Ipswich Unemployed Action.

Campaigning for Unemployed Rights.

The ‘Claimant Commitment’ Minefield.

with 118 comments

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Keeping Track of Your Life for Work Coach Nosey Parkers.

For reasons that escape this Blog the far-right Express has been publishing about the ‘Claimant Commitment’.

You’d get a better idea of how this operates by watching the 3 part BBC documentary on Universal Credit.

But here it is their story,

Universal Credit: What is a ‘claimant commitment’ and how can it affect payments?

Universal Credit applicants will need to submit their claim within 28 days of creating an account. From here, most interactions with the Universal Credit system will take place through a local Jobcentre Plus. At these Jobcentre sites, applicants will be paired with a work coach. This work coach will support applicants throughout their Universal Credit tenure, providing support, information on various job search programmes and answering any questions regarding the system. It will be the work coach who creates the claimant commitment, usually in the first meeting with the applicant.

..

The claimant commitment will be updated as individual situations evolve. The specifics of how it will change will vary from person to person. However, the government has provided some examples of circumstances which will have a corresponding effect on claimant commitments:

  • If the claimant is earning as much can be expected – financial support will be given without any other conditions to increase earnings
  • If the claimant is able and available for work – the individual will need to do everything they reasonably can to give themselves the best chance of finding work. Preparing for and getting a job must be the full time focus
  • If the claimant has limited capability for work, related to a disability or health condition, but this is expected to change over time – support will be given until the circumstanced improve and they claimant can work. The individual will be expected to prepare for work so far as they are able
  • If the claimant has a disability or health condition which prevents them from working – the applicant will not be asked to work, they will be supported fully through Universal Credit.

This is the sting,

The assigned work coach will focus entirely on helping applicants ensure they meet their commitments.

They will keep track of certain targets such as job goals and regular work search activity levels.

The government details that, for those able to work, job seeking should be viewed as a full-time job. Looking or preparing for work is expected to take up a minimum of 35 hours a week of the applicants time.

People on Universal Credit get a ‘journal’.

Some people – I have just asked one who does – fill in their journal every day.

Universal Credit: Your Online Journal

In your journal, you’ll:
• Complete To Do’s
• Record your job search
• Keep in touch with your work coach
• Report any changes

More:

To Do’s.

  • A To Do is a task left for you by your work coach. You’ll need to complete these as soon as possible to continue to get Universal Credit.
  • Top Tip: Log in to your Universal Credit account every day to check for To Do’s.
  • Recording your job search If you’re expected to look for a job you will need to record your work related activity. Record every job that you apply for in your Online Journal. It’s a useful
    record of what you’ve applied for.
  • Examples of work related activity to record in your journal:
    o Accept your commitments in your claimant commitments
    o Attend your work search review
    o Prepare for you claimant commitment meeting

Examples of work related activity to record in your journal:

  •  Accept your commitments in your claimant commitments
  •  Attend your work search review
  •  Prepare for you claimant commitment meeting

Yet more:
Examples of a To Do:

  • Writing a CV, or spending time adapting your CV for a particular job
  • Completing a job application form
  • Contacting employers to follow up from applications.
  • Travelling to job interviews

A pretty complete record of your daily life!

It takes no imagination whatsoever to see the problems this can create for these people:

Exclusive: Salvation Army calls on government to make it easier for people to access the benefit

Thousands of vulnerable people on low incomes – particularly those with mental illness – are at risk of destitution because they do not have the skills or support to apply for and maintain a universal credit benefit claim, the Salvation Army has warned.

The Christian church and charity said there was “overwhelming evidence” that many people found it a struggle to engage with the mainly digital benefit, leaving them unable to pay rent or buy food and effectively locking them out of employment support.

It called on the government to increase the level of support to make it simpler for vulnerable people to make a claim before the next phase of the universal credit programme later this year, when about 750,000 ill and disabled benefit claimants start to be moved on to the benefit.

“Rolling out universal credit in its current form will steamroll vulnerable people into poverty, but the government has time to turn this around by accepting our recommendations and making it easier to apply,” said Rebecca Keating, the Salvation Army’s employment director said.

Still these people are well-chuffed with their jobs:

 

 

 

Written by Andrew Coates

February 16, 2020 at 10:57 am

118 Responses

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  1. Sounds like an absolute nightmare. I don’t think I would be able to keep up with all that indefinitely. Only a psychopath could have dreamt up such an overly controlling system. We are nothing more than Lab rats to the psychos at the CSJ. So-called ‘Nudge theory’ is applied Psychology at its worst.

    trev

    February 16, 2020 at 11:13 am

    • It is a given, all governments regardless of their proposed methods are ideal environments for psychopaths. They are all eventually saturated with them as practically all governments around the world are. Whether started as free market, socialist or monarchy, they all eventually become the psychopaths in charge. We can either govern ourselves or be governed by monsters. Pick one.

      Venus Fly Trap

      February 16, 2020 at 1:47 pm

      • We always end up being ‘governed’ by someone be it: crime lords, drugs, barons, lynch mobs, the military, paramilitaries, the Tories, If you tear down the existing structures they will quickly be rebuilt with another group of psychopaths rising to the top and ‘governing’. Scum always rises to the top. The best you can hope for is to replace one lot of (competing) psychopaths for another lot of psychopaths. Be careful what you wish for.

        Chinse Whisper

        February 16, 2020 at 2:41 pm

    • @trev. Stay on JSA for as long as you can Trev. In my Jobcentre the ones on JSA are now seen as lucky bastards. I’ve seen people pass up short-term work they could have had on JSA, because they know they’ll have to come back on Universal Credit.

      Andy

      February 16, 2020 at 2:17 pm

      • Too right Andy, I’m not about to jeopardize my JSA by rushing into some temporary work and then ending up on UC. I’m also not going to change my address either if I can avoid it.

        trev

        February 16, 2020 at 2:27 pm

      • I doubt that many, or any, people actively ask to go onto Universal Credit.

        Falstaff

        February 16, 2020 at 3:14 pm

    • The migration of people from legacy benefits onto Universal Credit won’t be alphabetical but made by transferring claimants who have been jobless longest to the new system to allow the most disadvantaged to receive maximal help from UC much sooner than those who began claiming more recently. With a large Tory majority UC absolutely will be coming to you, for sure, much sooner than you might think and so it’s best to start preparing yourselves for it now.

      Manu Tolstrup

      February 16, 2020 at 3:12 pm

      • Managed migration from legacy Benefits to UC has just been delayed further and doesn’t begin until late 2021 and continues to 2024 or 2025 so far as I’m aware, and it’s quite possible that it will be delayed again before any of that happens, so I don’t expect to be transferred any time soon.

        trev

        February 16, 2020 at 3:41 pm

  2. Andrew Coates

    February 16, 2020 at 11:32 am

    • One of Cummings’ “misfits and weirdos”, or what any sane person would call a Nazi.

      trev

      February 16, 2020 at 11:42 am

  3. Recording your job search If you’re expected to look for a job you will need to record your work related activity. Record every job that you apply for in your Online Journal. It’s a useful
    record of what you’ve applied for.

    Contrary to what the DWP say, there is no legal requirement for claimants to do this.

    https://www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/using_the_journal#comment-81230

    Same with your CV.

    https://www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/using_paper_print_offs_as_eviden

    jj joop

    February 16, 2020 at 11:36 am

    • and they also have a non digital version of uc where you can still make a claim over the phone and dont have to use the journal.

      and the dwp lost at upper tribunal over the 35hr job search as if you take 3 steps or more per week to find employment under law this is enough.

      i have both foi stating this pmsl 😉

      superted

      February 16, 2020 at 12:01 pm

      • Does the non digital claim for UC apply just to new claimants or to claimants on JSA as well when they are transferred over?

        jj joop

        February 16, 2020 at 4:33 pm

      • no idea on that one but they keep asking me for a email address for a reason on the lms, there not getting one 😉

        superted

        February 16, 2020 at 4:45 pm

      • Can you post a link for ” the dwp lost at upper tribunal over the 35hr job search as if you take 3 steps or more per week to find employment under law this is enough.” Thanks.

        Portadown

        February 21, 2020 at 12:48 am

    • Thanks, I tell people this but nowadays few feel secure enough to challenge the journal.

      Andrew Coates

      February 16, 2020 at 12:47 pm

      • i wont be using any journal or accept any cc using it as it means being forced to claim benefits on line only which is discrimination and dwp own regs say there is a non digital service for uc.

        same with the job search they can not dictate how you provide this again there own rules and regs.

        now what it does say if you make a uc claim and dont have a journal the work coach will try to get a email address to set it up and con you in to using it to accept the cc online.

        and then thats where the fun will start as anyone with dwp access can change the cc and if you fail to accept it after 7 days the hole claim will end.

        superted

        February 16, 2020 at 2:12 pm

      • I agree,someone is exposing themselves to any kind of problems with this.Anyone who can understand and remember any of it is unlikely to be long term unemployed without GCSE’s more likely to run there own business.Its a confusing system.

        ken

        February 16, 2020 at 10:54 pm

    • That’s correct. You do have to keep a record of your “worksearch”, e.g., jobs applied for and other related activities, but it’s up to you how you do so. You DO NOT have to do so using the Journal. You CAN REFUSE to use the Journal to record you jobseeking without penalty no matter how much they try to fox you into believing otherwise: As long as you can stump up some record of your worksearch on paper or by other means you are fine. The DWP CANNOT specify how you record such details. And, seriously folks, I would advise EVERYBODY to stand their ground on this one because EVERYTHING online can be viewed and reviewed by anybody, anywhere, any time they like which makes it much more likely that you will trip up and be caught out and sanctioned for some mistake.

      Use the Journal as little as possible.

      Words to the wise.

      CORMAC

      February 16, 2020 at 3:05 pm

      • You see roaches in the jokecentre leafing through these ‘journals’ looking for something with which to hang a claimant. It could even be someone unseen in a back office or a ‘service centre’, They have all the time in the world to find fault. And don’t think because you think you are an ‘honest’ claimant they won’t find fault either. If they dig deep enough they will find a body..

        As Cardinal Richelieu: ‘If you give me six lines written by the hand of the most honest of men, I will find something in them which will hang him.’

        Abigal

        February 16, 2020 at 3:16 pm

      • The primary duty of Work Coaches is not to help Universal Credit recipients to find work but to police their Claimant Commitments to ensure that they toe the line. You are not paranoid if you think that DWP staff are out to get you because that is exactly what they are paid to do. All it takes is a an innocent slip with a date and/or time for an appointment, or similar, and they will raise a doubt and possibly get you sanctioned. Not only that but one of the most common sanctions is for people who some Work Coach doesn’t feel have done enough work-search related activity to have “earned” their UC entitlement. People who are a bit scattered and not IT savvy, disciplined, informed and crafty almost certainly will trip up and get into trouble which is why UC is such a pernicious and unpleasant thing.

        Guileless people without administrative and clerical skill on UC have been set up by the system to fail.

        And far too many do fail each and every single day.

        Echium

        February 16, 2020 at 4:09 pm

      • Too right! It is an administrative nightmare claiming benefits. You have to be totally on the ball. One tiny slip up and you are dead in the sanction water.

        Kathy

        February 16, 2020 at 4:28 pm

  4. Reblogged this on Tory Britain!.

    A6er

    February 16, 2020 at 11:49 am

  5. When i had my WFI in August the UC propaganda was omnipresent. All over the walls. All over the cubicle, including an example timetable that looked like you had no life left, telling you when you could get up, eat, etc. The advsiers spent the entirety of the session telling me how great it was. He was institutionalised; a ptsd suffererer and former paramedic now working part time for the DWP – himself on it! He also found time to moan about another client who spent her money on, of all things, her and her kids’ mobile phones. Money is there for the ‘essentials’ apparently. Nothing changes with these people. No time for anything helpful. Nothing to offer. Just desperate propaganda.

    ghost whistler

    February 16, 2020 at 12:19 pm

  6. It’s amazing really when you see all this. It’s like a benefit system made up by the North Koreans. Where in adult life does anyone have to write a daily account of their activities like this ? And all to get a pittance of benefit payment. Not even prisoners in the jails have to do this. Only the unemployed.

    Jeff Smith

    February 16, 2020 at 2:12 pm

    • at the end of the day it is a pressure tactic to get you to sign off and give up even if you did all that do you really think they will have time to look at it all in 5 min interview lol.

      they cant even check up on the jobs applied for let alone anything else as cant because of gdpr and sharing personnel data.

      expectations are just that there not the law and can not be enforced buy it.

      superted

      February 16, 2020 at 2:21 pm

    • Benefit claimants are treated worse than criminals in this country. There are people who see doing porridge as a viable alternative to living on the dole.

      trev

      February 16, 2020 at 2:30 pm

  7. How bad Universal Credit actually is for the claimant, also depends on who you get for a Work Coach. Even more so than for JSA. Work Coaches have a lot more control of the claimant under UC. And if you get one of these over-zealous types who means to pay hardball, you’ve got a problem. Not only can they make you apply for basically anything in the All Work Group. Including any part-time or zero hours work. They can set up interviews for you, which you will have to go to, or be sanctioned. Then they can ‘seek feedback’ from the employer as to how well you performed. Also under the ‘Work Preparation’ section of UC, they can send you on any training course or unpaid work placement that they want. You have no say it whatsoever. And if you don’t do it, you’ll be sanctioned.

    Alan Turner

    February 16, 2020 at 2:32 pm

    • they can send you to a provider but they can not force you under threats of sanctions to sign any contracts or provider paperwork.

      i have not had to stay at any provider since 2009 as i am not allowed to participate because they wont get the funding for it without my sig on there contracts, not my problem lol.

      the only time when they can get feed back from a employer is when they are doing interviews in the jcp i have had a few but never a job offer.

      and i apply for zero hour jobs anyway on jsa so uc will make no difference at all to me imo.

      superted

      February 16, 2020 at 2:42 pm

      • @superted: You are wrong on the feedback, Alan is correct. Under Universal Credit Work Coaches are allowed to get feedback from employers. And to set up interviews for you outside the Jobcentre. They can mandate you to go to these interviews. And then they can contact the employer to get feedback on how it went. The same goes for any training courses or unpaid work placements that they send you on. They can get feedback on all of these. It’s one of the major differences between Jobseeker’s Allowance, and Universal Credit.

        Jack Reid

        February 16, 2020 at 4:52 pm

      • well no one has posted on here this is happening yet outside a jsp office as any employer will need your permission to share personnel data back to the dwp.

        say i apply for a job and tell coach where it is and give them the phone number to get feedback what do you think the employer is going to say lol.

        most jobs these days are via agency work and they wont tell you much until you signed a contract with them anyway even then they wont tell the dwp anything.

        it is why the first work programme failed as they could not get the employers details to gain the job out come payments.

        superted

        February 16, 2020 at 5:08 pm

      • @Jack Reid: The Jobseeker’s Agreement and Claimant Commitment have always contained statements along the lines of: I understand the DWP may seek feedback from employers, etc. But like superted, I have yet to hear of this happening to anyone. And I’ve been signing on for a number of years now.

        If you’re really that worried then you can always covertly record any job interviews and also tell the employer that they do not have your consent to share what transpired during the interview or its outcome, either. You should also email them to advise them of this, as well.

        A couple of years ago, a work coach arranged an interview for me with an agency at my Jobcentre. Now my Jobcentre is open plan, so there would be zero privacy. What’s more, coachy’s desk was about six feet from the interviewer’s desk. So I emailed the agency and told them that as I would be discussing my personal history with them, then I wanted to be interviewed in private; away from prying ears. I also advised them that they did not have my consent to share what transpired during the interview or its outcome with anyone; especially the Jobcentre.

        I got my way. I was interviewed in private in a side office. And they didn’t reveal to the Jobcentre what was said during the interview or its outcome. When I came in to the Jobcentre, coachy had a face on her like thunder. She could barely stand to look at me. At my next appointment, she quizzed me about the interview. I told her they said that when they found something suitable for me then they would be in touch.

        That was three years ago, they have arranged no job interviews for me since.

        jj joop

        February 17, 2020 at 11:13 am

    • That’s exactly what they are doing,Alan. Then they sanction you for allegedly (no proof needed) ‘sabotaging’ the shitty zero hours job interview with some bastard ’employer’ ;( ‘Employer’ that might not even be real.

      Ruth

      February 16, 2020 at 2:50 pm

      • Surely a busy employer wouldn’t be happy if the work coach kept ringing to find out how interviewees did?! They’d be less likely to consider jobcentre referred candidates in future?

        katrehman

        February 16, 2020 at 8:39 pm

      • Surely a busy employer wouldn’t be happy if the work coach kept ringing to find out how interviewees did?! They’d be less likely to consider jobcentre referred candidates in future?

        thats what a work agency does tho you wont get a interview unless you have signed there employment contract so they can share your personnel data with said company’s that they send you to for interviews and work trial on the job for a few hours and get feed back how you did.

        so some nob head from the jcp phoning employers to find out if you applied for a job or how you done in a interview will not be shared with any 3rd party per gdpr rules as massive fines can be enforced.

        superted

        February 16, 2020 at 9:37 pm

      • @jj joop – Yeah, under JSA you might get away with it. But under Universal Credit they have new powers to actually seek feedback.

        Jack Reid

        February 17, 2020 at 6:26 pm

      • How can the jobcentre and uc override the data protection acts and the gdpr?

        Jill Sparrow

        February 17, 2020 at 6:34 pm

      • they cant they just lie to ppl so they think they have power over them when really they dont have anything it is your data not theirs.

        i bet if you ask to look at the legalisation that supports this in writing its not going to happen because it does not exist.

        superted

        February 17, 2020 at 6:43 pm

      • Overheard a roach telling a hapless claimant that they could access their library log in and internet activity 😀

        Steph

        February 17, 2020 at 6:54 pm

      • @Jack Reid

        Exactly what new powers are you referring to? Can you post a link please! Thanks.

        jj joop

        February 17, 2020 at 7:30 pm

      • https://resources.workable.com/tutorial/gdpr-compliance-guide-recruiting

        and the funny thing is after about 30 days i get emails asking to keep my records on file for the jobs i have applied for since the new gdpr came in and destroyed universal job match.

        i say no to all of them.

        at the end of the day if a employer gives interview information back to the jcp coach with out you explicit consent it will be in breach of the data protection act and be liable for fines up to 20 million.

        take a video phone with you and say you are going to record it to sign on and watch what happens they will point blank refuse to deal with you and hide behind the gdpr and walk off.

        and then g4s will throw you out the building.

        and then get sanctioned for not attending 😉

        superted

        February 17, 2020 at 10:06 pm

      • @ Jack Reid- Please quote, with a link if possible, the law that states this. Then quote the law that gives employers permission to feedback to the Jobcentre on your applications / interviews and how these laws circumvent data protection rights. If you can’t, and I suspect you can’t, shut up.

        KJ

        February 18, 2020 at 4:08 am

      • @superted

        Thanks for the link, mate.

        When it comes to seeking feedback, the DWP have always been a law unto themselves. However, If an employer or agency informs the DWP what transpired during an interview without your consent then you can report them to the ICO where they’ll face a substantial fine and that’s the last thing any employer wants. Unlike the DWP who have access to a bottomless pit of cash when it comes to fighting court cases, employers and agencies are not so fortunate. But like you said previously, you haven’t heard of anyone who has had the DWP seeking feedback on them and neither have I.

        jj joop

        February 18, 2020 at 7:38 am

      • It was a remarkable coincidence that universal jobmatch shut up shop just as the gdpr cam into effect 😀

        Jobpoint

        February 18, 2020 at 10:53 am

      • Yo, Jack!

        We’re still waiting for that link.

        @ Jack Reid- Please quote, with a link if possible, the law that states this. Then quote the law that gives employers permission to feedback to the Jobcentre on your applications / interviews and how these laws circumvent data protection rights. If you can’t, and I suspect you can’t, shut up.

        Looking for Jack Reid

        February 19, 2020 at 8:33 am

    • @superted – Yes, you can refuse to sign. But then you’ll be still be sanctioned. A few people can afford to be sanctioned. I knew someone a few years back who got himself sanctioned. But he had redundancy pay sitting in the bank, so he wasn’t all that bothered. But it’s very different for a lot of people on the breadline. particularly if they have got kids. They just can’t afford to be sanctioned. And they don’t have the time or money to take these things to a tribunal. Because what will they live on in the meantime ?

      Alan Turner

      February 16, 2020 at 4:35 pm

      • tbh with me it never went any further than doing the mr in writing and it never went any further bar the one i got sanctioned on purpose to prove once and for all you dont have to sign anything.

        the only thing i done different was do the mr over the phone as i was 99.9% sure they would uphold it and thus get me the letter to send of with the sscs1 form to go to tribunal.

        i also covers my ass with a budgeting loan you should of seen the look on the advisers face i can play better games than they can 😉

        superted

        February 16, 2020 at 4:42 pm

      • Ah, your ill-fated tribunal test case. How did that one work out, sport? pmsl

        sen

        February 16, 2020 at 4:53 pm

      • i won and my work coach and floor manager was sacked for there efforts 😉 i dont even have a work coach anymore pmsl

        superted

        February 16, 2020 at 4:58 pm

      • All 4 his brings it home to me that I’m lucky . It’s 7 years since I last interviewed and that was for my current cleaning job. It’s a minefield out there

        katrehman

        February 17, 2020 at 3:17 pm

    • I don’t know what group I meant to be , I been on UC since December 2018. I do have a disability.

      I remember when I was on job seekers when we saw diffrent job centre staff to sign on, I was handled jobs I would not be suitable in, I would be a danager to myself and my colleagues.

      I have managed to get some voluntary work which i have sorted myself, my work coach at the job centre is okay with me doing this.

      I have job interviews in the past, but now told by one place when I go to help me find employment, is to make a disability disclosure, which i do make to help me get a job interview,

      my_final_username

      February 21, 2020 at 4:53 pm

  8. When everybody is on Universal Credit, it’s going to be Sanction City. As they say, you haven’t seen anything yet.

    Rob

    February 16, 2020 at 2:39 pm

  9. TV Licence to be axed. The Government says: “We are not bluffing on the licence fee. We are having a consultation and we will whack it. It has got to be a subscription model.

    Carol

    February 16, 2020 at 3:59 pm

    • Will be soon be getting letters like this?

      NETFLIX

      Dear Legal Occupier

      There is no record of a Nexflix subscription at this address. As you have not responded to our previous letters we have arranged at appearance at your local Magistrates’ Court.

      Netflix Enforcement Unit

      P Patel

      February 16, 2020 at 4:04 pm

      • when capita turns up to fine you for not having a tv licence they need to confirm your name and address and the form you sign is the one they hand to the court to enforce the fine as like contracts when signed you are liable for it.

        if you phone them up they will not talk to you unless they get joinder first buy confirming the name and address over the phone.

        best option is just to not open the door legal occupier means enemy of the state in legal terms so the bbc class you as a terrorist. 😉

        superted

        February 16, 2020 at 4:15 pm

    • How is that going to work? Will everybody have to get a phone line and internet connection installed? Or some kind of satellite dish like you need for Sky? If people receive the BBC via Freeview will the Beeb end up like Babestation, i.e., unavailable without a password or a code, mixed up with dozens of still free commercial channels? This has to be bogus. The BBC is not only national but international and represents a gold standard in respect to journalism. Daft little non entities like Andrew Bridgen bang on about this, having nothing better to do, but I would bet the farm that Boris Johnson and his posse will keep the TV license as a way to fund the BBC but decriminalise it so that, at the very least, people won’t get sent to jail for not having it.

      Incidentally how many of the long-term unemployed have internet connections and subscription TV like Netflix, Amazon, or whatever? Nobody living on Universal Credit alone could afford any of that in which case how much would a subscription to the BBC cost every year? Personally I would miss the wildlife programmes and news broadcasts.

      Francis E.

      February 16, 2020 at 4:31 pm

      • They could charge a subscription for ‘premium content’ such as Eastenders. Retards would pay to watch that drivel. Not quite sure how it would work but we were flicking through the satellite channels once and on RAI (the Italian version of the BBC) the Disney film ‘Frozen’ came on. We noticed a ‘Premium’ in the corner of the screen. A few seconds later it cut out with the receiver displaying ‘scrambled service’. So some sort of free/premium service must be technically possible, at least on satellite as that is what the Italians do.

        The Browns

        February 16, 2020 at 4:38 pm

      • we have virgin tv but you can only watch the bbc on the virgin box, you cant watch it on the virgin tv app tho as blanked out.

        superted

        February 16, 2020 at 4:48 pm

      • Does that mean we will have to pay to watch Homes Under the Hammer?

        Mad Mary

        February 16, 2020 at 5:01 pm

  10. Surely UC is going to collapse under its own weight when in-work conditionality is rolled out to all those who are in some kind of work but affected by UC’s taper and having to record jobseeking activities (to get more hours, more jobs or another job) and regularly visit Jobcentres, just like the unemployed, in order to keep their entitlements. With all of the Jobcentre closures and staff sackings and civil service redundancies there really can’t be enough work coaches or hours in the day to deal not only the unemployed but every single person in or out of work who gets top-ups from UC and not earning and income equal to 35 hours or more per week on the minimum wage?

    Rex

    February 16, 2020 at 4:20 pm

  11. The Void is BACK

    February 16, 2020 at 5:08 pm

    • I do advise my girls not to read Johnny Void due to the frightful language, and unsuitable subject matter.
      One simply cannot be too careful in this modern age.

      Miss Prunella Holt-Carthorpe, Headmistress, Loxley Academy For Young ladies

      February 17, 2020 at 6:32 pm

  12. I’m due to sign on again tomorrow and over the past fortnight I’ve really struggled to find anything to apply for, a few jobs but not many. They all seem to be asking for skills I don’t have, or a Driving Licence and/or own transport, or are in other areas that I can’t get to for the shift times. It’s hopeless. The job sites I’m registered on keep sending me irrelevant jobs that are highly skilled or in other parts of the country, I’m in Yorkshire and Fish 4 Jobs are sending me jobs in Cornwall! Career Structure send me ones in Rochdale, or other places in Yorkshire that are nowhere near me (it’s a big county). There’s bugger all on Find A Job. I think I’ll go to the library and do a last ditch jobsearch there rather than on my phone, see if I can find anything to apply for before tomorrow.

    trev

    February 17, 2020 at 10:31 am

    • @trev, It’s wrong that people have to get stressed-out like this over their Jobsearch. And it does no good, because people start shoving in token job applications. Just to make the numbers up, and avoid being sanctioned. What else do you expect really when they are facing a hostile benefits system ?

      Pete

      February 17, 2020 at 1:22 pm

  13. Andrew Coates

    February 17, 2020 at 11:06 am

    • Has this woman been drinking the Thérèse Coffey Kool-Aid? Despite the pigshit Thérèse Coffeyspouts the jobcentre has never been about landing your ‘dream job’, perusing your ‘dreams’, realising your ambitions,
      That is not how the jobcentre works. The jobcentre is about forcing you into ANY, job, ANY old shit job. When are people going to learn..

      Porky

      February 17, 2020 at 11:22 am

      • Andrew Coates

        February 17, 2020 at 12:35 pm

      • @Porky – This is very true, the Jobcentre has never been about ‘dream jobs’, unless your dream is to work as a cleaner or in a call-centre. It’s about getting people off benefit, and into some sort of low-paid work instead.
        90% of Jobcentre jobs are minimum wage, which says it all really.

        Jack

        February 17, 2020 at 1:18 pm

  14. Thérèse dear, you are not a skinflint when you’re spending tax payers money on luxurious food, stuffing your fat face like a greedy hog 🐷

    Violet

    February 17, 2020 at 1:10 pm

  15. Also the ‘ dumbing-down ‘ of the Jobcentre. Where they treat people as if they are all at a very basic level. Semi-literate. not very bright. As seen in the downscale rebrand of the last few years. Where Jobcentre Advisors became the rather patronising ‘Work Coaches’. As if claimants were children who needed paternal guidance in their jobsearch.

    Tom Sutton

    February 17, 2020 at 1:37 pm

  16. ”Good afternoon Mr.Jones, my name if Terry and I’m David Brown’s Workcoach at the Jobcentre. You remember we sent David along for an interview yesterday ? Yes, well I know David was disappointed not to get the job. Would it be possible for you to provide some feedback on why he didn’t succeed this time ?”

    Jobcentre

    February 17, 2020 at 1:50 pm

    • Thank you for your recent application for the position of Sales Executive with Laithwaite’s Wines.

      After careful consideration, I regret to inform you that you have not been shortlisted on this occasion. We had a strong response to the vacancy and there were candidates whose experience and skills match the requirements more closely.

      Thank you for your interest and I wish you every success in your future career.

      Kind regards

      Katie

      superted

      February 17, 2020 at 1:55 pm

    • @ Jobcentre

      Funny you should mention David Brown, I worked for David Brown’s in the 1970s when I left school. Was closed down years ago, bought out by the competition JI Case, and put out of business. They made tractors, and Aston Martin sports cars, and another division made gearboxes for tanks and battle ships. They had several factories and employed thousands of workers.

      trev

      February 17, 2020 at 2:45 pm

  17. Exactly Pete. I managed to find a few jobs to apply for so feel a bit more relaxed about it now. Some job sites don’t work very well on my old phone so it’s worth doing it at the library now and again, Total Jobs, Indeed and Reed all either take too long to load or won’t submit on my phone. I doubt I’ll actually get any of the jobs I’ve applied for, but at least I have the confirmation emails as proof of application and therefore a Sanction is avoided, purely to keep the Jobcentre happy, other than that a complete waste of time.

    trev

    February 17, 2020 at 2:38 pm

  18. Colchester – 40% increase in one year of children being fed by foodbank:

    https://www.eadt.co.uk/news/colchester-foodbank-trussell-trust-mike-beckett-child-poverty-1-6515976

    trev

    February 17, 2020 at 6:36 pm

  19. Andrew Coates

    February 18, 2020 at 9:52 am

  20. There should be a Living Benefit Payment made at 50% of the average wage.

    Malcolm Green

    February 18, 2020 at 2:52 pm

  21. Overheard at my local jobcentre, Work Coach to claimant:
    ”Would you like to go on the Work Programme ?”.
    ”No, not really.”
    ”Can I ask why ?”
    ”Because I don’t really want to go on it.”

    Jeff Smith

    February 18, 2020 at 2:57 pm

  22. NB: I meant Work & Health Programme of course. A freudian slip no doubt.

    Jeff Smith

    February 18, 2020 at 3:03 pm

    • Priceless Jeff ! It has that dead-pan DWP comedy I recognise so well. How often have we all seen some despairing claimant taking shelter in blank refusal ?

      Paul D.

      February 18, 2020 at 5:11 pm

      • This work coach and work programme reminds me back in the day when I signed on and they dragged me to a meeting at 4.30pm. It wasn’t a signing on so as I left I dropped a bus ticket on the table and requested payment . The woman said what’s this?
        Me being me I replied a bus ticket?
        Did she moan having to go to another floor to find money to refund me.! I refused politely to move until she did…

        katrehman

        February 19, 2020 at 9:01 am

      • they dont give you cash anymore they pay it in your bank same as benefits and takes 3 working days so will always be out of pocket.

        tho they can pay it in the same day if you kick off.

        superted

        February 19, 2020 at 12:00 pm

  23. When you go into a Jobcentre these days, it’s like talking to people who are members of some deluded cult of work and working. They are talking to you, but there is no sense in it at all half the time.

    Dave

    February 18, 2020 at 3:09 pm

    • Suprrted this was 2010… thankfully I haven’t signed on since 2011!! Boy do I pity people who do now…

      katrehman

      February 19, 2020 at 12:26 pm

  24. Yeah, there’s not much comedy in a Jobcentre. But sometimes you can’t help feeling that you are playing straight man, and the Work Coach is the comedian.

    Barry N.

    February 18, 2020 at 3:42 pm

    • Bring back Charlie Drake as The Worker, and Henry McGee as the dole clerk 😄

      trev

      February 18, 2020 at 3:46 pm

      • But all is going swimmingly!

        Andrew Coates

        February 18, 2020 at 5:16 pm

      • Blimey, that’s a right propaganda piece. The so-called ‘jobs folder’ is crammed full of jobs. There’s one in my Jobcentre too, containing details of a forthcoming jobs fair to recruit for a Care work agency, and adverts for careers in the army, and a few adverts for part time work in a local cafe/chippy, and that’s about it. Why should there even be a jobs folder anyway when everything is online?

        trev

        February 18, 2020 at 5:44 pm

      • I found this Press Office re-tweet on Busy-Bee Coffey’s Twitter account.

        No doubt she is sitting in a pub after a good feed using her Mobile!

        Andrew Coates

        February 18, 2020 at 5:53 pm

  25. reasonably.

    Theres that word.Nothing about a disability and work and the equality act that that Universal Credit has to adhere too.35 hours could be argued as reasonable?,its there.My experience is its everything to do with employer’s need’s and very little to do with the Jobcentre’s.What they both have in common is the ability to make there own rules up as they go along following past experience.To be fair theres little a Work Coach can do to overcome the outside world.

    ken

    February 18, 2020 at 9:08 pm

  26. So Therese Coffey doesn’t accept that there is any causal link between Welfare policy (particularly UC 5 weeks wait combined with repayable loans) and destitution, thereby clearly demonstrating that she has no grasp of reality. Universal Credit and the DWP are unfit for purpose, and so is Therese Coffey. The sooner she resigns the better. But then she will be replaced by some other clueless rich fuckwit. And so it continues.

    trev

    February 18, 2020 at 9:59 pm

  27. We can look forward to many more of these propaganda pieces from the DWP. With the latest BBC documentary showing the true reality of Universal Credit. The hardship and the difficulties it causes.

    Alan Turner

    February 19, 2020 at 11:14 am

  28. I see Priti Patel has started targeting the 8 million Economically Inactive. She hopes to use many of these under Universal Credit, to take up the slack in the low-paid jobs, when immigration starts to be much more controlled. And UC does work, in a way. If you ignore the hardship and misery. I know someone in middle-age who has never worked in his life. Change of circumstances, and he found himself on Universal Credit, in the intensive All Work Group. Two weeks later he had 3 months work at a local leisure park. His first ever paid job. Then he was sent to the council refuse tip for rubbish sorting for 2 weeks. This was bad, the smell unbelievable. He told me you would see the new workers walk off the line and go round the back of the building. Then they’d vomit , because of the smell of the rubbish. He had to do it himself on the second day. The smell takes some getting used to. Now he’s being lined-up for a factory job, or if he can’t get that, some site-labouring . Under Universal Credit there is no rest for the wicked…..or the unemployed.

    Jeff Smith

    February 19, 2020 at 12:34 pm

    • Eeee by gum you NEVER forget THAT smell.

      Yorky Terrier

      February 19, 2020 at 1:16 pm

    • There is no shortage of God-awful work out there – it you want it. And UC will make sure you take it 😦

      Jenny

      February 19, 2020 at 1:19 pm

  29. I think the Government are shooting themselves in their feet here. These people may be economically inactive and maybe there are people out there who made a career of signing on. But ….if I was unemployed ( or on UC..since I don’t work 35 hours id have to seek 10 hours more) I physically couldn’t pick vegetables or fruit or work in a chilled factory and I could get a Doctors letter saying this. .for all its worth these days!
    Caring.. you can’t make people care. It is kind of a vocation. Again I couldn’t lift and I was a young carer in the 70s and 80’s before the term had been invented. I fed my mother and literally wiped her backside and washed her soiled sheets.. NO WAY would I EVER do that again. And you can’t say I’m picky as I clean toilets for a living! Probably the last thing these 8 million want is to work in the care industry if they’re already carers!
    People don’t even want to clean these days!! My workplace is having to get agency cleaners in as I’m off and another woman’s gone off for an operation. One agency left in disgust because she saw a poo in the loo un flushed! I’d have been grateful it was actually in the loo and not on the floor or in the urinal..Yes we do see that! I really don’t know what the solution is here

    katrehman

    February 19, 2020 at 1:42 pm

  30. I share a house with Roumanian a Spaniards 2 Sri Lankans 2 Pakistani and a Thai person. I’m the only Brit born. They all work hard and are quirky with lovely personalities. I just don’t want to share a house with anyone! They have a lot to offer the country as do their counterparts who may still want to come here. This government is Racist. And all this coming from Priti Pateley whod parents came here fleeing persecution

    katrehman

    February 19, 2020 at 1:46 pm

  31. BBC Universal Credit documentary viewers slam ‘morons’ at DWP over claimants’ plight.

    https://www.birminghammail.co.uk/news/showbiz-tv/bbc-universal-credit-documentary-slammed-17773964

    superted

    February 19, 2020 at 2:50 pm

    • Why is there always someone tinkling the ivories? Even in the jobcentre you could hear someone playing the piano in the background!

      Betty

      February 19, 2020 at 3:41 pm

      • It’s Elton John, he’ll do anything to get a gig these days.

        trev

        February 19, 2020 at 4:12 pm

    • Why is the first person in the credits always the ‘colourist’? What does a colourist do?

      Cynthia

      February 19, 2020 at 4:35 pm

    • In a flim the first one on the credits is usually ‘screenplay’. At least with these Jobcentre mockumentaries there are no ‘screenplay by’, ‘scriptwriters’, ‘script editors’, ‘additional material by’, ‘makeup artists’, ‘body doubles’, ‘stunt artists’ ‘foley artists’ etc. by listed in the credits, But what is to say that they are unlisted.

      Maggie

      February 19, 2020 at 4:41 pm

    • Anyone else catch glimpses of the late Iain Duncan Smith’s ghost in the scenes filmed in Caxton House?

      Haunted

      February 19, 2020 at 4:49 pm

  32. Congratulations Mr Coates on finally waking up to the reality of 21st century capitalism! However, you’re wrong to think that the cull of the poor (and disabled, they’re at the cutting edge here) has only just begun. Remind me; how many deaths have already occurred due to draconian benefits’ legislation? Is it 20,000,000? More? Undoubtedly it is more, but the early reporting of this was only to inform us that it was happening. Don’t you think it strange that we have had no updates on numbers of deaths due to the appalling imposition of Universal Credit (there’s a chilling little name for death if ever I heard one)? No, the blackout on news of the cull of benefits claimants is no mistake.

    The cull of the world’s population has slowly begun, but will increase in pace as this century develops if nothing is done to resist it. Modern capitalism does not require the enormous numbers of bodies required to produce what the rich (or even the moderately comfortable) need. Automation and Artificial Intelligence are not your friends.

    However, those in power (neocons, neoliberals; these are decorative adjectives for anti-human monsters) reduce the population at their own peril. These groups of ultra-rich, ultra-powerful creatures could well be the last vestige of humanity which finally succumbs to extinction, as they suck down the dwindling oxygen of Earth and the planet is finally rid of us. I never cease to be amused by Douglas Adams’ vision of rocket ship pilots being manicured and having their hair coiffed, then asking “When’s dinner?”; only to realise that there are no farmers or cooks.

    Jane

    February 19, 2020 at 3:38 pm

  33. Maintain humanity under 500,000,000 in perpetual balance with nature.

    The first command of the nwo inscribed on the Georgia Guidestones!

    Violet

    February 19, 2020 at 4:31 pm

    • “Let these be guide stones to an Age of Reason”

      Makes perfect sense really, as a guide to future mankind, the survivors of the coming Apocalypse.

      trev

      February 19, 2020 at 4:41 pm

    • They keep saying that, Violet but it’s obviously not working. On the contrary, the human population is increasing exponentially,

      Malthus

      February 19, 2020 at 4:46 pm

      • Good let’s beat the bastards.

        Violet

        February 19, 2020 at 5:32 pm

      • “beat the bastards”

        By over-populating the world and using up all the resources?

        trev

        February 19, 2020 at 5:38 pm

  34. So you would prefer billions to be culled trev?

    Violet

    February 19, 2020 at 6:21 pm

    • @ Violet

      Where does it say anything about “culling” anyone?

      trev

      February 19, 2020 at 6:50 pm

      • Well there is a slow kill going on, vaccines, GMO food, prescribed drugs, chemtrails, 5g, the list goes on. This corona virus could be the start of a mass cull!

        Tigerlily

        February 19, 2020 at 7:28 pm

      • Conspiracy nonsense. No such thing as “chem trails”, only con trails. Vaccines don’t kill people, neither does GM food or prescription medication. Far more people died in the days before modern medicine. The Coronavirus has arisen from a combination of poor food hygiene standards and poor animal welfare regulations.

        trev

        February 19, 2020 at 7:49 pm

  35. To want to maintain humanity under 500,000,000 obviously means the culling of billions of the global population. That’s my interpretation.

    Violet

    February 19, 2020 at 7:11 pm

    • The guides were written in anticipation of an apocalyptic event such as a nuclear war or a natural disaster such as a pole shift (which may still happen) and in the event of which the majority of the human population would be killed. To maintain the population at an optimum level that doesn’t impact on the global environment responsible reproduction would have to be practised by an enlightened humanity that has learned to self-regulate its own desires.

      trev

      February 19, 2020 at 7:25 pm

    • Bloody hell Trevor, you are either just taking the piss or you really are a brainwashed sheep!

      Tigerlily

      February 19, 2020 at 8:21 pm


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