Ipswich Unemployed Action.

Campaigning for Unemployed Rights.

Challenging Sanctions.

with 31 comments

Hat-Tip: Boycott Workfare for bringing this excellent leaflet by ReClaim  to people’s attention on Facebook.

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Written by Andrew Coates

July 30, 2013 at 12:45 pm

31 Responses

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  1. This should be set in stone for all time.

    I asked my MP, via email, what sanctioned people are meant to live on. He hasn’t responded (he’s a tory). I sent him a tweet as well. Again, nothing.

    They don’t care.

    ghost whistler

    July 30, 2013 at 1:46 pm

    • Agreed, this is really good advice. Hope all claimants could become aware of it.

      Don’t let the bastards grind you down!

      Universal Jobmatch

      July 31, 2013 at 10:47 pm

  2. Incase anyone isn’t aware, when a claimant issues a complaint be it against JCP, PROVIDER or BOTH the following rule applies.

    Consequence: If the participant is not satisfied with the response to their complaint against you they can escalate the issue to the Independent Case Examiner (ICE). This could lead to you being required to contribute £5000 costs if the complaint is upheld after investigation. You will also be liable to pay any financial redress deemed by ICE to be due to the customer. ICE will apply the following DWP policy when considering if any redress is due to the

    ALSO PLEASE REMEBER THAT THEY HAVE EXACTLY 8 WEEKS TO REPLY OR YOU CAN GO STRAIGHT TO THE INDEPENDANT CASE EXAMINER (ICE).

    customer: http://www.dwp.gov.uk/docs/financial-redress-for-maladministration.pdf.

    Now no doubt their will be instances where the claimant will be told that no proof exists that they indeed complained so HAVE IT WITNESSED BY A FELLOW CLAIMANTS USING SOMETHING LIKE A NEWS PAPER TO ESTABLISH A TIMELINE IF THE ADVISOR REFUSES SIGNING FOR IT. THE MORE WITNESSES THE BETTER SO IF ANOTHER CLAIMANTS ASKS YOU TO STAND AS SUCH PLEASE DO SO LENDING YOUR FULL SUPPORT AS TO WITNESSING THEM HANDING IT IN.

    gaia

    July 30, 2013 at 2:13 pm

    • Ive included the above as you can quite reasonably and legally complain aswell as appeal a sanction.

      gaia

      July 30, 2013 at 2:15 pm

  3. I have found todate that often sanctions relating to NOT ACTIVELY SEEKING WORK AND OR APPLYING FOR AND OR TAKING EMPLOYMENT IF OFFERED are only quoted as per violation of the JA and SSA procedure. It appears advisors are not highlighting the actual cause of departure from.

    Now theirs to many causes to cover here so I cannot be specific but none the less can state their are exemptions where as a departure from is valid.

    For instance if you didn’t get your 14 points you agreed to within your JOBSEEKERS AGREEMENT one week citing that no jobs that fit your skillsets was available within a reasonable amount of distance (ie, 90 min travel) and as result you are sanctioned, it is first upto JCP to prove that such vacancies DO EXIST and that you DEMONSTRATE the CORRECT SKILLS for the task to validate you applying for or excepting it if offered employment which they NEED to do BEFORE SANCTIONING YOU. IF THEY DONT THEN THEY HAVENT PROVED THAT YOU HAVE DEPARTED FROM THE AGREEMENT UNREASONABLY AND AS SUCH HAVE ENTERED A FALSE REPORT MAKING THE RAISING OF A SANCTION INVALID.

    When making accusations against another it cannot be without foundation meaning you cant state I think so, you have to present good solid evidence to the contrary.

    gaia

    July 30, 2013 at 2:36 pm

  4. Tobanem

    July 30, 2013 at 3:26 pm

    • there was a discussion on that bedroom tax this morning,a woman was threatened in Milton keynes with eviction by here her housing association for falling £200 pounds in arrears looking after her disabled brother and a daughter with fluctuating mental health problems who wouldn’t open her front door when affected and had to move in to the spare bedroom with them.relying on discretionary payments,dealing with council staff saying paperwork had been received then not basically given the runaround.

      the sanction paperwork is often inaccurately if at all filled in,the problem is that now council tax liability exists it puts extra stress on people.its always best keep proof of applying as these things can come out of the blue when submitted for jobs by the jobcentre.

      i don’t know whats happened to the “hit squads” finishing the work progamme around five weeks ago i haven’t heard a peep out of them.

      ken

      July 30, 2013 at 7:09 pm

      • all the job points have been turned of for the last 5 weeks in my jcp and no iad to look for work on either and adviser said they not getting iad for my jcp was told to use a library for a pc to job search on.

        super ted

        July 30, 2013 at 7:32 pm

  5. “80 percent of U.S. adults face near-poverty, unemployment, survey finds”

    http://www.cbsnews.com/8301-201_162-57595861/80-percent-of-u.s-adults-face-near-poverty-unemployment-survey-finds/

    Annos

    July 30, 2013 at 3:36 pm

  6. This is good advice. Sometimes we feel like we are on our own. I am glad I have joined this website. I do not say that to make the contributors feel good, but I get being on the receiving end, if you know what I mean. Nick

    Nick Weir

    July 30, 2013 at 6:38 pm

  7. I’m due to finish the WP end August, and am worried about repercussions from not having signed data protection waiver, and not having given advisor a copy of my cv to keep, so not letting them send around my details. Also have not yet joined Universal Jobmatch, although I do use the site to apply for jobs. Am worried that this will go against me at JCP on my return. Any news from anyone else in the same position?

    EffJay

    July 30, 2013 at 7:36 pm

    • i finish about the same time but have no cv cant produce 1 and its the jcp fault i dont have 1 anyway so not my problem.

      just fill in ur job search and they cant do jack shit about it done the hole wp and been 1 time in 2 years 😉

      super ted

      July 30, 2013 at 7:57 pm

    • Don’t worry Effjay, they have to show you what they have written before sending it as like having a complaint with, they must deal with themselves any reservations you have against it.

      What you will find when you return back to JCP currently is that during your post interviews that you will be assessed and based on that assessment whether wrong or right will be action planned accordingly(you can appeal if wrong).

      Basically the milestones to cross are the UJ SITE enlistment and MWA. With the UJ site they will say almost word for word unless you get a genuine advisor not threatened by upstairs that it is MANDATORY THAT YOU SIGN UP.

      This is totally untrue as what they need to say is THAT ITS MANDATORY BUT ONLY UNDER JOBSEEKERS DIRECTION. Basically for them to enact this JD they must be able to find fault with your evidence Vs jobseekers agreement.

      Are you sticking to the agreement (ie, are you ACTIVELY SEEKING WORK BY DOING AT LEAST (HERES A FIGURE) THINGS A WEEK, ARE YOU APPLYING THROUGH THE AGREED MEDIUM (ie, UJ SITE,fish4jobs,etc). Also their looking at are you doing enough to better your chances of gaining employment.

      As long as you stick to your jobseekers agreement and cover the points within it they cannot use JOBSEEKERS DIRECTION LEGALLY AGAINST YOU REGARDLESS OF IF THEY DO (appeal if so).

      They will say stuff like it decreases your chances and crap to that effect, DONT BUY INTO IT as you don’t really need to sign up to UJ to use it which is clearly highlighted on the HOMEPAGE where it supplies phone numbers to call for the job ads not displaying contact details. As long as you can show that you use the UJ site and that your not effected by not signing up (ie, hand in say at least 10 jobs from that site a week), they wont be in a position to make you.

      Even if they do make you, they can only make you sign up and upload a CV but only if it doesn’t involve PERSONAL AND SENSITIVE DATA and that even if signed up doesn’t mean you have to use it as how you present your media (work evidence) is entirely up to you and their is absolutely no law that says different (refer to toolkit for proof on this site). On top of this you are the DATA OWNER of your PERSONAL AND SENSITIVE DATA AND AS SUCH ARE FREE TO DECIDE WHEN AND WHERE AND WHOM YOU PART IT TO (your rights under DPA), ESPECIALLY INRESPECT TO THIRD PARTIES WHEN HELD BY SECOND PARTIES (namely the site).

      Now under the definition of law PERSONAL DATA is considered to be any 2 pieces of data that can be used to identify you the owner meaning

      NAME, ADDRESS,PHONENUMBER,EMAILADDRESS, COMPANIES WORKED AT AND DATES,REFEREES,LICENCES AND QUALIFICATIONS.

      So as you can see not much of a CV is going to get loaded. Again according to a TOOLKIT JCP have No legal right to ask to see your CV so other than saying YES THANKS you can reasonably and legally say no more than that. If they wish to say that they believe you DONT have a CV then ask them to do so in writing as if you have the cash this is once you prove to the contrary defamation, meaning hello civil suite but do make sure you have a creditable witness as to the CVs prior existence beforehand.

      The same goes for signing up and the profile meaning your free to use a false name just like here, just like what billions of people do online everyday.

      As for MWA, they use whats known as CAT (claimant assessment tool) and if you follow this link to another page on this site and look for my tag (gaia) you will see a post in 2 parts outlining exactly what CAT is and how you are assessed

      https://intensiveactivity.wordpress.com/2013/07/28/serco-work-programme-providers-and-fraud/

      But again like JD their just trying to find fault in you sticking to your agreement and methods applied while doing so.

      Generally you will find from this post back others aswell as myself offer good fact based advice on the system so do make full use of this site as many a poster has tirelessly slaved to bring such information to the forefront for people such as yourself concerned with life after the work programme who have heard all the horror stories which sadly by far and large are true.

      Good luck when your time comes and if it helps im already going through this post work programme regime and to date a part from trying to get me to sign up to UJ (still haven’t and in this instance wasn’t threatened in anyway unlike last time) the ride has been smooth but their again I have a great deal of work evidence so they would be extremely hard pressed to find fault in my method, especially considering I use to be an employability tutor for a company that use to help people with massive barriers back into work (voluntary) so maybe im not your typical example. This said that doesn’t mean the tide wont change as like I said they have been rough with me in the past.

      gaia

      July 31, 2013 at 10:03 am

    • Had already replyed but it disappeared so heres the short version

      As I don’t know how IT savy you are please just humour me. You can click on this site title at the top of this page and it will open up all the recent posts going back in order of date.

      Now in these posts are others as well as myself in depth knowledge of what to expect. Outlined are actual guide lines JCP must follow, what they can and cant do and of course your rights under law so im sure you will find all you need at this site including links to other sources by other people hard at work to bring you the truth.

      Good luck Effjay and remember the nutshell here that as long as your evidence is upto date and in full accordance with your jobseekers agreement they cant touch you,even if they try it will easily be overturned as long as you follow the advice already given here.

      If after reading it all you still need help then simply post again as im sure many a member will gladly help you such is the stock of people coming to this site and or running it.

      gaia

      July 31, 2013 at 10:18 am

  8. This leaflet is very informative. I wish I had known about it when I was sanctioned. It contains the kind of information that the Jobcentre should give you by default; but don’t. Thanks for bringing it to our attention. Click on Files on the ReClaim page in Facebook and it is under “ReClaim JSA sanctions leaflet”.

    ****RECORD ALL YOUR SIGNINGS AND INTERVIEWS!****

    1. To protect myself from sanction-happy JCP advisers, I now record all my signings/interviews. I have found through bitter experience that if you are sanctioned or a sanction doubt is raised against you, the decision maker believes the Jobcentre by default.

    This is the FOI link for Recording by claimants during interviews, telephone calls etc.

    https://www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/167004/response/405790/attach/html/3/Recordings%20by%20claimants1.pdf.html

    2. This is the letter I sent. You may want to add your own reasons for recording your signings. For example: advisor bullying you to sign up to UJM or pestering you for access to your UJM account. And so on.

    Dear ******

    I am writing to advise you that as of the ******, which is my next signing day, I intend to record all my signings/interviews/telephone conversations with the DWP Jobcentre Plus. This will be done via a digital recording device. The recording device will not be visible to the adviser.

    My reason/s for doing this are as follows.

    Recent reports in the media seem to suggest that Jobcentres have been setting targets and league tables to sanction benefit claimants. And that staff are being warned by managers that they will be disciplined unless they increase the number of claimants referred to a tougher benefit regime.

    Furthermore, reading comments made by claimants on various Internet forums, it would appear that some JCP advisers do not know exactly what they are allowed/not allowed to say to claimants, particularly regarding Universal Jobmatch. Some even appear to be making it up as they go along, either through ignorance or just sheer frustration.

    When a claimant is sanctioned or a sanction doubt is raised against them, decision makers tend to believe the DWP by default. Being sanctioned or having a sanction doubt raised against me will cause me considerable financial hardship. Consequently, recording my signings/interviews will ensure that there will be no misunderstanding as to what or wasn’t said between myself and an adviser .

    If my signing/interview takes place in an open plan area, I may accidentally record other claimants’ personal information. To ensure this does not happen you may want to use a private interview room.

    I must stress that these recordings are for my personal use only and will not be published on the Internet. They will only ever be heard by a third party if used as evidence in an appeal should I ever be sanctioned or if a sanction doubt is raised against me.

    I would be grateful if you would write to me confirm receipt of this letter.

    Yours sincerely

    **********

    3. Insist they write back to you. The following link may be of some help. It is for a Jobcentre publication called “About Jobcentre Plus (Our Service Standards)”. You can also get a copy from your local Jobcentre as well. In the back is a feedback form with tick boxes where you can state the nature of your feedback, i.e. a complaint, and how you want them to reply to you, i.e. by letter. Staple this form to your letter. Address the letter to the office manager. Ask for their name at the reception; they are obliged to tell you who it is.

    http://www.direct.gov.uk/prod_consum_dg/groups/dg_digitalassets/@dg/@en/@benefits/documents/digitalasset/dg_202270.pdf

    4. For whatever reason, some Jobcentre managers may decide not to inform their staff that they are being recorded. To ensure that your adviser is on-message when you sign, advise them that the signing/interview is being recorded and give them a copy of the following letter. When I showed it to the adviser at my last signing, she freaked. She couldn’t wait to get rid of me. She asked me if I’d done any work in the last two weeks and if my circumstances have changed at all, and then it was a case of: OK mate, off you fuck!

    Dear JCP Adviser,

    I wrote to your manager on the ****** to advise them that I intended to record all my signings and interviews with the DWP, and I explained why. This will be done via a digital recording device. The recording device will not be visible to you.

    If my signing/interview takes place in an open plan area, I may accidentally record other claimants’ personal information. To ensure this does not happen you may want to use a private interview room.

    I must stress that these recordings are for my personal use only and will not be published on the Internet. They will only ever be heard by a third party if used as evidence in an appeal should I ever be sanctioned or if a sanction doubt is raised against me.

    Yours sincerely,

    **********

    5. To reinforce your message, email it to your Jobcentre as well. You may also want to send a copy to the JCP district manager.

    http://www.dwp.gov.uk/docs/managers-by-region.pdf

    The Helping Hand

    July 30, 2013 at 7:55 pm

  9. Another brown envelope today! Telling me my JSA is stopped for a further 2 weeks.

    This doesn’t make sense, I thought it was 4 weeks then 13. I suppose the bonus id that this news this morning wasn’t saying it had been stopped for 13 weeks.

    Been struggling to find something to apply for this week. Which means if i don’t then i will just get sanctioned yet again.
    I think they are just making an example of me, a marked man and all that jazz.

    Thing is, I am advised to play the game and apply for any old crap, but even to find something that doesn’t look like i’m taking the pee is difficult.

    I still maintain that not finding anything and therefore not applying is NOT sanctionable.

    If I am right then I’ll get it backdated.

    Phew! I haven’t got a penny! Thank goodness for family and friends.

    It’s horrendous how it’s changed for the worse so suddenly. It’s almost chillingly sinister.

    Almost? They want us dead.

    Mr No

    July 31, 2013 at 3:31 pm

    • Even though I don’t know where you hail from I agree that this weeks jobs are scarce throughout the country.

      This said and more to do with JCP wants every claimant must remember that from the point they live you draw a line equal to 90 mins travel, then from its furthest point pull it round in a circle and that’s the area they expect you to look for work in.

      (FOR THE RECORD THE 90MIN RULE ABOVE ISNT THAT SIMPLE AS BUSES AND TRAINS DONT MOVE IN STRAIGHT LINES AND YOU MAY NEED MORE THAN ONE WITH WALKING AND WAITING INVOLVED SO ABOVE IS A MERE RULE OF THUMB GAUGE)

      Now if they can find one job you can do and apply for then your goose is cooked. Even without this claimants are also expected to prospectively hunt which means applying to companies that haven’t advertised a vacancy to see if they may have one of these hidden jobs we all hear about but never see.

      My advice in your case is to approach your advisor early to state you are struggling this week to source and apply for work dew to no applicable jobs and ask them to look for you aswell as your worried your not get the evidence required.
      You see when you see your advisor they will log in and pull up your JCP details but it also affords you the option of leaving notes on the system so if your advisor cant find anything or advise/direct you to someone who can then you can get them to put a note on the system to that effect (they cant refuse not that they will).

      Alternately look further than 90 min travel but I will warn you now as I myself often work away from home so always search in excess of 200 miles that mostly all employers unless position a fully skilled one like say doctor, teacher, engineer, etc often prefer candidates to live locally so your chances of securing an interview is slim but none the less worth trying.

      Now another good thing to go for is apprenticeships regardless of age and yes before you say it, the employers are only doing this for cheap labour and funding so often stick with the under 24 candidates but you never know as they don’t have to select a under 24 and receive funding, they may be so impressed by you that they make a change of plan. Its a one in a million chance but again worth trying.

      Then we have transferable skills which if you don’t know already is about where you see if your skills can be used in other professions like say a plumber could be a pipefitter or the other way around. If your say good at cleaning your house you could say go for cleaning jobs or maybe your a good cook, who knows what your talents are.

      Well I hope this helps

      gaia

      August 1, 2013 at 10:01 am

      • Hey gaia. Thanks for your words. Appreciated.

        I’m down south in a particular city that has so much but so little!

        Again i enter the jobcentre with no jobs found, I took photos of my jobsearching. I joined the UJM in the most basic and minimal sense.

        i am in a crazy frame of mind, but not silly crazy, Just that i am past caring and will have to get used to zero income until a job can be found. I’ll have a go at the hardship payments, but there is more to life than unemployment and money.

        I will survive. but I promise you guys i am fighting the dictatorship all the way. Even when i get a job i will still be fighting for our rights to live.

        Peace and love to every one of you.

        Thanks for the solidarity.

        i’m just one of those eccentric rebellious types. I want to work, but what? Where? How? It’s all gone to shit.

        More later, no doubt. Ha!

        Mr No

        August 1, 2013 at 10:49 pm

  10. Just as a general point, whenever I go into the Silent Street Ipswich Job centre there is nobody, nobody, using their computers near the entrance.

    These terminals were meant for people to do their Job Search on UJM.

    I would not like to use them for the obvious reason that they are where they are, and plus right by where people queue up to get seen.

    But why is nobody there?

    Andrew Coates

    July 31, 2013 at 3:45 pm

    • we got no job points at my local let alone a pc to use lol ::)

      super ted

      July 31, 2013 at 3:59 pm

  11. you got to apply for jobs or put them on ur job search that you applied for a few anyway

    find all the company’s that hire via on line app form and put that you applied on line for the job on ur job search.

    i dont apply my self as there is no chance they will hire me but the job i put on my job search was advertised but its not my fault it was 200 miles away is it.;)

    super ted

    July 31, 2013 at 3:52 pm

  12. REICHSARBEITSDIENST (Reich Labour Service).

    Workfare in the Nazi era:

    http://beastrabban.wordpress.com/2013/07/31/workfare-a-nazi-policy/

    Notice the word ARBEIT in the term Reichsarbeitsdienst! Now where else did that word appear?

    Tobanem

    August 1, 2013 at 8:49 am

    • If your going to highlight growing governmental fascism then heres the 10 point check list to successively gain it.

      1. Invoke a terrifying internal and external enemy
      2. Create a gulag
      3. Develop a thug cast
      4. Set up an internal surveillance system
      5. Harass citizens’ groups
      6. Engage in arbitrary detention and release
      7. Target key individuals
      8. Control the press
      9. Dissent equals treason
      10. Suspend the rule of law

      See how many you see are current today as so far I make it all the first 9.

      AS YOU CAN SEE, BENEFIT CUTS ARE THE LEAST OF YOUR WORRIES

      gaia

      August 1, 2013 at 10:54 am

  13. RESIDENTIAL TRAINING COLLEGES FOR THE DISABLED AND THE UNEMPLOYED

    Is this the start of a modern era of Work Camps where the unemployed will be transported away from home to serve their sentence? See this link:

    http://www.dwp.gov.uk/docs/residential-training-college-provider.pdf

    Work Camps for the “workless” have already been set up in this country in the 1930s. See this link:

    http://sites.scran.ac.uk/redclyde/redclyde/rc138.htm

    Tobanem

    August 1, 2013 at 9:42 am

    • It looks like a year old set of amendments to an already existing system. These colleges have been around for a very long time and it isn’t clear from this document that they are using WP funding. They are using output related funding for job outcomes and qualification outcomes, which, for qualifications was running up until New Deal and was the case under YTS, YT and ET.

      I don’t think this is about “work camps” I don’t see any mention of compulsion. I remember from years ago that colleges such as these had very long waiting lists and places were considered like gold dust amongst DEAs and the individuals that wanted a place themselves.

      I don’t believe for one minute that this government wouldn’t jump at the chance to restore the work camps of the 1930s, but I don’t think it will be done via the existing residential training provision. These existing places are generally a million miles away in quality from the low level garbage available from WP providers.

      Of course I might just be outrageously optimistic on this and we will all be shipped out to New Work Programme Work Camps by Christmas!

      Lucy

      Lucy

      August 1, 2013 at 10:53 am

  14. Yes, there is nothing new under the sun!

    Back in the 1970s, the old DHSS (Department of Health and Social Security) ran what were called “Re-establishment Centres” for the long-term unemployed.

    One was located in Newcastle, and another one near Glasgow inside an “open” prison! No doubt, other Re-establishment Centres” existed elsewhere. I suppose you could easily have called them “Residential” centres – given that the inmates had to be transported away from their homes to serve their “sentence”.

    “Candidates” had to spend several months away from home while they were transformed by the State from workshy idlers into something more productive.

    Don’t underestimate how easy it would be to create modern “Work Camps” for the unemployed in this country today.

    Of course, there will always be some who say it can’t happen here.

    Tobanem

    August 1, 2013 at 2:07 pm

  15. Dear Sir/Madam I live in Warrington but wonder if you would advise me or point me in the right direction?
    I have finished a 2 year work program and now feeling threatened by a hit squad and sanctions as if taken a kids pocket money away? Im on the way to being 60, have arthritis that I cope with well but I have limitations.
    While I was on the program I had to apply for many jobs that would have been unsuitable, I wouldn’t like to go sick but pushing me into unsuited employment could be my only choice.
    There is much more but will await your advice.
    Is there an official body that deals with this problem if not you?

    Many Thanks

    Alan J. Peck

    Alan J. Peck

    September 15, 2013 at 3:36 pm

  16. Went into my local jcp yesterday and overheard two claimants being referred to a decision maker for minor JSAg infractions. No privacy at all in these places, none at all. Everything open-plan.

    jj joop

    September 24, 2013 at 4:39 pm


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