Ipswich Unemployed Action.

Campaigning for Unemployed Rights.

Claimant Commitment and ‘Work Coaches’.

with 30 comments

New Work Coach (1) 

When someone makes a new claim for JSA or returns to JSA from the Work Programme they will attend an interview with a work coach. At the interview they will agree a personal plan outlining what the claimant will do as part of their Claimant Commitment to give themselves the best chance of finding work. This could include regular specific tasks and training opportunities.

The work coach will explain the penalties claimants could face for failing to meet their responsibilities to get into work. They will review the plan regularly.

The Claimant Commitment strengthens the ability of Jobcentre Plus staff to support claimants back into work at the earliest opportunity and redefines the relationship between the welfare state and claimants. In return for state support, we expect claimants to do all they can to meet their responsibilities to return to work.

From here.

A bit of a lie already.

I had to do a new one last week.

My ‘work coach’ – a thoroughly decent person I should add – went through the list of stuff and finished by asking me a bit on the computer form whether I had any criminal convictions.

It is there – believe me.

Just for the info I mentioned a conviction I had for urinating on British Rail property in York circa 1972.

(1) Nicholas Colasanto (January 19, 1924 – February 12, 1985) was an American actor and television director, known for his role, Coach Ernie Pantusso, in the American sitcom Cheers.

He was extremely thick.

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Written by Andrew Coates

November 26, 2014 at 1:15 pm

30 Responses

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  1. Andrew:

    When you describe your work coach as a thoroughly decent person, I can’t tell if you’re being sarcastic or not.

    Let me tell you about my work coach. She’s a pyschopath. If I try and engage with her or work with her, it only seems to enrage her.

    jj joop

    November 26, 2014 at 1:30 pm

    • Same here,when I turned in my Claimant Commitment,she stated that it was not specific enough,I referred her to the example in the front of the booklet that I used as a template, after all it was written by the DWP,she said it was wrong and not what she wanted,I asked for it in writing,I keep a log book of all jobs applied for,this was also not acceptable(referred to UC toolkit) I reminded her that at the first interview after the WP ,Training was mentioned and as a Work Coach she would provide the details of available Training..What is available? she refused to answer,but I did find myself on MWA for 4 Weeks,a demand to see my last 5 Years bank records and a threat to visit the people that are allowing me to sleep on their sofa…Some Bloody help!

      jray

      November 26, 2014 at 1:56 pm

    • I am not being sarky.

      But I feel the very very obvious possibility that if you have somebody with that kind of power over you they may abuse it.

      Andrew Coates

      November 26, 2014 at 2:48 pm

      • There’s no may about it.

        Parker Pyne

        November 26, 2014 at 3:53 pm

  2. The ironic thing is, Andrew, that your minor offence in 1972 probably disbars you from a lot of jobs these days. Not that it is in any way relevant to anhy job that I can think of; but only perfect robots are wanted in this brave new world.

    Dan

    November 26, 2014 at 4:44 pm

  3. Actually that offence is not made up: I was visiting some mates in York and we went to the pub.

    On the way back I took a slash in a back alley near the railway station and got pinched by the railway police.

    Apparently the whole area is railway property.

    If I recall I paid about £15 fine – a fair whack in those days.

    Andrew Coates

    November 26, 2014 at 4:59 pm

  4. Is This Site Working OK Now ?.

    Philip

    November 27, 2014 at 8:51 am

    • Yup, so make with the posting – everyone! And that means you: enigma, super ted, obi, gaia, etc. Come on now, give it up.

      jj joop

      November 27, 2014 at 5:21 pm

      • HELLOOOOOO EVERYBODY. O;)

        PHILIP

        November 28, 2014 at 9:01 am

  5. its best to have that nonsense about voluntary work removed,logging into universal jobmatch keep the email address to yourself too.everyones being put on these they are simply renamed/remodeled jobseekers agreements and have the same legal weight.

    coaches will attempt to add more so its important to stand firm.

    ken

    November 27, 2014 at 12:47 pm

  6. A disabled Angus woman forced to lie on the floor at work to alleviate pain has won a £13,000 settlement from the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP

    http://www.thecourier.co.uk/news/local/angus-the-mearns/disabled-angus-woman-wins-13-000-payout-from-dwp-1.705788

    super ted

    November 27, 2014 at 6:09 pm

    • Now DWP will probably refer her case to ATOS..

      Kat Rehman

      November 27, 2014 at 7:47 pm

  7. Even I’d say not all JC staff are useless, some are even helpful occasionally!
    But…
    I’ve now got a new ‘work coach’, and I’m afraid this one’s totally clueless about the current labour market. Apparently anyone unemployed just needs to pop along to a ‘recruitment agency’, register, and then and start work the next day.

    Another Fine Mess

    November 27, 2014 at 9:50 pm

  8. http://www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/episode/b04t6wd0/watchdog-series-34-episode-7

    thats not far of what every provider does but get paid from the dwp for nothing in return bar useless bits of paper that mean nothing to no one.

    super ted

    November 27, 2014 at 10:52 pm

  9. There are still some decent people working at JobcentrePlus, but granted, not many.

    I have overheard ‘advisors’ threatening gullible claimants with sanctions when they had no legal grounds to do so, and I have advised many people that they don’t have to do half of what JCP advisors tell them they must do, (usually in vain, so brainwashed are so many that they I have a decent JCP advisor, who has never tried to bully me into anything – I still haven’t signed up for UJM, and my advisor hasn’t mentioned it since December 2012!

    He also tells me what I can claim from my Workfare provider; as most of us know, Workfare providers remain very mute about expenses we can claim, such as the cost of smart clothes if we need them to go for an interview, or travel costs to an interview etc – or even training courses, which we all know Workfare providers positively hate coughing up for – if the courses are any good.

    Don’t get me wrong, I still detest the system, and the whole regime behind it, and that extends to the wretches in PCS and the Labour Party who are as culpable as the ConDems in the promotion of the lie that is driving Austerity. Sadly too many unemployed people believe it, and too many poorly paid workers believe it and don’t seem to want to realise that they could so easily change their position if they joined a union like the IWW. Unemployed people are also welcomed into the IWW, and it’s a lot more worthwhile, (and cheaper!) than joining Unite Community, which seems to just wants your money… As the recent Liverpool IWW success demonstrates, sometimes just the threat of an action can deliver results!

    sibrydionmawr

    November 28, 2014 at 10:38 am

    • The point is that they have power over other people – power a bit like a judge in a court – with few restraints.

      It is absurd that some employee of the Jobcentre can decide on whether a person can eat or not.

      Andrew Coates

      November 28, 2014 at 2:15 pm

    • Can you put an address for IWW here please.

      Philip

      November 28, 2014 at 3:58 pm

      • Thank You Ms Shirley Nott

        Philip

        November 29, 2014 at 8:57 am

      • You’re welcome – I’ve not managed to join yet – but trying (!):
        From the Industrial Workers of the World’s website:-
        “Online membership form – send with payment to:
        IWW, PO Box 7593, Glasgow, G42 2EX /
        contact your nearest branch or regional organiser”.

        shirleynott

        November 30, 2014 at 9:56 pm

      • Sent for details

        Northolt

        December 1, 2014 at 8:19 am

  10. I have overheard ‘advisors’ threatening gullible claimants with sanctions when they had no legal grounds to do so,

    This is happening up and down the country,its blatant/aggressive/illegal behavior,its often targeted with long term unemployed often the disabled or other barriers,sneering at people affected and so blatant they boast that a sanction is inevitable.I agree that labour is also had a hand in this. its snowballed with charities which are a business being able to let people go and be able to simply have another replacement person for nothing.

    if Pinocchio existed,the Dwp’s nose would stretch a long way by now,but the costs of appealing decisions far outweighs any attempt to sanction and costs more money.the country is simply turning as not a nice place to live.

    ken

    November 28, 2014 at 6:03 pm

  11. People are entitled to legal aid,

    https://www.gov.uk/civil-legal-advice

    ken

    November 28, 2014 at 6:21 pm

  12. Universal Credit:

    Now UK’s banks turn on coalition over free bank account plan.

    Some of the UK’s largest banks have balked at the Tory-led coalition’s proposal to force them to set-up free current accounts for universal credit (UC) claimants.

    With UC designed to ‘make work pay’ the government is determined to create employment-like conditions for jobless claimants, and is insisting that recipients of the new welfare system have their benefits sent directly to a bank account in the same way that salaries are paid.

    However, many of the country’s claimants do not have current accounts and with banks often charging monthly admin fees to run accounts, the Treasury is keen to create an industry-wide service that would provide those on UC with a free service.

    The Treasury is currently locked in talks with the big high street lenders, but government sources have claimed that negotiations have been marred by differences with the banks unhappy about the lack of fees.

    It is rumoured that Chancellor George Osborne would like to announce in next week’s autumn statement that a deal for UC current accounts has been struck with the banks.

    Last March the DWP announced that £145 million it had promised for the creation of budgeting accounts to help benefit claimants adapt to UC would not be available after all following intervention from the Treasury.

    The funds were earmarked to encourage financial services companies to develop new basic banking facilities such as jam jar accounts.

    However, following the Treasury’s intervention no contract was ever been awarded by the DWP to any company to deliver such a product.

    http://www.24dash.com/news/universal_credit/2014-11-28-Universal-credit-Now-UK-s-banks-turn-on-coalition-over-free-bank-account-plan

    Obi Wan Kenobi

    November 29, 2014 at 10:32 am

  13. The true nastiness of the DWP – Bastards.

    North West Evening Mail – Saturday, 29 November 2014.

    CASH-STRAPPED benefits claimants could be left without benefits for up to five weeks over the Christmas period.

    New applicants to universal credit in Millom will be the first in Copeland to get the monthly paid benefit on December 8.

    It will be rolled out to the rest of Copeland on December 15 but the change from benefits being paid fortnightly to monthly to “replicate work” could leave new claimants without money.

    Councillors have raised concerns about how the introduction of universal credit, which replaces six means-tested state benefits, will affect residents.

    Labour town councillor Denise Burness told Millom Town Council on Wednesday: “The big issues are the changes that affect people in Millom. They are going to be paid monthly and it’s going to be in arrears. They have to apply online and the money’s going into their banks. For people who know how to budget it’s not a problem but if it’s going to go to that from nothing it’s going to be a problem. The timing stinks, it’s taken for granted people will be able to apply online and we do not have support for people who do not have a job centre, like in Millom.”

    Members of Copeland Borough Council’s executive panel last week heard the new payment scheme will be rolled out next month for new claimants, who are either single or couples without dependants.

    Councillor Allan Holliday was concerned that the changes would leave people without payments over Christmas.

    Julie Betteridge, head of customer and community services, said: “Sadly that might happen.

    “At least there are services out there like the foodbanks and Citizens Advice Bureau that people are getting help from. Universal credit is such a small part of it – there is a greater issue of people losing their jobs at Christmas.”

    It is unclear when Copeland’s foodbank centres will be open over Christmas.

    A Department for Work and Pensions spokeswoman said: “It could take up to five weeks for their benefit. It’s not a delay but a new way of doing it so that we are replicating work because it’s paid monthly.

    “If it is determined you do not have enough money before the benefit would come in you can apply for a benefit advance. We are putting in extra support through budgeting and the job centre will be able to direct them.”

    Universal credit will replace jobseeker’s allowance, housing benefit, working tax credit, child tax credit, employment and support allowance and income support.

    Carol Graham, manager of Copeland Citizens Advice Bureau, said: “The DWP said numbers in the initial rollout aren’t high. But it is happening over Christmas and it will be an issue for those people who are affected by it.”

    She said CAB will be closed between Christmas and New Year.

    http://www.nwemail.co.uk/news/reforms-could-cause-hardship-over-christmas-in-cumbria-1.1177820

    Obi Wan Kenobi

    November 29, 2014 at 10:44 am

  14. USING UJM TODAY?. YOU CANNOT LOGON BETWEEN 10AM 4PM. IF USING PUBLIC LIBRARY TAKE A SCREEN SHOT AND TAKE TO JOBCENTRE THE HOURS SHOWN ARE THE SAME AS THE PUBLIC LIBRARAY. IF YOU ONLY USE PUBLIC LIBRARY YOU WILL NOT BE ABLE TO ACCESS UJM TODAY:- JCP WILL NEED QUANTITATIVE PROOF.

    Northolt

    November 30, 2014 at 10:24 am

  15. SHOULD HAVE ADDED GET COUNTER STAFF TO COUNTER SIGN SCREEN SHOTS TOO

    Northolt

    November 30, 2014 at 10:36 am

    • Why would anyone have to jobsearch on a Sunday morning?
      These days we can use the super duper UJM, invented by the infamous genius IBS, it jobsearches for you 24/7, and then makes a list of ‘recommended vancancies’. It’s Brill!

      Now that we’re lucky enough to have such spaced out age technology, unemployment will surely be solved by next Wednesday.

      Another Fine Mess

      November 30, 2014 at 11:57 am

      • Is That Morning Or Afternoon. Don’t Forget Jobcentres Open At 10;00 On Wednesday.

        Northolt

        November 30, 2014 at 1:11 pm

  16. MY WPP PA IS LEAVING. I HAVE BEEN TOLD I MAY OR MAY NOT GET ANOTHER. I AM DUE TO LEAVE WPP IN MARCH ANYWAY. SO WHAT HAPPENS IF I END UP PARKED FOR 3-4 MONTHS AND CAN’T GET AN EXIT REPORT. BTW MY PA IS NOT THE ONLY ONE THAT HAS LEFT EITHER. TODAY I WENT FOR MY 1 HOUR SESSION. STAYED AN EXTRA HOUR AS IT WAS RAINING. I WAS THE ONLY CLIENT ON THE SITE IN THOSE TWO HOURS

    NORTHOLT

    December 1, 2014 at 12:07 pm


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