i was thinking about signing off for 2-3 weeks and then signing back on? would that do the trick?

    please help!!!

    • October 13, 2009 at 6:08 pm | #36

      In theory that should work however they will be aware of your intentions and regardless of you having a new claim they will treat it as an existing claim therefore they would keep submiting you to New Deal.

      What I would suggest is if signing off for 2 weeks and if you are on NDYP when you have your next ref2 referral dont sign up to the course ask for a Taster Session.

      If they refuse then keep getting a new ref2 appointment – you can have unlimited however you will be threatened with sanctions but thats just a threat. only applies to NDYP so ND25+ etc. don’t have this.

      I would suggest what you do if possible and unlikely with your timescales is miss an appointment at the jobcentre so you get signed off automatically. This would disguise the intention.

  14. Kacey
    November 5, 2009 at 6:46 am | #37

    Hi, I have to attend my first New Deal young persons interview tomorrow with a personal advisor, and I was just wondering what happens at this first interview? And how soon after am I supposed to start the 2 week Gateway thing? Thanks :)

  15. John
    November 17, 2009 at 7:01 pm | #38

    I was recently working abroad for 4 Months and have just returned to the UK and made a fresh claim for JSA, however this was a rapid reclaim as I was previously claiming JSA for 18 Months and had just signed up for the New Deal prior to me going abroad.

    When I Attended my local Job Centre for my new claim interview I was told I would need to sign on in 2 weeks time; However, I was told I would need to sign on & have an interview/appointment with my previous New Deal Advisor, I was told I would not be able to find out until then whether I would be back on the New Deal or starting again as a fresh JSA claim as it would not be decided until my new claim had been processed.

    I am over 25 and it states on the job centre website that you have to take part in the New Deal if you have been claiming JSA for 18 months if you are 25 or over (or after claiming for 18 months out of the last 21)

    I have been clamming for just under 18 months out of the last 21 months, So, I am thinking, I might end up back on the New Deal; what is the best way for me to avoid going back on the new deal, should I not attend my first signing on day/appointment with the New Deal advisor, so my new claim gets cancelled, and wait a bit longer before re-signing again & making another new claim?

    Any help is much appreciated.

    • December 3, 2009 at 3:04 pm | #39

      I think it has been changed. The statement below has been taken from the direct.gov.uk website.

      “You must take part in Flexible New Deal if you’ve been getting Jobseeker’s Allowance for 12 months (or after six months in some cases). If you do have to take part and refuse, you may lose benefits.”

      • December 3, 2009 at 3:08 pm | #40

        Forgot to add, from October 2009 its called Flexible New Deal.

  16. Dave
    January 13, 2010 at 8:31 pm | #41

    I was on New Deal 2 years ago. I was sent by the job centre to I2I and then moved to TNG. Both did absolutely nothing for me. I spent allmy time at I2I just reading the newspapers and doing crosswords. No one offered to help with anything connected with finding a job.

    Moved to TNG and they found me a placement with a computer repair company. They said if I was doing well after 6 weeks they would push to have me taken on full time. 12 weeks went by and nothing. I never had a day off as I liked the job and wanted to keep it. I then found out I was the 9th guy to take a placement at this shop and they already had a 10th lined up. So they were basically taking advantage of the unemployed and the shop owner was abusing the system. I refused to sign the exit forms to stop TNG getting paid, but saw the TNG leader weeks laterwho said he had sorted it all out. So probably forged my signature.

    I am to be referred to a new deal company next week but no way am I putting up with this crap anymore. I will be signing off for at least 13 weeks. Hopefully by then I can sign back on and my claim will start afresh.

    • January 13, 2010 at 9:30 pm | #42

      Jobcentre Plus and the Providers ARE aware of this. It is encouraged.

      All placements have to assign an person to deal with the agreement along with a person sent from the New Deal provider. They are fully aware, and yes… they take people on year after year… typically with a 1-2 week change-over period.

      It is wrong you were promised a fulltime job.

      • January 13, 2010 at 9:33 pm | #43

        “change-over period” meaning when towards the end of one persons placement, another placement begins.

        Some companies wait until the following week after the last person has finished to commence their placement.

  17. Matthew
    January 18, 2010 at 2:12 am | #44

    I believe it has all changed but in 2005 i was on new deal and had to do a course and gateway to work seemed a litte silly when we did bowling and had a meal aswell as stuff to help you get a job. This was in Peterborough i had a 26 week course and did a placement and got a job out of it. but sadly 2 years ago job ended and now i am 29 and have to go on a new deal course so seems different, but no idea what to expect

  18. Darren Crane
    February 16, 2010 at 4:55 pm | #46

    I’ve been signing on for 18 months and have just come off a 2 weeks A4e course, now they want to send me on a 13 week one.
    The problem I have is that I am homeless (NFA), have no bank account, passport, driving licence and a criminal record and move between friends houses all over the neighbouring boroughs and the country.

    I haven’t worked for 10 years (doing odd jobs for mates for food and board) and only started claiming 18 months ago because I was done for ABH and the courts would have jailed me if I didn’t sign on because I have to pay a fine.

    I won’t be able to do a 13 week course because I can only stay with my friends for a day/week at a time and I don’t know where I will be from one day/week to the next.
    I sign on in Berkshire and I stay with a friend for a about 3 days around that time, I could be in Suffolk the day/week after or other areas.

    What are my options here as it won’t be geographically/physcially possible to keep turning up every day for 13 weeks.

    I’m in my 40′s also.

    Many thanks
    Darren

    • February 16, 2010 at 8:26 pm | #47

      Don’t come to Suffolk! You would be fully welcome here but Flexible New Deal is much worse than New Deal! We are a pilot zone (Phase 1)

      I would advise you to sign off prior to your next move (if moving county) and sign on (a day later) at your new area… you shouldn’t be put back on New Deal.

      • Darren
        February 17, 2010 at 7:14 pm | #48

        Thanks for your reply, the thing is though I don’t live anywhere as I’m homeless, I just stay around my friends on whatever sofa/bed is available in whatever county at the time, I have friends all over the place and I can’t guarantee where I’ll be when I have to go on the course for 13 weeks.
        I can’t stay in the area where they want me to do the course for more than a week. So I’m stuffed and can’t sleep on the streets nor can I afford to travel back and forth from other counties.

      • February 18, 2010 at 11:58 am | #49

        Darren they really should be working out your housing issue. Whether in conjunction with your local Council for council home or giving you Housing Allowance and Deposit.

        have you tried this route?

  19. February 19, 2010 at 8:35 am | #50

    i have to go to interveiw todayre-new deal i am almost 58 and have no intention of sitting learning to write looking for jobs in news papers etc. I hoped to finish my working life in the job i had been doing for the last 20yrs, i left my job in a care home looking fter the elderly due to a bullying nun.

  20. Andrew Coates
    February 19, 2010 at 5:06 pm | #51

    Elizabeth, it’s a farce isn’t it? I have met pnety of people in your position and age – forced to sit through lectures on applying for jobs. It is a scandal.

    Amongst many.

    • February 19, 2010 at 5:23 pm | #52

      I remember one person when I was on New Deal at Dencora House detention centre who was in the same situation!!

      Total waste of time.

  21. Raw Deal
    February 20, 2010 at 1:15 pm | #53

    The JobCentre will place you on these waste-of-space torture-camp courses right up until the day before your retirement! You will just magically “disappear” upon hitting retirement.

  22. g
    March 6, 2010 at 5:01 pm | #55

    I am on the new deal, I signed off at christmas to do a temp job for 1 month and luckily missed out on the 2 week course. Signed back on a few weeks after my temp contract ended, as the wages I had saved were nearly gone(wanted to stay away as long as possible)and straight away they swooped in with that bloomin 2 week course. Thing is, I need the money they give to travel to the place yet they messed up my payment. Nothing I had done wrong. I phoned and It turns out the guy I saw when I go to sign simply forgot to push a button to confirm my payment. They said they could sort out an instant payment either over the internet or by giro (which I would have to go in and collect) and that they would call me back…..they didnt. That was Friday, its now saturday and the course commences Monday. Does that give me a good enough reason not to turn up to this complete joke, for now at least?

  23. abu
    March 7, 2010 at 1:58 pm | #56

    I was actually physically attacked by a dwarf in of these places…

    • John
      March 7, 2010 at 5:43 pm | #57

      I was attacked by a tutor when on working links for like not having applied for 5 jobs the day before, the dude just blew a fuse and laid into me, others in the room had to pull the dude off me.

  24. bob
    March 7, 2010 at 7:41 pm | #58

    same happened to me, at interview with adviser, told her I didn’t want any old job at any old pay, turned nasty, she called *manager* across, big ugly fat guy, told me to go into side room, says – am gonna have you, i says – you threatening me?, he says no, am promising you, then pushes me against the wall n punches me in the stomach. be careful on these schemes, specially when they *invite* you into a sideroom for a *word*. stay safe and remain with the group where there are witnesses, avoid *private discussions*.

    • March 7, 2010 at 10:50 pm | #59

      Almost identical thing happened to me at New Deal prime contractor YMCA Training’s Dencora House detention centre and a staff member called Damien (%removed%).

      I managed to avoid physical contact. Still got sanctioned for it though.

    • mark
      July 1, 2010 at 12:55 pm | #60

      not too late to report this, its assault, report it dont give up untill the fat bastard is convicted.

  25. Kirsty B
    March 8, 2010 at 11:55 am | #61

    Is this company policy? It most definitely appears to be company policy. I was “taken aside” too, a hideous slobbering cretin with bad breath pressed me tight against the wall, he was breathing right down my throat, squeezing against my breasts, with his hand up my skirt trying to get his hand into my knickers. He was so fat that it was impossible to move, I felt that I was going to pass out.

  26. abu
    March 8, 2010 at 7:32 pm | #62

    I thought it was just a one off but seems not. This dwarf guy took me into a ”side room” and was saying stuff like ‘I’m gonna stop you’re money if you don’t apply for these jobs’ and ‘I’m gonna sort your family out you scum’ and ‘I’ve seen your kids walking to school, I’m mental me,watch it’. I gave hem some back and he just went for me like a whirling dervish.

  27. March 8, 2010 at 10:09 pm | #63

    I was shocked to hear of the asaaults, especially Kirsty’s. Did you report any of thse incidents to the jobcentre or police? John; Since you had witnesses to the assault did you take any action?

  28. March 10, 2010 at 12:33 pm | #64

    *** IMPORTANT ANNOUCEMENT***

    And that means you Kirsty and John an everyone else!

    The producers of BBC Radio 4′s “File on Four” are preparing a programme about welfare reform and New Deal. They would like to hear views (good and bad) from New Deal and FND clients.

    Here’s what they say:

    “We are researching a programme for BBC Radio 4 and we want to hear from clients who have been on New Deal or Flexible New Deal back to work courses within the last year. What has been your personal experience? Has the course lived up to your expectation? Please email : Kate.O’Hara@bbc.co.uk or text, or phone on 07834 846 059 with your details of how we can contact you quickly. We’ll call you back.”

    BBC Radio, News and Current Affairs
    BBC, Oxford Road, Manchester, M60 1SJ.
    http://www.bbc.co.uk/radio4/news/fileon4

    Read more: http://watchinga4e.blogspot.com/#ixzz0hmBD9wJa

  29. jenny
    March 10, 2010 at 5:11 pm | #65

    One of the guys I was with on working links was getting a lot of hassle, I think they wanted to sanction him. We were all sat in the room one day, this big fat guy with glasses opened the door and called across to this guy that he would ‘like a word with him’, the guy stayed put. The fat guy just called across ‘see you later’, waving his fist, then walked off. Now I realise what what happening, quite scary really!

    • ken
      March 10, 2010 at 5:40 pm | #66

      threats and humiliation in front of others is nothing new on new deal,as you quite rightly say this has an effect on other members of a group when bullying occurs.

      its just plain ignorance and contempt for everyone.

  30. Noxinecrotic
    March 15, 2010 at 12:01 am | #67

    Wow, after hearing some of your stories, I feel quite lucky. I was submitted to the new deal program a few weeks ago, was late for the interview, (the map they gave me was completely wrong) and they insisted it must of been my fault I was late. Had a massive argument, I walked out and submitted a huge email to the job centre about the way I was treated. My signing time was 10 minutes after my interview for new deal, and I asked to be moved further into the day, but they insisted it would “only take a minute”, of course I was late for my signing as well.

    I have not gone back yet, even though they said the course was mandatory, and I have no intention of going back either. The woman I spoke to treated me like a child from the moment I set foot in the door, (came so close to hitting her), I’m thinking of signing off, although I don’t really care if they take some money off me. I don’t know if I should sign on and continue not going, or just sign off for 26 weeks.

    Please help!!! :P

    • March 15, 2010 at 12:31 am | #68

      If it was New Deal (not Flexible New Deal) then you should sign back on – maximum sanction is 2 weeks.

      You should leave a day gap between your old and new claim although will not make too much difference as your claim will be linked and you will still need to go back.

      Who is your provider? and Where is your local Jobcentre Plus office?

      I assume you have evidence of both appointment times – it cant be reasonable if there was just 10 minutes between them.

    • Raw Deal
      March 15, 2010 at 12:25 pm | #69

      But that’s what they want you to do – not come back. Then after 13 weeks these bar stewards will cash in and claim a “job outcome” payment of £0000.

      They way you are being treated is par for the course on these abusive courses, for example any “map” that you given is bound to lead to swampland in the middle of nowhere, of course the woman on the ‘phone is going to talk down to you, of course they are going to imply that you are a bit “thick”, have “cognitive processing difficulties, have “mental health issues”.

      One way you can approach it to treat is as a “job”, OK, you’ve got an abusive boss who treats you as a child but it pays the rent gives you a couple of pounds in your pocket, and yes the pay is crap. Remember too that people in actual employment are subjected to this sort of humiliating, bullying
      and degrading treatment day-in, day-out as well, so in that respect it should serve as a deterrent :-) Don’t let the bar stewards grind you down!

  31. Noxinecrotic
    March 15, 2010 at 12:42 am | #70

    I believe that I’m on the New deal course, and I’m and with Maximus Job Agency, (in Brighton).

    And yes, I have evidence of the signing time, (I sign every 2 weeks, same time) and a letter from Maximus stating the interview time.

    I once was late by 2 minutes, and on of the oaths at the door thought I was 30 minutes late, I tried to show him my signing card, by he just told me to come back in an hour.

    I’m currently writing another email to someone called Sue McKay, who I sent a complaint email to before about the above subjects (see other post).

  32. Noxinecrotic
    March 15, 2010 at 1:42 am | #71

    Sorry, I just checked and I am on the Flexible New Deal.

  33. Noxinecrotic
    March 16, 2010 at 6:24 pm | #72

    I’m going to sign off, I had a call from an advisor today, who continuously apologised for the way I was treated. I told her I’m signing off tomorrow because I don’t want to go back to Maximus.

  34. reggie
    March 16, 2010 at 11:17 pm | #73

    its looks as if these maximus bastards have forced you to sign off, but if you sign off you won’t get any money, what you going to do then? kind of depends on your circumstances if its doable though. anyway – good luck!

  35. reggie
    March 16, 2010 at 11:21 pm | #74

    kind of thinking that its time that we started ganging up on these bastards and going along to these meetings with an “advisor”, not sure but I think you’re allowed anyway, not that its gonna be shouted from the rooftops.

    something needs to be done, and done fast, about this shit. its just not on, bang out of order!

  36. reggie
    March 16, 2010 at 11:27 pm | #75

    at the end of the days these maximus bastards and the other new deal provider bastards are just picking on vulnerable folk n trying to force them into a position where they end with with no money and maybe no home.

    we all get this don’t come back in, we’ve washed our hands of you shit. like what we supposed to live off – fresh air?

  37. roy waring
    March 17, 2010 at 12:03 pm | #76

    i have an interview with a pathways advisor on the 23rd could i get someone from this group with me to stop me being coerced or exploited ? my meeting is with jenny hitter take a t out and replace with l lol thanks roy

  38. reggie
    March 17, 2010 at 12:09 pm | #77

    you should be ok to take an “advisor” along for your meeting with jenny shitter. you find that a lot of the time you are up against 2,3,4,5,6… to one anyway.

  39. karina
    April 28, 2010 at 12:21 am | #78

    Hi !
    Im desesperate for help! Im a German single mum who came to UK, because of domestic violence.Jobcentre denieded me income support as a lone parent, so have JSA.I did ALL to get some trainning and english course, but it was a real waist of health, time and money…,they refussed me that. Inclusive, went to the hospital a cuple of times (emergency)because of stress. Now Im with ‘Maximus’ you know what i mean…?Much more stress!! -I already sent 2 complains against jobcentre BUT, were unsuccisfully.- Under ‘Freedom of Information’ I asked all my records BUT, they said they ‘destroyed’ IS records…! Can you believe? – What about ask help from CAB or Comunity legal Service? I did it BUT, guess what…
    All that ‘sh…’ (please,sorry) during more than a year! I just want to lieve in peace with my little boy;get a job and may help other people in a similar situations (inclusive,with cases about domestic violence,help kids in need, etc.) I realy want to contribute to this country But…, ‘Jobcentre’ doesnt allow me…!!!
    PLEASE HELP ME !

    • John
      April 28, 2010 at 8:01 am | #79

      What reason did the jobcentre give for not paying you?

    • April 28, 2010 at 10:26 am | #80

      Hi Karina, sorry to hear of the domestic violence – I am surprised to hear about Germany not being able to help you – a very rich country that pays in the most to the EU.

      Freedom of Information is for getting information on Government departments. You will need to do a Subject Access Request under the Data Protection Act 1998 to get a copy of your personal information – did you mean this?

  40. Claire
    May 8, 2010 at 5:12 pm | #81

    Hi,

    I’m currently on the old version of New Deal as i live in a phase 2 area.

    I started my 13 week course on 3rd May, am due to finish it near the end of July.

    Just wondering if this ‘Flexible New Deal’ will effect me? Will i still get my ‘follow-through’ period at when i’ve finished my option in July?

    I was aksing my New Deal Advisor about this yesterday, and he said that what will probs happen is that i’ll stay with im for a couple of months while they see what the changes are.

    Just wondering if anyone here has more info on if this FND will affect my ‘follow-through’ period at the end of my option?

    • May 8, 2010 at 9:59 pm | #82

      Good question. You shouldn’t be referred to Flexible New Deal until 6-12 months after New Deal ends.

      After New Deal ends your claim is closed (I am sure it is still the same now and with phase 2 area) – you will then reclaim with a new signing on time for every 2 weeks, then you should move to weekly signing then back to every 2 weeks and you will be referred to a Flexible New Deal provider.

      So the start date of Phase 2 Flexible New Deal area is general and doesn’t affect everybody. For example, those who have either completed New Deal a while ago or have signed on for more than 6-12 months will be referred straight away.

      So to try and answer your question – it shouldn’t affect your follow-through period although this might be axed for normal signing on period.

  41. Dan
    May 23, 2010 at 9:44 pm | #83

    i feel unconfortable doing my 13 week course at the moment as there are a few no hopers on it who dont give a stuff and take the mickey out of me, childish i know but i wanna smack them! I only go in once a week now for job search and been told those people arnt in on that day anymore however i still dont feel safe so to speak going in, id happily do job search at home or with my advisor and do the placement the other 4 days as i am almost going to get a contract from my work placement and know people there! If i dont go to the place for job search will they stop my money? sorry if that didnt make sense hope you understood it

    • Andrew Coates
      May 24, 2010 at 3:13 pm | #84

      The whole thing is a mess.

      I hate being dependent on the good will of my ‘advisers’.

      The best thing Dan is to keep a serious record of your job-seeking and other activities, and show them what you are doing. If you have a problem then you can show them that you are fulfilling your responsibilities. Then ask them about the possibilities for further work search that are adapted to your needs.

      • Abu Graib
        May 24, 2010 at 3:46 pm | #85

        Get a job mate!

      • Dan
        May 24, 2010 at 9:28 pm | #86

        i intend to get a job mate and am trying its just unfortanate due to bills etc that i have to do it through the system ive just turned 20 and i want go somewhere in life

      • abu ghraib
        May 24, 2010 at 9:48 pm | #87

        a jobs a job mate. might not be what you are looking for mate. but a job is a job mate!

    • Dan
      May 24, 2010 at 9:26 pm | #88

      this seems like the option ive been running through my head, id much rather see my advisor with evidence of job search than go to my training centre once a week and be bullyed basically by people who think they can live a life on benifits because they have no motivation! its embarassing to talk about which is why im on here to be honest i could just turn round and smack the people throwing insults but i like to keep a good positive character. Thanks for your help

      • abu ghraib
        May 24, 2010 at 9:42 pm | #89

        well mate. lots of jobs going mate. go get a job mate!

      • May 25, 2010 at 11:48 am | #90

        hi abu, if you can find Dan a fulltime sustainable job (26 weeks+) then Ipswich Unemployed Action will pay you for doing so.

        If you fail to achieve this or refuse to help Dan then refrain from commenting.

  42. May 31, 2010 at 4:58 am | #91

    Thanks for the amazingly accurate info on here.
    I am 42 and they just put me on the New Deal 13 week scheme last Monday. One day was more than enough and I just walked out and told them that I have found a job. If I stayed in that place for 13 days, let alone weeks, my brain would implode :)
    Obviously it means not getting any money for 13 weeks (I assume)
    How soon can I sign back on again? I am assuming that I cannot claim again for 13 weeks. Is that correct? And if so, can I be sure that when I sign on again, they won’t put me back on the New Deal immediately?
    Many thanks

    • Raw Deal
      May 31, 2010 at 10:06 am | #92

      Unless someone knows better or the rules have recently changed, the “linkage” period is 13 weeks (91 days) after which the counter would be “reset” and your claim would be back to week 0. In the intervening period as well as not receiving any JSA you will not be eligible for NI contributions. I’m not sure re the situation regarding housing benefit/council tax i.e if you need to be on a “passport” benefit to be eligible for these. You should double/triple/quadruple check any information though; Jobcentre Plus is notorious for giving duff information. Signing off may not be the best solution financially though; being “sanctioned” for non-attendance or whatever may be a Better Deal.

      • May 31, 2010 at 11:00 am | #93

        Hi Raw Deal
        You are amazing! Thanks so much
        Financially 13 weeks withouty money is of course a nightmare but I didn’t realise there was an alternatice-The course leader told us that after 5 absences, you are thrown off the course and considered to be unavailable for any work, so isn’t it the same as what I’ve done?!
        And regarding my question about the moment in mid August that I sign back on-Are you sure that they ca’t force me to start the New Deal again?
        Many thanks again

      • Raw Deal
        May 31, 2010 at 12:31 pm | #94

        There isn’t an alternative to being without money for 13 weeks if you want to break the “link” in your claim. Being thrown of the course isn’t the same as being signed off.

        If you genuinely find work whilst on New Deal the Provider will return paperwork to the Jobcentre so say that you have signed off. This is the first that they do and you are supposed to sign it. From what you say this doesn’t appear to be the case and as things stand the New Deal provider will refer you back to the JobCentre on the grounds of “giving up a place on an Employment Programme”.

        You will shortly receive an “invitation” from the JobCentre to attend an interview. At this interview you will be given a form to complete stating your reasons for non-attendance. Your claim will then be referred to a Decision Maker and you will be re-referred to New Deal.

        If you don’t attend any further appointments at the JobCentre you will probably find that your claim will be closed as in failing to sign-on.

        So it is really just a case of signing-off or being signed off; there is no way that you will continue to receive payment without attending New Deal provision.

        I know its a scary prospect “signing off” for 13 weeks and then being immediately re-referred to New Deal but this really shouldn’t be the case; you can only be referred to certain provision at certain periods in your claim, on your next appointment at the JobCentre take a look at the screen, one of the boxes states “length of unemployment” i.e. “under 26 weeks”, and that is where you should land back at. It’s probably quite a rare occurrence anyway as the JobCentre obviously don’t expect that many “customers” can survive for 13 weeks without an income, so it’s probably quite an unusual circumstance and as such quite difficult to call with 100% certainty. And for all we know maybe the JobCentre just view it as a “self-imposed” sanction.

      • markky
        October 18, 2010 at 5:57 pm | #95

        trying to understand this—–

        (1)better jst nt to turn up to the new deal and get signed off automaticaly and survive for 13 weeks and then sign onn again OR—-

        (2) go round to jobcentre and sign off

        I started new deal 25+ today..CRAP I could servive for 4 months off JSA

    • Evie
      November 29, 2010 at 2:51 pm | #96

      I’ve been told that if you refuse the work placement scheme while on New Deal your benefit is removed and if you sign off you have to stay off JSA for at least three months before signing on again or they just put you back on New Deal and the work placement scheme. As you only get £80.00 a week for doing 6 hours work over four days (24 hours) you aren’t even getting the minimum wage, which is illegal as the minimum wage is there for a reason. But of course the government is above the law. It means big conglomerate companies that make huge profits get you for free and there is no guarantee of a job at the end of it. Basically slave labour. I refused and now have to sign off, how i’m supposed to magae is anyones guess. I was doing volutary work but I am not prepared to do work such as retail (for Poundland etc) that has no relation to my skills, where I won’t even been getting the basic minimum wage but will be expected to work alongside others who are, crazy!!!!!!!

  43. Raw Deal
    May 31, 2010 at 12:44 pm | #97

    As regards Workfare it appears that these “linkage” rules are being toughened up as in you will be become eligible for Workfare if you have been claiming for two out the previous three years.

  44. May 31, 2010 at 12:57 pm | #98

    Once again, your knowledge amazes me! Thanks so much!
    What I did was tell the course leader (or whatever they are called) that I had found a job. She did advise me to go to the Job Centre and fill in some paperwork but I didn’t realise why that would be significant and it also meant trying to get someone to give me a job for 13 weeks! Do they actually follow up the information that one gives them?It all seems a bit crazy-Surely they should be glad to have me off their books!

    So in essence what you are telling me is that one cannot simply walk off the course with a message-”Got a job. Thanks” (which BTW is worth £100 apparently but I didn’t want to complicate matters!)but one has to provide details of the employer?

    Repeating myself again-I cannot thank you enough. Noone else has been able to help me and, as you say, asking the Job Centre people themselves is less useful than just tossing a coin and using that as guidance!

    Best wishes

    • Raw Deal
      May 31, 2010 at 2:00 pm | #99

      Hi Dan

      Amazing:-)

      Well, you can just walk off the course with a “Got a job. Thanks” message, but not if you expect to be paid.

      The New Deal provider would want details of your employer, but that’s just so that the New Deal provider can chase after their Job Outcome bonus payment (many £000s), that’s where the £100 “bribe” comes into play, but it’s very unlikely that a private company out to make money is going to pay out at all when they don’t have to, is the £100 upfront when you find a job or is £100 AFTER you have been in work for 13 weeks? From what I know of New Deal providers the small print always reads along the lines of “you MAY be entitled to a DISCRETIONARY payment UP to £x” AFTER you have been in work for 13 weeks. At that point the New Provider will have cashed in and washed their hands of you.

      If you genuinely found a job, the best thing to do would be to just walk out and not come back, stuff the “one week travel ticket” or whatever “bribe” they are offering, no need to give them details of your future employer either, you wouldn’t want them contacting your employer, chasing after their Job Outcome bonus payment would you? You can only make it as difficult as possible for them to cash in. No need to tell the Job Centre either, they would just sign you off automatically and send you a P45.

      The Job Centre would know anyway since they use information from Her Majesty’s Revenues and Customs (HMRC) to identify when a customer has moved into work. (This information is then matched against their IT systems. If matched a job outcome is reported through a tool called the “Work and Pensions Longitudinal Study. The Job Outcome is then converted into points depending on the customer’s priority. That’s how Job Centre “targets” are evaluated, and the information is most likely shared with their “partners” i.e. New Deal Providers)

      I sometimes think that the whole point of these so-called “courses” is to get people to sign-off. Even the supermarket vegetable isle would implode at the whole mind-numbness of it all. I understand that the Provider can still claim their Job Outcome bonus in these circumstances. Providers have even been known to offer “bribes” to get clients to “sign-off” for 13 weeks. Never believe anything that a New Deal provider tells you, in fact the reality is most likely to be the opposite.

      Same with JobCentre staff, its part of their training/policy to give out misleading/incorrect information. When have you ever received a straight answer to a straight question, never?

      Glad to be of help and

      Good Luck

      Raw Deal

  45. lowestoft’s finest
    May 31, 2010 at 2:04 pm | #100

    Donald, I don’t know what your personal circumstances are but I think that their is a possibility that if you have a partner and kids you might be able to get your wife to now start a claim instead of you that way still get money coming in, rent and council tax paid for 13 weeks.

    I have heard this can be done, but I am afraid to say that’s as much as I know, though someone else on this site might know a lot more.

    It’s also worth checking with your local CAB as I assure you they will be familiar with what they can do for people in exactly your position by now.

    • Raw Deal
      May 31, 2010 at 2:14 pm | #101

      This used to be possible, “passing the claim” from one partner to the next to avoid New Deal etc., not sure if this is still the case though. Although you tend to assume that someone even contemplating “signing off” for 13 weeks doesn’t have a partner/kids/possibly rent to worry about. Still, if Donald has a partner/kids this would be definitely worth checking out.

  46. Raw Deal
    May 31, 2010 at 2:05 pm | #102

    lol got your name wrong their – sorry Donald :-)

  47. May 31, 2010 at 2:34 pm | #103

    This site is amazing and I only find it by accident last night when Googling “New Deal + Waste Of Time” :)
    Starting with Mr Raw Deal-Thanks again to you. I think I understand now what the best tactic is-Do nothing and then start all over again in mid Aug. And you are almost certain that it won’t mean an immediate return to prison, oops New Deal !
    You did frighten me a bit with the reference to Workfare-I’ve been unemployed since July 2008-Does that mean I will be forced to take ANY ‘job’ they offer me? I thought it was the Tory/Lib Dem/Coalition policy to force us to sweep the streets/unblock toilets etc:) Is that in place already?
    Many many thanks again
    PS Losing 13 x £65 is not going to be easy but the alternative doesn’t bear thinking about-I could not last another day in that environment :(
    Many thanks

  48. May 31, 2010 at 2:37 pm | #104

    Dearlowestoft’s finest

    Thanks to you as well

    I don’t have a partner and I certainly don’t have a CAB! I think they open their office 3 hours every week-I’m amazed they don’t force the long time unemployed to take jobs there!

    Best wishes

  49. May 31, 2010 at 2:39 pm | #105

    Raw Deal-

    About getting my name wrong-Maybe I should try that tactic and start a new claim immediately :)

  50. lowestoft’s finest
    May 31, 2010 at 3:26 pm | #106

    Donald, You need to now find out and keep a note off exactly when your present claim will end. quadrouple check this date is right at it is now of the upmost importance.

    I would then not put in a new claim for 14 weeks from that day becouse if you make a mistake even by one day on the 13 weeks expirey date you will have signed off for nothing as they will stick you back on the New Deal Circus all over again as soon as the next available place turns up.

    • Raw Deal
      May 31, 2010 at 4:23 pm | #107

      Good advice, Lowestoft’s Finest.

      Donald, as Lowestoft’s Finest says you have be to very careful with regards to dates.

      Job Centre “dates” can a bit “off”, if only by a day or two; the Job Centre likes to fit things around the 2-weekly signing “cycle”; all claims have a TAM (take as made date) although that is usually for back-dating purposes. Also when they say 13 weeks, is that 13 calendar weeks, or is it like New Deal Stage One where public holidays do not count towards the balance of time?

      Also, its the date of the claim being closed beyond recognition that is important, this may be later on than when you last sign-on, receive your last payment or walk out of New Deal:-)

      This is the sort of trap that the Job Centre would gleefully allow someone to fall into, finding out that you had signed-off for only 12 weeks and 6 days would be like your worst nightmare coming true – Welcome (Back) to New Deal:-)

  51. Raw Deal
    May 31, 2010 at 4:41 pm | #108

    Also for a fresh claim you will have to serve the 3 day Waiting Period (where you don’t receive any benefit).

    Lowestoft’s Finest is 100% correct, you should wait at least 14 weeks from when you think that your claim ends before you even think about re-claiming. At least quadruple check the dates on your calendar and even better have every man, woman and their dog check too, miss-counting by a week is an easy thing to do.

  52. Raw Deal
    May 31, 2010 at 5:10 pm | #109

    This suggests that the “linking period” may have been extended to 26 weeks!:

    http://forums.moneysavingexpert.com/showthread.php?t=1384561

    —–

    The only linking rule I can find is 12 weeks. I found this here
    http://www.dsdni.gov.uk/jsa_background_information.pdf page 10

    Linking rules
    People whose claim to JSA is broken by a period of less than 12 weeks will be treated as having one continuous claim to JSA. In addition, people who leave JSA and then claim Incapacity Benefit, Maternity Allowance, Carer’s Allowance or a Training Allowance or who undertake jury service also have their claims linked.
    The linking rules are normally beneficial and ensure, for example, that claimants do not have to serve a further set of waiting days, and that they retain their previous entitlement to mortgage interest payments when they reclaim JSA.

    —-

    The rules for Rapid Reclaims (where there was less than 13 weeks between claims) were changed in Dec (I think) to extend this to 6 months. Not sure if this has increased the ‘linking’ period to 6 months also, which would mean that the OP’s two periods on JSA link up.

    —-

    Quote:Originally Posted by von
    If there is a break of more then 12 weeks between the last day of your previous claim and the first day of your current claim then the claims will not link and you are entitled to JSA for 182 days on your new claim which started in November.
    If you think there is more than a 12 weeks break you should ask the Jobcentre to explain why you are not entitled to 182 days of JSA.

    Quote:Originally Posted by mvengemvenge
    The rules for Rapid Reclaims (where there was less than 13 weeks between claims) were changed in Dec (I think) to extend this to 6 months. Not sure if this has increased the ‘linking’ period to 6 months also, which would mean that the OP’s two periods on JSA link up.

    See my previous post…

    It also depends when two claims are made. If they were to fall in the same calendar year, the same tax years would be looked at for the calculation, so it wouldn’t be afresh 182 days anyway.

    —-

    Originally Posted by mvengemvenge
    See my previous post…

    It also depends when two claims are made. If they were to fall in the same calendar year, the same tax years would be looked at for the calculation, so it wouldn’t be afresh 182 days anyway.

    yes, this is correct, its the relevant tax years that are used. after the new tax year begins in april, we’ll be using a more recent tax year to calculate cont based benefit. so, if in that year, you’ve paid enough NI, you’ll qualify again.

    the 182 days has little to do with the 12 week linking, and is more to do with the tax years used. the relevant tax years being used just now are y/e 06 and y/e 07. after 5th apr, we’ll be using y/e 07 & y/e 08. hope this helps.

    —-

    “The rules for Rapid Reclaims (where there was less than 13 weeks between claims) were changed in Dec (I think) to extend this to 6 months. Not sure if this has increased the ‘linking’ period to 6 months also, which would mean that the OP’s two periods on JSA link up.”

    Does anyone know if the ‘linking’ period has been extended to 6 months ?

    Does the type of JSA (contribution or income based) make any difference to the linking period ?

    —-

    Quote:Originally Posted by pontdugard
    “The rules for Rapid Reclaims (where there was less than 13 weeks between claims) were changed in Dec (I think) to extend this to 6 months. Not sure if this has increased the ‘linking’ period to 6 months also, which would mean that the OP’s two periods on JSA link up.”

    Does anyone know if the ‘linking’ period has been extended to 6 months ?

    Does the type of JSA (contribution or income based) make any difference to the linking period ?

    yes the linking has been extended to 6 months providing (as on all 4RR’s that information is still the same) and we go on the ritys (relevant income tax years) starting in january not april.

    doesnt matter if it cont or IB,

    —-

  53. lowestoft’s finest
    May 31, 2010 at 5:18 pm | #110

    12 weeks and 6 days….somebody post a Suicide Smiley.

  54. May 31, 2010 at 5:59 pm | #111

    Thanks lowestoft’s finest
    What do you mean by “present claim will end”? I was put on the New Deal until 10 august. Is that what you mean by the expiry period?
    Thanks again

  55. May 31, 2010 at 6:02 pm | #112

    To Raw Deal-

    Very grateful to you as well but still not sire what ” wait at least 14 weeks from…present claim ” means-Is that 14 weeks from the date I started the New Deal? Or is it 14 weeks from when I END it? And if so, surely that doesn’t mean waiting 28 weeks? That is 7 months :( What would happen if I got a job working in a bar or pub and left it in mid August? Surely they couldn’t put me back onto another 14 week delay till I can start signing on again?
    Thanks

    • Raw Deal
      May 31, 2010 at 7:32 pm | #113

      14 weeks from when you END New Deal (although really meaning when your claim is closed). You end New Deal (your claim is closed) then wait 14 weeks or 13 if you feel sure that you have got your calculations correct.

      Even though you have already started New Deal you shouldn’t have to “serve the balance of time” remaining on New Deal when you re-claim either as you are in effect a new claim. This would only apply to linked claims.

      If you got a job working in a bar or club for 14 weeks then left in mid-August (provided you didn’t leave voluntary) you’d be free to sign-on again. You just have to be signed-off and not claiming for the linking period.

      The linking period is commonly assumed to be 13 weeks – at least for JSA, but it has been suggested that it is in fact 26 weeks (having been increased recently). It appears to be something that the Government can change on a whim. It’d be best to know for sure.

      If anything the “linking period” is more than likely to have been extended, as the Government appear to want to make it as hard as possible to escape the horrors of New Deal. After all, that is the reasoning behind it for (JSA), otherwise we’d just sign-off for a day :-)

      One thing that can’t be “un-linked” is sanctions, you start where you left off no matter how long you have been signed-off.

      • {‘-’}
        August 6, 2010 at 8:34 am | #114

        (*)^(*)
        \/

  56. lowestoft’s finest
    May 31, 2010 at 7:13 pm | #115

    Donald the important date hear is not from when your new deal started or even if you had stayed on it the date it was meant to finish. But the actual date the jobcentre stop your payments from. Be very wary here as Raw Deal says their dates are often out.

  57. May 31, 2010 at 7:28 pm | #116

    Hi lowestoft’s finest
    Oh I see. Thanks. How will I know that date? The way I left it was this-I walked out of New Deal on Day 2 morning, told them I had found a job and they said I should fill in paperwork at the Job Centre and then go back to them. Following Raw Deal’s advice, I see now that all they want to do is earn their own commission. Will I automatically be “signed off”? Should I perhaps ring Belfast and tell them I am no longer claiming? What I don’t want to do is go into the Job Centre and give them the name of an employer…I don’t have one :) But I CANNOT carry on the New Deal-It would ruin my sanity :(
    Many thanks

    • Raw Deal
      May 31, 2010 at 7:48 pm | #117

      If you were on signing on at the Job Centre your JSA claim would be automatically closed 5 days after you failed to attend. Its the fact that you are on New Deal (presumably not having to attend the Job Centre to sign) and have walked off site that confuses things.

      Your New Deal provider will have reported you to the Job Centre for non-attendance, so you can be sure that your subsistence payment/training allowance will stop shortly. If you fail to respond to the Job Centre it wont be long before they stop your claim.

    • lowestoft’s finest
      May 31, 2010 at 8:06 pm | #118

      Hi Donald,

      I’m now on shakey ground hear so you will have to bare with me (we did say quadruple check all advice you get).

      But I think after a certain amount of days of your continus non attendance of your new deal course, your new deal provider will nottify your jobcentre of your non attendance who will then close your claim down automaticly. Then maybe after a couple more weeks you will recieve a letter from the DWP telling you they will no longer pay you JSA etc after a certain date.

      (As a quick very rough guide that date may probably next date you would have otherise recieved your next fortnightly JSA payment).(I may be wrong here so check it but it will say in the letter you will recieve).

  58. May 31, 2010 at 8:33 pm | #119

    Thanks, Raw Deal and lowestoft’s finest!
    It all makes sense now and I cannot thank you enough! Hopefully I will manage to survive until mid August and I am absolutely certain that my mental health has to take precedence over the money coming in! What you guys have clarified is that there is no prospect of being put back onto NDeal so long as I don’t start signing on again within a 13-14 week period. And I do not face any additional problems relating to a fake current employer if I simply don’t turn up and fill in their commission papers/blood money documentation! The whole system sucks and things can only get worse under the new system, though I reckon it won’t become law until 2012 at the earliest-Hopefully by then, I will be in employment !
    Many many thanks again

  59. lowestoft’s finest
    May 31, 2010 at 9:03 pm | #120

    Donald,
    I wouldn’t aim to sign on till at least mid September,If it was me I would try ang get a series of short term temporary jobs just to make your money go further till then (maybe agency stuff)?

    The thing to whatch is don’t jack in a full time job to go and sign on again as they will check and if they find out you won’t be eligable for benefits.

  60. lowestoft’s finest
    May 31, 2010 at 9:10 pm | #121

    Typing Error

    The thing to whatch is don’t jack in a “full time job” to go and sign on again

    “full time job” should read “permanent job”.

  61. May 31, 2010 at 9:40 pm | #122

    Hi lowestoft’s finest
    Why mid Septembwer? Even in your worst casescenario, the differential between the dates was 1-2 weeks max-That gets me to the third week of August. Surely things are very simple now that you’ve explained it-I didn’t sign on last week and I left the ND programme-They will therefore not pay me next Monday (my next due date). 13 weeks from that date is week commencing 30 August

    Should I perhaps ring Belfast tomorrow and tell them that 2I am no longer available for work”. As you know, that is not the same as being in employment but is enough to disqualify you from obtaining benefits

    Many thanks

  62. Raw Deal
    May 31, 2010 at 9:55 pm | #123

    13 Weeks from next Monday (7th June) is Monday 6th September.

  63. May 31, 2010 at 11:06 pm | #124

    Hi Raw Deal
    I thought it would be 13 weeks from the last payment date, ie from LAST Monday rather than next Monday!
    Thanks

  64. Raw Deal
    May 31, 2010 at 11:54 pm | #125

    JSA is paid 2 weeks in arrears for the period up to when you sign on. So if you signed on LAST Monday (24 May) the payment would represent the period Monday 10th May to Sunday 23rd May. The New Deal provider also follows the same payment cycle.

    You would normally receive your payment a few days later, I assume that this is what you mean by “payment date”. So if your were on JSA you would have been paid up to the date you last signed on, but not for the fortnight before you failed to sign on.

    Your New Deal provider should pay you up until the last day of your attendance on the programme. So if you left New Deal up until before the day that you last signed on your payments from the New Deal provider will have ceased.

  65. Raw Deal
    June 1, 2010 at 12:12 am | #126

    When you do sign on just be careful not to sign back on as a ‘rapid reclaim’ (if the Job Centre offers “you’ll be paid 3 days earlier, Sir” (you can ‘rapid reclaim’ up to 26 weeks now). You will get paid 3 days earlier but you’ll definitely be back at the exact same point where you left off.

  66. Dan
    June 1, 2010 at 12:27 am | #127

    Right im back here :)
    I havnt attended my 13 week course that the job centre put me on for the last 3 mondays ( job search day ) on the basis i was getting bullied by other jobseekers on it however i went to see my advisor about this and he made note but couldnt really offer my any solution apart from i have to do it. Anyways the other 4 days i do work experience and ive kinda messed that up :/ aswell! What happens next will the training course just send me back to my advisor and will my money be stopped?

    Also just a quicky how hard is it to get a crisis loan?

    Thanks in advance

    Dan

  67. June 1, 2010 at 7:08 am | #128

    Hi Raw Deal
    The last day that I signed at the Job Centre was on 19 May and I received my money on the following Monday as always, ie 24 May-The first day of my New Deal course but that is just a coincidence!
    So surely that means I won’t receive any money today (delayed from yesterday because of the Bank Holiday) ?
    Many many thanks

    • Raw Deal
      June 1, 2010 at 9:02 am | #129

      Donald, is that a weekly signing/payment cycle that you are on? Fortnightly signing would make your next signing date tomorrow (2nd June) and next payment due on 7th June.

      If your only payment is through Job Centre Plus then its simple, you have been paid up to 18 May.

      It depends who is paying what and when if you receive any money today. If you are being paid by bank transfer your statement will tell you who pays what and when.

    • Raw Deal
      June 1, 2010 at 9:16 am | #130

      After 19 May we you still required to sign-on at the Job Centre? Was responsibility for your payment not transferred to the New Deal provider with the Job Centre continuing to pay 0.50 a week JSA as a “passport” benefit so you remain eligible for out-of-work benefits. Or are you receiving some sort of Training Allowance paid through Job Centre Plus. If responsibility for your payment was transferred to the New Deal Provider you should still be due payment for 19th May to 24 May (your last day of attendance on New Deal) (and payment from the Job Centre) (£56.1 + £0.43 = £56.53)

      • Raw Deal
        June 1, 2010 at 9:28 am | #131

        You should have received a letter from the Job Centre “Changes to your Job Seeker’s Allowance” detailing is paying what and when. Its likely that Jobcentre Plus have continued to pay you up until 23 May (until responsibility for payment was transferred to the New Deal provider on Monday 24) . It’d be doubtful though that you would receive anything from New Deal provider. Regardless of who is paying you should still receive a payment today.

  68. June 1, 2010 at 7:10 am | #132

    Hi Dan
    Your story seems very similar to mine, except that I couldn’t last more than ONE monday at the ND place and they were bullying me MENTALLY :)

  69. big dave
    June 1, 2010 at 2:10 pm | #133

    I’ve been on “New Deal” for 18-24 year olds for about 2 weeks now. I was quite surprised that on my induction afternoon I was offered a job at a DIY Store straight off the bat and was told that after the induction finishes to go straight to an interview.

    ( I was told before hand of the crappy placements offered)

    After having the quickest interview of my life where I was asked the single question of “do you ave a criminal rec” I replied that I didn’t and was hired on the spot due to my qualifications, and was handed a timetable with my hours on.
    I was told before the course started to be prepared for low hours. I went back to see my seetec advisor after the interview to tell him that I had a placement, he explained to me that I got the job due to my extensive qualifications and that it was the perfect job for me, I wondered what qualifications these were as i’am a fully qualified chef of 6 years with no warehouse or retail experience.

    I started work at 6:30am monday morning, when I first got i was told to wait in a room and that the manager would be in a minute to talk to me and to give a new hours sheet. After 45 minutes and no sign of said manager i went and asked where said manager was, I was told he would up shortly after a further 2 hours of waiting and asking someone was told he was busy gave me a newspaper to read after a further 2 hours of cover to cover reading I was about to clear off when said manager turned up gave me a new time sheet and said see you same time tomorrow morning.

    After looking over the hours sheet I realised that I was working 6 twelve hour days with sunday off. Working loads of hours has never bothered me as a chef but I felt this was slightly taking the piss.

    I was told the next day that as I had no experience in never having done this sought of job before and that they had no time to train me I would be given very boring jobs. I was given 2 jobs the first one was to make sure all the products were in a straight line and the second was to answer customers questions in the building area.

    4 days in a customer made a complaint against me as I knew nothing about building for which I got a bollocking for.

    After having a word with my seetec advisor about the hours etc.
    I worked last week with the same hours then today I just gave up with the farce that is new deal and signed off, the thought of doing this shit for the next 13 weeks was too much

    I was wondering if anyone else has had a similar experience on NEW DEAL

    Sorry for the long rant but I just had to get it off my chest

    • Andrew Coates
      June 1, 2010 at 3:26 pm | #134

      The New Deal is meant to make it easier to get a job but there’s a specific issue here.

      The problem about DIY stores these days is that the staff really have no real training in what they are meant to do.

      There used to be brilliant shop in Ipswich (Martin & Newby) where could go in, ask about something, and they would help you with real expertise.

      I know because I have had a few problems with my house over the years. They explained stuff like how to use sealant.

      Now I normally ask a mate who’s a builder or a DIY enthusiast before I go to a store.

    • June 1, 2010 at 3:32 pm | #135

      Big Dave: Since your no longer there, would you like to name and shame the DIY store concerned for the benefit of other readers?

  70. lowestoft’s finest
    June 2, 2010 at 11:57 am | #136

    I have many friends way over the age of 50, yet they repeatedly find themselves forced on the New Deal. All official government advice they can they can find repeatedly says the same thing “the New Deal/Flexible New deal is only “Opptional” for anybody already turned 50 or over”.

    Despite this and stating to their adviser “as I thought the New Deal for the over 50′s is only opptional I choose to decline your kind offer “. The reality is it makes no difference they still end up back on it, many people have been 59 yet still doing the new deal under sufference.

    In fact nobody I know has ever met anybody who has sucessfully declined the “opptional” over 50′s New Deal, everybody found the the same outcome their request deliberatly ignored and themselves on the New Deal regardless.

    So I would like to know if anyone out there has sucessfully declined the “opptional” over 50′s new deal, and sufferd no consequences eg sanctions, and how they did it?

    • Andrew Coates
      June 2, 2010 at 1:24 pm | #137

      Lowestoft: it’s an an offer you can’t refuse!

      As they say in the gangster movies.

    • reggie
      June 2, 2010 at 2:24 pm | #138

      it IS optional, its just that attendance is manadatory lol

  71. lowestoft’s finest
    June 2, 2010 at 2:09 pm | #139

    Another beautiful dream gets shot down in flames….

    I’ll have to tell them that they’ll have to write to Jim’ll Fix It if they want that one.

  72. Clare
    June 11, 2010 at 8:16 pm | #140

    Hi can you help my husband is been sent on a new deal course on monday the thing is im 34weeks pregnant and we have 4 kids 3 of them a school i have been told to take it easy but wont be able to do that as i will have to do school runs and that means walking as we dont have a car. When he signed on he was 24 but is now 25 are we classed in the 6month or 18month new deal.

  73. Fedora
    June 12, 2010 at 9:35 am | #141

    Hi Clare

    Congratulations :-)

    Is it not possible for your husband to sign-off and then for you to make a claim? Not sure if you would be able to claim for your husband tho. It used to be possible for partners to take turns at signing-on. Or do partners have to go on the New Deal now. Someone mentioned this a few weeks ago on here. We weren’t sure what the situation is, it would be helpful if you could post some info on this, help to clear it up.

  74. Claire
    June 29, 2010 at 9:43 pm | #142

    Hiya everyone!

    Has anyone heard about FND2 being cancelled? And the ‘old’ New Deal contracts being rolled over?

    I finished my option on 7th June, and am currently on the follow-through period.

    I’ve heard that alot areas are still referring to JRFND Stage 3 if you are still unemployed after follow-through. Is that the case even for FND2 areas?

    When you start follow-through you’re classed as a new claimant aren’t you? So each week is counting towards the 6 months unemployed isn’t it? So if you were on follow-through for 6 months, which it can be as i’ve read it can be as long as 26 weeks – then you’d go back to the beginning of New Deal!

    So basically yeah, what’s likely to happen if i’m unemployed at the end of follow-through?

  75. Claire
    June 29, 2010 at 9:46 pm | #143

    Oh can i ask aswell, has anyone elses job centre been re-vamped in terms of adviser’s being split between age groups?

    We now have 25 and Over, and people who’ve been claiming for less than 6 months downstairs. And people 18-24 are upstairs.

    From what i’ve heard, this is because in theory you should continue with the same adviser for whatever interviews you have now.

    Is there anyone who’s been on New Deal, and then stuck with the same adviser afterwards?

    • Strawberry Tart
      June 30, 2010 at 11:43 am | #144

      Hello Claire

      Same here, big changes afoot at the local JC, last time I tried to sign I was up and down the stairs more times than a whores knickers on pay day. Looks like everyone has been sorted into different streams what with the colour-coded signing cards? There is a real sense of fear in the air. Job Centre staff are recruited from the ranks of the unemployed anyway, if they lost their job, it’s not like they would be walking into another any time soon – and they know that.
      They only thing they’d be walking into is a provider’s office :-)

  76. Moses
    June 30, 2010 at 11:06 am | #145

    Hello Claire.

    I have noticed this at my job centre. It seems there are at least 4 different sections at my JCP 1.18-24 2.24-50 3.50-55+ 4.Eastern Europeans and those on permitted work as per ESA. For the last 5 Signings I have had the same peraon deal with me. Although I am on Stage four FND with a provider, I have too always take proof about what I have done to look for work work in the last two weeks. It appears that in this area that some JCP staff are not taking that being with a Provider-Job Search Direction in place as being enough to look for work. The JCP advisors will also carry out job search and issue application directions too. As the civil service are downsizing because of the budget JCP staff are squitting themselves because they too COULD end up the other side of the counter and or with a provider.

    • June 30, 2010 at 11:38 am | #146

      Moses: I’m also on FND Stage 4 in Edinburgh and I don ‘t have to take any proof of job search when I sign on – and have never been asked for any since commencing Stage 4

      In fact, on one occasion the jobcentre clerk asked “who does your job search”. “Ingeus”, I replied.

      • Moses
        June 30, 2010 at 12:59 pm | #147

        Funny A4e Photos [Edinburgh]. It Seems from Claire, Yourself, Strawberry Tart and Myself, That JCP seem too be trying the DEMOGRAPHICS SYSTEM. Using different parts of our countrie[s] for different systems. Knowing details will be posted on sites like this it just adds confusion on everything. If we do find that the unemployed are moved from one end of the country to the other etc expect confusion when trying to re-establish or transfer your claim. Wonder if this is part of an ongoing plan to decentralise bene4fit payments with different systems.

      • June 30, 2010 at 1:40 pm | #148

        A good theory Moses…

        It is more of the case that:

        a) law is the law
        b) policies can be created on the local managements “understanding” of wider guidance and applied with their discretion

        DWP – the Government’s largest department has no understanding of the concept of a central controlled infrastructure system… it is then how people get so confused, how some jobcentres seem to be “fair”, others almost corrupted (“too fair”) and others extremely “unfair”.

  77. Moses
    June 30, 2010 at 1:20 pm | #149

    Have just found out that the office space [rented] that my provider uses is in doubt as the block they are based in is due for redevelopement into flats.

  78. Moses
    June 30, 2010 at 3:01 pm | #150

    Had a conversation with a friend who works for dwp/benefit agency.
    Until 1992 The Dwp was the Ministry of Labour, / DHSS, The Benefits Agency as we know it now is just that a GOVERNMENT AGENCY not Department. Sec of States descisions and powers are devolved to both local levels at JCP and to fnd providers. This causes confusion at DWP/BA and at providers as local guidance rules seem to change on local job market conditions. So where as a sanction may apply for saying transport problems arose in London. This would not be excepted [in London] but if you were say in the Peak District and you got snowed in in winter and could not get to a placement, in all probability you would get away with it [once!].

    • June 30, 2010 at 5:46 pm | #151

      Good points made but this isn’t variable – for example, it still under legislation as the persons circumstances etc.

      Different people have different circumstances. Public transport varies. This isn’t what I call discretion but more of a changing definition of reasonable.

      If you have to get a bus at 11am (the only one of the day) from outside your house which takes an hour to get to the jobcentre and your appointment is 12.30am:

      1) If heavy traffic delayed your bus so much that you were late and you had a ticket to prove you left off early (with them understanding its the earliest bus possible) you would have good cause and they probably wouldn’t even send it for DMA action.

      2) If you fail to attend signing on (FTS/Fail To Sign) because you weren’t awake so missed the only bus you would be subject to a sanction. Although there is only one bus and its 1.5 hours before your appointment time they will treat you as NOT being available for work as they would expect you to be available for typical opening hours (9-6) plus any hours in addition outside that range you have said on your jobseekers agreement (JSAg).

      This might seem unfair compared to other places like London with greater availability of public transport but its not variable discretion BUT the simple fact of if both people fail to attend signing on appointment then they have Failed to Sign (FTS). FTS is a sanctionable offence (although certain circumstances in the past you just signed on another day and got payment later). Its clean cut.

      Being reasonable to circumstances will change, for example, if the above example was an appointment at 11:50am but the only bus of the day (and indeed therefore the earliest) was at 11am and it took 1 hour to get there – it wouldn’t be possible to complain that the person was late.

      Generally sanctions apply for everything – appealing could give you “good cause” if you argue that transport etc. isn’t great.

      So many people still don’t appeal.

      • Lowestoft’s Finest
        June 30, 2010 at 6:28 pm | #152

        Well said Flexi,

        I get the impression that periodicly the DWP uses too many jobseekers lethagy in fighting unfair descisions (only a third bother appealing)to make savings in its budget.

        A classical example being if seasonal christmas workers are laid off while the jobcentre is closed for the christmas holliday, the jobcentre will initialy refuse to back date the jobseekers claim from the date they were laid off as the jobcentre claim that the claimant delayed too long before with no good reason to have it back dated, (obviosly they no the reason the claimant couldn’t make a claim earlier is becouse the jobcentre wern’t open and they won’t give the forms out to people in work in advance).

        The claimant then has to go through the tedius process of filling in the appeal forms and sending them off before the jobcentre then rolls over and back dates the claimants claim with the money thats rightfully his.

        This whole scam must save the DWP a packet as only about a third of claimants effected appeal, depending on the date of christmas the jobcentre can be closed for longer periods for its christmas break, not only JSA but also housing benefit and CTB are also lost by the claimant. I also feel that the DWP know that christmas is one of the few periods where their will be a large number of seasonal workers all of which they can potentialy make a saving from by refusing to back date.

      • June 30, 2010 at 8:19 pm | #153

        LF. I once tried to do a JSA claim via internet.

        They were supposed to call within 2 days… 2 and a half weeks later I chased up as to why nothing has happened since.

        Basically, what happened is, after filling in all my details online… all that was to be ignored while they called me to do a claim via telephone. Yes, instead of you ringing them – doing it online they rang you…. although you had to ring them as they never called. I googled it and people were saying the same.

        Long story short… they refused to backdate since the day I did the claim online but start the claim on the day on the telephone!

        I laughed and after some tedious negotiations they agreed to backdate it… 6 weeks for standard payment, around the same for the backdated amount.

      • June 30, 2010 at 8:30 pm | #154

        I forgot… its all about targets and statistics….

        If 200 people stop claiming at the end of the month its deemed that:

        a) all those 200 people have found employment (regardless of any other reason giving on the forms)

        b) Jobcentre Plus was instrumental in getting that person into employment

        The more sanctions and closing claims they do the better the stats look. After all, close 250 claims this week…

        a) you have managed to reduce unemployment by 250 people

        b) when… say 200, of those people sign back on the next week (get their claim reopen, rapid reclaim etc.) it is deemed via the basic statistics (just a number) that it is a RISE in unemployment

        The REAL figure, irrespective of the labour market in respect to the 250 claims closing… unemployment hasn’t changed one bit… 200 of those will do a new claim so are unemployment benefit (JSA) claimants and the other 50 are unemployed but not claiming benefits.

        Its nothing “technical”: of course they have records of a unique person and all the claims they have had etc. its all traceable, but this is too much data for basic statistics and as they have a common law right to protect taxpayers money, terminating a persons benefit claim for whatever reason is deemed free from malice.

        The person remains in their right to reclaim and backdate from said date and in most cases are out of pocket and very stressed about jumping through all the hoops. If its too much for them then its deemed they dont want to claim.

  79. Lowestoft’s Finest
    June 30, 2010 at 10:10 pm | #155

    Flexi,

    To Right about often when you win and you get your money backdated you often are still out of pocket. as the DWP doesn’t have to compensate the claimant even for provable expenses/loss.

    The other Winter when the Fuel price started going more mental by the month. Rather than crack down on obvious fuel company profitearing or even extend the winter fuel allowance to the poorest people (who actualy need it most eg. those on disability and JSA) Gordon Brown’s answer to (our)problem was to tell those on disability and JSA to “shop around between suppliers” and pay via direct debit.

    This is OK for him to say but as normal workers were struggling to pay after finding their direct debit fuel bills rising by hundreeds of quid a quarter with little notice (a rise that no JSA can cover)but also if you relly on JSA for your only income eg no savings to use in an emergency then the last thing you should be signing up to is any direct debits due to the fact that if your JSA stops out of the blue due to some mistake than your Direct Debits are going to all bounce costing you a fortune in additional bank charges that the DWP won’t reimburse you even if you win a lengthy appeal. These bank charges are going to way out strip any discount you get becouse you signed up with direct debit payments. Direct Debits are only OK if you have a lot of money in the bank there to cover them in disasters but lets face it who do you know on JSA that has? …best avoided !!!

    • July 1, 2010 at 9:28 am | #156

      Exactly, in addition, I have to point out the following:

      1) Companies (in addition to banks) normally charge a fee when payment bounces, utility companies, phone/broadband providers etc. THIS IS ON TOP OF WHAT THE BANK WILL CHARGE YOU.

      2) Many companies charge more for different payment methods and even now for a paper bill/statement. THIS NEEDS TO BE OUTLAWED. Many customers on the same tariff/package as they were before have now been charged for paper statements althoguh they never agreed to this when they signed up for the service.

      As for Gordon is a Moron – can him and Labour really not understand how they lost the General Election to “Dave”? (+LibDems but was to make numbers up)

      • Tofty Squirrel
        July 1, 2010 at 11:49 am | #157

        Spot On Flexi,

        Lets just take for example if my JSA got stopped by mistake and I had to appeal in the meantime If I paid by Direct Debit and a direct debit was due and not having sufficient funds it bounced then my internet company would expect £75 for a bounced direct debit and my bank would expect another £45 per bounced direct debit thats £120 I would owe thanks to the DWP’s mistake non of which I can reclaim even if I win and the £120 just represents one potential Direct Debit bounced someone could have several going out with internet, and energy firms at the same time remember the penalties are fixed not depending on amount to the £120 total might be becouse someones 14.99 direct debit bounced.If this happend across the board you would owe hundreds of quid you can’t get back from the DWP. To make matters worse though crisis loans will lend you money to cover rip off electricity pay meters, they won’t lend you money to stop your electricity direct debit due to go out (which would have been coverd by the JSA payment you don’t have thanks to a DWP mistake)remember you are only asking to borrow the crisis loan, yet they still wont lend for direct debits) so thanks to a DWP mistake, then crisis loans not being issued to cover direct debits you now owe hundreds of quid in direct debit surcharges non of which you can get back.It’s disgusting as people are just being ripped off becouse they are poor and had nothing to do with the DWP mistake in the first place, I think in these cases the DWP should be liable.

  80. Custard Cream
    July 1, 2010 at 9:51 am | #158

    It’s outrageous the way the poor get penalised for being poor.

    Prepayment meters are one such example.

    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1063780/Energy-giants-overcharging-pre-payment-meter-customers-millions-year.html

    “Britain’s ‘big six’ energy giants should be made to pay back millions of pounds to customers using pre-payment meters, says the Government’s new consumer watchdog.

    Consumer Focus says the 5.9million households with the meters have been systematically ‘ripped off’ for years.

    Energy suppliers are collecting a staggering £700million extra a year by inflating charges to these customers.

    a year more for heat and light than someone on the cheapest online tariff.

    The biggest supplier, British Gas, charges its PPM customers £1,384 on average – £539 a year more than those with its cheapest deal

  81. Custard Cream
    July 1, 2010 at 9:54 am | #159

    And also the pre-payment rip-off “back dated charges”

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/watchdog/2008/10/the_backdated_bills_for_prepay.html

    “Prepayment meters should be an ideal way of paying for electricity and gas on a budget – customers pay for their energy upfront in the same way as a pay-as-you-go mobile. That’s why six million of us currently use them. But some prepayment customers are receiving a nasty surprise in the post – a bill for energy they thought they’d paid for in advance.

    Samantha England has paid for her electricity by prepayment meter since 2000, but received a bill from E.on in June 2008 for £1,162. She was told that her meter hadn’t been updated by engineers for price rises dating back to 2005 and that E.on wanted to bill her now for the difference.

    The practice of sending backdated bills to customers is known as ‘back billing’ and E.on isn’t the only energy company billing prepayment customers – Scottish Power and npower do it too. The problem often arises when the companies increase their prices but engineers don’t manually update old-style ‘token’ meters. Customers unknowingly build up a debt because they’re being charged at an incorrect rate. Newer key meters aren’t affected.

    When Watchdog rang npower to investigate a customer’s sudden bill, we were told that engineers hadn’t been going out to adjust the tariffs on people’s prepayment meters following price increases and that hundreds of customers were affected. Npower does reduce the backdated bills it sends out to £70, but the other two companies don’t.”

  82. Custard Cream
    July 1, 2010 at 10:06 am | #160

    The “repayment rate” is set at £15+ a week, this “back bill” is added as a “debt” on the pre-payment meter meaning that the customer will have to stump up an extra £15+ a week just to keep their electricity supply connected. There is no disputing these “estimated” fictitious bogus bills either. It’s really quite scandalous how Big Business shafts the poor. And what do the Government to about it – nothing!

    • July 1, 2010 at 11:44 am | #161

      GAS AND ELECTRICITY PRICES!

      Ebico has been leading the way in cutting household energy bills since 1998. As a not-for-profit company, our core aim is to put people before profits – and to provide affordable energy for every home.

      With no shareholders to keep happy, we don’t have to deal out dividends to anyone. Instead, we can put all our resources into providing EquiGas and EquiPower at fair rates for every customer – regardless of your income or circumstances, or how you choose to pay.
      http://www.ebico.co.uk/

    • July 2, 2010 at 5:52 pm | #162

      Absolutely, it is scandalous the why successive governments have allowed the privatised utilities to screw the poor by making them more for gas and electricity.

      Almost every one of these companies is now owned by the French, German and Spanish. It’s no wonder they refer to Brtitain as Treasure Island!

      • Lowestoft’s Finest
        July 2, 2010 at 8:29 pm | #163

        Treasure Island, Spot On!!! those foreign companies are hear becouse their governments wouldn’t let them get away with it back home.

  83. Claire
    July 2, 2010 at 1:24 pm | #164

    Are people still being referred to FND in phase 2 areas then? I’d heard that phase 2 has been cancelled, but just wondering if anyone here knew?

    If you’re on the ‘old’ New Deal, what happens at the end of follow-through as that’s what i’m on at the moment? Do you continue seeing the same adviser but for FND? Heard that’s why they’ve divided them into different teams, to try and give some continuity?

  84. Alan
    July 19, 2010 at 5:44 pm | #165

    I signed off rather than complete the work experience part of New Deal and asked my advisor when it would be safe to sign back on again and he duly provided me with the date, but I stayed away longer just to make sure. I was living with my parents and luckily I had sufficent savings to get by, the way I see it its like being given a prison sentance or paying a fine not to go.

    • Custard Cream
      July 19, 2010 at 6:06 pm | #166

      So for how long do you have to sign off for? 13 weeks?

      • Alan
        July 20, 2010 at 3:50 pm | #167

        Yes you have to sign off for at least 13 weeks, then you come back as a new claimant I stayed away for
        longer just to make sure, but I’ve read this may have changed since then, but my advisor knew I did not want to do this part of New Deal and gave me the date it was safe to return by,I made doubly sure by staying away longer

      • Custard Cream
        July 20, 2010 at 4:32 pm | #168

        Thanks for this. We can treat this as a definitive answer then, unless of course things have changed since then :-)

  85. July 20, 2010 at 5:24 pm | #169

    You should be grateful that your government are trying to help you return to the work place. At least you are not starving and sleeping on the streets. This would happen here in Greece as ALL benefits are contribution based and only last for a year. Think yourselves lucky that people are trying to help you and you are throwing back in their faces.

    Spiro Gammattopols
    Corfu

  86. Spiro Gammattopols
    July 20, 2010 at 5:45 pm | #170

    If you ungrateful people spent as much time on this site as you should be JOB SEARCHING and trying to IMPROVE your lives, then you should have found jobs by now. As I said in my previous post AT LEAST YOU ARE NOT STARVING AND SLEEPING ON THE STREETS. I am sure your government would not be happy with these web pages. You maybe wondering how I heard of this webpage. It was mentioned on the BBC World Service. Think yourselves lucky to have a caring government that IS trying to help you. If you lived here you would have no help and NO MONEY

    • Puzzler
      July 20, 2010 at 8:29 pm | #171

      No way are you Greek: I don’t believe this site has been mentioned on the World Service, and Spiro Gammattopols has got to be some sort of anagram…

      • July 21, 2010 at 9:45 am | #172

        google the translator and see
        what gammattopolos REALLY MEANS

    • Stavros Hippopotamus
      July 21, 2010 at 6:18 am | #173

      Spiro if you were a real Greek you would not be rioting on the streets before you slept on them, and no Greek would let his fellow countrymen starve.

      By the sound of things your real name is probably Mustapha, What’s the weather like in Ankara?

      • Stavros Hippopotamus
        July 21, 2010 at 6:20 am | #174

        Spiro if you were a real Greek you would be rioting on the streets before you slept on them, and no Greek would let his fellow countrymen starve.

        By the sound of things your real name is probably Mustapha, What’s the weather like in Ankara?

  87. Custard Cream
    July 20, 2010 at 5:56 pm | #175

    “It was mentioned on the BBC World Service” – are you being serious, you remember which programme cos that’s like wow. It’s not only Punt and Dennis that read these hallowed pages then :-) I’m sure that IBS is a big fan of this site too.

  88. Custard Cream
    July 20, 2010 at 6:00 pm | #176

    Talking of the BBC World Service Spiro, I like the BBC World Service, there is a lot of good programming on there. You do realise who pays for it though, Spiro? Same goes for the BBC website that you no doubt access :-)

  89. July 20, 2010 at 9:20 pm | #177

    I also don’t believe this site got a mention on the BBC World Sevice. And like Puzzler, as I also reckon your name is some sort of anagaram. But out of curiosity this site must have been mentioned in the local Ipswich media?

    • July 20, 2010 at 10:05 pm | #178

      Not that I am aware of.

      100% word of mouth and Google etc.

      No advertising, marketing or PR

  90. July 21, 2010 at 8:21 am | #179

    I suggest that you look at the following website

    http://WWW.A4E.CO.UK
    http://WWW.REEDINPARTNERSHIP.CO.UK
    http://WWW.JOBCENTREPLUS.GOV.UK
    http://WWW.JOBS24.CO.UK

    You seem to be UNGRATEFUL that people are trying to help you and that you are throwing it back in their faces. Most of us that are unemployed DO want to work and will take all the help that is going. It’s a pity that Ms Haley Taylor and Ms Emma Harrison also Mr Ron Newey are not given the government remit to run Jobcentre Plus. I hope YOU watched the fairy jobmother last night and saw how grateful that family were of the help given. Oh yes. I am Greek my name is NOT Spiro, but like you but for obvious reasons [NOT BENEFIT PROTECTION OR SANCTIONS] I have chosen not to reveal my real name. Come the workfare programme, AND like MR ABU says, It WILL be coming this way and it WON’T be nice, you will not be having the time to spend on this site.

    • July 21, 2010 at 9:46 am | #180

      You dumb twat!

      Jobcentre Plus website has closed since April (along with the job search) and its almost end of July.

      How can they help you if you dont help yourself?

      You appear to be:
      a) criticising the other unemployed
      b) a JSA benefit claimant
      c) unaware that JCP website closed 3 months ago

      You are supposed to check every week… BENEFIT FRAUDSTER!!

      Now get the fuck off the site and await a knock on your door from DWP

      • July 21, 2010 at 9:56 am | #181

        fnd. i stand corrected. It is YOU who is a dumb TWAT
        If you go on the internet and put the address. http://www.jobcentreplus.gov.uk It takes you to the Direct Gov job search page. You may want to look at it from time to time. I do Everyday.
        Oh yes you are right on a and b too

      • July 21, 2010 at 9:59 am | #182

        So you just went on the site?

        Why would you give the old link??

        In fact, it gives a page that explains it has moved to direct gov and business link.

        It doesn’t redirect.

      • July 21, 2010 at 10:00 am | #183
    • July 21, 2010 at 11:45 am | #184

      Spiros; Can you cite one OFSTED report where A4e met any government target for any job program it runs?

      You’ve consistently failed, time and time again. And that is why A4e and other parasites like them will have to get a bank loan (which incurs interest) to run any future jobs programs, Then again you could always fund it by using your own money. The UK taxpayer will no longer fund you failure.

      Since you clearly work for A4e, why don’t you tell us how much money parasites like Emma Harrison, Rob Newey and Mark Lovell pay themselves annually?

  91. July 21, 2010 at 9:38 am | #185

    Mr Abu.
    I agree with you on this point.
    The workfare programme WILL be this way soon and yes I agree with you that it will NOT BE NICE. [Good]!. What is needed is needed is what I think is called ‘carrot and stick approach. Comply with us and you will get all the help you need to get a job and maintain that job, your benefits too will be protected. Don’t and it will be the stick approach. I saw what ‘scarface’ said to/about you in a previous post. Another ‘unknown’ who wants to keep himself hidden. We will ‘never know now’, but we could all be at the same provider.
    Can’t wait for the follow ups to this. I for one am LOOKING FORWARD to the workfare programme.

    • Puzzler
      July 21, 2010 at 9:53 am | #186

      Spiros = Abu

    • Stavros Hippopotamus
      July 21, 2010 at 5:51 pm | #187

      Abu συνομιλίες χάλια !!!

      • Spiros
        July 22, 2010 at 8:35 am | #188

        Stavros

        Skata Sta Moutra Soo

  92. Nikostratos
    July 21, 2010 at 10:36 am | #189

    Greetings. My name is Nikostratos, my friend he call me Nick. I make big apologies. My english he no good. I agree much what Spiros and Mr Abu say very much of true. Goodbye.

    • Stavros Hippopotamus
      July 21, 2010 at 5:54 pm | #190

      Nikostratos συνομιλίες χάλια !!!

  93. Borat
    July 21, 2010 at 10:59 am | #191

    Dzienkuje.

    Jagshemash, how are you?

    I look for cultural learnings in Job Centre – for No1 Documentary on glorious British Unemployed to job get.

    My friend Spiros and Abu says Ipswich Unemployed good place to start.

    Dzein Dobre!

  94. Meerkat
    July 21, 2010 at 11:01 am | #192

    Get a Job.com?

    Simples!

  95. July 21, 2010 at 11:07 am | #193

    Mr ‘Puzzler’ and Mr FND.
    Rest assured Mr Spiros {me} and Mr Abu HAVE NEVER MET. We are NOT the same person.
    BUT as Nikostratos [And I DO know what that means in Greek] and I am Not Nikostratos, says We are PISSED OFF with the likes of you making life hard for the GENUINE JOB SEEKERS. Critisising FND and the providers only brings those who WANT TO BE on fnd to improve their chances of finding work quickly under the suspicion of being one of the CRITICAL POSTERS.
    Please be reminded again WORKFARE IS COMING THIS WAY. IT WON’T BE NICE. AND I AM PREPARED FOR IT.
    There will be no time for sitting in pubs drinking [tax payers money]
    on Abbot Ale or Cider.

    • Andrew Coates
      July 21, 2010 at 11:13 am | #194

      Spiros, why don’t you then just be a good boy: piss off for now and spend your time on your ‘genuine’ job search?

      We’ll see you on Workfare.

      • July 21, 2010 at 11:35 am | #195

        Andy, what I didnt understand from what he said was… if he was a genuine job seeker, which he might be, how would being on workfare help you seek employment?

        Is he aware that workfare isn’t work experience?

        Does he know that he can get a 6 month sanction for simply not carrying out a verbal instruction whereas there was no proof that such an instruction was ever made?

        Whether or not he thinks workfare activity will be beneficial, he is not aware of the sanction regime to go with it. Welfare schemes always had sanctions for refusing to cooperate etc. as might sound reasonable, so where does losing a months money for arriving a few minutes late fall into all this?

        Workfare has never been about helping the jobseeker but I dont expect them to understand this as the Ancient Greeks were big fans on slavery and all Greeks hold on to the past (or so it seems).

  96. July 21, 2010 at 11:16 am | #196

    hehe, this site and many others like it were founded to improve the experience for the Unemployed. It has worked so far.

    I am interested in what happens when you mix a greek with workfare.

  97. spiros
    July 21, 2010 at 11:21 am | #197

    Yasso

    mh vlepa stn ‘workfare’

    abrio to pro e

    • Andrew Coates
      July 21, 2010 at 11:29 am | #198

      Encore ici mon pote Spiros?

      Pas un seul job tu n’as trouvé?

  98. July 21, 2010 at 12:20 pm | #199

    Just As I Thought.
    Enough said and done
    this site HAS gone toxic

    • Puzzler
      July 21, 2010 at 12:23 pm | #200

      A4E Supporter = Spiros = Abu

    • Big Fish
      July 21, 2010 at 12:27 pm | #201

      It’s more like your accounts that have gone toxic, abu mate.

    • July 21, 2010 at 7:17 pm | #202

      Jobcentre advisor asked me if I had a GCSE in Maths?

      “No”, I replied. “Pity” said the advisor, “A4e have a vacancy for a Financial Director”.

      • Philip
        July 24, 2010 at 10:53 am | #203

        Did not think A4E employed outsiders, Thought they were all ‘friends who lived together’?!

  99. *
    July 21, 2010 at 12:33 pm | #204

    Mr Puzzler,

    After all,
    What evidence is there that

    Fleixible New Deal
    Puzzler
    Scarface

    Maybe one and the same person

    None whatsoever on all accounts

    • July 21, 2010 at 3:06 pm | #205

      “Flexible New Deal” (notice the correct spelling) is an employment course – not a person.

    • Big Fish
      July 21, 2010 at 3:42 pm | #206

      And what evidence is there that the Moon isn’t made of green cheese? None whatsoever on all accounts.

      • July 21, 2010 at 9:33 pm | #207

        Shhh. Its true. Keep it down. As soon as space flight becomes cheaper and can send freight to and from the moon I will import the cheese from the moon… and be rich haha!

        Unlike cheese on Earth the moon stuff doesn’t go mouldy and requires no best before date.

  100. Martin Black
    July 21, 2010 at 10:58 pm | #208

    Hi,
    Wonder if u can help me with something.
    Someone says u can sign off for 14 wks then sign back on thus avoiding New Deal as long as you don’t RAPID RECLAIM? How would u avoid being treated as a RAPID RECLAIM?
    Also what if someone relocated to another geographical area? Would their claim start from Week One for New Deal purposes? Maybe they could relocate back again?

    • Old Timer
      July 22, 2010 at 8:21 am | #209

      @ Martin Black

      I assume you’re talking about the old New Deal and not Flexible New Deal…

      Unless things have changed with the old New Deal in the last two years, it doesn’t matter if you rapid reclaim or not.

      The main thing is you sign off for at least 13 weeks (14 weeks to be sure), BEFORE you start the “Intensive Activity Period”.

      • Martin Black
        July 22, 2010 at 2:00 pm | #210

        Hi, many thanks.
        Yes, I’m talking about the old New Deal. Things have changed to some extent since Rapid Reclaim has been extended to 26 weeks instead of 13. Does this mean a claimant wouldn’t start again at Week 1 if he signed back on after 14 weeks? I’d welcome any help on this.
        Cheers!

      • DSS Insider
        July 22, 2010 at 2:18 pm | #211

        Not sure, but is it not the case that the DSS will try and “trick” you into making a Rapid Reclaim, or just processing your claim as such without even asking. Again, not sure but does a Rapid Reclaim not mean that the “linkage” is not broken, thereby you’d be straight back onto New Deal.

      • DSS Insider
        July 22, 2010 at 2:27 pm | #212

        Also, do you have a choice whether to claim as a Rapid Reclaim, or is it automatic up to 26 weeks?

      • Old Timer
        July 22, 2010 at 5:32 pm | #213

        “Things have changed to some extent since Rapid Reclaim has been extended to 26 weeks instead of 13. Does this mean a claimant wouldn’t start again at Week 1 if he signed back on after 14 weeks?”

        Martin, it’s 13 weeks because you get put on the New Deal if you’ve been claiming JSA for 18+ months out of the previous 21 months. So to break out of that, you have to sign off for at least 13 weeks (i.e. 3 months).

        The 13 week period has nothing to do with rapid reclaim.

      • Old Lag
        July 22, 2010 at 7:50 pm | #214

        “break out of that” – sounds like a prison.

      • Old Timer
        July 22, 2010 at 8:23 pm | #215

        Feels like it.

      • July 22, 2010 at 9:32 pm | #216

        Rapid Reclaim and New Claims are over-rated.

        JCP BDC staff have the ability to link claims… in order for a claim to be linked (i.e. a continuation) they dont need to be a Rapid Reclaim… a New Claim can be treated as a linked claim.

        Likewise, a Rapid Reclaim can either be linked to a previous claim or not.

        I think it is all a scam… whereas I think a RR is a good thing… how does that encourage people into sustainable employment?

        Likewise, if you have got a job thats deemed sustainable but need to sign on… why the long 6 week+ delay to get first payment from a New Claim?

        There isn’t all that much difference between processing a New Claim and a Rapid Reclaim. The delay in payment is a cash flow scam whereas the Government can gain interest by delaying the payment.

    • July 22, 2010 at 11:08 am | #217

      Martin: You might be able to do it once or twice and get away with it!

      • DSS Insider
        July 22, 2010 at 2:19 pm | #218

        Do what once or twice?

  101. Ant And Dec
    July 22, 2010 at 7:36 am | #219

    We have decided not to invite Hayley Taylor onto the next edition of I am celebrity get me out of here.

    It would not be fair on the bugs,
    They would be be begging to be eaten and this would spoil the challenges

    • reggie
      July 22, 2010 at 9:16 am | #220

      lol Hayley takes a dump in the jungle – now, that would be worth tuning in for :-)

      • Ant And Dec
        July 22, 2010 at 12:55 pm | #221

        Reggie Mate,

        Would you REALLY want to see that {?}.

      • reggie
        July 22, 2010 at 1:00 pm | #222

        Come to think of it, that would be like… disgusting :-(, in fact, the very thought of it makes me want to puke up but at least it would serve to humiliate the fat bitch. Dose of her own medicine :-)

      • reggie
        July 22, 2010 at 1:24 pm | #223

        Still, the fat bitch should be made to eat her own shit though, she is full of it :-)

  102. reggie
    July 22, 2010 at 1:36 pm | #224

    Or made to eat John Bird shit, he is full of it too :-)

    • July 22, 2010 at 5:18 pm | #225

      How about John Bird Vs Hayley Taylor?

      Anyway what is the popularity with this old thread hehe

  103. Harold
    July 23, 2010 at 9:06 am | #226

    Is it true that because of NMW that 16 Hours is classed as fulltime work ?

    • Old Timer
      July 23, 2010 at 9:28 am | #227

      That’s one of the main criteria for claiming JSA:

      “To qualify for Jobseeker’s Allowance you must be unemployed or working on average less than 16 hours a week.”

  104. harold
    July 23, 2010 at 11:33 am | #228

    Old Timer

    Was told by JCP that if you are on JSA and take a job of 16 plus hours
    JSA would stop because NMW would mean you earn more tha JSA. I was under the impression that anything under 35 hours was PART TIME. Can you clarify please

    • Old Timer
      July 23, 2010 at 12:07 pm | #229

      Yes, your JSA would stop if you work 16 hours or more, but you might still be able to get housing benefit (check with your council).

      If you work LESS than 16 hours per week, your JSA is deducted £ per £ (e.g. if you earn £30 one week, your JSA is deducted by £30).

    • July 23, 2010 at 6:07 pm | #230

      Unless the rules have changed, a single person on JSA can earn up to £5 a week without it affecting their benefit. Earn any more and they deduct it £ for £.

  105. Lowestoft’s Finest
    July 23, 2010 at 7:47 pm | #231

    When you see an adviser and get a calculation to see if you will be better off in work the calculation is useless.

    For a start if you are on a lot of prescription medicines you will have to pay for them in work the calculation never includes this, the calculation never includes travel to work fares,additional in work expenses, or worst of all if you are banking on Neo-Labours phoney Tax credits to bump up your 30 hour a week min wage job you better realise that in these recessionary times if your employer cuts your hours back to under 30 hours per week not only will you lose desperatly needed wages but your tax credits will stop as well. You could then be stuck with a job which makes you worse off then the dole that you would never have taken in the first place with less than 30 hours and no tax credits. Problem is your now stuck as you can’t jack it in as the dole will not pay you JSA as they will say you left your job.

  106. abu
    July 24, 2010 at 9:12 am | #232

    blimey – sounds like they want people to do what everyone else in work does – pay thier own way – how ridiculous this is – where will it end , I ask you?

    • Andrew Coates
      July 24, 2010 at 10:33 am | #233

      Abu, Sounds like you could give one of those Digby Jones University Courses:

      “How to Bore the Arse off an Iron Pot. “

      • abu
        July 24, 2010 at 11:01 am | #234

        baboom

      • Scarface
        July 24, 2010 at 11:08 am | #235

        Hey abu, big mouth. If you wanna come around this manor you betta learn some manners and show some respect.

    • July 24, 2010 at 11:47 am | #236

      Abu: You could use your GCSE in Woodwork to teach in prison.

  107. Melissa
    July 24, 2010 at 10:14 am | #237

    Hi guys, I would really appreciate some advice. I have been on “Steps to Work” programme N.Ireland for 5 weeks in a hell hole charity shop, but have found a temporary job:
    1) I want to know the best way to sign off, making it as difficult as possible for them.
    2) I will need my housing benefit to run on for the 4 weeks.
    Really appreciate any help, thanks.

    • Philip
      July 24, 2010 at 10:47 am | #238

      Melissa; I am not sure, but you may need to check that out. Mainland laws on benefits may differ ‘off shore’

      Good Luck

    • July 24, 2010 at 11:39 am | #239

      Melissa: I’d echo what Phillip says. The rules in NI tend to be different so I would hesitate to give you any advice. Suggest you check with your local advice centre

  108. Melissa
    July 24, 2010 at 12:35 pm | #240

    Hi Guys, thanks.
    SERC (South Eastern Regional College) is the lead contractor here in North Down, they are complete bastards, making a lot of money/profit, out of us who are the vunerable and unemployed, what a scam! Thanks again, enjoy reading the comments …. Melissa.

  109. Martin Black
    July 24, 2010 at 12:50 pm | #241

    Hi folks,
    Sorry to whip this to death but for obvious reasons I want to make sure. If someone signs off for 14 weeks then signs back on again he can’t be forced on New Deal for another 18 months?
    Are we sure about this?
    What if someone starts a Gateway New Deal course then goes walkabout for 14 weeks? Is he fresh as a daisy? Starting Gateway doesn’t spoil anything?
    Thanks for any help.

    • Cheese n Onion
      July 24, 2010 at 12:58 pm | #242

      I don’t think anyone is 100% sure of this, it’s a tough one to call, especially as the rules appear to be changing all the time. Something like “adviser discretion” could also mean that you could be “fast-tracked” back onto New Deal. We need some hard and fast rules on this.

    • July 24, 2010 at 1:31 pm | #243

      Its more than likely that a person would be fast-tracked as New Deal is soon to be scrapped.

      There is the LAW layer… the regional UNDERSTANDING layer, then there is the LOCAL layer and then the DISCRETION layer.

      Different regions decide different service delivery attributes which also are tweaked at local level (i.e. the local jobcentre) by management. This then can be tweaked further via discretion of staff.

      It is rather DC not AC: You can look at the law and think you have a point, you can look at the law again with their actions and 76% of the time its compatible too.. They get the deciding factor though, not you.

      They decide how the law gets applied by policies and procedures which aren’t even defined in law but thought up through the above levels I talked about. You cannot negotiate this.

      For Example: Andy (of this site) get exited on his first day for something he said before the course even began.. he didnt have to go back.

      Others have to do “Balance of Time” until they have done atleast 10 of the 13 weeks.

      Problem is its too early to dodge New Deal. You could sign up for it. Do a day. Sign off. Rapid reclaim a few days later. Wait for the initial appointment, then get a New Deal appointment and/or a ref2 to get referred back (this could get you 2 weeks), do another day, and repeat the process again. Under law you have the right to do this but I think Jobcentre Plus would refuse the benefit applications after a while.

      Starting Gateway normally moves you up the list. If you complete it you could go on New Deal 13 week within 2 weeks. If you dont complete it I think they will submit you back there.

    • Cheese n Onion
      July 24, 2010 at 1:46 pm | #244

      Flexible New Deal’s reply says it all. I know you are waiting for someone to say: “Yes, just sign-off for 13 weeks, then make a new claim. Your claim will be re-set to 0 – no New Deal for at least 18 months – 100% GUARANTEED” :-), but that’s not the way it works :-(

  110. Martin Black
    July 24, 2010 at 2:05 pm | #245

    Actually I’m being threatened with old New Deal not Flexible New Deal, perhaps this makes a difference?

    • July 24, 2010 at 3:46 pm | #246

      No. When you are submitted to Flexible New Deal it runs for a year regardless of attendance or even if you are not signed on.

      If you started last December you will end Flexible New Deal in this December even if you had a 6 month job in this time – not applicable now as is being replaced but it could be extended past the year anyway.

      With New Deal its directly linked to your claim. If your claim stops so does the course. So if you done 3 weeks on New Deal, signing off for 10 weeks and signing back on doesn’t make you complete it, you start back at week 4 as “Balance of Time”.

      New Deal is worse in certain respects… with Flexible New Deal depending on provider etc. you can rearrange appointments which are normally 1-3 weeks apart as of the large volume of people. You could probably get away with rearranging them twice – depending on the reason as long as you attend the 3rd date given – could buy you a month each time.

      Both New Deal and Flexible New Deal are crap, pros and cons really… some elements are great, others are not. I mean, some elements are Ok. lol

  111. July 24, 2010 at 2:36 pm | #247

    There’s so guarantees. And as already mentioned you can be fast-tracked to one or another job/work program if you have a irregular work history combined with signing on.

    • Cheese n Onion
      July 24, 2010 at 3:02 pm | #248

      Something else to consider is that a spiteful JCP adviser who rumbled that you had signed-off specifically to escape New Deal could “fast-track” you back onto out of sheer vindictiveness.

  112. michael wallace
    August 1, 2010 at 10:06 pm | #249

    You never mentioned “maximus”.Final part of the “flexible new deal”.I started maximus, which should last for 12 months,i’m still doing it,but not by choice.None of these schemes are valid anyway.What i mean is that what you are told by the job centre and these sub contractors is that you have to go to these scemes.well it’s true you have to go,but you don’t have to stay.You are only legally obliged to turn up.At maximus you have to sign in when you arrive.Thats the only thing you are legally obliged to do.I arrive at the maximus office sign in then leave the premises.I’ve been doing that for months with no changes to my benefits.These schemes are dreamed up by parlaiment(not the permanent government in whitehall).God,i could send ridiculous ideas to whitehall too if i wanted.Thats all parlaiment did.Parlaiment have no power at all,none of them work in parlaiment palace as permanent govenrment.THEY AINT EVEN IN GOVERNMENT!.In a nutshell things aint changed since you could walk into the benefits office sign on and walk right out again.The only difference is parlaiment made an application to whitehall to change the name of the benefits so they could make people “seek” jobs.It’s none of parlaiments business.And as far as “jobseeking is concerned all you have to do is fill out your “looking for work ES4JP form” and present it when you sign.As long as it says you’ve had enough job interviews for that period you will get your money.NONE OF THE INFORMATION YOU WROTE IN IT HAS TO BE TRUE.The law says “you have to show what you have been doing to find work”it does’nt say you have to prove it.
    SO I’LL REITERATE:IT’S ALL A LOAD OF HOT AIR.THINGS HAVE NOT CHANGED.THEY CAN’T CHANGED.OUR CIVIL RIGHTS REMAIN THE SAME AS THEY EVER WHERE.

    • michael wallace
      August 1, 2010 at 10:14 pm | #250

      WHITEHALL PALACE RULES…

  113. michael wallace
    August 1, 2010 at 10:18 pm | #251

    HEY… MAYBE I SHOULD WRITE HUNDREDS OF LETTERS TO WHITEHALL TO ASK IF I COULD HAVE MY FACE ON THE CURRENCY…….WONDER WHO CHARLIE WINDSOR AND WILLIAM WINDSON ARE BUGGING WITH HUNDREDS OF LETTERS DAY IN AND DAY OUT?

    FFS!!!!!!!!!!!!

    NOTHING OFFICIAL ABOUT THESE GUYS EITHER……

    I’M NOT ONE TO LISTEN TO NONSENSE.
    YOU MAKE UP YOUR OWN MINDS!!!!

    PEACE OUT

  114. August 5, 2010 at 8:41 am | #252

    I don’t know whether you remember my messages from May of this year but I am back here again seeking advice :)
    My New Deal started on 24 May and I signed off 2 days later as I was unable to put up with the tedium :( The 12 weeks therefore end next Friday (13 Aug). When is the earliest time that I can sign on again without the risk of being put back on the New Deal?
    Many thanks

    • Mathematician
      August 5, 2010 at 10:44 am | #253

      How do you work that one out Donald? If you signed off on 26 May:

      26 May + 12 weeks = 18 Aug
      (26 May + 13 weeks = 25 Aug)

      (13 Aug – 12 weeks = 21 May)
      (13 Aug – 13 weeks = 14 May)

      It’s easy to make mistakes with dates – be very careful.

      • August 5, 2010 at 11:01 am | #254

        Hiya Mathematician

        You live up to your name-Absolutely correct! Thanks for saving me from making a huge error-I was calculating 12 and not 13 weeks :(

        What concerns me however are recent postings that I’ve seen on here that they have a “discretion” to put you back on the New deal when you sign on again-That didn’t happen to me in 2008 when I went through exactly the same charade :) Would it be advisable maybe for me to sign on at a different centre? Is one able to choose where one goes?

        Many thanks

      • Mathematician
        August 5, 2010 at 11:18 am | #255

        I was just about to mention that there has been some further discussion on here since you last posted in May, just because you have jumped the “linkage” hurdle doesn’t mean that you are over the “discretion” hurdle. But, if you’ve been successful before, it’s looking good. If at all possible, it would be better to sign on at a different centre, can’t do any harm as you are only putting in more distance and further severing the connection :-)

        Anyway, always get your dates quadrupled checked by a “Mathematician” :-)

  115. Mathematician
    August 5, 2010 at 10:48 am | #256

    btw 26 May 2010 was a Wednesday.

  116. Mathematician
    August 5, 2010 at 11:10 am | #257

    The “linking period” is not 12 weeks anyway – it’s 13 weeks, so if your claim was closed down on 26 May, arithmetically speaking it would “link” up until Wednesday 25 Aug. But making a new claim on Thursday 26 Aug would be far to risky. To err on the side of caution 26 May + 14 weeks would be a safer bet – 1 September, and just to make doubly sure add 1 or two days on (Thu 2 September/ Fri 3 September), at which point it would be best to wait until Monday 6 September.

    So, if your claim ended on definitely ended on Wednesday 26 May, you’d be best to wait until Monday 6 September before making a new claim – just to play safe.

    • August 5, 2010 at 12:47 pm | #258

      Hi Mathematician

      Many many thankis for this. Can I assume then from your response that you don’t think there is any need for me to designate another Job Centre and there is no danger of them “linking” my new claim to the abrupt way in which I ended my New Deal? Do they have any discretion to do so and on what grounds?

      Thanks again

      • Mathematician
        August 5, 2010 at 1:18 pm | #259

        It shouldn’t really be absolutely necessary to designate a different Job Centre, but it wouldn’t do your case any harm. In a lot of areas it is possible to be equidistant from two (or three) Job Centres, not sure what the Job Centre would say though if someone made a claim, at say a London Job Centre but gave an Ipswich address. No-one can be 100% certain, but if you been through the same charade before (in the same area? with the same rules and same interpretation of the rules) with a successful outcome it’s make another successful outcome more likely. In any case, I wouldn’t worry about it, if you get your timing right, it’s odds on that you’ll be put back to square one. It should be another 18 months (or whatever before New Deal Hell rears its ugly head again, but remember that the “Work Programme” is coming into effect next year some time. Also worth mentioning, that it has been mentioned on here that you are best to avoid making a “Rapid Re-claim”, you can rapid re-claim up until 26 weeks now.

  117. August 5, 2010 at 12:48 pm | #260

    This is the sort of message which is causing me a lot of concern-

    I don’t think anyone is 100% sure of this, it’s a tough one to call, especially as the rules appear to be changing all the time. Something like “adviser discretion” could also mean that you could be “fast-tracked” back onto New Deal. We need some hard and fast rules on this.

    Comment by Cheese n Onion — July 24, 2010 @ 12:58 pm

    • August 5, 2010 at 3:14 pm | #261

      Surely a “rapid reclaim” cannot include half a year-That would beextremely unfair to someone who has only managed to find a temporary job?

      • Mathematician
        August 5, 2010 at 3:41 pm | #262

        How is a “rapid-re claim” unfair to someone who only manages to find a temporary job?

    • Mathematician
      August 5, 2010 at 3:39 pm | #263

      The “Rapid Re-claim” is all a nonsense; I believe that it means that you don’t have to sit out the 3-day “waiting period” of a new claim. When you switch from New Deal back to JSA you are “rapid- re-claimed” without even realising it. Maybe, the Job Centre just assume that in those circumstances no-one would want to sit out a 3 day “waiting period”, but in your circumstances it is immaterial since you intend to sit out > 13 weeks, so what’s 3 days benefit money. The only think that definitely carries on from claim to claim regards of length between claims is sanctions. In your case your records of you being on New Deal Hell should have been burnt at the stake. The only difference, I assume from this time around, is that you already started on New Deal before you signed off. In hindsight, an exact science I know :-), for extra security you would have been to have signed off prior to starting New Deal, then there would be absolutely no chance of “balance of time” being brought in to question. The only way that you could possibly be put back on is if a rogue advisers decide that it would be “in your best interest” and use some “discretionary” power, but what are the odds of that happening. The probability of being put back onto New Deal is 0 i.e. almost no chance at all. But, you will find out soon enough :-)

      • August 5, 2010 at 8:18 pm | #264

        Hi Mathematician/Statistician/Genius

        Many thanks for all your messages and I will tell you what happens next month!

        Best wishes

    • Mathematician
      August 5, 2010 at 3:44 pm | #265

      Anyway, you have to be wary and make sure that you put as much distance from your previous claim as possible. It’s a New, Ultra Fresh Squeaky Clean that you want to be making, so be careful what the Job Centre process your claim as.

  118. Mathematician
    August 5, 2010 at 1:22 pm | #266

    Something like “adviser discretion” could also mean that you could be “fast-tracked” back onto New Deal. Strictly speaking, it is possible that something like this could happen but it’s only a very remote possibility – very unlikely :-) Keep us posted – whatever happens.

    • August 5, 2010 at 3:12 pm | #267

      Hi Mathematician

      Are you also a statistician and, if so, what is the percentage possibility of some jobsworth Jobseekers Allowance lackey putting me back on this brain numbing scheme? :) Should I move to a different centre or will that make no difference?
      Many thanks

      • Mathematician
        August 5, 2010 at 3:58 pm | #268

        The probability of being put back onto New Deal is 0 i.e a very slim chance :-) Moving to a different centre probably wouldn’t make much difference, but it would put more distance between your precious claim. Only proviso would be if they had a more negative interpretation of the rules, were a “tough(er)” Job Centre. Not all Job Centres are the same. It could be a case of better the Devil you know and all that. Anyway, your priority is to get claiming as soon as possible without the possibility of New Deal Hell raising its ugly head :-)

      • Martin Black
        August 30, 2010 at 9:53 pm | #269

        Hi Donald,

        Did you sign on again?
        I’d be interested to hear how things worked out.
        Best Regards.

    • August 5, 2010 at 3:56 pm | #270

      The problem is, mainly stems down to 2 main parts:

      a) Jobseekers Act 1995 says you must Register for Training (i.e. New Deal regardless of the course content)

      b) Sanctions can be imposed in addition

      There are Statutory Instruments in addition, but mostly its down to policies (which arent law) and adviser discretion.

      As this isn’t clean cut black and white… it causes so much confusion. There is a post code lottery of how the law is applied.

      For example, the law states you must go New Deal and within a set period of unemployment… however, its down to the Jobcentre when you are put on it (if at all)… there is nothing stopping them exceeding the time you have to begin. They might set an New Deal appointment to arrange a Ref 2 appointment 4 weeks (6 week in total) later than supposed to.

      A manager could even stop you gonig on New Deal and never sending you for it. This is corruption yet no penalty exists if Jobcentre Plus dont comply and you have no problems unless Jobcentre Plus decides to action it (i.e. refer you to the course).

      All the law is saying is, you lose your benefit or get sanctioned if YOU refuse etc. the Jobcentre isn’t obliged to keep with such deadlines – its a way of ensuring people comply or lose out.

      Too bad the Government still keeps to contracts for welfare to work and not have a legislative backbone with a contract alongside.

  119. Martin Black
    August 6, 2010 at 12:58 am | #271

    Hi Donald,
    I think you’re fresh as a daisy if you make sure 13 weeks are up.I’d be interested to hear if it was old New Deal or Flexible New Deal you were threatened with- there’s a difference.
    Advisers have to work within the law – they can’t tell you New Deal is mandatory when it isn’t.
    By the same token I don’t think it matters whether your claim is marked as a Rapid Reclaim or not- if the law hasn’t changed in the last 2 years and it’s the same New Deal you’re threatened with then you’re in the clear.
    I submitted a similar enquiry to your own to the site recently and got very negative feedback-however none of it was based on definite knowledge.

  120. Shugs
    August 16, 2010 at 6:36 am | #272

    Hi I am currently on flexible new deal for 18-24 year olds. I have been told that I now have to go for manditory training sessions if I cannot find work within the next 4 weeks as this is the final part of stage 3 can anyone please advise on what options are available to me. I have been on JSA since Oct 09.

    Thanks

  121. TOMM
    August 19, 2010 at 4:45 pm | #273

    GET A JOB YOU LAZY BASTARDS AND STOP SCROUNGING AND WHINING. WHY THE FUCK SHOUL I PAY FOR YOU TO SKIVE. !!!

    • August 19, 2010 at 5:12 pm | #274

      Skive? As in poor attendance – pull a sickie?

      Requires you to have a job! idiot, now learn to spell your 3 letter name correctly.

  122. TOMM
    August 19, 2010 at 4:46 pm | #275

    GET A JOB YOU LAZY BASTARDS AND STOP SCROUNGING AND WHINING. WHY THE FUCK SHOULD I PAY FOR YOU TO SKIVE. !!!

    • Scarface
      August 19, 2010 at 5:54 pm | #276

      Hey TOMM, bigmouth. If you wanna come around this manor you betta learn some manners and show some respect.

      • Wodan Norse
        September 8, 2010 at 2:04 pm | #277

        Your a douch bag and a major league fool if you dont like these site WHY DONT YOU F*** OFF

      • Jade Jiles
        November 10, 2010 at 2:19 pm | #278

        Learn how to use grammar correctly, you dumb cunt!

      • Scarface
        November 10, 2010 at 3:00 pm | #279

        Hey Jade Jiles, bigmouth. If you wanna come around this manor you betta learn some manners and show some respect.

  123. TOMM
    August 19, 2010 at 5:01 pm | #280

    THIS SITE SHOULD BE BANNED.IT EXISTS TO PROVIDE LOW LIFE THE OPPORTUNITY TO ACCESS LOOPHOLES IN THE WELFARE SYSTEM. THIS IS THE KEY TO FINDING A JOB : A. GET OUT OF BED BEFORE 12 NOON. B. TURN OFF DAYTIME TV. C. APPLY FOR AS MANY VACANCIES AS YOU CAN D. ACCEPT WHATEVER IS OFFERED TO YOU E. DON’T BE TOO PARTICULAR. F. SIGN OFF

    PLEASSSSSEEEEE DON’T TELL US THERE ARE NO JOBS AVAILABLE !!!!!!

    • August 19, 2010 at 5:13 pm | #281

      Took you 15 minutes to write that comment did it?

      • Bic Biiro
        July 10, 2013 at 8:26 am | #282

        More like an hour. He was too busy watching Jeremy Kyle and wiping the coffee off his key board

    • ken
      August 19, 2010 at 10:27 pm | #283

      tom,you sound like a poundland toilet cleaner that thinks he’s looking at himself in a mirror each time he cleans’.

      • Kick the Tories Out
        August 25, 2010 at 12:35 pm | #284

        lol ken, spot on!

    • November 8, 2010 at 1:59 pm | #285

      fuck off tomm you muppet. I do all those things and still nothing. fucking prick, aaaannnndddd im a single parent. go and jizz in your nans knickers again you sick fuck. You know what im on about.

  124. stuart
    August 25, 2010 at 12:29 pm | #286

    tomm you accept that your attitude is that of one who has never had to sighn on then is forced to do any job even when it pays much less than the benefits that you are on, wich by the way are the minimum you are expected to live on.i have worked all my life just been made redundant and now im treated almost like a theif by people like you who have no idea how it is in the real world of unemployment,i bet you think we are all on pots of money from having ten kids each and spend our summer vacations abroad,while you work hard and get bitter because you listen to what you are told about the unemployed and that is what the gov want you to think as that is eisier for them to put the blame of where all the taxes go and you suck it all up,then one day you lose your job through the fault of the gov and the banks then you have to sign-on, then you slowley learn the truth, then its too late cos you are not heard and then you have people like you spouting the gov line.see you on new deal one day mate!! its harder for people like you to cope with the conditions of those places you will soon be feeling worthless and maybe even want to end it all,like so many others have felt like doing.then i hope you remember what you said on this site.

    • SamCam
      August 25, 2010 at 12:55 pm | #287

      I wouldn’t worry about TOMM. His type are always the first to come squealing when whatever unpleasantness they are so keen on for others comes knocking on their door…. “Please help me, when I was a hard-working taxpayer I was in favour of stringing the unemployed up, but now that I’ve lost my job…”

      • Lowestoft’s Finest
        August 25, 2010 at 1:31 pm | #288

        Come and join us, Come and join us…Come on in Tomm the Welfare’s lovely.

        (Thier’s a Roma saying “Our Live’s he must Envy”.

  125. stuart
    August 25, 2010 at 12:40 pm | #289

    i start the old new deal on tue i thought this was outdated but was told this area is still on old new deal and that i had no say i have to go to the jobsearch with mbw providor,even though i told them i dont need the facilaties they have as i have these myself.we will see how it goes.

    • August 25, 2010 at 7:08 pm | #290

      Stuart: They will probably ask for a copy of your CV. Before handing it over ask them how long they will keep it.

      They have no reason to keep it beyond the duration of the program. A4e, for example, keep CVs for 3 years!

      And I suggest you don’t sign the Information Disclosure form giving them permission to contact your employer – in the event you get a job whilst on the program. Even if you do get a job through your own efforts your provider will try to claim credit so they can get paid. And if your provider says you have to sign it, they’re lying. I refused to sign it when I started on FND in January and the advisor said i could visit their office to sign a declaration to say I was working. So don’t let them bully you.

  126. Natz
    August 25, 2010 at 2:03 pm | #291

    I was made homeless on sunday, but was supposed to go to my Gateway to work course on the monday, obviously with everything going on I didnt get there I had no clothes untill today and I have no money I have stayed at a friends 2 towns away from my home and called the jobcentre to give them my problem and there saying it could affect my benefits if I dont go in?? Can they do this, I have no way of getting there and I am going to the Homeless tommorow as a friend is giving me busfare!! Please Help

    • August 26, 2010 at 10:42 am | #292

      If you are homeless how can you stay 2 towns away from your home? Or did you mean home town?

      Also, you would have breached your JSA conditions if you do not update your address they have on file.

      If you can contact JCP and let them know of the situation – that would be a good start. If you are homeless I would sincerely doubt that being stuck on New Deal would be fair under your “circumstances”.

  127. Jasper
    August 25, 2010 at 5:28 pm | #293

    Hi,
    First of all let me thanks ‘Flexible New Deal” and others for all the useful information they have provided.
    I am 59 and following redundancy, I had no luck with getting back to work despite countless applications spiralling into a black hole.
    Now, it not the lack of experience and qualifications that are preventing that. But to be honest, I am puzzled by the whole situation when I hear various government and media going on about getting off our backside and getting a job.

    Let me tell the Spiros and Abus … that I have worked all my life and paid for their schooling and their kids and my security (National Insurance). May be they should give us the Jobs….

    From reading all the posts, the main point made was about the uselessness and damaging programmes that these so called ‘New Deal providers’ are milking.

    I have been on a two week ‘Gateway’ programme willingly and with a very positive attitude believing that I could learn something and may be find work. However, it transpired to be a disaster on the first day. Those who have been on these ‘courses’ know what I mean. I persevered and completed the 2 weeks only to be told on the next signing day that I had to go back for another 13 weeks. Depression set in knowing what I would have to endure as it was clearly a scam. The JC benefits from making your life a misery and A4e are guaranteed revenue.

    I would not mind so much if it were a genuine helpful programme. Does anyone audit or check these providers. It seems to me that as long as they bring the unemployment figures down, who cares about us? I am also surprised that the media haven’t looked into the whole scam.

    Like it was mentioned above, it ironic that when you point out to the KC that it is voluntary for the over 50′s, they reply: ‘this is the law’ or ‘your benefits will stop if you don’t go’.

    Now, I’m not dumb but the WPD website clearly states :”Joining New Deal 50 plus is up to you. You do not have to take part. ”

    Has this country become a dictatorship?

    Good luck to all and hang in there.

    • August 25, 2010 at 7:22 pm | #294

      Jasper: OFSTED visit providers to carry out an inspection, but they are very infrequent. And as I understand it, they give the provider advance notice of a visit so when he arrive he won’t see any overcrowding or encounter any troublemakers!

      The media has taken an interest, there was the BBC Radio 5 Donal McIntyre Investigates A4e in April 2009. And later in the year we had Benefit Busters on Channel 4. Also ATV Network did an undercover investigation of A4e Gateshead, but that will probably never be shown!

      Good luck

      • Jasper
        August 25, 2010 at 7:54 pm | #295

        FunyA4ePhotos:
        Thanks for info. I’ll try to Google them. You’d think they’d polish their act a bit. Thanks for your good luck wishes.

      • August 26, 2010 at 10:37 am | #296

        All apart from TNG who even though they are aware and can see the inspectors, Ofsted picked up on racism…

        (TNG New Deal)

  128. Lowestoft’s Finest
    August 25, 2010 at 5:45 pm | #297

    Hang in there Jasper you can get Pension Credits as soon as your 60 then its no more New Deal Circus or Stalag JobCentre Plus for you.

    • Coyote
      August 25, 2010 at 5:49 pm | #298

      And Pension Credits will bring you up to £132 a week! :-)

    • Jasper
      August 25, 2010 at 7:57 pm | #299

      Wow ! That’s some good news. I’m going to be 60 in December. It could be why they want to rush me into this 13 weeks!

      Could you tell me more about what happens when I hit 60?
      Are you sure Pension Credits kick in at 50 and not 65?
      Cheers

      • Roger Rabbit
        August 25, 2010 at 8:21 pm | #300

        No, Pension Credit kicks in at 60 (for men and women). Like all benefits it is complicated and confusing, but in a nutshell you will be entitled to the Appropriate Minimum Guarantee (AMG) which is currently £132 a week. The AMG is minimum amount of money the law says you need to live on, never mind the fact that you will currently be on £65.45. It’s funny how that when you reach a certain age the Government decides suddenly that you need over twice as much money to live on. And as Lowestoft’s Finest says, no more signing-on and New Deal Hell. I know it’s not what you are wanting to here, but someone has to break it to you. :-)

        Oh, watch out, The Pension Credit qualifying age is gradually increasing for men and women from 60 to 65 between April 2010 and 2020.

      • Roger Rabbit
        August 25, 2010 at 8:35 pm | #301

        Also, it’s not clear but I think it’s possible that you may be able to forego Pension Credits and just continue with JSA. But why would you want to do that? :-) Anyway, it’s always good to know, just in case the Job Centre “forgets” :-)

      • August 26, 2010 at 10:36 am | #302

        So can anyone answer why pensioners need so much money income?

  129. Jasper
    August 26, 2010 at 8:34 am | #303

    Hi Roger,
    Thank you kindly for the information which I was completely unaware of. I will research further.
    Note, I am still searching for work as I don’t think that is the way I want to finish my days. It’s just the 4Ae nightmare that I wish to avoid. It’s bad enough feeling that society doesn’t want you anymore.
    Thanks again.

  130. abu
    August 26, 2010 at 8:44 am | #304

    ofsted will no longer be inspecting providers..

    • August 26, 2010 at 10:35 am | #305

      Did they ever (properly) inspect providers?

    • Scarface
      August 26, 2010 at 10:40 am | #306

      Hey abu, bigmouth. How many times do you need to be told, beat it!

  131. September 6, 2010 at 12:35 pm | #307

    Hiya again to people like Mathematician and Raw Deal
    I hope you are still reading this message board and remember me :)
    I have left it 15 weeks since signing off from the New Deal and am now starting a new claim (hopefully!). They have asked me for a P45 from my previous employer. What can I do? I haven’t been working but was merely escaping from the brain numbing New Deal that would have made me go mental :)
    Many thanks

    • DWP Adviser
      September 6, 2010 at 12:54 pm | #308

      You don’t need a P45 to sign-on. If you don’t provide one the JC will give you a P46 to sign. Only thing is that since JSA is taxable the Job Centre will not be able to pay you any Tax Rebate that you are due; you will need to make a claim directly to HMRC at the end of the Tax Year. It is similar if you started in employment without a P45; in these circumstances you would be given a P46 to sign and placed on an “emergency tax code”, and similarly you would have to apply directly to HMRC at the end of the Tax year for any refund that you are due.

      • September 6, 2010 at 1:01 pm | #309

        Hello DWP Adviser
        Thank you for your almost instant response :)
        When I rang Belfast(?) on Friday, they told me to bring my P45 with me to the initial interview with the Job Centre.
        Will they ask me why my former employer didn’t give me a P45?
        Many thanks again
        Best wished

      • DWP Adviser
        September 6, 2010 at 1:10 pm | #310

        Instead of a P45, you can bring them this in instead:

        http://www.hmrc.gov.uk/forms/p46.p

  132. DWP Adviser
    September 6, 2010 at 1:10 pm | #311
  133. September 6, 2010 at 1:28 pm | #312

    Hi DWP Adviser
    Many thanks-I’ve just printed it off
    With all the HMRC problems at the moment, I don’t think anyone will be getting a tax rebate even if they are entitled to it!
    Best wishes

    • DWP Adviser
      September 6, 2010 at 1:43 pm | #313

      You can just hand that across the desk. all they need to do is rubber stamp it. That way you are in control and less likely to be on the receiving end of any awkward questions. You won’t be due any Tax Rebate if you haven’t been working since the beginning of the Tax Year.

      Good Luck with it!

  134. DWP Adviser
    September 6, 2010 at 1:48 pm | #314

    And if they start to ask questions, you can just laugh if of by saying something like: “With all the HMRC problems at the moment, I don’t think anyone will be getting a tax rebate even if they are entitled to it!” lol

  135. DWP Adviser
    September 6, 2010 at 1:55 pm | #315

    It’s also worth mentioning that the questions on the actual application forms will likely draw out your actual circumstances anyway.

    It’s just a case of getting the paperwork out of the way, once that is complete you will be good to go and you can eagerly await your first payment.

  136. September 6, 2010 at 1:59 pm | #316

    Hi DWP Adviser
    The HRMC will have even bigger problems when the Coalition Government forces everyone to find “work” and the real number of unemployed people will be 7-8 million LOL
    On the form which you sent me b(via PDF link), is the “Employer” the JC and do I leave it blank?
    My main concern is not to be put back on the New Deal again! I hope 15 weeks is long enough-I was advised by eg Raw Deal, not to sign on again after 13
    Best wishes

    • Paranoid Pete
      September 6, 2010 at 2:16 pm | #317

      Donald,

      Where’s the P45 you were given when you ended your last claim?

      • DWP Adviser
        September 6, 2010 at 2:27 pm | #318

        Paranoid Pete is correct, you could just give them the P45 that you (should have been) issued with when you ended your last claim. But if you have lost it or thrown it out with the trash the P46 will suffice. Either way, it won’t make any difference.

  137. DWP Adviser
    September 6, 2010 at 2:19 pm | #319

    Part Two is to be completed by your employer (if you had one).

    If you don’t present a P45, the Job Centre should give you a P46 to fill out anyway. But if you come armed and prepared it should speed things up. Job Centre staff are lazy and are not paid to think so they won’t complain about you doing their job for them. You just want to get in and have a new claim up and running on the system with as least hassle as possible.

  138. September 6, 2010 at 3:33 pm | #320

    Hi DWP Adviser

    They didn’t give me a P45. I walked out of the New Deal and then went into my JC two days later, signed the back of my Signing In Book , told them the details of my new “employer” and that was it.

    Following your suggestion, I have now filled in the P46 and will hand it over to the adviser as soon as I enter the JC office!

    Thanks again

  139. September 8, 2010 at 1:28 pm | #321

    Hi DWP Advisor

    Many thanks for your brilliant advice-I filled vin the P46 but they didn’t even ask for it yesterday when I went into the local JC :)

    One thing concerns me however-They have put me on JSA Rapid Reclaim (Cont & RB)-I thought the whole point of me waiting 13+ weeks (In fact, I left it 105 days ) was to commence a NEW claim. Is there a danger of them putting me back on the New Deal?

    Best wishes

    • DWP Adviser
      September 8, 2010 at 4:01 pm | #322

      You can “Rapid Re-claim” for up to 26 weeks now, ideally you’d want your claim to be as “fresh” as possible, although it doesn’t appear that you have any choice in the matter.

      This was discussed a while back; the consensus of opinion was that it shouldn’t make any difference as to whether you were re-referred back to the New Deal; no matter if you’re claim is “Rapid” or not the 13 week “linkage” rule should still apply. Let us know how this turns out. Good luck!

  140. September 8, 2010 at 1:29 pm | #323

    Rapid Reclaim (Cont & IB) *

  141. September 8, 2010 at 5:13 pm | #324

    Hi DWP Adviser

    Thanks again! I’ve now re-read the previous postings on this Rapid Reclaim nissue and I definitely had no choice in the matter-I rang Belfast to open a NEW claim but as soon as they put my NI details into the computer, I was classified as a Rapid Re-Claim. I certainly couldn’t have waited another 13 weeks before signing on again-It’s been a great struggle for me since June :(

    Best wishes

    • DWP Adviser
      September 8, 2010 at 6:07 pm | #325

      Hi Donald

      I wouldn’t worry about the Rapid Re-claim (there is nothing rapid about it). Rapid re-claim and linking are not necessarily the same.

      As Martin Black says: “By the same token I don’t think it matters whether your claim is marked as a Rapid Reclaim or not- if the law hasn’t changed in the last 2 years and it’s the same New Deal you’re threatened with then you’re in the clear.” I’d go with that :-)

    • DWP Adviser
      September 8, 2010 at 6:09 pm | #326

      And do let us know :-) Good luck!

    • mark
      October 15, 2010 at 4:26 pm | #327

      hey Donald.
      you sure you got the dates rite?

      iam 34 and due to start STEPS TO WORK on monday for 10days because ive been claiming for 18months and during my personal advisor interviews the other week it was mentioned that it was automatic after this period but if i was to nt claim or sign off for at least 13weeks i would jst back round and jst sign on again for another 18months. Was told this 2weeks ago

  142. george
    September 10, 2010 at 4:55 pm | #328

    hi i only sign for NI credits but i have been told that i have to go on flexable new deaL as im not on JSA do i have to go on new deal after all they cant stop my benifts i dont receive any apart from credits can they force me

    • Eva
      September 10, 2010 at 5:02 pm | #329

      When they sanction JSA I think that you lose your NI credit too, so maybe they can sanction your NI credit. I don’t know, I’m not sure.

    • TNG worker
      October 6, 2010 at 12:56 pm | #330

      yes if you are only receiving NI credits, this is still a ‘benefit’ so they can sanction this.

  143. stuart
    September 15, 2010 at 1:15 pm | #331

    hi agian all,well i have been on the new deal”that is still old new deal in this area” and its not a great place to spend any amount of time,but as the provider only wants the money for me being seen to be at this place” ie as long as i fill out a form saying what i have done that week like sent application letters and sent speculative letters they dont care if i stay, in fact they want you to leave so they can deal with others and get off early themselves.the money the goverment are wasting on this is beyond comprihension,and your personel adviser could do the same job while you are seing them.so im just playing along and acting dumb,i went today and was there for less than an hour,should be six hours,it took five mins to fill out there forms so they get there money,and the rest of the time reading the paper,crazy.

  144. george
    September 16, 2010 at 10:57 am | #332

    mine is a very strange case i only sign for credits so never had any intenian of going on fleable new deal however with not much to lose decided to hang on for as long as possible befofe signing off for a few weeks anyway was supposed to have my first appointment in january didnt turn up the next day i got a phone call asking where i was i said i had had the flu and a new appointment was made for the following week again did not turn up and to my amazement did not hear from them agaun untill last week when i recived a letter on the tuesday saying my first interview was for the following day since then they have tried to book me in twich more i went to sign on todat expecting a bollocking but the jobcentre said nothing to me can anyone make sence of all this i throught they would have reported me to the jobcentre

  145. mark
    October 15, 2010 at 4:50 pm | #333

    jst seen donalds post142..
    iam 34
    seen my personal advisor 2weeks ago cuz she’s sending me on the (STEPS TO WORK) course as ive been claiming JSA for 18 months now but during the interview was mentioned if i was to nt claim (sign off) for atleast 13weeks…. i would have to back round and sign on again for 18months b4 i would be referred back round to her. fingers crossed this is the case but after hearing DONALD’s post dnt no
    so think i’ll be signing of soon heard aload of RUBBISH about this course

  146. Martin Black
    October 15, 2010 at 8:41 pm | #334

    Hi Guys,

    Thought I’d update you about my conflict with my New Deal adviser (I’m on old New Deal). Some of you may have read about this in another place.
    The New Deal adviser tried to put me on the IAP 2 weeks early after only 11 weeks of the 1 day a week Gateway To Work course. I refused to sign up and protested in writing to the Job Centre manager. The manager apologised in writing. I’ve since engineered another delay by putting in a holiday form.
    On the same day as the manager apologised(October 7) I was referred to a decision maker for refusing an offer of employment. The case against me is that I was notified of two vacancies and didn’t apply for them. In actual fact I had been presented with the two vacancies by my New Deal Adviser on 6/8/10 but on getting home realised I had recently appplied for them( the vacancies I’d applied for may have had differnt ref nos but had identical job titles and job descriptions). I reported this back to my Adviser a fortnight later. He got me to sign a statement explaining why I hadn’t applied, this was on 20/8/10, the vacancy closed on 7/9/10.
    I heard nothing more about this until yesterday when I was presented by an Adviser (my own was on holiday)with a letter telling me I’d been referred and giving me 7 days to explain why I’d refused to apply (the letter was dated 7/10/10 but given to me on 15/10/10).
    The referral is obviously perverse and tit for tat (why wasn’t I referred a month earlier if I’d done something wrong?).
    All the same I’d be interested to get advice on how to handle this. Calling job centre staff perverse might not go down well with a decision maker. I think I can find one e-mail of rejection from my original application but it doesn’t tell me not to apply again .
    I was making numerous other applications during this period including 5 a week on the Gateway course. Not sure if this will cut much ice.
    Can they stop my housing benefit if things go wrong?
    Any assistance gratefully received.
    Cheers

    • Yosser Hughes
      October 15, 2010 at 9:07 pm | #335

      What do you mean “refusing employment”? Your adviser gave you a vacancy of the Labour Market system, entered it onto your record, then the JC checked and said that you never applied for it?

    • Yosser Hughes
      October 15, 2010 at 9:14 pm | #336

      Providers always say that they will get you sanctioned and that you will lose both your jsa and housing benefit, so that you will not only be hungry you will be homeless – what a shower of cunts. According to the JSA guidance sanctions do not affect Housing Benefit or Council Benefit. They continue to be paid regardless of any JSA sanctions. One thing that would stop housing benefit would be the job centre reporting a change of circumstances to the housing benefit office.

    • October 16, 2010 at 6:27 am | #337

      Although I am on your side because you have valid “good cause”, you have made it complicated for them.

      Complicated? They are typically dumb following simple procedure, the goal posts of this definition changes…

      You told them that you didn’t apply for 2 jobs they sent you for. Actually, you already applied for the jobs prior to the JSD’s.

      Jobseeker Directions are mandatory. Applying for jobs at your own will isn’t (although it is assumed/intended that JSA claimants seek work).

      Therefore, all JSD’s must be applied for!!

      It is hardly your fault – just their complete misunderstanding. Somewhat deliberate because they weren’t prepared to listen. Seriously, it doesn’t matter how nice the person may appear to be and their “get you on side” tactics they ALL follow this procedure due to a few factors: 1) their managers are on their back constantly to enforce this and will lose their jobs if they are too soft, 2) they have targets to get people off the dole and 3) listening just wastes time.

      It is a “tickbox” exercise. You probably said something like “I didn’t apply for the 2 jobs you submitted me to because I had already applied for them [...]“.

      Completely valid. Now, how these little hitlers work at JCP is, everything after “to” was ignored. In their eyes you had confessed to not applying for two JSDs which almost puts you on par to benefit theft. They love you… failing to apply for 2 JSD’s is likely to get you a 6 month benefit sanction!! Your housing benefit will be stopped too as they are linked.

      When you talked about the jobs being the same… they probably, via derogative selection thought you were meaning “all jobs are a job” due to your unemployed status. Seriously, when I talk about Jobcentre people always thinking “oh dear, I know his type [...] and after receiving taxpayers money is badmouthing them” but they really are setup to screw you over. It also isn’t as simple as “being in the know” as they will still try and screw you over. It isn’t personal… they just want to save money. it becomes personal when you have no money though…

      What you should have done was go along with it, confirming you had applied for the jobs. If they did check up then you would have an application with both employers. It may have been predated to that of the JSD but you still applied for that particular vacancy so wouldn’t matter. If you truly believed in good faith that you already applied for the vacancies (applying twice would get both applications removed – it is cheating basically) it is not a lie even if you were mistaken with a similar vacancy.

      Contact Jobcentre Manager and explain the situation with evidence. Managers do pull strings and can have influence over the “Decision Maker”. For example, to screw me over they sanctioned me because my New Deal provider sent my complaint correspondence to Jobcentre Plus. Wasn’t offensive in nature and I was persuaded to do such in induction. They stuck it down as something else though.

      An apology isn’t good enough if they do not take action. Do not, whatever you do, ask for him/her to change the decision, that is a guaranteed sanctioned for maximum term. Only a Decision Maker can make such a decision *cough*… or so the actual procedure states. (Of course a manager can dictate the decision on their behalf).

      It doesn’t matter if you applied for a thousand jobs; refuse a JSD (which they deemed you have done) just once and it is up to a 6 month sanction.

      I suggest you do a Data Protection Act 1998 request to gather evidence from them about such sanction. Do you have a copy of the paperwork you filled in? The extra work will also piss them off which is sweet considering they are trying to mess you around. I hope you get this resolved!

      • Yosser Hughes
        October 16, 2010 at 9:31 am | #338

        Your housing benefit will be stopped too as they are linked. – are you sure, cos any DWP documents that I have read have said that housing benefit is NOT affected by jsa sanctions.

      • Yosser Hughes
        October 16, 2010 at 9:35 am | #339

        If you sanctioned someone’s money by 40% for 6 months AND stopped their housing benefit for six months you would effectively making them homeless ffs – thats like fucking out of order, you couldn’t really blame someone for going round to the jc and headbutting :-) the bastards. Where the fuck is tony benn when you need him?

      • Lowestoft’s Finest
        October 19, 2010 at 8:56 am | #340

        If your housing benefit is affected by DWP sanctions, then not only could you find yourself out on the street but you could also then be potentialy classed as “deliberatly making yourself homeless” by the council in that case they have no legal responcibility to re-house you.

  147. Yosser Hughes
    October 15, 2010 at 9:17 pm | #341

    How can the job centre prove that a customer did not apply for a job – that’s just nuts!

  148. brain dead
    October 18, 2010 at 7:27 pm | #342

    hello ive been on the new deal for the last 4 weeks in hampshire,and find it totally crud,all you do all day is do cvs and job search,over and over again,what a load of old scrout,im thinking of walking out this wek cos its doing my brain in,whats the best way to do this,so i dont lose my housing benefit aswell as my jobseekers,i can live with out my jsa,but not my housing benifit,please can you advise me as the best cause of action.thanks cant take any more of this new deal tripe. thanks

    • Andrew Coates
      October 20, 2010 at 11:15 am | #343

      Are you stuck in a Detention Centre all day?

      Having done this kind of rubbish I know it can drive you mad.

      Can’t you get a Placement?

      That’s one way out of that.

  149. Martin Black
    October 18, 2010 at 9:14 pm | #344

    Hi
    Just to update you.
    When I heard about the possible 26 week suspension I was really scared.
    I couldn’t find any proof I’d applied for the jobs or any proof that I’d told the job centre I’d applied.
    Last night I wrote an e-mail to the job centre manager asking if he knew I’d been referred directly after I’d made a successful complaint. I threatened him with taking it to my M.P..
    I got a phone call today from his secretary or someone, said he hadn’t known about the referral, he’ll call me tomorrow.
    My appointment to make a written defence against the referral has been delayed to later in the week. I’ll try arguing that the referral is out of time since my non-applications date from 20.8.10, more than six weeks ago. Does anyone know if there’s a strict deadline regarding this?
    I’ll bring in my MP to bat for me.
    Funny thing is today I got an e-mail, telling me I got a job, starting on Nov 1.
    Still a bit worried about the sanction since I think sanctions continue for 12 months, e.g. if job finishes in Jan and I sign on then I would still only be in first 2 weeks of sanction.
    I could sign off early to dodge the sanction but I think this would mean missing out on the 4-week housing benefit/council tax run-on. Actually, assuming the sanction is in place by Nov 1 I’ll miss out on the benefit run-on anyway.
    Any ideas?

  150. Martin Black
    October 19, 2010 at 11:24 am | #345

    Hi,
    Latest update: Manager gets somebody to ring me this morning, she says he’s too busy, he’s got her to handle it. She invites me to see Job Centre Manager at 0915 on November 1, I’ll then have an appointment at 0930 with another guy when I can present my written defence against the referral. I agreed to this.
    What they don’t know is that I start a job on November 1!
    My reading of this is that Job Centre Manager is scared to reply to my e-mail. If he said he didn’t know about the referral then it would look like a “Nothing to do with me defence”, if he said he did know it would seem as though he had endorsed a vindictive move because I’d made a complaint. He wants the conversation to take place because face-to-face because then there’ll be no written record.
    Obviously I’ll sign off just before then and miss both appointments.
    Does anyone know: Can they go ahead with the referral if my claim is no longer live? Can they impose sanctions which could be activated at a later date?
    Many thanks for any help.
    Cheers

  151. Susan
    October 23, 2010 at 11:20 am | #346

    Could someone please advise me what happens at the end of New Deal and if I should even be at placement stage?

    I started on New Deal, over 25, on 27/08/10. I’ve told I have two more regular appointments before I must take a placement. I’m in Scotland, if that makes a difference.

    None of my literature is labelled ‘Flexible New Deal’, just ‘New Deal’. It says the gateway lasts for 16 weeks. The second stage lasts 13 weeks, during which time you could get work experience (I have twenty years of it, thanks!). The final stage is where you need to make a new claim for Jobseeker’s Allowance. It also says there’s a follow-though at this stage that could last 6-13 weeks.

    So, altogether, I’ll be on New Deal for 13 weeks before going on a placement. How long it is before I must reclaim, I don’t know.

    What’s p*ssing me off is that they aren’t likely to give me a placement that actually has a job at the end of it. I’m going to see about working in the charity shop where I already volunteer.

    How long will it take for a re-claim to go through if I still don’t have work, which this placement sure as hell won’t get me? Will it be fast-tracked? What about mortgage help? Help!

  152. Susan
    October 23, 2010 at 11:31 am | #347

    Sorry, in my happiness at finding this site I didn’t notice it was Ipswich. I’m assuming New Deal is the same wherever you live, and someone can still advise me.

    • Bright Eyes
      October 23, 2010 at 11:40 am | #348

      lol Hi Susan… even though it says Ipswich in the title we still welcome people from outside the county – it’s not a local shop for local people ala League of Gentleman, we’ve had people from far flung places like Scotchland and Wales, The US of A too. I am sure that Comrade Coates won’t have a problem with you posting.

      • Susan
        October 23, 2010 at 12:01 pm | #349

        Heh, heh. *Blushes*

      • Bookworm
        October 23, 2010 at 1:31 pm | #350

        Hi Susan… if you have just found this site you have a lot of good reading to catch up on :-)

  153. Shane Satan
    October 28, 2010 at 10:43 am | #351

    I’m on a 13 week New Deal course at the moment and it’s absolute garbage! So pointless. Nobody knows what the fuck they’re doing. I only come in because my benefits will stop. I’m on the second week and upon my induction – over 70 of us were told about this job that we could start in a matter of weeks that paid brilliant money. The job itself was painting cruise ships and everyone was promised the job. Hell, even one of the company’s ‘managers’ came in and gave us the nod for starting on the 20th of November… but guess what, just yesterday – all 70 of us were told that the contractor had to pull out. The company was in financial difficulty apparently. However the uproar was really intense – people had been saying that the alleged ‘manager’ of this company was actually a CDG employee and there was no record of the company Ian West Logistics on the internet at all. Word has it that the whole thing was made up to keep us interested in the course – so that people had an incentive to show up. Emotional blackmail really. Very underhand tactics I think you’ll agree.

    On a side note – all the women here are fucking munters. You’d be hard pressed to find a single one that has all her own teeth and who doesn’t smell of haddock – how hard is it to wash your clunge, for fuck sake? The other day, this right dirty council estate slapper asked to gobble me off in the toilets and I was outraged, what a filthy harlot! She looked like a donkey and I almost puked when she pulled her lopsided spotty tit out of her cheap Primark vest and started licking it in front of everyone – she thought she was so seductive, how cringe. One of the ‘training’ staff is flirting outrageously with one of the chavs on this course, she seems to spend all of her time with him and not helping anyone else. The other day I caught the disgusting hooker getting her rug munched by him, revolting little whore. 11 more weeks of this shit – I dunno if i can hack it =(

    EVERYONE HERE IS A FUCKING MORON APART FROM ME!

  154. Donald King
    October 29, 2010 at 10:02 am | #352

    Thanks again for all your brilliant advice earlier this year-I am the person who left the New Deal after 2 days and then wanted to ensure not being sent straight back onto it after signing on again 13+ weeks later. As several of you advised, it isn’t an exact science but I should be okay and go back to square one, albeit as a Rapid Reclaim. That is what happened and I wasn’t forced to go straight back to the New Deal course

    What they have now sent me is a Back To Work session and I am told that it takes place in the Job Centre, is attended by 15 people and lasts an hour. The following stage is after 13 weeks when you have to come in for 6 consecutive weeks and have a 20-25 minute discussion. That sounds very similar to what happened to me several years ago. However what concerns me now is what they say occurs after 26 weeks-”A more extensive search and advice”-Apparently they advise people to attend a course at a “Provider”. Is this a different name for the New Deal and does it last 13 weeks?

    Thanks again for your invaluable advice

    • October 29, 2010 at 10:21 am | #353

      I wasn’t forced to go straight back to the New Deal course – cool :-)

      What you are talking about is the “interventions” that occur every 13 weeks. “when you have to come in for 6 consecutive weeks and have a 20-25 minute discussion.” is known as SWIM (Six Weeks Intensive Matching). At these “interventions” the JC may “suggest” lots of things such as “voluntary work”, attending a ” (13 week) course” with a Provider. None of these are “mandatory”, but the Job Centre could still argue that you were “neglecting to avail of an opportunity”, easiest thing to do is play along whilst making sure these “opportunities” fall through.

  155. Donald King
    October 29, 2010 at 10:56 am | #354

    Hiya CFBIC

    Thanks for that! Seems like more of the same BS that we’ve always got from these people! The impression I got when speaking to my “adviser” today was that they can force you to attend an interview and then take a job-After 13 weeks, that would be ANY job available regardless of pay or conditions. He also blamed it on the Coalition but surely no changes have taken place yet! One can never trust anything one hears at these Job Centres :(

    Thanks again

    • October 29, 2010 at 11:33 am | #355

      Hi Donald

      It’s always been like that; when you first start signing-on you are given a “permitted period”, during which you are allowed to place some “restrictions” on the type of work you will accept i.e. taking account of skills, trade, profession etc, this also applies if you have recently qualified. After the “permitted period” you are expected to “broaden your horizons” i.e take anything. Threatening new claimants about “having to take anything” after 13 weeks is just standard practice in Job Centres. You may even find that there is slightly more pressure on you to get a job immediately since you have just recently left the labour market :-) – All this means is that your claim is definitely at stage weeks 0 – 13 – you are being treated like a new claimant. So, it looks like you you may screwed up your chances of entering New Deal :-)

      CFBIC

  156. Donald King
    October 29, 2010 at 12:27 pm | #356

    Hi CFBIC

    The “adviser” warned me today not to put something like “Retail” on list because that would allow them to send me to the local Tesco and stack shelves 10 hours a day :) I am sure that he shouldn’t be giving me that sort of advice but it is a sign of how ridiculous the system has become-Noone really believes in it and we are all going through the motions!

    You say that I may have scuppered my chances of returning to the New Deal :) :) But surely I will be put onto ND after 18 months and there is no escape-It is inevitable just like death and taxes :) However my fear of earlier this year that you can never escape from ND was unjustified thank goodness. I must say that when I was told in September that I was a “Rapid Re-Claim”, I fully expected to be sent back to ND immediately :)

    In your first message today, you advised me to “play along” every time that I am offered an “opportunity”. Can they force me to attend a course of eg 2-3 weeks? Who are these Providers and why hasn’t the Coalition closed them all down? :)

    Thanks again

  157. PHILIP
    October 29, 2010 at 3:16 pm | #357

    DEAR MR KING AND OTHERS.

    I WAS ON FND WITH REED UNTIL MAY 2010. AS MY JOB WAS LESS THAN 13 WEEKS. I RE-REGISTERD AT THE JOB CENTRE AND WAS EXPECTING TO GET A RECALL TO REEDS. DESPITE THE JOB CENTRE AND MYSELF ALSO REED TRYING AND HOPING FOR CONTACT WITH A4E TO ARRANGE THIS NOTHING HAS HAPPEND TODATE. HAVE BEEN TOLD IT COULD BE MAY NEXT YEAR OR MAYBE LATER BEFORE I GET RECALLED.

    REGARDS
    PHILIP

  158. November 8, 2010 at 1:40 pm | #358

    I am starting on one of these “courses” were i have been promised training, work experience etc. I am not looking forward to it. I was told that A4e would find me a work placement and this could be anything from warehouse work to wiping peoples arses. I was a security guard for ten years and a musician longer so why would I find such jobs useful? I asked to go on new deal for musicians but was told i could not apply as i dont have a drink or drug problem. I asked agin a few months later to be told that I would not get anyhing out of it. How would they know? I have been verbally abused and made to feel worthless and I am actually suffering depression with the way the Job Centre have treated me and many many more no doubt. I have now done a lot of reading on this course crap with A4e and I have to admit that it could well finish me off if what people are saying is true. I have every reason to believe them as I have not once seen, heard or read anything positive about what I am about to take on. This could result in war. I start a course next week to get a LGV licence from A4e. It takes 8 hours driving, a theory and hazzard awareness tests, so why does it take over 3 months??? I am at my wits end.

    • Andrew Coates
      November 9, 2010 at 11:28 am | #359

      David don’t despair!

      The way to think of this is to aim of what you want to get – a job/the licence – and push everything else aside.

      But on the way it helps standing up for yourself – nothing is worse for self-respect than to kow-tow.

      A4E at least claims it wants people to love it.

      Don’t give them that.

  159. Mr Middlesex
    November 9, 2010 at 2:25 pm | #360

    A4E = All for emma [harrison]

  160. Work Programme
    November 9, 2010 at 4:37 pm | #361

    Woah… did the YMCA charity shop shut down in town?

    Went past westgate area for first time in ages (nothing up there lol) and it seems to have disappeared.

    Where will the workfare peeps go?!

  161. Jade Jiles
    November 10, 2010 at 2:12 pm | #362

    You’re all fucking idiots! Stop whinging and take what you’re given for fuck sake! I had the displeasure of being placed on one of these courses and was offered plenty of placements as I showed that I was willing to work – dressed smartly – presented myself well vocally and generally stood out from the crowd. Every mother fucker on the course was either a chav, slag or tramp and I was simply too fucking brilliant and educated to be mixing with the likes of these lower class people. So I accepted an offer for a placement in a Debenhams store working on the Women’s Wear section – naturally after two weeks, I attained the position and am now full time within their establishment. It can be done – it’s just the useless fuck-wits on this website are simply too dumb or drenched in self-pity to get their lazy asses into a placement. YOU’RE ON THERE BECAUSE YOU’VE BEEN LAZY (I’ll admit, I was unemployed for a while but my parents are loaded and didn’t push me into work). It was one hell of a wake-up call when I found myself on the course with all those ugly-as-fuck; don’t-know-how-to-shower cretins. Go the extra mile and you’ll get a job out of it, you lazy bastards! Kthxbi!

    • Jade Jiles
      November 10, 2010 at 2:17 pm | #363

      Oh and if you ask me – that girl called ‘Kirsty’ that claimed the Advisor ‘stuck his hand in her top and knickers’ (that were probably stained with period blood anyway) – she was obviously asking for it.

      • Scarface
        November 10, 2010 at 2:51 pm | #364

        Hey Jade Jiles. You got a problem, buddy?

    • November 26, 2010 at 12:24 pm | #365

      From The Red Baron.
      I am english and through the Daily Mail, I heard of a Website http://www.tjobs.ro This website helps find Romanians find work in the uk. IF YOU ASK THE NICLEY, they also help english find jobs in england too. I have 4 interviews next week thanks to them. I agree with you Jade Jiles. and Scarface can go and shove his head up his arse and fart

  162. whats the point
    November 13, 2010 at 9:47 am | #366

    the job centre have put me on a 13 week course to get my fork lift licence, it takes 13 weeks but only 2 weeks of this is fork lift training. to get this licence I have to do 4 weeks obtaining city and guilds Maths and English level 2 certificates, the rest of the time is job hunting. i also get a £15.50 week allowance to cover traveling expences which is refunded providing i get reciepts.
    i have only been on this course two weeks and the fuckers have sent me my P45. idont understand please help !!!!

  163. michelle pennie
    November 25, 2010 at 11:29 pm | #367

    ok i have been told that i have to start on the new deal course in leeds and pretty nervous about the whole thing i’m a transsexual and have heard lots of stories about bullying and people acting like idiots on these courses and most peoples attitudes towards transsexuals is pretty narrow minded especially if you have to sit with a load of kids, i’m not even that interested about getting a job at the moment my partner works and earns very good money and i’m not sure whether its worth going onto the course thinking i should just start claiming ESA but if i came of ESA after a few months because i am able to work physically would i get put straight on the new deal again

  164. sanctioned for finding work whilst on a placement on a day i was supposed to ‘look for work ‘ with them!
    January 7, 2011 at 10:03 pm | #368

    Dorset claimant – 50+ – throughout my entire claim, I’ve got temp part time work AND DECLARED IT ALL – as I cant get 16 hours + a week, so ant get working tax credits – was duped inot a new deal subcontractor on the understnading I’d have a specific day a week free to keep my attempted business launch going. Threatened with a sanction – not for failing ot attend my work experience, but for not ;physically attending their crappy offices to do my jobsearch – I do mine at home, faster and on the nights the jobs are advertised, not a whole week later! Turns out if I dont physically attend their offices for 4 hours, they dont get paid! I lost an offer of ~ £210 work one week as I had to go to their offices then traipseback to the dwp! I have been victimised by the jobcentre since they made a clerical error and i complained about it – i had work on a regular signing day , so phoned in to ask for a late signing. It got put down as a ‘failure to sign’ and I got a hideous telehone callto my contact telephone number calling me a lazy workshy person, etc, which was in front of people who didnt know I was claiming anything – i stopped her halfway through the call and said i’d spoken to t aman in reception and hed put an email on the system for her- she shut u temporarily,then tried to cover herself by pretending she hadnt got an email but she had! The decision maker foudn in my favour , and i asked for a DPA requet to see all my entries , which an acting manager said she had to retgrieve from her drawer just before christmas. they issued B7 forms with teh wrong dates on them to cover the 13 weeks, and neither they nor anyone at the ‘providers’ office took resonsibility so they were all sent in late – i then got accused of failing to declar e work on time which is fraud!
    I am near a nervous breakdown beause of these bastards – and am still waiting to hear from ANY o fthem to sort the mess out.
    there have already been 5 suicides nationally where the inqust juries have decided that benefit cock ups were to blame – dont we have any human rights as people who work part time????

    • January 8, 2011 at 10:21 am | #369

      Sorry to hear this. If you have temp work under 16 hours (16 hours or more you have to terminate your claim) regardless of the amount of money you get you still clock up time to be stuck on New Deal.

      You do not have a right to start a business… you are unemployed. Myself, and a few others I know of both in person and through the internet have both hit the same problem in regards to New Deal and New Deal 2.0 (Flexible New Deal) – they will not support you with setting up a business.

      You probably not aware of the New Deal Self Employment course? Neither was I, they stuck me at YMCA Training’s Dencora House Detention Centre.

      Probably the best way to approach this is to:
      a) ignore your New Deal provider (after all you only need to answer to them with an active claim)
      b) call Jobcentre Plus to sign off
      c) do such temporary work
      d) call Jocbentre Plus to sign back on

      The issue here is, when subject to New Deal you do not have the flexibility of choosing to do work (how absurd really?!) so the only way you can do this is to sign off, do the work then sign on – instead of declaring such work with an active claim.

      Sanctions are always threatened and available – they give them out left right and centre.

      When signing back on you will need to declare the work you had done and explain why you signed off (something along the lines of “So I was available for work”).

      The crap thing with New Deal is you are exempt from being available for work so in theory as long as you are on New Deal you do not have to accept any work at all (other than that your provider or JCP knows about as if you refused you would be sanctioned) which defeats the object as you are clearly willing to work.

      It is a very hypocritical system they dictate where you must work/apply for at the threat of sanctions yet have the absolute power of even restricting you from working otherwise, and the hours and wage could be completely identical. The only way around this is signing off (which they love – one less claimant means one person into work regardless of the case being different) doing the work then signing back on. Of course, under some circumstances Jobcentre Plus might try to sanction you if they feel you didn’t have a good reason for leaving employment.

      How long is your sanction for?

      Do you have the ability to send over all the DPA request (minus your personal details of course)? If so, I will give you my email.

  165. Steve T
    January 19, 2011 at 9:19 am | #370

    I am 43years old and have just been put on New Deal for the second time. The 2 week course starts next week and I really dont think I will manage to get through the 13 week. My area have not started Flexible New Deal yet. Do I have any grounds for refusing? They could not find me any relevant work experience or tell me anything I did not already know. From my experience last time the course offered me nothing apart from stress and frustration which I believe contributed to a heart attack that I suffered about a month arter finishing the 13 weeker in 2009. My new deal advisor told me that as New deal is nearing an end there are even less “opportunities” now. I am worried that the stress will be detrimental to my health. Can I Refuse?

    • January 19, 2011 at 4:43 pm | #371

      Steve T: There’s a couple of options, but neither of which might not be practical.

      You could sign off, and the other option is to make a claim for Employment Support Allowance (ESA). Obviously if you don’t have any savings to tide you over then signing off won’t be any good. And if you opt for ESA that will mean having to attend an ATOS medical.

      Having had a heart attack, making a claim for ESA might be your best bet.

      I attended an ATOS medical as an observer on behalf a claimant. It lasted about 40 mins, and it can be very difficult to pass even with supporting medical evidence from your doctor- hence the large number of appeals – which you may have heard about?

      Here’s a link to the DWP wesbite with more info on ESA;
      http://www.dwp.gov.uk/international/benefits/employment-and-support/

  166. URI
    January 19, 2011 at 10:29 am | #372

    Careful they the providers have nothing to lose you msy get a sanction

  167. Steve T
    January 25, 2011 at 7:06 am | #373

    Thanks fo the advice.
    Update:
    During my last New Deal sentence in 2009 I wrote a few letters to MP’s and newspapers. I just found a reply dated July 2009 from The District Manager of Jobcentre Plus in South London. Here are a few extracts.
    “We are aware that New Deal programmes do not always deliver the help our customers require.”….”the labour market has changed and a programme now 10 years old inevitably needs to make changes to ensure it is ready for the challenges of the next decade.”….Then talks about fliexible new deal, which is not in operation here yet…..”Those out of work today are more likely to suffer from multiple disadvantages than the unemployed of ten years ago. Ensuring that this group are equipped with the key employability skills that they need to effectively engage with the labour market, requires more personalised and tailored help than the New Deal is capable of providing.”
    I am thinking that this letter could be my “Get out of Jail” card.
    If anyone is interested in reading the whole letter let me know and I will scan it and post a link.
    Thanks Again.
    Steve T

    • January 25, 2011 at 9:22 am | #374

      Steve, I am very interested.

      Its astonishing for a District Manager to blame a scheme’s failures due to it being “old”. There is nothing stopping it being kept up-to-date with the times.

      I wont go on though as New Deal was nothing more than moving unemployed people off the unemployment register and onto training, opening up possibilities for loads of sanctions and forcing claimants to sign off.

      • Steve T
        January 25, 2011 at 12:31 pm | #375

        Here is the link to the letter in full.

        http://www.4shared.com/document/u0FJvBeU/JCP0001.html

        I have removed names and reference numbers to save any embarassment til another time.
        I have just returned from an appointment with my New Deal advisor who has stopped my Gateway course which was due to start Monday. He is giving a copy of this letter to the Jobcentre manager. Please let me know what you think.

  168. Geezerjohn
    January 30, 2011 at 2:08 am | #376

    I am on this shite IAP programme, I am in overcrowded conditions through Sencia where 30 or more people are expected to job-search using 9 computers and to do it from 9am to 4.30pm each day. Well i have found out that they CANNOT touch your housing benefit / council tax benefit only the JSA if you are thrown off the scheme. If they bDARE to put me on an unsuitable job placement through their bullying tactics I know now that I can refuse and that the result will be thrown off the course but retaining my housing benefit so bring it on you bastards!!

    • Andrew Coates
      January 30, 2011 at 12:26 pm | #377

      GeezerJohn

      Sounds like the conditions here a couple of years ago.

      The Flexible New Deal is meant to have changed all that.

      Obviously not.

    • January 30, 2011 at 1:04 pm | #378

      Just to note the benefits are linked, so if you kicked off / signed off becaue you were sanctioned your JSA, the other benefits will stop.

      You can indeed reclaim HB etc. Can be a hassle though but not more than with DWP involvement.

      • February 6, 2011 at 7:25 pm | #379

        On a slightly different topic. I’ve always managed to avoid doing a job placement whilst on FND. But have heard some real horror stories. So I have created a Work Placement Guidelines For Benfit Claimants(PDF) doc available for download. As I say, it’s only guidelines but it might prove helpful to some of you going on placement for the first time.

        Here’s the link: http://pdfcast.org/pdf/work-placement-guidelines-for-flexible-new-deal

      • Andrew Coates
        February 7, 2011 at 10:12 am | #380

        There are indeed lots of horror stories, but mostly it is just disappointing.

        The last placement I did (summer 2010) was fine, the work was reasonable (writing a Web guide to services for the elderly with mental health problems).

        I only got my normal JSA but (because I was under the Volunteers dept – not because of the YMCA or Dole), I got luncheon vouchers for the Hospital canteen, and my bus fares (though that was a bit of a pain – you fork out money and only get it back at the end of the week).

        At the end, it was “thank you very much”.

        That’s it.

        Go.

      • February 6, 2011 at 8:37 pm | #381

        Thanks :) Short, sweet and to the point.

  169. Nick
    January 30, 2011 at 1:08 pm | #382

    I was on new deal up until Ocotber. I had enough of their shit so I signed off. And I am still signed off. It’ been tough but at least I have regained my self respect that those bastards took from me. If you do sign off flexible new deal, know that you must do so for 26 weeks if you want to sign on again and be classed as a new claim.

    I can go back in April and sign on as a fresh claim, but my hope is to get a job before then. And I advise you all to get a job if you can. There is nothing worse than losing your self respect from jumping through hoops for the bastards in the job centre who threaten to cut off your money all the time. Being poor is soul destroying enough without them making you feel worthless and not able to get yourself out of the situation you are in.

    do all you can to get yourself prepared to work so you don’t have to obey those bastards anymore. I got NO HELP in all the time I was on new deal and before. NO HELP TO FIND WORK AT ALL.

    When I did ask to be put on a course to learn bar work, they told me they would, then said months later I couldn’t do it as it was cancelled. They will never help you find work, so you must do it yourself. And it starts with believing that you are just as good as everyone else who has a job, and you can do it. Don’t let anyone else tell you otherwise.Don’t get depressed and lose hope. there is always a way of bettering your life. Sort out the problems in your life, and then you will be ready to say fuck off to the job centre and new deal and find your own job. because they will not help you do it. They don’t care if you end up on the street and die in the gutter.

    • January 30, 2011 at 3:15 pm | #383

      Hate to break it the only variants are:

      Standard (Employment)
      Self-employment

    • Thumbnail
      January 30, 2011 at 4:32 pm | #384

      26 weeks?! You sure it’s not 13 weeks?

    • January 30, 2011 at 11:41 pm | #385

      It doesn’t matter. FND is for 12 month period, so if you were placed on it in January, it doesn’t matter if you have a rapid reclaim or new claim, 6 months later in July, you will still go back to it.

      Some areas might not send you back on to it but officially you are meant to.

  170. JoJo
    February 6, 2011 at 2:30 am | #386

    Hi
    All of this is a very interesting read to me I have been told I will have to go on a Seetec 25+ course in March I workp/t in the evening and a the weekend but under 16 hours I only receive a small amount of JSA due to my wages I am not looking forward to the course and hoping I can find more work before then also I have teen kids and I do not intend to be leaving them for 8 hours a day in the school hols not worried about sanctions really as could prob live albiet even more frugally on my earnings and claim Housing Benefit due to low income
    I would be interested if anyone who has kids has done this New Deal course and if so how do they treat parents also do they reimburse fares it will cost me £15 a week to travel
    Cheers in advance
    JoJO

    • February 6, 2011 at 10:46 am | #387

      How much JSA do you get a week?

      You will be able to get 2/3 of travel back.

    • Samuel L Jackson
      February 6, 2011 at 12:35 pm | #388

      JojO. I am currently on a seetec new deal course

      You get your travel paid back at the end of each week ,minus £4. So you’ll get £11 pound back each week. You must have a new deal travel card though

      If it’s like where am you will only be asked to go to either the morning or afternoon session each day due to the sheer amount of people there.

      • JoJO
        February 13, 2011 at 3:24 pm | #389

        Hi guys
        thanks for your replys!At least I will get something back and if it runs either am or pm that be better for parents my main concern is the school hols kids get 3 weeks at Easter a mate of mine has been told she has to start during half term despite fact she has 11 yr old who no local childcare for this age group she has to leave him for long hours shes worried sick, my advice would be to contest this no childcare is good cause enough not to attend

  171. JoJO
    February 13, 2011 at 10:29 pm | #390

    Samuel L,
    Foegot to ask!What is the course like? is it any good what sort of stuff do they do?

  172. Samuel L Jackson
    February 14, 2011 at 12:21 am | #391

    I’m coming to the end of the 13 weeks so I’ll tell you my experience.

    AS I told you before I’ve only been attending the 1330-1630 session each day, those are the official hours, however most people leave well before 1630 and they don’t seem to care.

    the first 4-5 weeks I was in a room with fellow “clients” with the “employment consultants” also seated in this room. I was assigned one of these consultants as my personal adviser when I started. I was told i had to sign beside my name every time I arrived and sign again every time I left(for fire reasons I was told)

    during this first 4-5 weeks I was mainly staring at 4 four walls, there’s approx 15 PCS hear for job searching witch is nowhere near enough, and to add to that they are very old and prone to locking up and freezing.
    Then I started my training with a different company. It’s a Microsoft office course. i;m there 4 days a week, then back at seetec on Fridays just to fill in timesheets and claim travel back

    • Andrew Coates
      February 14, 2011 at 10:31 am | #392

      When I was a similar detention centre (YMCA before Flexible New Deal) I got so bored I ended up reading the shipping news and farming reports in the East Anglian Daily Times they had there for jobs.

  173. F the government
    February 14, 2011 at 4:57 pm | #393

    And so it begins. I believe we will see a great acceleration in the plans to reduce population. Provide the poor with the options of slavery or what is essentially death… how can they lose? And it IS slavery. The fact that they dare to call it “support” is disgusting.
    We need a revolution in this country. I only hope we all bother to get angry enough before it’s too late.
    Unfortunately they are smart. They’ll go slow, so we don’t really realise the change is happening.

    So enjoy my friends, this period of time I call: Hitler 2.0

    • Mr & Mrs Cohen
      February 14, 2011 at 6:30 pm | #394

      Yes, my friend. We feel like we are re-living the pre-Nazi period in Germany. It is quiet at the moment yet we have this overwhelming feeling of foreboding that very bad happenings are afoot. We are sure that if we listen carefully on a still night we can hear the sounds of cattle-trucks trundling along the railway line as they transport the “undesirables” to the camps.

    • Henrich Himmler
      February 14, 2011 at 7:46 pm | #395

      Indeed! Gradual step-by-step implementation; subtle changes that goes unnoticed. Until the sight of the piano-wire gallows on the market square with the wretched corpses of the poor, sick and disabled does not raise an eyebrow.

  174. nicky
    February 20, 2011 at 2:05 am | #396

    We got a 13 week placement at a firm who were being downsized – they made 3 blokes redundant on the desk behind us in the first week, then reduced workforce at a sister site from 300 to 80 in week 3. They had a strike on two sites – we got called ‘scabs’ every day. then for the last 7 weeks , they were sacking the 2 telesales marketing staff a week (with the lowest sales figures- we got training on software that was 10 years out of date – and thats all. Manager was nice, as their job was on the line as well, and said there was no prospect of a permanent job there on day one – and the firm got paid for having us there! Was a complete waste of time and money, and arguably strike breaking. Poole, Dorset 2010.

  175. mark
    March 25, 2011 at 12:02 am | #397

    im off on the new deal 13 week course after compleating the 2 week one not a month ago. after 2 months of signing on i got fast tracked to stage 3 without gettin told a few weeks later. im getting sent to the same place as the 2 week course at ebor court in leeds and there they try to get 50+ people on the courses in a room that just fits about 32 people with maybe 2-3 working computers

    • March 25, 2011 at 11:14 pm | #398

      Mark if they they try that old money saving dodge of cramming jobseekers into a room with a couple of ancient computers contact BBC Leeds. I can even give you the email address of a contact I have there.

  176. Samuel L Jackson
    March 25, 2011 at 12:13 pm | #399

    you’re on the new deal 13 weeks provision after only 2 months?! it’s meant to be 6 months for under 24yr olds and at least a year for over 24

    they must be fast tracking people onto new deal because it expires soon when WORK PROGRAMME takes over in the summer

  177. prettyreckless
    April 14, 2011 at 2:46 am | #400

    hey,
    i am moving onto stage 3 next week and my sign on appointment today is all about ‘talking me through whats going to happen’.
    I am completely alien to whats going to happen to me in stage 3 apart from it taking place in a different building to JCP Cosham.
    Before i even saw this website i was given a clear impression from my advisor what i had instore – she told me to get a job fast with a look of horror on her face.

    Anyway now that i have seen this site im gonna go this meeting today totally on my guard. Noone has said the words ‘new deal’ or ‘flexible new deal’ to me they have just simply said im on stage 3 so can someone tell me if this means im on ‘new deal’? and whats the best action for me to take?
    im quite a sensitive person and one who would not be able to handle bullying at all, i mean for being unemployed this long has contributed to developing depression so anything more would tip me over the edge.

    What happens in the first weeks of stage 3 in this new building? and ifi am offered these placements (which i totally agree that the majority take the piss) can i refuse? I know this stage 3 wont help me at all in getting a job as im sure their ‘help’ wont be much different from the JC (shit),just with added torment.

    Also what happens after stage 3? (i think stage 3 is 13 weeks) my plan right now is to get out fast because i belive everyones experience on this website to be true (from what i have experienced), im going out tomorrow and begging in all the shops just hope i can get a job (any job!) soon before these people at stage 3 strip me of all dignity and life.

    thanks in advance, im so scared about the coming weeks, mainly because of my experiences with depression and anxiety i am not one to stick up for myself =/ so am afraid of being taken advantage of.. great website btw =)

    • April 14, 2011 at 11:14 am | #401

      You should be fine. My understanding that there is no Stage 4 referrals for Flexible New Deal after the end of March (last month!).

      As you are only being put on Stage 3 you wont have to do the 12 month provider part.

      The same should be for New Deal – there is not enough time for a 13 week New Deal (after 2 week course first as well).

      I think you will be waiting for Work Programme… no details of it has been released yet (although the providers contract results have etc.) IMO its very much in the wrong order.

      There will also be:-
      * Work Experience (about 6 weeks)
      * Mandatory Work Activity (a month of compulsory “experience” for purpose of bullying alleged jobseekers not Actively Seeking Employment enough)

  178. bloodonthedole
    April 15, 2011 at 2:20 pm | #402

    Wonder if the trusty 13 week sign off dodge will still work.I gave it 29 weeks and im back to signing on with my last new deal advisor although there has been no documents labeled new deal or any mention of it ,it certainly dont feel like stage 1 jsa,what has happened?

  179. JT
    May 2, 2011 at 3:45 am | #403

    Hi,

    I am new to this site.
    It seems very informative and its good to see what is happening and what peoples thoughts and opinions are… Can I ask.. Is anyone aware about what happens when you have been unemployed for over 12 months as I have. I am over 30..so I am not a youngster..

    I was signing on every 2 weeks.
    But now I am being asked to attend
    something the week in between for 3 or 4 hrs once a week. I am not sure exactly what they describe it as , all they do is give me a name of a place that I have to attend.

    I am being told if I dont attend that I could loose my benifits.

    1st can I ask, has any one any idea how long for that you would loose benifits.

    2) IF I decided that I didnt like what I see if I attend.. what are my options… Would I just loose one weeks benifits or the full benifits.

    3) I have very little faith that it will be any benifit to me at all. IF I found that I was going to be stopped benifit for not attending… IF I sign off before myself… How long these days would I have to wait to sign up again ?

    4) Has anyone any good excuses to get out of not having to attend ?

    Health issues may be one suggestion, but that may go against one later on if its used long term..as in order to recieve benifits in the 1st place you have to tell them that you are fit to work.

    My problem is for some jobs I dont feel fit for work after my last job which ended up almost crippling me.. and my legs are in a bad way today…

    At the end of the day Those in power have made an utter mess of the whole work situation and we are all suffering for it…

    Theres NO way IMO that Life should have to be like it is…More better jobs could be created to avoid all this..

    JC

  180. Robert
    May 9, 2011 at 6:26 pm | #404

    hi, am currently on this new deal and got put straight on the 13 week course, i was already working as a volunteer at my local golf course to gain the experience and get training to use the cutting machines etc as a green keeper career is what i want to do.
    I had to start the new deal course and explained that i was doing voluntary work and they were happy to use that as my placement, i didnt get anything explained as i got told to head straight for my placement instead of going to the office class room thing.

    Anyways thanks to the new deal course i have now lost my voluntary job and my chance to get the on the job training to help with my career path, they never told me i had to return to do a job search every friday and because of that they rang up the golf course and told them i cant work there anymore and now am stuck looking at a computer screen and doing stupid quiz’s in the afternoon.

    yeah great stuff…. they sure did help me!!! they helped me lose a great chance of getting somewhere, i have never been so pssed off in my life i dont understand why they would do this, i have spoke to the job centre and there is nothing they can do, am totally stuck on what to do i want to go up to the golf course and explain i want to carry on voluntering after this course is finished but i feel really stupid and they may not want me in 7 weeks time because of CSV as they annoyed the course manager with alot more then what i just explained.

    Rob

  181. puzzled
    May 10, 2011 at 8:14 am | #405

    1, I was on fnd with reed until 28 feb 2011. I went onto esa as of 1st march 2011. Am still on esa due to short term illness. As I have passed 13 weeks would I still have to go back to fnd reed.

  182. jonsy
    May 31, 2011 at 7:21 pm | #406

    Im just wanting a bit of advice . Ihave been put on a 13 week new deal course and im currently on week 2 . I have been on 2 work placements and the 2nd im still on . this we where told it was a placement leading to full time work . I asked the person if this was guarenteed and she said as long as you show up and work hard you will get work .
    Went to the placement for an induction with the boss and at the end he asked if we had any questions and i said is there a chance we will get work from this and he told us no he has no jobs and hasnt employed anyone new since 2007 . The next day was my jobsearch day so i questioned the woman at the course and she said its rubbish he is just saying that to see if we want to work .
    since then we have been told by about 10 different people working there who have said the same as the boss did and they also said in the past 6 months they have had around 10 people from the jobcentre doing placements none got a job at the end . I dont like being lied to when i thought they where meant to help i have tried speaking to the jobcentre about this and they wernt interested . spoke to the citizens advice and they advised us to speak to the jobcentre (doesnt work)

    My question is what can i do about these lies where do i go to complain i have 11 weeks to go and dont really want to carry on doing this placement if there is no job . I was told by the person on the course because this is my 2nd placement i wont get another and i will be thrown off course .

  183. Stephen Campbell
    July 8, 2011 at 10:09 am | #407

    Hi again
    I got some excellent advice on this site last year though it seems to have changed in appearance over the last 14 months :) It now looks even better!
    I was told this morning by the JSA people that when I get to 12 months after first signing on, I will have to go to an organisation called MAXIMUS for 2 years. Is this the same as the New Deal? Will I have to attend useless courses for 24 months rather than 13 weeks? :(
    I would be very grateful if you could tell me what it means
    Many thanks
    Best wishes

    • Andrew Coates
      July 8, 2011 at 11:02 am | #408

      Thanks Stephen.

      Yes, it’s Grandson of New Deal (which became the Flexible New Deal).

      It’s called Work Programme.

      There’s plenty of stuff here about it.

      But one thing, I don’t think you’ll find the ‘courses’ are any longer than before.

      The rest is reporting to your Adviser from time to time.

      There seem to be placements though.

  184. Stephen Campbell
    July 8, 2011 at 1:10 pm | #409

    Hiya
    Many thanks for the prompt response as always :)
    So does that mean I will have to attend a course every day for 13 + weeks in September? On previous occasions, I have signed off and then signed on again (Based on excellent advice here!) after 15-16 weeks. If this lassts two YEARS, does that mean I would have to attend courses for 24 months rather than 13 weeks? What happens if one refuses to attend? What asdvice can you give me about how to avoid being unable to claim JSA for 2 years. I cannot attend these courses for the same reasonbs I mentioned before-They are ind numbing and soul destroying :(
    Many many thanks

  185. Stephen Campbell
    July 8, 2011 at 4:23 pm | #410

    Many thanks again-I have spent the afternoon reading the interesting stuff about Work Programme here. Am I correct in thinking that there may be no compulsion to attend at all or is that over simplistic? I also can’t find anything about the structure of the programme and whether they expect you to come in every day!
    Best wishes

  186. Stephen Campbell
    July 9, 2011 at 11:52 pm | #411

    Hi
    Will someone respond to my two previous messages?
    Thanks

  187. Crystal Balls
    July 10, 2011 at 9:05 am | #412

    Stephen,

    It’s not as bad as some people have been suggesting. I’m attending once a week at the moment (Ingeus).

    The exact structure of the work programme depends on who you get sent to (G4S, Ingeus, A4E, etc). They all have a different approach.

    Once you’re referred to the wp (usually after 12 months on JSA), you must attend it to keep your benefits.

    • Shock Therapy
      July 10, 2011 at 3:33 pm | #413

      Nothing new there, Crystal Balls. They have to keep on “on-side” at least initially or until you have given them whatever they require. Then when they you have given them what the want they suddenly turn nasty (can come as a nasty shock to a lot of people), they will use what they have given to box you in, force you into complying with their demands and stitching you up for a sanction. It is nonsense to judge a TWO YEAR programme after having has one or two meetings.

  188. Stephen Campbell
    July 10, 2011 at 4:45 pm | #414

    Hi Crystal Ball
    Thank you very much for this
    You say that attendance is compulsory-Is that for a 13 WEEK or 2 YEAR course? Are they expecting me to come in every day between 9.00am and 5.00pm and, if so, what on earth are they expecting me to do? I have a degree and if forced to attend a course which is anything like the New Deal, I will have to sign off-Is that perhaps their intention? :)
    Thanks again

    • Crystal Balls
      July 10, 2011 at 6:59 pm | #415

      Stephen, the work programme is a 2 year course, but what happens once you’re there depends on which company the JCP refers you to – the DWP allow the wp providers a lot of freedom to develop their own courses, etc as long as they get people off benefits (I’m sure the JCP would be delighted if you signed off!).

      I agree with Shock Therapy’s point about not judging a 2 year course on a couple of weeks, but personally I’d prefer to pay the rent and carrying on eating. I don’t believe there’s a realistic alternative (unless you have savings).

      • Lighting Rod
        July 10, 2011 at 7:10 pm | #416

        Getting people of benefits is what the JCP call “off-flow”, it doesn’t matter where you end up so long as you flow off. :-)

      • Lighting Rod
        July 10, 2011 at 7:16 pm | #417

        Technically speaking the JCP don’t pay your rent, it is through the housing benefit scheme, I know that the Universal Credit proposes to change all that but for the moment you are at least safe. You may not have food in your belly but at least you will have a roof over your head, much to the perturbation of the DWP and in particular the providers who would like nothing better than the power to turf you on the street at a whim – that is how beyond contempt they are.

  189. Stephen Campbell
    July 10, 2011 at 4:47 pm | #418

    Hi Shock Therapy
    What do you mean? Are you saying that they force you to take on ANY sort of work?
    Can you help me with links to any other message boards and forums which discuss this issue?
    Many thanks

    • Lighting Rod
      July 10, 2011 at 7:00 pm | #419

      Yes, ANY type of work, it doesn’t have to be “suitable” either – that requirement has been removed. It’s a “de-skilling” exercise, say for an example you are an unemployed rocket scientist, it doesn’t mean that a provider is going to offer you a job as a rocket scientist. The fact that you are a rocket scientist means that you can read and write, which means that you can read the instructions on the abbatoir bolt-gun or pig-sticking knife. The emphasis is on REALISTIC job goal, you aren’t going to get a job as a rocket scientist if you haven’t got one in 12 months, are you?. You are also expected to give 5 job goals… rocket scientist and… um bolt-gun operator, arse wiper, slave, slave, slave. No-one can pick 5 jobs goals without treading into shitty job territory. And once you step on a shitty job that is you in the shit for life – plenty of research has been published on that. And a job is really just a task so think of the most unpleasant, dirty, dangerous job imaginable – that is what you will be expected to do :-)

    • Lighting Rod
      July 10, 2011 at 7:21 pm | #420

      The only REALISTIC job after 12 months unemployment is a SHITTY job :-)

  190. Stephen Campbell
    July 10, 2011 at 7:53 pm | #424

    Hi everyone
    Thanks for all your wise words though I am still confused :( Will I be attending a DAILY course or do they just give me the first job they can think of as soon as I arrive ? :) Is it similar to the New Deal ?
    If I signed off before the end of these 12 months, could I start the whole process again in about 3-4 months time? That is the system I used to avoid the New Deal :)
    Are there links to any other sites that you can recommend?
    Best wishes

  191. Stephen Campbell
    July 11, 2011 at 8:54 am | #426

    Hi Crystal Balls

    That is an extremely useful link.Many thanks.

    Do you know of any other message boards or forums?

    When you say “every day all day”, do you mean for two years?! And regarding the 5 job categories which they make someone choose-Is it not possible to pick five highly skilled jobs that wouldn’t let them force you to become a street cleaner :)

    Best wishes

    • Purple
      July 11, 2011 at 9:10 am | #427

      lol how could you be qualified to do 5 highly-skilled jobs and be unemployed?! Most people are lucky to have one job (job category) Here is 5: rocket scientist, brain surgeon, astronaut. pilot… need another one… shit shoveller :-) Just try and think of AT LEAST 5 highly qualified jobs that you are capable of doing and ready to step into.., um… looks like you will have to expand your horizons… you thought about arse wiping… welcome to the Work Programme :-)

    • Crystal Balls
      July 11, 2011 at 10:27 am | #428

      Stephen, I haven’t had to choose 5 job categories. It depends on the provider (I’m with Ingeus).

      If you chose 5 highly specialised jobs, they would just say you were being unrealistic!

      Each provider has its own “delivery model”. How often you attend can change over the 2 years. Serco’s delivery model can be found here:

      http://www.serco-w2w.com/our-interactive-delivery-model/

    • Melon Picker
      July 11, 2011 at 10:42 am | #429

      The providers like to talk about having a REALISTIC job goal!

      • Andrew Coates
        July 11, 2011 at 12:03 pm | #430

        At Papworth Trust last Friday – guy immediately calls me ‘Andrew’ which I increasingly find too ‘friendly’ by half, I think I should demand to be called “Your Worshipful Mr Sir” – I was given the idea of ‘changing my job goals’.

        Present ones are just about any clerical work going.

        So perhaps I ought to think of some new highly specialised jobs.

        Then they can play the next stage.

        Honestly, I think they just do these things to keep themselves employed.

  192. Stephen Campbell
    July 11, 2011 at 3:27 pm | #431

    Thanks to all of you-This is amazingly useful info
    They want me to attend a MAXIMUM course. Is there anyone here who knows anything about them?
    Best wishes

    • Neil Armstong
      July 11, 2011 at 3:55 pm | #432

      Stephen, if you think that you can just say: “I am looking for a job as an astronaut. I check the NASA site twice a week” and that will get them off your back you really need to do some more research. Take if from me – I walked on the Moon :-)

  193. Stephen Campbell
    July 13, 2011 at 8:04 pm | #433

    So what do I say to them? How quickly do they give me a job?

  194. Stephen Campbell
    July 14, 2011 at 2:17 pm | #434

    Has anyone else got any advice?

  195. July 14, 2011 at 8:19 pm | #435

    Stephen C: I’m familiar with A4e, Ingeus and JHP, but know nothing about Maximus.

    You attend the appointment, otherwise your risk having your benefit suspended when Maximus inform the jobcentre your a no show. So don’t give them the satisfaction.

    But you do not fill-in their Information Disclosure form(s), they allow the provider to share your personal details with dWP and other third parties.

    Your consent to allow Maximus to share your personal data is voluntary, and refusal will NOT affect any benfits you are receiving. The form should clearly state this, the Ingeus ones do (see post by Obi)
    https://intensiveactivity.wordpress.com/2011/04/20/jobseekers-tricked-into-being-eligible-for-mandatory-work-activity/#comment-7587

    The source for this is DWP Provider Guidance – Chapter 5 – Annex 1:http://www.dwp.gov.uk/docs/pg-chapter-5.pdf

    Good luck, and don’t let Maximus try and bully you into signing the form(s) about disclosing personal information

    • Fannie Mae
      July 14, 2011 at 8:37 pm | #436

      What about signing “Customer Beneficiary Agreement”s, and even Action Plans? Is there a requirement to sign anything at all? What about intrusive questionnaires asking about family members, and has mentioned providing bank statements, birth certificates, passports etc. What about being photographed?

      • July 14, 2011 at 10:21 pm | #437

        Fannie: It’s entirely up to you. Give them as much, or a little information as you wish.

        Personally, I would nver sign anything like a Customer Beneficiary Agreement. Don’t know what it is, but don’t like the sound of it.

        Why would they want your bank details, it’s nothing to do with them unless they are offering you a job!. It’s the same for other intrusive questions, why do they want all this information?

        If you are a part-time carer or have responsibility for children which limits the hours you can work then perhaps telling the provider about your family may be relevant. But other than that, it’s nothing to do with them.

        You ask about being photogrpahed. If it’s for a pass to access the building, then yes. Otherwise, I would say no.

        Remember, the A4e laptop stolen in 2010, it contained the details of 24,000 clients. The details included names, addresses, information about alleged criminal activity and if the client had been a victim of violence.

        .

      • Apple
        July 15, 2011 at 7:59 am | #438

        Working Links has a cunning ruse though – a “Employer’s Kit” which includes “proof of customers entitlement to work in the UK” which is for (UK Citizens) a passport, full birth certificate and a P45, P60, National Insurance card. How many unemployed people are going to have a passport? Are Working Links going to *force* “customers” into obtaining a passport? Birth certificate?

      • July 15, 2011 at 4:02 pm | #439

        Dear Department for Work and Pensions,

        Private Companies like Calder UK, Ingeus and A4e are asking your
        Flexible New Deal customers to provide copies of their Passport,
        Birth certificate, Bank Statements, Utility bills and or Driving
        license, can you advise on what exact legal basis, quoting
        legislation or regulations, they are doing this and if your
        customers do not consent to provide any one or all of these items
        they will not lose any entitlement to benefits. Please provide a
        copy of any guidance provided to these Private Companies on these
        issues and or your own internal guidance, covering Flexible New
        Deal and the newer Work Programme.

        Yours faithfully,

        Steve Palmer

        http://www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/passport_birth_certificate_bank#incoming-192827

      • Old Lag
        July 15, 2011 at 4:19 pm | #440

        Whenever I’ve been up in court the it went like this, Judge: “Are you Old Lag?” Old Lag: “Yes, Your Honour” Judge: “Thank, you. Now, sit down please” Old Lag: “Much obliged, Your Honour”.

  196. RiP
    July 14, 2011 at 9:00 pm | #441

    <a href=" http://www.reedinpartnership.co.uk/media/72933/work%20programme%20customer%20journey%20leaflet%20a5_final.pdf
    " target="_blank" title="Reed in Partnershit Work Programme “Customer” “Journey”

  197. RiP
    July 14, 2011 at 9:09 pm | #442

    <a href=" http://www.reedinpartnership.co.uk/media/72933/work%20programme%20customer%20journey%20leaflet%20a5_final.pdf
    " target="_blank" title="Reed in Partnershit “Customer” “Journey”

  198. Crystal Balls
    July 15, 2011 at 9:50 am | #443
    • Combine Harvester
      July 15, 2011 at 11:02 am | #444

      Thanks for this, Crystal Balls. Very interesting.

      “There are only 4 ways a customer can leave the Work Programme

      1. Passed Away
      2. Completed 104 weeks
      3. Made ineligible by the JCP
      4. Customer completes the claims amount”

      Getting a job does not appear to be one of the ways of leaving
      the Work Programme. So, effectively a “customer” will remain trapped on the Work Programme for at least two years regardless of if they are in employment.

      “About You Appointment

      Three outcomes

      1) Customer attends

      2) Customer does not attend but we have had the AAD – we will
      attempt contact with customer . If no luck the local office must
      update mya4edesk and raise relevant follow up action in order for
      NSC to raise a sanction doubt.

      3) Customer does not attend and we have not had the AAD – aka
      Did not engage – NSC will inform the JCP that the customer DNE,
      however we will still try and make contact with the customer.”

      “Failure to Participate

      If customer contacts the advisor and provides a good reason then a communication is created stating ’DNA – Good reason’

      If not a good reason a follow up action is created stating ‘DNA – Non Reasonable Justification’ and send to NSC

      If unable to contact customer a follow up action is raised to NSC with title ‘DNA – No Contact’. NSC will then if no contact, send a 7 day letter requesting a reason. If after 7 days they haven’t received a good reason they will raise a sanction and send customer the paperwork.

      If customer provides good reason update communication with DNA- Reasonable justification. If NSC receives follow up action with title ‘DNA- Non Reasonable justification’ then NSC will raise a sanction and notify customer.

      Note: Evidence required on everything, so keep notes, We instigate sanction but do not make the decision, A4e cannot exclude anyone from programme, done via JCP”

  199. chrissy
    July 15, 2011 at 8:35 pm | #445

    Hi can you take your child to new deal appontments as i have been told to find a baby sitter and do not have one

  200. July 15, 2011 at 9:18 pm | #446

    Chrissy: It should be okay. But suggest you let the provider know before the appointment.

  201. Stephen Campbell
    July 17, 2011 at 9:01 am | #447

    Dear ECAP Activist
    Many thanks for that advice. What reason do I give them for not signing it and surely they will be aware of people now being advised on sites like this not to comply. Will they not think ofg a way round it?!
    And can you also tell me how long the course itself actually lasts? You refer to one APPOINTMENT. Is that it?
    Many thanks

  202. Stephen Campbell
    July 24, 2011 at 7:43 pm | #448

    Has anyone here been on a MAXIMUS course?
    Thanks

  203. Stephen Campbell
    August 31, 2011 at 8:57 am | #449

    Hi again
    Has anyone got updates on these new schemes? I am also confused by the the current debate over 12 month+ unemployed people being forced to take on jobs at the minimum wage. Isn’t that already the position? I thought that’s what these courses which replaced the New Deal forced people to do :(
    Many thanks

    • R U Serious?
      September 1, 2011 at 8:48 am | #450

      ?? Are you serious?? You cannot refuse a job because it pays only the minimum wage!!

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  209. Sue bink
    May 1, 2012 at 3:42 pm | #456

    When you go to any New Deal or Work Program never sign the register book on entrance or exit. You can print your name and the date but never sign. These signatures can be used against to say you were happy with the course you were attending.

    First timers to a New Deal when they give you paperwork to sign please read it first, on closer inspection you will find a clause that, by supplying your signature you waive your rights to the data protection act. Also signing is discretionary.

    • Bic Biiro
      July 10, 2013 at 8:08 am | #457

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