Ipswich Unemployed Action.

Campaigning for Unemployed Rights.

Unemployed FORCED to take Drug Tests.

with 29 comments

As noted already here, this is in prospect everywhere. However even we did not realise this practice has already begun.


Hat-Tip to Chris.

Published: Friday, 9th October, 2009 2:00pm Full Story here.

Job centre drug test furyProfile by Russell Steele

Image related to story 392743, see caption or article text
DRUG SHOCK: Job Centre.

SHOCKED jobseekers were subjected to ‘degrading’ drug tests in a Greenock street by a top recruitment firm, the Tele has learned.

People who were interviewed for posts with cabling firm Sanmina were left astonished this week when they were escorted outside Greenock Jobcentre by staff from Pertemps for mouth swabs to be taken – as cars drove past and pedestrians walked by. 

The tests were taken outside the Jobcentre because Pertemps did not have permission to conduct them inside during interviews. ”


This is a major scandal.


Written by Andrew Coates

October 14, 2009 at 9:51 am

29 Responses

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  1. absolutely atrocious unacceptable behaviour.

    the job centre’s utter contempt for their “customers” welfare and dignity/rights were totally ignored and ridden roughshod allowing this to happen on a public highway in full public view.

    they should not have allowed this to go ahead without proper facilities being available,instead they let this happen.

    a full investigation should happen with action against the person at the job centre responsible for this.

    as for pertemps it has to be asked what this organisation’s standards are.if any.


    October 14, 2009 at 1:36 pm

  2. Ooo… Just wondering how many breaches of the Human Rights Act 1998 there has been here 😕


    October 14, 2009 at 8:14 pm

    • none, for Pertemps… HRA 98 only applies to Government. Its 100% pathetic law which needs replacing.

      Outside our laws, we have the European and United Nations declarations on Human Rights, however, these mean absolutely nothing in protecting your rights.

      HRA ’98 was a way of making certain aspects of the European Human Rights declaration law, not only did they exclude a lot from it. It only applies to public sector bodies.

      Flexible New Deal

      October 15, 2009 at 9:45 am

  3. The applicants must have wittingly/unwittingly signed some kind of agreement to be drug tested on the application forms (so always check them thourghly) though I doubt if they thought it meant in the street, still though it would probably mean being rejected on the spot ounce they realised they could still have refused the test and walked away. Which is totaly different to not signing any clause and having your benefit stopped by the DSS if you refuse a future DSS one.
    Saying that whats to stop the DSS telling someone on the New Deal that he has to apply for/ attend an interview with a company interviewing at the job centre (which they also happen to know will carry out a drug test on all applicants) then if he refuses the test and is rejected sanctioning him for making himself unavailable for work?

    Lowestoft's Finest

    October 15, 2009 at 12:39 pm

    • the job centre are to blame for not ensuring that standards were not upheld,and should have stepped in to prevent this but didnt.
      people must have been escorted through the jobcentre within inches of the gutter on a road and handed a swab.
      what conditions these swabs were in is another matter.


      October 15, 2009 at 12:48 pm

  4. i dont do drugs other than paracetemol for arthritis pain nor do i drink so therefore a drugs/alcohol test wouldnt bother me its having to do it outside the jobcentre that gets me as the police can now do on the spot drug tests using a swab and a machine so whats to prevent people walking past thinking thats its cid doing these tests certainly gives the wrong impression in my book


    October 15, 2009 at 2:13 pm

  5. surely the job description should have said “all applicants invited for interview will undergo a statutory drugs test”
    I was told by ndpa to apply for a job soldering pcbs but he did not ask me if i was colour blind nor did it state this on the job description this was wrong(illegal?) surely as anyone who is colour blind cant solder pcb as they cant distinguish the colours on the components


    October 15, 2009 at 2:54 pm

  6. ken are you ex jobcentre as your knowledge of the rules and regs seem to be very knowledgeable


    October 15, 2009 at 2:55 pm

  7. As many people say here a lot of those taking these tests will have been told by the Dole to apply for the job – which as we all know is an offer you have to take up. Having to undergo this rigmorale in the street is completly unreasonable. But I wonder if being obliged to take tests anyway is fair, except for stuff like being an airline pilot or train driver.

    Andrew Coates

    October 15, 2009 at 2:56 pm

  8. lowestoft simplest answer to that is for him/her to do the drugs test but to query it with ndpa and say that they were not happy that they were not told that a drugs test would be taken at interview and that the ndpa deliberatley withheld the information from them on the basis him/her suspect that if the test was refused they(THE NDPA)could then sanction their benefit and that him/her would be seeking legal advise on this
    also take into consideration that the ndpa is scuppered as the person didnt refuse the test wonder what would happen if someone who does do drugs did the test which was positive and refused the job would the ndpa sanction their benefit then? would it be a legal sanction?


    October 15, 2009 at 3:02 pm

  9. Allan Johnstone I think that the person referred by their NDPA is stuffed either way unless his test comes out negative, otherwise it’s a case of “making yourself unavailable for work”. I think that the only way out would have been if the person had already informed the DSS they had a drug problem and had it on his jobseekers agreement. Likewise you need to get your jobseekers agreement updated to say you are colour blind otherwise they could keep referring you for jobs that you can’t physically do and after a few job referrals you get sanctioned all of which can be avoided with the medical conditions update. I think having to agree to a drug test if selected at interview is common on the continent as I had a friend who applied for a surprisingly well paid job dishing up food in an immigrants hostel in Germany, the down side was as it was for the German government they expected all applicants to be prepared for a drug test on being selected for interview, though this was a few years back he was a bit paranoid about it as they would do it by taking a hair follicle and their tests would show even if you had been around dope smokers in the past 6 months. Likewise (a now former) Electronics factory in Lowestoft run by the Japanese brought in Japanese style random worker drug testing only to have 70% of their Lowestoft factory employees fail with flying colours (I don’t know how they were carried out they may prove positive by association like the German follicle ones)? But this left the Factory with the problem that on this scale what can they do ? the factory couldn’t function if they sent home 70% of the workforce.

    Lowestoft's Finest

    October 15, 2009 at 4:09 pm

  10. a warehouse job in glenrothes driving a forklift truck stated in the job description that a mandatory alcohol and drugs test would be carried out at interview answer this then person going for interview is a regular drinker goes to pub for a drink as a settler for interview and fails alcohol test but person had applied for job themselves not told by jc to apply would they then be sanctioned? especially if person admitted at interview they had had a drink before interview though expect jc idots wouldnt see it this way
    my idot ndpa told me i should stop smoking why i dont know he never said i asked him if he had a drink after his game of bowls he said yes and i said i would stop smoking when he stopped drinking not much he could do with that reply also dont see what smoking has to do with doing a job
    job am in at present rule is no smoking except during breaks but we sneak up the back and have a fly smoke but as long as i have done a van which takes at least 11/2 hours for a full outside valet my boss does not mind as she smokes as well it my other boss who will bawl you out for having a smoke outwith break times(but then again she is from yorkshire and female = bossy)


    October 15, 2009 at 6:16 pm

    • tell the job centre the absolute minimum and dont volunteer any information more then necessary.

      the less dealings you have with them the better,your saving youself stress and bother,do everything off your own back.

      if you dont like the look of something you can walk away.

      the only vacancies you want to worry about is the ones you are put forward for say when signing you are being “submitted” on their systems’,this means the employer will be asked did you apply for the vacancy,its of the most importance that these are applied for by recorded delivery if sending a cv/application form or obtaining a business card if going for interview.
      its all to common for companies’ to say that you hadnt applied,and the job centre will try and use this against you.
      but you have the proof then.all you get from the job centre at that point is blame them blame them.


      October 15, 2009 at 8:43 pm

  11. further to this the ficticious person applying for the warehouse job does not need to tell the jc they applied for the job so if they dont get it noone is any the wiser are they especially if they have applied for at least five other jobs the same week which they tell the jc when signing on unless of course the interview lands at the same time as their signing on time.
    i have on occasion when signing on applied for four jobs in the one week but only declared three of them to jc when signing on i dont see what odds it makes because the dole have told me as long as you apply for the jobs we are not bothered if you get it applying shows you are actively seeking work
    i used to do jobsearch every day using the jc+ website to search for jobs five days a week amounting to 21/2 hours a week but jc idiots didnt seem to be enthusiastic about this yet there were ones who signed on then spent the rest of the day in the bookies/pub since when doing this was actively seeking work? why are these idiots not being benefit sanctioned?


    October 15, 2009 at 6:28 pm

  12. re job soldering pcb which i was told by idiot ndpa to apply for it appears he was telling everyone he interviewed to apply for it because the following week i had to sign on as idiot ndpa was on holiday and young lad in front of me got a bawling out because he had no proof he had applied for the same job i helped him out by saying ive applied for that job as well and havent heard anything either
    further to this if you can find out the closing date for a job jc idiots tell you to apply for post the letter second class in a post box which only gets emptied after 530pm and we all know what the royal mail is like these days therfore application arrives after closure date and isnt considered especially if the date on the letter/application form is the day jc gave you the details for applying for the job this gives impression letter/application form was posted same day
    i never got pcb soldering job maybe due to the fact i put in letter i was on new deal and due to start a new deal work placement
    well it is feasible


    October 15, 2009 at 6:42 pm

  13. i always used to get a proof of posting form in the post office for jobs jobcentre put me forward for thereby proving the letter had been posted
    on one occasion when interviewed by idiot employment advisor we were doing job search and all he stopped on were hotel jobs yet he went right past a driver/handyman job vacancy so i made him go back to it, it was civillian job with the police and made him print out details for it got the application form filled it in and delivered it by hand to the police hq in glenrothes and wrote this in that stupid jobs diary they make you keep which at signings they give a cursory glance then initial it then practically throw it back at you
    talking of put forward jobs idiot woman emaployment advisor put me forward for a job selling white goods in a shop in st andrews paying min wage yet on the system was a valeting job in cupar which i could cycle to in ten minutes paying £7 an hour but when i signed on again i told her i had applied for the sales job and also the valeting job which i told her was in the system the same day(i found it on jc+ website) and had applied for that as well she was very cheeky and snapped have you heard from them yet i replied in the same manner that i hadnt turned out there had been a phone call from them when i was at the jobcentre asking me to go for an interview needless to say i didnt get the job but then again i didnt get the sales job either but the sales cv had “compulsory new deal work placement” on it the one for the valeting job didnt seems strange i get an interview for a job when i submit a cv without new deal being listed surely proves employers wont consider people who have been conscripted onto compulsory goverment schemes yet idiot ndpa said doing six months on new deal would”enhance” my employment prospects trouble with this idiot is he has most likely never done a hard days work in his life all he does is sit behind a desk all day


    October 16, 2009 at 9:28 am

  14. Allan I sometimes wonder if having done a New Deal Placement isn’t a big Minus on a CV.

    Andrew Coates

    October 16, 2009 at 9:35 am

    • it is best kept quite about,as its “volunteering” it can raise more questions then it answers.being placed into a charity shop, as well as a male it looked right out of place on my cv.

      also the new deal provider mentioned new deal on the cv,at a later course not new deal the same company removed it.


      October 16, 2009 at 12:07 pm

  15. andrew i totally agree with you my idiot ndpa insisted i approached employers and use the employer subsidy as a way of possibly geting a job i tried two businesses one a taxi firm i asked if he needed somone to answer the phone and radio the cabs when i mentioned the subsidy he immediately cut the conversation and walked away which says a lot for employer subsidy/new deal the other place i tried was a farm shop enquiring about a driving job again, when i mentioned the subsidy he didnt want to know could it be that if longterm unemployed are put on these compulsory courses the prospective employer thinks they dont want to work? needless to say i told idiot ndpa the outcome and told him to phone both businesses to confirm i had spoken to them needless to say he didnt want to phone them i also told ndpa i would never mention the subsidy at an interview as it was a surefire way of not getting the job not a way of being considered
    seems strange that you can get an interview if you ommit new deal off cv but get a rejection letter if it is on the cv and as for doing six months on new deal which idot ndpa said would enhance my employment prospects enough said
    one other thing though if i took a job which was under 16 hours a week and signed for ni credits would i still have to do a new deal placement as that is what idiot ndpa told me needless to say i didnt bother applying for the job when he told me this


    October 16, 2009 at 11:33 am

  16. I think the that the DSS checking with potential employers if someone applied is a total disaster all round as for one it is going to instantly loose the person any chance of getting the job by maling them look unreliable to the employer, I also think it is a liberty from the employers perspective if they haven’t previously agreed to give feedback or even advertised the job in a jobcentre so the employer is put in the position acting as an unpaid Starzi style informant. I used to manage shops and their is no way I would have had anything to do with reporting applicants as it’s just going to reflect badly on you and your buisness and put you in danger all for nothing, as if you say you never recieved an application form and somebody gets sanctioned on your word their is a good chance that they will be turning up mob handed to give you or your staff a kicking. The DSS need to realise this also in small firms without HR departments you have to take on the task of recruitmment as well as doing all your other tasks, so I can tell you its about getting the vacancey filled as by the best person as quickly as possible so you can get back on with things, hard though it may seem to the DSS to understand this often means you just can’t keep an acurate track of everybody who applied especialy phone calls and people who got rejected early on so you just arn’t in the position of being able to give any 100% accurate statement on who applied and who didn’t that could be used to decide who gets sanctioned.

    Lowestoft's Finest

    October 16, 2009 at 1:05 pm

    • this behind your back checking up doesnt do anyone any favours,no one has given the job centre permission to do this.

      i was lucky that the company sent a rejection letter,but i had a letter threatening sanctions saying i hadnt applied.

      this happened again i rang the company was invited for an interview and they had indeed received the application,it caused a lot of embarrassment all round.

      there was an air of deviousness when i raised this at the job centre,if you receive one of these letters photocopy your proof and keep the original proof of posting exe.

      these concerns are backed up by what appears to be an “hearsay” is enough to sanction,this is tribunal material.

      its not surprising the dss are not keen on appeals.

      on new deal, where i attended an job interview i was checked up upon again,you are forced to sign away your rights to this on entering new deal program,they treat this as if its nothing,if this happens again i will raise an issue as you are coerced,the job centre are treading a fine line with these practices.


      October 16, 2009 at 2:48 pm

  17. I had real problems caused by my Jobseekers agreement being outdated and to general on my choice of jobs which I thought might get me more work, unfortunately it kept submitting me for jobs I couldn’t do and none I could, I also developed a medical condition which I never told them about which also meant I couldn’t do some of the jobs they submitted me for anyway after getting a few of these submissions waiting for me when I went to sign on I was met with a warning I had turned down to many submissions and had to fill in a special booklet saying what I was doing addresses etc. (which didn’t seem much different from the normal one) anyway if they found it lacking they said I would be sanctioned and they would check with employers I had applied with, As things went their was a job I wanted to apply for but as I didn’t want the DSS to ring up and blow my chances I simply applied and left it off the book so they didn’t know, and also applied for a load of jobs that I wasn’t bothered about getting or not getting in case the DSS checked and blew my chances. I also booked an appointment to get my jobseekers agreement updated in which they put in the medical condition and narrowed down the job choice more, you have to be pretty firm with them as their number codes for jobs are all over the place and as I was getting penalised for not applying for jobs I can’t do I didn’t want them replaced with new ones I can’t do, there is also some job groupings that are way to general like designer which needs splitting up as if you agree to designer as you are say a birthday card designer you risk getting sanctioned if submitted for not applying for a job as a structural designer which is a totally different thing. Like I said I got my jobseekers agreement changed and it mercifully stopped all this false submissions/threatend sanctions stupidity.

    Lowestoft's Finest

    October 16, 2009 at 1:51 pm

    • if you have a medical condition it always has to be on the jobseekers agreement,they are often reluctant to enter restrictions but medical conditions there isnt anything they can do.
      an undisclosed condition means you can be offered employment and have it withdrawn promptly,also it can kill an interview on the spot this often can happen.
      also its common when starting new deal for all information on a agreement to be wiped off,this must not be allowed to happen.

      those with mental health conditions find it the most difficult to find employment and numbers of those are very high without employment, and regimes like new deal dont help these people with bad treatment all around.that should not be tolerated as this can effect other vulnerable people also.

      they (those with mental health conditions) are often sidelined from that program altogether even on jobseekers allowance.


      October 18, 2009 at 3:10 pm

      • You must actively refuse to sign an Jobseekers Agreement (JSAg) if it doesn’t contain all the required information.

        You advising them isn’t enough – you need to make sure it is contained on your Jobseekers Agreement (JSAg) in writing and (optionally) on New Deal Action Plans…

        There is no other place for them to keep a “note on file” other than the Jobseekers Agreement. A Decision Maker will not have access to any notes nor will they believe you saying you advised them if they didn’t include it.

        You signing the JSAg without the information you need on there is you confirming that whatever you told them was fraudulent.

        General rule of thumb, if its not on the Jobseekers Agreement then you will be sanctioned – it will be rare to win an appeal (other than via a tribunal).

        Please see http://newdealscandal.wordpress.com/2009/07/19/how-to-negotiate-a-jobseekers-agreement/ for a good article (if I may say so on the JSAg).

        Flexible New Deal

        October 18, 2009 at 6:46 pm

  18. i reported staff at both two north wales dwp offices for taking cocaine some 8 years ago and also for passing data to known criminals…it was ignored but boy have i suffered ever since ,problem is i now cannot prove it because time has passed us by but not in the minds of the dwp staff any claim i make always results in frustration claim denied ,my data gets sent to different addresses ime out of time with claims any excuse is used…i have demanded under the FOI ACT for all my data held by ATOS ORIGON they deny they keep records they do admit they keep only reference numbers ? if you can beleive that ? ATOS ARE AN INSURANCE GIANT in the industry ,wrexham DWP have a warehouse with data stored and deny it exists ? i wonder why they are denying this does not exist….rhyl and wrexham branches are in need of an independant audit concerning data and staff activity ?


    October 17, 2009 at 9:10 pm

  19. I had “ARTHRITIS IN KNEES AND SHOULDERS SEDENTRY WORK ONLY NO HEAVY LIFTING”yet a bully ea i had made me apply for a factory labourer job in glenrothes despite the fact the job stated must have counbterbalance fork lift cert and H&S cert his reason for making me apply for it was because it didnt state heavy lifting involved
    it was an engineering works and the work involved emptying bins of swarf from lathes also ea wouldnt tell me where in glenrothes it was and as it was temp via a employment agency wouldnt tell me how temp was temporary
    when i phoned emp agency they told me vacancy was filled i asked where it was they told me told them jc wouldnt tell me asked how long job was for told could be a week could be two months was flc and h&s cert needed as had neither answer yes you do my reply was suggest you put this in the job details then and it saves wasting peoples time is heavy lifting involved as have dodgy knee cant lift heavy items yes heavy lifting is involved
    needless to say the job became vacant three weeks later and the details had mujst have flc and h&s certs must be psysically fit heavy lifting involved
    also idiot ea made me change jsag to say will apply for all suitable jobs which means if there is a job he thought i should have applied for and i hadnt he could then benefit sanction me
    as regards jc+ phoning an employer would be worth stating at end of the interview oh you may get a phone call from mrX at the jobcentre to find out if i was here today though you realise of course that if iam unfortunate not to get this job your reason as to why may mean i get my benefit sanctioned


    October 19, 2009 at 7:24 pm

  20. i made enquiries as to how jc+ can phone an employer to find out why you didnt get the job and apparently because it is a goverment department they are exempt from the data protection act ie the act that prevents people from finding out information yet would have thought an employer would quote the data protection act to the jc telling them the information is private and confidential seems strange does it not?
    all the employer needs to say was he didnt have enough experience for the job but other than this he would have been given the job he was early for his interview well presented and very polite
    nuff said


    October 19, 2009 at 7:39 pm

    • well the dvla seems to give out information to and dodgy wheel clamper,why should the job centre be any different in regards to the unemployed.

      this could why you are dictated to sign away your rights to this at the start of new deal.the provider is liable,the job centre will say its to help you with interviews’,more like bully you because you were turned down.


      October 19, 2009 at 9:41 pm

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