Ipswich Unemployed Action.

Campaigning for Unemployed Rights.

Jobcentre Goes Mad: Demands People Have Smartphones.

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eople are starving over Universal Credit – telling me to use a credit-hungry smartphone is beyond the pale

Arthur Chapple. The ‘I’. Today.

This story keeps developing

See, Man on Universal Credit says he was told by Jobcentre he had to get a smartphone to search for a job )

 

I am long-term unemployed. Few employers take me seriously: I’m 56, a credit risk due to high debt, can’t drive and therefore dependent on public transport which means I cannot pursue jobs with shift patterns outside the bus or train times. A history of agency temping jobs makes running a full five-year history check for potential employers too demanding. A degree in literature and philosophy makes me over-qualified by not being very vocational.

I was moved to a proto-version of Universal Credit (from Jobseeker’s Allowance) in Manchester a few years before moving to Preston in 2016.

I am transferring to the ‘full roll out’ of Universal Credit on 27 September 2018. I learned this at my last meeting with advisers at the Preston Jobcentre on 6 September.

Every fortnight I have a meeting with an adviser who looks at my job search activity, suggests a few job leads for me to consider and makes my next appointment. My job search log is on a flash drive which I can show advisers by clipping the drive to my tablet. T

he Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) can’t check my records on their computers for data protection reasons but can absurdly look at my own devices directly if I lug them in. On 6 September, I was sent to an adviser – not my usual – who had no interest in my job search record at all. He looked at my tablet in disdain. He insisted that I use an iPhone instead.

I told him I don’t have an iPhone, just a basic mobile – which he saw – and a landline at home. “I questioned [the smartphone’s] affordability. He told me of one going cheap at Argos and said the DWP would contribute up to £40 towards a new model.” It’s a very simple phone that will only take calls and texts, but it’s good enough for somebody phoning me up to say we’ve got a job you might be interested in. I’ve got a computer at home as well.

‘Must get a smartphone’

The adviser told me my full roll-out signing session is on 27 September and that by then I must get a smartphone, which he said would be easier to carry and access. I questioned its affordability. He told me of one going cheap at Argos and said the DWP would contribute up to £40 towards a new model.

I asked if this included its top-ups or a contract, but no. Credit for my current phone costs an average of £5 every three months. I doubt if a smartphone would be as cheap. I was given no indication that I had a choice or that this decision was not mandatory.

Such power-play strikes me as highly unethical and bogus. I feel intentionally misinformed.

A Department for Work and Pensions spokesman said: “There is no requirement for UC claimants to own a mobile phone, nor is a mobile phone required for a UC claim. Computers and free WiFi are available in all Jobcentres to enable claimants to maintain their accounts.”

‘Red tape hell’

With people starving and dying of suicide over the Universal Credit changes, forcing us to use credit-hungry phones is really beyond the pale. Many see the unemployed as scroungers but I do extensive voluntary work, have a book due for publication soon and Christmas work lined up for November and December. This is great but sadly temporary.

By January I will almost certainly be claiming benefits again and once more plunged into red tape hell, just as it seems to settle down from the last time. The whole, horrible process could be repeated on me.

Personally I rarely use even an ordinary mobile….

2013. Background.

Dear Jason Davies,

Thank you for your Freedom of Information request received on 16th July and your subsequent email of 19th July.

You asked for:

Are there any circumstances when a jobseeker (a JSA/ESA claimant) may be mandated by Jobcentre plus, by way of a Jobseeker’s Direction for example, to provide a telephone number and/or an email address on which the Jobcentre may expect to be able to contact them, if the jobseeker does not wish to provide this information?

Specifically, are there any circumstances in which a jobseeker would (note: not could, or may) be sanctioned for refusing to provide a telephone number and/or an email address?

If the jobseeker does not have a telephone (landline or mobile) is there any circumstance in which the Jobcentre can force the jobseeker to obtain one, even if this is being supplied at no cost to the jobseeker by, for example, the Jobcentre or a Work Programme provider? Would the jobseeker have to accept this or otherwise face a sanction?

Furthermore, are there any circumstances where a jobseeker would be sanctioned for refusing to allow the Jobcentre/DWP to keep a copy of their CV such that it would be permanently accessible to advisers etc?

If the jobseeker is not legally obliged to give a permanent copy to the Jobcentre/DWP is there a legal requirement to show a copy of a CV to the Jobcentre and, if so, would it be considered reasonable for a jobseeker to redact any personal information, such as telephone numbers, email addresses, employer details etc., from a CV being shown to an adviser?

Additionally, in the specific circumstance where a jobseeker is refusing to register with Universal Jobmatch, would the jobseeker be sanctioned if his reason for refusal is not wanting to supply an email address during the registration process (bearing in mind that supplying an email address is mandatory to set up a Government Gateway account and without which registration with Universal Jobmatch is impossible)? 

Reply: 

Providing a CV, email address or telephone number is not mandatory, therefore is not sanctionable.

However, a Jobseeker’s Allowance claimant may be issued with a Jobseeker’s Direction, requiring them to take a reasonable, specific activity that will help them find work, e.g. getting a

CV, telephone number or email address will help a claimant get a job. The decision to issue a Jobseeker’s Direction must always take into account the claimant’s individual circumstances.

Furthermore, claimants must demonstrate they have undertaken what is required in a Jobseeker’s Direction. Where the evidence provided is considered to be insufficient, the case will be referred to a Decision Maker for them to determine if the claimant has complied with the Jobseeker’s Direction. Failure to comply with a Jobseeker’s Direction, without good reason, will
affect benefit.

This is supported by Section 19A of the Jobseekers Act 1995, which can be found at the following internet address, via the DWP Website:
http://www.dwp.gov.uk/docs/a11-0101.pdf

It is for a Decision Maker to determine whether a Jobseeker’s Allowance claimant has good reason for refusing to create a profile and public CV in Universal Jobmatch, taking into account
the circumstances of each particular case.

If you have any queries about this letter please contact me quoting the reference number
above.
Yours sincerely,
DWP Central FoI Team

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Written by Andrew Coates

September 20, 2018 at 11:37 am

109 Responses

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  1. My long list of jobs applied for wasn’t looked at either, when on UC,

    Apply for hundreds it matters not, their out to get you one way or another.

    whoknew

    September 20, 2018 at 11:56 am

  2. […] via Jobcentre Goes Mad: Demands People Have Smartphones. — Ipswich Unemployed Action. […]

  3. Visited job centre today to switch over to UC full digital service, I filled in the form & showed them 3 id’s – birthday certificate, utility bill and bank card & was told it was all completed. An hour later I got a text message asking me to confirm my identity so went on my account to do this, but there was nowhere to do this, help! Have I got to use verify?

    Violet

    September 20, 2018 at 2:17 pm

    • When I did this I telephoned an 0800 number to make an appointment. Have a look at the “To do” page in you Universal Credit account. Somewhere or other there will be a message telling you to make an appointment within a certain number of days, depending when you get paid, to prove your identity at a Jobcentre.

      Neil Milbourne

      September 20, 2018 at 3:43 pm

  4. I have already proved it Neil & was told I would get an email asking me to come into joke centre(cheka) for an interview I don’t understand why I have to confirm my identity again, I’m absolutely sick of the twisted b*stards.

    Violet

    September 20, 2018 at 4:24 pm

    • i have to show id every time i sign on atm and not even on uc yet.

      superted

      September 20, 2018 at 5:42 pm

      • Her’s a link to the instructions Work Coaches use to transfer people from the live to the digital system.

        http://data.parliament.uk/DepositedPapers/Files/DEP2017-0556/112_Transfer_from_Live_Service_to_Full_Service_WC_v8.0.pdf

        What happened to me was that my Work Coach made an appointment for me to begin the transfer with her. She then gave me a “Call to Action” letter which describes what I needed to do. I then created a Universal Credit account for myself, logged on, saw another message telling me to ring a call centre to make an appointment to prove my identity, made the call, got an appointment with the same Work Coach a few days later, attended the appointment with a lot of documents to prove who I was (I have no photo id), and a few days later got another text message saying I had been migrated from the live service to the full digital service.

        I haven’t been paid yet.

        That happens next week, or should if everything works.

        I’m expecting something to go wrong and have zero confidence in the DWP.

        Neil Milbourne

        September 20, 2018 at 6:55 pm

      • I will tell them to shove it, I don’t want a smartphone (I would hardly use it anywhere) I got a computer where I am much quickly applying for jobs, why should I carry something around with me which could get lost/stolen etc.

        I got a health conditon where I cannot use a mobile phone/smart phone (answering calls by this method)

        The ID thing is the same for me,. been happening the last 8 weeks, a lot of us was unware that we were required to bring in ID everytime, and we told the advisor this, not on uc yet.

        myfinalusername

        September 26, 2018 at 6:51 pm

    • It is crazy but if you don’t follow the steps they give you before the next date you get paid all your benefits stop until you reclaim everything from scratch. It is a loony as a moonie but if you don’t play ball you end up with nothing. Since they already have all the information they need why they can’t just copy everything across from the live system to the digital system I really don’t know. It looks as if they are rushing thing out before they are ready because when I check my Universal Credit account online it says it’s a Beta version, i.e., a pre-release version which is still being tested and debugged not really fit for customers.

      Neil Milbourne

      September 20, 2018 at 6:46 pm

      • I have the Beta version too & went on my to do list, there was nothing there.

        Violet

        September 20, 2018 at 8:57 pm

      • Try the home page. Other than that either try leaving a message in your journal and check back later to see if the powers that be answer (I haven’t tried this yet), or telephone 0800 012 1888 to report a change in circumstances and inquire directly, or phone the Jobcentre and ask what to do. Best to find out what’s going on before the cut off date or your money will stop and you will have to reapply for Universal Credit from the beginning.

        Neil Milbourne

        September 21, 2018 at 7:48 am

      • The number I rang to make an appointment to show my identification was 0800 230 0750. I think that’s correct, so you could try that if you want. To be honest I’m not sure that Jobcentres do transfer people from the live to the digital system in the same way. Originally I was told I could do the whole thing at the Jobcentre with one appointment but, because I couldn’t remember my email password and had no phone with me when I went, couldn’t do this. I had to create the Universal Account at home and then go back to the Jobcentre, after making an appointment via the call centre, to to the identification thing at the end of that week two days before the deadline when by benefits would have been cut off!

        It really shouldn’t be this complicated should it?

        The Jobcentre staff don’t seem to be on top of this or know what to do.

        Neil Milbourne

        September 21, 2018 at 8:02 am

  5. That’s because we live in a police state superted & they have made it a hell on earth for us paupers.

    Violet

    September 20, 2018 at 6:15 pm

    • they will be taking the piss soon as well imo 😉

      superted

      September 20, 2018 at 9:03 pm

  6. All our bills are paper free online greeny bollocks. We aint got no passports. We aint got no driving licence So how are we supposed to claim this universal bollocks? You tell us!

    The Hansons

    September 21, 2018 at 2:42 am

    • I printed them out. All these documents have got numbers on them that can be crossed checked with the bank, council, utility company etc.

      Neil Milbourne

      September 21, 2018 at 7:41 am

  7. So they will jsut argue that being expected to provide a phonenumber/email/smartphone is ‘reasonable’. This elastic approach is what allows them to get away with fucking peoples lives up.

    ghost whistler

    September 21, 2018 at 8:00 am

    • Legally you don’t have to have an email address or phone number but my bet is that the process without those things is much more long-winded and difficult, mostly, probably, to “encourage” (force) people to have mobile phones and email addresses to enable the DWP to manage and monitor claims online.

      Neil Milbourne

      September 21, 2018 at 8:05 am

      • i have email and phone numbers but i no longer give this data to the dwp because when im sent to a provider they are given this info and i have no say in it until i had them remove it from the lms.

        and there asking for it all the time on the lms.
        DSC_0004

        tho now i cant sign on with no id but i wont forget that again 😉

        superted

        September 21, 2018 at 1:20 pm

  8. Back in the day the boss didn’t have the foggiest what you were up to when you were out in the works van. We used pick up birds and take them for road trips around the Scarborough coast and shag them rotten on the cliff-tops. All in the boss’s time and on his diesel money. Then some dodgy geezer invented something called PMR (Private Mobile Radio). We just used to ignore it when we were having fun in the van 😉 Fast forward to today and all works vans are equipped with GPS trackers and mobile phones. You haven’t got the time or place to get up to any high-jinks.

    Same with phones. Back in the day there was only something called a landline, like a fixed phone on a long wire to the telephone exchange. If you weren’t in when someone phoned well, tough, you weren’t in.
    Then another dodgy geezer invented something call the answerphone. This meant that if you weren’t in someone (the boss) could leave a message. Fast forward to today and it’s all mobile phones equipped with answerphones and GPS tracking. This so-called modern technology is like a ball and chain, I tell you. It is making us work harder and faster and spoiling our fun 😉

    White Van Driver

    September 21, 2018 at 11:22 am

    • yep, it’s worse than 1984 ‘imagined’

      whoknew

      September 21, 2018 at 11:43 am

    • You can turn of GPS and voice mail, which I’ve done. If you don’t and carry your mobile around with you, you might as well be tagged because you can be contacted anywhere, any time and you movements tracked by the powers that be.

      Neil Milbourne

      September 21, 2018 at 4:36 pm

  9. Jobcentre Goes Mad: Demands People Have Smartphones.

    A decade ago they were placing poster’s in the Jobcentre with the term “Like my new phone you paid for it” how times have changed.

    There was also the £500 recruitment voucher to hand over too.

    ken

    September 21, 2018 at 7:16 pm

  10. What about the battery life on these smartphones. A candy bar phone has a stand-by time of over a month. With these smartphones you have to keep charging them every five minutes.

    Nokala

    September 21, 2018 at 11:53 pm

  11. And who wants to carry a large fragile piece of glass plate around with them all day. Likely to break or get stolen at any time. Just so you can surf that find a job cobblers whilst stood at the bus-stop?

    Nokala

    September 21, 2018 at 11:55 pm

  12. I’m renting privately, but in a bit of a perilous situation at the moment! When I first moved here (a 2 bedroom terraced house) several years ago I was working full time and moved in with my partner. After we split up I was earning enough money to pay the monthly rent myself (before she left we split it equally) so decided to stay put when she moved out. When I was laid off work I was worried about being put on housing benefit but the (then) landlord assured me that it would be fine. It was even more worrying when the local council would only pay the maximum amount of housing benefit each month for a single person in a 1 bedroomed flat, which worked out about £200 less a month than what was agreed on the tenant’s agreement.

    Thankfully the landlord was fine with this as he considered me a good tenant, hadn’t caused any problems and told me not to worry about the monthly deficit and when back in work I could pay a little more than agreed each month to make up the deficit. Unfortunately this all changed when my landlord sadly died just over a year ago and his wife took over. She decided she needed to sell the property and informed me of this. I was given a few months to try and find somewhere but it was (and still is) a hopeless situation. Being a single male with no children I didn’t qualify for social housing so was informed by the council I’d need to try and find somewhere with a private landlord. They said they would help me with this but… ultimately they’ve been useless and I’ve been left to my own devices.

    I tried explaining to the landlady that it’s tough being on benefits trying to find a landlord who accepts anyone on benefits. After a few months she decided to give me a Section 21 notice to leave the property, giving me 2 months to vacate the premises. Of course I still could not find anywhere to rent privately even after I informed the council about this… Next she sorted out an eviction order from the county court, informing the court of the situation, tenant’s agreements etc and I was given a form to fill in for my defence and any discrepancies about this eviction notice from the court and the notes the landlady had made. Duly sending off my defence form I waited a while to see what would happen next. Then a letter from the court arrived stating if I didn’t leave the premises within a fortnight the bailiffs would be sent in…!
    Immediately after reading this letter I headed to my local council again for help. Again they said they couldn’t do that much. Thankfully the housing officer I was assigned with noticed in the court eviction order there was no mention made of my defence. So she rang the court and it was found they had received my defence form but somehow had lost it, so the judge should not have issued the 2 week eviction order! I made several visits to my housing officer during all this, and she was most helpful in dealing with the court. At one point the court said they had finally found my defence form and would issue it to the judge ASAP and then he would make his final decision. This bought me a bit more time so I waited, and waited. Of course with all this worry about where I’d be living in the future the council couldn’t help at all, unless I’m actually homeless then they said they might be able to help me! Great, eh?!?!

    So the situation right now is, I’m still trying to find a place to rent privately, still having no luck whatsoever finding one who’ll accept tenants on housing benefit! Oh yeah, the court emailed me about 4 weeks ago informing me that yet again they’d lost my defence form and could I send them a copy!!!! I replied to them saying unfortunately I never made a copy and asked them to send me another form to fill in and then send back to them. I’ve heard zilch since then, either from the court or from the landlady, so I’m in a bit of a limbo at the moment!

    Sorry for the long post!

    Tarquin Flotsam

    September 22, 2018 at 7:08 am

    • Can one of our more politically correct posters explain why a single male, born and bred in the UK and of pure Anglo-Saxon genes not be entitled to social housing?

      Mohammed and his SEVEN Wives

      September 22, 2018 at 7:14 am

      • Tarquin and his ilk ain’t a priority mate 😉

        REFUGEES WELCOME!
        NO TO RACISM!
        NO DEPORTATIONS!
        OPEN THE BORDERS!

        Social Justice Warrior

        September 22, 2018 at 7:18 am

      • This blog should not be a place where racist nutcases foregather, using multiple aliases, come to vent their paranoia and hatred and sh1t on Muslims or anybody else. (Based on the comments I think it may be one single crazy posting using different monikers.) I would appeal to the moderator to delete psychopathic hate speech like this, as soon as possible, whenever and wherever it appears. Free speech should not be used to lie and foment fear and hate towards any minority based on race or religion. Complete and utter cr@p like this should be binned instantly without even needing to think about it.

        Thank you.

        Omar

        September 23, 2018 at 10:33 am

      • There is no one born and bred in the UK who has “pure Anglo-Saxon genes”. It is a complete misnomer to think of the English has being an Anglo-Saxon nation. Recent studies have found that overall English DNA is only approx. 10% Anglo-Saxon and also about the same Norse, and we have far more Celtic DNA originating from Northern Spain, as well as DNA from many other races. Sorry to burst your Racist bubble.

        trev

        September 23, 2018 at 1:56 pm

      • Speaking as a fellow Muslim, can I ask you, Omar, why do YOU hate Tarquin so much? Why isn’t Tarquin entitled to have a roof over his head? Why should Tarquin be condemned to die on the streets? Don’t you have a damn about your fellow beings? Aren’t we all equal before Allah? Hasn’t the Holy Quran taught you anything?

        Peace

        Abdul

        Abdul

        September 23, 2018 at 3:58 pm

      • @ Abdul

        Like most dumb as a post sh1tbags you failed to notice that my reply was appended to a fake racist post by some crackpot calling himself/herself “Mohammed and his SEVEN Wives” not Tarquin Flotsam. But then your bloodstream is obviously so full of hate that the obvious, let alone the truth, doesn’t matter or is distorted by you in order to smear others falsely. Hopefully both you and your toxic hate speech will disappear from this blog in the immediate future. Your hatred is writ on water. Enjoy your oblivion.

        Omar

        September 24, 2018 at 7:36 am

      • Strewth!

        Oz

        September 24, 2018 at 11:37 am

      • On the contrary…

        Isla*mi*c Scholar

        September 25, 2018 at 5:12 am

    • Definitely with Komrade Coates on this one. Ask you yourself? Has Tarquin travelled thousands of miles across land and sea to a place of safety? No! Has Tarquin endured a perilous journey across a wide open ocean in a rubber dinghy? No! Is Tarquin fleeing persecution and torture from the Taliban? Hell no!

      Housing should be given to those most in need and Tarquin is certainly not one of those most in need. Besides Tarquin will have plenty of other options even if it did mean a spell of sleeping outdoors. Tarquin will be more hardy and far better equipped to survive a British winter than someone from a warmer climate.

      Mohammed & Ayesha

      September 22, 2018 at 2:26 pm

    • Just in case Omar, trev or others couldn’t be bothered reading Tarquin’s long post in summary this is a single man who is facing homelessness. His landlord has decided to sell the property. He has no where else to go. Because he is on housing benefit he is unable to secure another private let. And because he is a single male with no children with no children he does not qualify for social housing. For a truly horrific predicament to be in. Imagine facing life on the streets as one of the coldest winters on record is forecast to be just around a corner. What a truly cosseted life you must lead when all you have to concern yourself is some “hate speech” bollocks. Omar, you are a truly despicable human being.

      Birdwoman

      September 23, 2018 at 4:17 pm

      • Not sure why you mentioned me Birdwoman, I was merely refuting the assertion that any British born person (or more specifically English) can possibly have pure Anglo Saxon genes, as was being claimed by the racist poster., Perhaps you didn’t readmy comment properly.

        trev

        September 23, 2018 at 5:16 pm

      • Are you trying to say that we are all ‘out of Africa’, trev? The discussion pertains to distinct religious/ethnic/nationalistic groups that whole of parts of a population readily and easily identify with, you know, like what is responsible for war, genocides, massacres, ‘ethnic cleansing’ and suchlike. We should be pushing for a more homogenous society not pandering to specific religious/ethnic groups. Divide and rule is the oldest trick in the book. A good example is South Africa where the population was divided into ‘tribes’ such as the Zulus to keep them at each others throats. Or for a more simplistic example, the ‘battle of the sexes’.

        Dr A Roberts

        September 29, 2018 at 2:17 pm

    • I AM a single male with no children and I lived in social housing for nearly 18 years, in a block of flats where almost all the other tenants were also single men with no children. Your status in that regard would not exclude you from getting a social housing flat.

      trev

      September 23, 2018 at 5:24 pm

      • Except that nowadays there is very little housing private or social for ANYONE regardless of who and what they are….

        katrehman

        September 24, 2018 at 10:21 am

      • True, there are shortages but it might also depend on the area. I was living in an inner city suburb with a bad reputation where nobody wanted to live, lots of crime, not unusual to see Police forensic white tents, armed Police, there was lots of robberies, assaults, rape, murder, kidnapping now & then, prostitutes, alcoholics, heroin/crack addicts, begging, drug dealing, car crime, burnt out cars, shootings etc. And Riots. It was easy to get a flat, you didn’t even have to bid, just ask th e Housing Association and they gave you a flat, easy as that. I know it shouldn’t be that way but that’s the reality of life in Britain’s lawless crime-ridden inner-city areas.

        trev

        September 24, 2018 at 10:58 am

      • lol The Housing Association offered us a flat like like once. The door was already kicked in! Needless to say we turned it down.

        Tiffany and Rupert

        September 24, 2018 at 12:03 pm

      • The flats that I lived in (3 different flats in 17 yrs, all in same neighbourhood, same block) were actually quite nice & ok, just the area was bad, but you kind of gotused to it, it just became normal. Had to keep doors locked though and thev windows had security bars like criss-cross shutters that locked.

        trev

        September 24, 2018 at 12:35 pm

  13. REFUGEES WELCOME!
    NO TO RACISM!
    NO DEPORTATIONS!
    OPEN THE BORDERS!

    Social Justice Warrior

    September 22, 2018 at 7:25 am

    • Copied and pasted no doubt from a placard our very own Komrade Koates was spotted waving last weekend 😉

      Ipswich Spy

      September 22, 2018 at 7:30 am

  14. These are not the droids your looking for

    Yes the “long time ago in a galaxy far, far away” is all but at the door as it becomes more and more impossible to do anything without having first go through the metaphorical checkpoint/s.

    Yes rebel alliance, the imperial empire will seek to crush the resistance. Luckily its also true while the empire might enjoy a period of reign, they can be overcome.
    I suggest you home your rock, paper scissors as you all will eventually be unable to avoid the dreaded journal.
    Learn what to put down and not what DWP want you to. Put DWP in a position of having no choice but to declare suspicion of fraud as a premise as that opens a whole can of worms they are desperate to avoid.

    doug

    September 22, 2018 at 9:40 am

  15. The DWP: no rest for the literally wicked

    Many people cite the cost of implementing Universal Credit as a reason to keep it. But the human cost has already shown itself to be much worse.

    https://www.thecanary.co/trending/2018/09/23/the-dwp-had-a-pretty-awful-saturday-night/

    ken

    September 23, 2018 at 11:43 am

  16. This can’t be official policy, surely? It sounds more like just some ill-considered off-the-cuff remark by an ignorant JCP Adviser talking bollocks, which is not unusual.

    I have a smartphone but it’s hopeless, it’s about 5 years old and is on the blink, I desperately need a new one but have no money. I pay £12 per month for the SIM deal, which covers all my calls/texts and internet use, but there is often (most of the time) no internet connection, either that or it drops the connection mid-use, the typing function often goes haywire and types characters in place of letters, or puts letters in wrong order like a typo but then the delete button won’t function. The phone won’t switch off, the only way to turn it off is to remove the battery. It sometimes takes 5 minutes of pressing the button to wake it up from sleep mode. It’s crap. If I want to make a phone call the keypad doesn’t work properly so I am unable to enter the number to dial, the only way to do it is to add the number to my address book first then dial it that way. Occasionally I can get the internet to work long enough to be able to click on a job and thereby apply for something without having to walk all the way into town to use the library computer. At the moment I’m in the local Community Library that only opens odd part-time hours and only has 5 computers, limited to 30 mins. use.

    trev

    September 23, 2018 at 1:51 pm

    • It isn’t official in any capacity, its been pointed out here on this site in the past evidenced with FOI that a claimant does not have to own phone or supply a phone number let alone have one that connects to the internet.
      Its an assumption that because most people do have a smart phone that they can try to strong arm a claimant who hasn’t or hasn’t got one with internet access. If you haven’t already heard of it yet there is this new approach (actually about almost 2 years old) called mobile authentication which is used as a security feature when logging in on websites offering it. Currently its always optional BUT some businesses being what they are often restrict services if you don’t use it. The old way was make one go to a nominated email address for a key as authentication. Basically you have an app permanently attached and on to your mobile device.
      The app does collect device data meaning DWP would be able to literately monitor your where abouts if they know what your phone number is. Now device data itself does not constitute as personal data meaning its legal without consent to give to other parties. Add in exemptions under GDPR and bingo DWP can know your current location.
      If that wasn’t enough DWP are also trying to forge links with other job websites so they can be linked to the journal like how UC is. The sell premise is so its easier for you what with not having to write out evidence.
      I will leave it at this as there is more but you get the gist.

      In the technology world beware strangers baring gifts as what looks sweet can well turn out to taste bitter.

      doug

      September 24, 2018 at 9:51 am

      • “If that wasn’t enough DWP are also trying to forge links with other job websites so they can be linked to the journal like how UC is…”

        Wouldn’t data sharing like that be illegal without under the Data Protection Act 1998 and EU inspired General Data Protection Regulation? At least until some time after Brexit happens and the government of the day changes the law to allow it?

        The Man in the High Castle

        September 24, 2018 at 3:52 pm

      • The Man in the High Castle

        The short answer is no and i will explain.
        In the first instance DWP are offering the option to meaning one would have to consent however more technically no as such an action is covered under the GDPR exemptions.
        The only reason why DWP will take option one is because the public don’t react well to being treated as guilty until proven innocent which is effectively what having to supply evidence of work search is as if not supplied when asked, do they not withhold benefit, not sanction where appropriate.

        The trick im trying to home the public in on is putting departments in a position with having to declare such as then the game really changes as its a criminal offense to defraud meaning DWP should pursue the correct response of calling in the correct authority, namely the police due to as written in civil service policy, MUST ENFORCE AND OBEY LAW.
        It no less a lie to say you have evidence when you don’t as it is to claim your not working to receive benefits yet are or feigning an illness or disability.
        The trick they use to get away with it is a failure to supply as per agreement in accordance with said regulations and thus making it if anything a civil offense (contract issue) that can be arbitrated outside of court unless one party wishes to take it to court if they can show just cause. Which is precisely what you see is it not.

        Doug

        September 26, 2018 at 12:39 pm

    • You could be well right Trev a local level individual one off.Another Jobcentre phoney

      ken

      September 24, 2018 at 6:24 pm

  17. Except that nowadays there is very little housing private or social for ANYONE regardless of who and what they are….

    katrehman

    September 24, 2018 at 10:21 am

    • ot

      well the group signing turned out to be national careers service and help with a cv like WTF, no one there had any paper work for what it was for either and just told to turn up.

      and at the end guess what please sign this and hand over a email address err nope 😉 tho every one else did like good little sheep.

      and to top it all the person doing it was 15min late, and every one had a updated cv done buy them anyway so a total waste of time.

      superted

      September 24, 2018 at 10:48 am

      • LOL sounds about right. Waste of time, waste of public money, total bullshit.

        trev

        September 24, 2018 at 11:02 am

      • its the same old crap i was told 15 years ago must have done it 25 times b4 prob get a sanction now for non attendance as never signed but let them try that with me 😉

        superted

        September 24, 2018 at 11:07 am

      • Superted!

        I got sent to those twats a few weeks ago, at the end we were asked to fill in a questionnaire about the complete waste of time session and to sign it….. I know what your up to I thought, you want our signatures so you can sponge money for us being there, think I was the only one who didn’t sign it… bollox to them!

        Foxglove

        September 24, 2018 at 12:57 pm

      • get this not 1 person there needed any of there help 3 ppl had there cv done with them in the last month and 1 person cancelled an interview to be there.

        yet not 1 person had any letter about it what it was for or how long it was going to take so thats a new one for me.

        and they even gave out a template cv like we not even got one yet like wtf if i never had a cv id have my jsa stopped long ago as cant apply for a job with out one.

        and the ye old go do volunteer work chess nut came out and was shot to pieces buy everyone pmsl.

        superted

        September 24, 2018 at 2:52 pm

      • You don’t need someone twisting your arm to do voluntary work. They need to get a dictionary and look up the definition of the word “voluntary”, i.e. of one’s own volition, by choice. As it happens I DO volunteer, at a foodbank, but it cuts no ice with the Jobcentre, they’re not remotely interested.

        trev

        September 24, 2018 at 3:13 pm

      • i dont think they got enough brain cells to compute that 😉 seems the one they got is to come out with the same guff from 20 years ago.lol

        superted

        September 24, 2018 at 3:19 pm

    • My work coach is always banging on about “work experience” and “volunteering” as well and so I think the DWP fixation with “work and health” means that Jobcentre staff are instructed to push any kind of unpaid work on claimants collectively rather than the odd fixated work coach chewing a bone. (The idea seems to be that any kind of work rewards workers with a health dividend, whereas in fact only a decent and secure job, not too far from home, with enough hours to get enough money after travelling costs have been deducted to significantly boost a worker financially helps anyone at all.) The “work experience” idea particularly stinks to high heaven, i.e., work for an employer for nothing with no promise of a job or financial gain for your trouble whatsoever. No one should work for anyone for less than the minimum wage ever and anybody doing “work experience” ought to get their benefits made up to the going rate for the job that they are doing, by the business getting their labour or the government as a part of the deal.

      They can stick it.

      Neil Milbourne

      September 24, 2018 at 3:46 pm

      • A couple of years ago I was mandated to do 4 weeks part time unpaid work at a store called Pets At Home, as part of a course I was made to do called Skills Conditionality. It took me an hour & half to get there, and another hour&half to get back home, it was shit boring, I learned nothing other than that Retail is definitely not for me. 6 months later I was pressured into doing something actually called “Work Experience” and I chose to do it in the Oxfam sorting depot rather than at Poundworld or Poundstretcher etc. I think that was for 8 weeks. The voluntary I do now at the foodbank is entirely my own choice and nothing to do with the Jobcentre or any scheme.

        trev

        September 24, 2018 at 5:38 pm

      • rule 101 dont sign anything none of it is ever mandatory unless you sign that paperwork.

        superted

        September 24, 2018 at 6:46 pm

      • It just doesn’t work for the most.someone is undermining their position by agreeing to this mandated work experience,the roles are poorly suited,encourages bullying and ends in a stressful situation a reference is soon outdated on finishing.

        The bullying became so bad for me that a female staff member contacted the then New Deal provider which they promptly withdrew me and stated I could finish the three months at their offices,it was a complete disaster those from the probation services also had problems with the manager telling the person that she would inform his probation officer over what was a nothing few minutes late.That was not a positive experience and was a disgracful behaviour form a high street charity shop.

        ken

        September 25, 2018 at 10:26 am

      • My experience with Oxfam was entirely different. The manager told me they never report people to the jobcentre as a big part of their ethic is to fight poverty hence they oppose Sanctions, and said it didn’t matter if I came late, I could take breaks when I wanted and leave what time I liked. That was at the sorting warehouse, the Oxfam shop in town refused to take “volunteers” referred from the Jobcentre and had stopped participating in DWP workfare schemes.

        trev

        September 25, 2018 at 10:48 am

  18. The big problem with the DWP payment system (at least from an IT ‘developer’s point of view is that it WORKS. That DOS payment screen is a mature, bug-free piece of software. So it is finished basically. It needs to be ripped out. The payment system has to be re-written from scratch. This is how the IT ‘development’ cycle ‘works’. Just think of all those IT bods at work ‘fixing’ the never ending bugs. It is all about JOBS, JOBS, JOBS.

    Linux Torvald

    September 24, 2018 at 1:14 pm

    • There is a Blue Zone and a Green Zone for Jobseekers Allowance “customers” the former for Universal Credit would be more suited to be termed Red Zone.I was politely explained the benefits of Universal Credit which didn’t include the wait for a first payment and the endless conditionality also the online requirment.

      Neck bands are being worn by Jobseekers Allowance staff claiming that “opening up work” that doesn’t include the barriers that exist for those already mired down on now termed legacy benefits.All Universal Credit has achived so far has been opening up the public purse and looks set to continue a failed trend for many vulnerable groups resulting in more sanctions and appeals.

      ken

      September 27, 2018 at 6:27 pm

  19. Jeremy Corbyn with Yanis Varoufakis at the Edinburgh Book Festival, August 20, 2018 | DiEM25

    whoknew

    September 25, 2018 at 10:24 am

  20. Private Firms To Be Banned Under Bold New Proposals For Benefits Assessments in Scotland

    Assessors will make home visits to claimants who find it hard to travel, while other claimants will be invited to a convenient location at a time which suits them.

    Audio recordings will become standard practice to ensure fairness.

    Appeals Tribunal will have access to these audio recordings.

    These proposals will run the system for the benefit of those who most need it – The Claimants!

    https://www.dailyrecord.co.uk/news/politics/snp-benefits-overhaul-plan-could-13316351

    It's About Time

    September 27, 2018 at 8:35 am

  21. As the job centre dont force us to sign uip to Facebook,Twitter, linkedin etc I left that rubbish years ago. and told them I am not interested in having these account again. as for the smart phone so people may struggled seeing the screen properly to apply/look for jobs via this method.

    myfinalusername

    September 27, 2018 at 4:57 pm

  22. So job centre are upping the game, when I was with a different provider my advisors told me to get an answering machine at home (I told them it not my phone, I live with my parents and my parents don’t want an answer machine, did not go down well. but tough.

    You don’t want to let everyone know your business when you are out and about. The top ups for smartphone etc if job centre do pay for them will no doubt be tracked what we are up to.

    myfinalusername

    September 27, 2018 at 9:27 pm

  23. It’s strange that Mr Coates has been gone all week & hasn’t taken off the racist comments.

    Violet

    September 28, 2018 at 7:01 am

    • It is strange and disappointing. Many a good, interesting and informative blog has been ruined once infested with racists, queer bashers and other kinds of weirdos. Hopefully things will be set right soon.

      WD-40

      September 28, 2018 at 10:05 am

    • Andrew I guess will have been to the labour conf,

      whoknew

      September 28, 2018 at 10:45 am

    • no

      Jayda

      September 28, 2018 at 12:01 pm

    • It’s strange that racist comments have been posted and allowed to remain whilst my replies to racist comments are being moderated and not shown.

      trev

      September 28, 2018 at 3:56 pm

      • Because we love reading or listening to what riles us up. It is ‘good’ ‘journalism’ and an excellent tool for driving traffic to your site. It is like those people who buy newspapers then complain about the articles or opinions expressed by a particular columnist. And if you ask them why they keep buying the paper they will have no reply.

        Clickbait

        October 1, 2018 at 4:18 pm

      • True. Me old gran hated the Daily Mail yet she bought it every day without fail.

        Kylie

        October 1, 2018 at 4:22 pm

    • Maybe Mr Coates has done a Mr Void!

      Foxglove

      September 28, 2018 at 7:03 pm

      • Wall-to-wall posts from ‘Sarah7’ and ‘paultheswineherd’ to look forward to 😉 – NOT!

        No Return of the Void

        September 29, 2018 at 11:40 am

      • aka Natalie REID (Staff Nurse) 😉

        Shirley Nott

        September 29, 2018 at 1:01 pm

  24. Violet?

    Jayda

    September 28, 2018 at 12:02 pm

    • Yes Violet and they are behind the murder of people through the benefits system!

      Foxglove

      September 29, 2018 at 11:43 am

  25. Single mum fighting stage 4 cancer refused disability benefits ‘because she isn’t sick enough’

    https://www.mirror.co.uk/news/uk-news/single-mum-fighting-cancer-denied-13310074

    Violet

    September 28, 2018 at 12:41 pm

  26. Jobcentre goes mad 😀 The Jobcentre has never been the full shilling 😀

    Must dash – got a Tea Party to go to 😀

    The Mad Hatters

    September 28, 2018 at 2:14 pm

  27. Too right, Neil. Has this blog been taken over by Alex Jones and Infowars. You can’t get an anti-racist comment in edgeways yet all the racists are being allowed a free hand to spew their bile. Disgraceful!

    Antifa

    September 29, 2018 at 12:51 pm

  28. Lizzy I’ve just gone onto this universal waiting a month for money so have to borrow in the mean time as long as I can find a job that I can pay my rent and council tax I,m signing off this shite if I can earn £200 pound a week I will pay my £130 pound rent and my 17 pound council tax and will sign off if that means a twenty hr a week job on ten pound hour and I have to live on £53 a week that’ s more than I will be left with on universal anyway and then if I can get extra hrs or if I choose to go to another job I will I,m not being dictated to by a load of up their arse toffy nose wankers who the fuck do they think they are .Do they know how hard it is to find any job let alone now stopping you from getting anything under 35 i,m in my 50s and was made redundant this year I want to work I’ve also unfortunately had the burden of bed tax too I,ve lived in my house forty six years Theresa May is a complete evil bitch she will get her karma hopefully soon.

    PS If your getting housing benefits then you will have to go to the job centre because it’ s now all being made into one benefit working tax credit housing benefit jsa etc and you will need to be looking for more hrs their saying 35 or more.

    Lizzy

    September 29, 2018 at 1:33 pm

  29. If there is no God then why did our insurance company refuse to pay out when one of those bloody storms blew the slates of our roof? An ‘Act of God’ cost us thousands of pounds to have fixed!!

    The Jones

    September 29, 2018 at 2:02 pm

  30. @ Offred

    The death sentence in this country for homosexuality was only removed in 1861. (The last two men to be executed in Britain for buggery, James Pratt and John Smith, were arrested on 29 August in London after being spied upon while having sex in a private room; they were hanged on 27 November 1835.) Gays were still being imprisoned up until 1967.

    We were just as bad as Iran is now not that long ago so get off your high horse and start protesting for gay rights outside of the Iranian embassy rather than peddling your hate for ALL Muslims on a worthy site such as this.

    F*uck off you f*cking clown.

    Truthteller

    September 29, 2018 at 2:29 pm

  31. @ Time Lady

    You can’t blame all Muslims for the rantings of a cancerous old man like the late Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini. The vast majority of Muslims didn’t follow him or obey him and cannot be tarred with the same brush as people who wished Salman Rushdie harm. You might as well blame every citizen of the UK for the disastrous invasion of and eight year war waged in Iraq, which killed 10,000 to 30,000 Iraqis. This is reasoning worthy of the racist, simpleton and liar. My advice would be to try to sell your wares of hate to people of very limited intelligence, with little or no knowledge of history, on blogs frequented by the cerebrally challenged.

    Truthteller

    September 29, 2018 at 2:38 pm

  32. @ Truthteller. You really do have a naive view of human nature and what it is capable off. People with money and power like the Jews will fight to the death to keep the upper hand lest they be hanging from the jib of a crane. The Jews are not stupid, maybe you are Truthteller, but the Jews certainly aren’t. There is a war on, Truthteller, but again, maybe you can’t see it 😉

    Kabitz

    September 29, 2018 at 4:03 pm

  33. Truth teller, have you ever read the juifs most “holy” book the talmud, if you have what is your opinion of it? Just curious ☭

    Violet

    September 29, 2018 at 4:31 pm

  34. Truth teller have you ever read the t$lmud? Just curious.

    Violet

    September 29, 2018 at 4:33 pm

  35. This blog has gone to the dogs, full of racist fuckwits, and my own anti-racist comments moderated out! Fuck this, I’m off.

    trev

    September 29, 2018 at 5:51 pm

  36. Sorry, Andrew, I’m off too. As trev has written your excellent and informative blog has been infested by and polluted by sewage spilling from the disturbed minds of neo-Nazis, racists and other sickos defying its ethos in respect to social justice and a fair crack of the whip for all irrespective of race, colour, or creed. Thanks for all the articles and information about politics, legal matters, data privacy and social security, which have been useful to me and, I am sure, have been of help to many.

    All the best.

    Good luck and keep up the fight.

    Neil Milbourne

    September 30, 2018 at 3:08 pm

    • I have not commented precisely for this reason.

      Andrew Coates

      October 1, 2018 at 2:11 pm

  37. john mc – job centres should be the place for jobs; like it used to be,

    no sanctions

    however the Tories don’t like it, they want to carry on with their sanctions.

    whoknew

    October 1, 2018 at 9:34 am

    • And Labour’s ‘pledge’ to “end the punitive sanctions regime” doesn’t mean what we think it means. Labour have used exactly the same wording before. And it has already been discussed and debunked. One BIg Con.

      Treasure Trove

      October 1, 2018 at 11:41 am

  38. Very true.

    Violet

    October 1, 2018 at 12:08 pm


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