Ipswich Unemployed Action.

Campaigning for Unemployed Rights.

Monitoring of Claimants “suspected of Fraud” Extended to Social Media.

with 112 comments

Social Media Surveillance #infographic - Visualistan

This story has appeared. Some suggest it is scare tactics, even scare-mongering, but it is still threatening. What has social media got to do with making a benefit claim?

20 million benefits or Universal Credit claimants hit by warning over their social media accounts Birmingham Live.

Welfare claims including Universal Credit are managed by the Department of Work and Pensions (DWP)

The DWP can look at your bank account and social media if it suspects benefit fraud, claimants have been warned.

Welfare claims including Universal Credit are managed by the Department of Work and Pensions (DWP).

And it has emerged the body has the power to investigate potential crimes in several different ways.

More than 20million people are using welfare support in Britain – a figure that is expected to rise.

In case you had not got the messages Cambridgeshire Live headlines.

Universal Credit: Social media stalking and covert surveillance used to investigate suspect benefit claims

Manchester Evening News

Anyone who is on benefits or Universal Credit can have their social media and bank accounts monitored at any time, it has been reported.

And so it goes:

Meanwhile by coincidence….

DWP confirms when Universal Credit and PIP claimants will see face-to-face assessments restart

North Wales Live:

Face-to-face assessments of certain benefits are set to resume next month, it’s been revealed.

It comes after they were suspended last year by officials at the start of the Covid-19 pandemic.

Written by Andrew Coates

April 7, 2021 at 3:23 pm

112 Responses

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  1. I don’t use any social media myself but of course many do and a tiny minority of those might need to be monitored in case they are potentially dangerous extremists, those with neo-Nazi views and extremist religious beliefs….people like ‘Billy Boyne’ (aka zammo aka sue) “lifelong Rangers fan” and self-confessed Nazi. But as for the DWP they can sod off and mind their own business, not that they’ll find anything extraordinary about my Bank account.

    trev

    April 7, 2021 at 3:35 pm

    • #’trev

      Im afraid you and i dont get to choose what and what they deem of interest.
      This is what i mean about giving them an inch only for them to take a mile.
      This site would be a prime example of fair game as is the suspicion that a claimant maybe falsifying their claimant commitment.
      The government have created the perfect platform and the public as usual fell right into it because they thought it never would have included them.

      Doug

      April 11, 2021 at 6:19 am

      • The important thing to remember in all this is what and what government/government department make of the individual and whether or not it affords them rights to bring to bare data they have gained.
        For instance you have openly advertised antifa which currently today is registered as a far left extremist group globally with security agencies the same as the far right extremists have.
        While this plays little relevance with regard to the administration of welfare in your case unless they so form a suspicion the claim is for the purposes of funding and can prove it, it does if they so decide empower them to put you on the watch list which inturn empowers them the right to increase surveillance on you regardless of how fruitless a venture it turns out to be.

        We can all be deemed suspicious in action about a range of things because we the public provided them with the support to generalize the term crime while having exemption to data on the pretext of suspicion rather than reasonable proof prior to suspicion.

        While i highly doubt DWP would gun for you because of your objections against current welfare practices, it would be a miss of me not to point out how quite legally on a veil pretext they can stick their fingers in your pie and you can do nothing about it that wouldn’t entail running around the houses.

        Doug

        April 11, 2021 at 7:32 am

      • @ Doug

        Coatesy himself has expressed support for Antifa so TPTB might be watching you too has you are a regular reader of and contributor to a blog run by a man with past Communist associations who supports Antifa. Check under your bed for hidden microphones!

        trev

        April 11, 2021 at 10:43 am

      • But unlike you trev they at least read so would know on this forum and others that i have made mention on many occasion that support no political movements, no groups, that i believe them to be the way of the dinosaur as do i the concepts of capitalism and socialism models. Im not either religious or atheist.

        I dont have to hide from the government as they already know me and have placed trust in me on more than one occasion when circumstance brought us together. Whether i believe in the government of the day or not i never broke the trust placed upon me for the position i played.
        Surveillance means a lack of societal trust and vice versa which with or without merit is no way forward for either side while they refuse to debate each other.
        I simply dont believe other than those so extreme as to pose a real and serious threat that such surveillance is warranted on the populous but i do concede what could be easily said so often isn’t and results in the stand off that presents itself today.

        Doug

        April 11, 2021 at 10:00 pm

  2. And talking of the DWP, it is worth reiterating the following lest anyone should forget….

    DWP staff admit inflicting ‘psychological harm’ on claimants during coalition years

    Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) staff and managers deliberately inflicted psychological harm on benefit claimants, engaged in unofficial sanctioning targets, and pushed disabled people into work despite the risk to their health, shocking new testimony has revealed.

    https://www.disabilitynewsservice.com/dwp-staff-admit-inflicting-psychological-harm-on-claimants-during-coalition-years/

    DWP deliberately conspired with Tory media to build a “hostile environment” against benefit claimants

    DWP staff encouraged to discourage sick and disabled people from claiming welfare benefits.

    Responding to the allegations set out in the report, a Department for Work and Pensions spokesperson said: “This journal article does not reflect the compassionate support offered by our jobcentres day in, day out.”

    https://welfarejournal.com/dwp-deliberately-conspired-with-tory-media-to-build-a-hostile-environment-against-benefit-claimants/

    trev

    April 7, 2021 at 3:44 pm

    • @trev – Absolutely true, the DWP has undergone a profound change since IDS and the ‘welfare reforms’ of the past 10 years. All of it ideological, and based on the skiver / striver rhetoric that the Tories and Lib Dems used to introduce it. Now we have this claimant-hostile system, with sanctions and conditionality.

      Jeff Smith

      April 7, 2021 at 4:30 pm

      • Perhaps IDS had a past life in the Gestapo

        trev

        April 7, 2021 at 4:31 pm

  3. I’m not a member of the Socialist Party. No, I haven’t seen a UFO since 2013, not sure why you ask that though.

    trev

    April 7, 2021 at 4:06 pm

  4. If they’ve announced it now it means they have been doing it for years, DWP, Banks, HMRC all share information with one another!

    Tigerlily

    April 7, 2021 at 4:09 pm

    • Snoopers Charter

      Authorities allowed to access Internet connection records
      List of authorities allowed to access Internet connection records without a warrant:[51][52][53]

      Metropolitan Police Service
      City of London Police
      Police forces maintained under section 2 of the Police Act 1996
      Police Service of Scotland
      Police Service of Northern Ireland
      British Transport Police
      Ministry of Defence Police
      Royal Navy Police
      Royal Military Police
      Royal Air Force Police
      Security Service
      Secret Intelligence Service
      GCHQ
      Ministry of Defence
      Department of Health
      Home Office
      Ministry of Justice
      National Crime Agency
      HM Revenue & Customs
      Department for Transport
      Department for Work and Pensions
      NHS trusts and foundation trusts in England that provide ambulance services
      NHS National Services Scotland
      Competition and Markets Authority
      Criminal Cases Review Commission
      Department for Communities (Northern Ireland)
      Department for the Economy (Northern Ireland)
      Department of Justice (Northern Ireland)
      Financial Conduct Authority
      Fire and rescue authorities under the Fire and Rescue Services Act 2004
      Food Standards Agency
      Food Standards Scotland
      Gambling Commission
      Gangmasters and Labour Abuse Authority
      Health and Safety Executive
      Independent Police Complaints Commission
      Information Commissioner
      NHS Business Services Authority
      Northern Ireland Ambulance Service Health and Social Care Trust
      Northern Ireland Fire and Rescue Service Board
      Health & Social Care Business Services Organisation (Northern Ireland)
      Office of Communications
      Police Ombudsman for Northern Ireland
      Police Investigations and Review Commissioner
      Scottish Ambulance Service Board
      Scottish Criminal Cases Review Commission
      Serious Fraud Office
      Welsh Ambulance Services National Health Service Trust

      suebi28

      April 7, 2021 at 4:14 pm

      • In some cases ‘snooping’ is warranted, for the common good. Unwarranted snooping is the problem. But many of those official departments and agencies do have valid reasons to seek and gather information.

        trev

        April 7, 2021 at 4:21 pm

      • Look what snooping can lead to Trev.

        In 1919, ex-military intelligence officers together with Conservative MPs and the captains of British industry
        set up the Economic League, to wage in their own words ‘a crusade for capitalism’ by keeping left wing union activists under surveillance and denying them work.

        https://www.hazards.org/blacklistblog/2020/11/17/blacklist-support-group-opening-statement-for-ucpi-dave-smith/

        suebi28

        April 7, 2021 at 4:34 pm

      • Here’s a particularly awful example of how hand in glove the DWP is with local authorities.

        https://www.express.co.uk/news/uk/1153831/pensioner-money-council-widow-savings-benefits

        I mean honestly, well, words fail me.

        Aleister

        April 8, 2021 at 10:41 am

      • A sympathetic article on a benefit claimant from the scum Daily Express, surprise surprise, she’s a pensioner. Anyone else they’d be branding them a scrounger and calling for them to be hung from the nearest tree.

        KJ

        April 10, 2021 at 3:41 am

      • The sad thing is that most pensioners know the rules and keep extra cash over the £10,000 upper limit under their beds, figuratively speaking. The money in her bank was saved from her pension which, if she had drawn it out and stashed what she didn’t spend or gave it to her family to bank in their accounts on her behalf, would never have ended up compromised. Obviously the lady in question was an innocent who unwittingly broke the rules without realising and, considering her great age, throwing the book at her seems way to harsh to me and allowances should have been made for her under the circumstances IMHO.

        Tim

        April 10, 2021 at 9:01 am

    • “The new surveillance law requires web and phone companies to store everyone’s web browsing histories for 12 months and give the police, security services and official agencies unprecedented access to the data.”

      https://www.theguardian.com/world/2016/nov/29/snoopers-charter-bill-becomes-law-extending-uk-state-surveillance

      suebi28

      April 7, 2021 at 4:19 pm

      • They’ll be watching your Twitter account Billy boy 😉

        trev

        April 7, 2021 at 4:33 pm

      • If you use a VPN all your ISP and the DWP will know is that you’ve been using a VPN. End of.

        Aleister

        April 8, 2021 at 10:43 am

  5. I don’t think I did say that. I said I had a past life in ancient Egypt.

    trev

    April 7, 2021 at 4:16 pm

    • …which is hardly an extreme view seeing as the majority of people in the world believe in reincarnation.

      trev

      April 7, 2021 at 4:18 pm

  6. It’s usually the stupid ones that are caught. They are on disability benefits and they post a picture of themselves mountain climbing. Or unemployed and pictured on a luxurious holiday in Barbados.
    What do you expect really ?

    George M

    April 7, 2021 at 4:38 pm

  7. Didn’t Superted post a pic of himself water skiing in the Maldives on here recently?

    suebi28

    April 7, 2021 at 4:44 pm

  8. Trouble is, there are plenty of people this applies to, those with an old private pension set up when they were working at some place donkeys yrs ago, are unable to cash it in because they are claiming out of work Benefits and the Pension would take them over the threshold and so they would lose their Benefits. At one time you could have probably got away with it but not now that the DWP and HMRC are linked. I know a guy who did cash in an old Pension pot and got a lump sum of £12,000, in itself not a fortune and not enough to live on for very long, BUT he was claiming JSA and didn’t inform the jobcentre! They found out a year later when it showed up on his Tax record as taxable income, so he got un deep shit and they threw the book at him. They should increase the savings threshold for JSA /ESA and UC to allow people to benefit from cashing in old savings policies without losing their State Benefits.

    trev

    April 7, 2021 at 4:45 pm

  9. What happens if you have savings of between £6,000 and £16,000?
    Those with savings of between £6,000 and £16,000 may still be eligible for Universal Credit.

    In terms of this benefit, the first £6,000 is ignored.

    The remaining amount you have saved is treated as it gives you a monthly income of £4.35 for each £250, or part of £250.

    For example, if you have £10,000 saved, the first £6,000 is ignored meaning you have £4,000 remaining.

    This remaining £4,000 is counted as giving you a monthly income fo £69.60 which will be taken off your monthly Universal Credit payment.

    This is calculated by dividing £4,000 by £250 and then multiplying that by £4.35.

    suebi28

    April 7, 2021 at 4:48 pm

  10. The bank account scrutiny I can understand but monitoring activity on social media, well, how realistic could that possibly be in practice with the DWP so woefully understaffed.I mean would staff be assigned to surveil you as if you were a spy for a foreign power or something? Could you get called in and accused of failing to honour you Claimant Commitment because you were tweeting on Twitter when your Jobsearch record claimed that you were looking for work online at the same time? Seriously? Come on, guys, how ridiculous. And as for trawling through internet usage records via your ISP? You can counter that by using the TOR browser or browsing using a VPN when you want to enjoy total privacy! If you use the Opera browser you have one built in and good to go, or you can get add-ons for most browsers offering access to a FREE VPN to keep what you’re up to private.

    (The ISP records will only show you connecting to the VPN providers servers not what you access through them. The domains you visit will not be logged. You can do what you like under such circumstances and the DWP will never be able to know what. Most VPN companies have a policy of not logging users online so that you activities online remain totally private.)

    A word of warning: While the Opera VPN is safe to use as is some of the add-ons may not be and shouldn’t be used when sensitive things like credit/debit card details and/or passwords are concerned because many of the servers you connect to are in foreign countries. The best thing to do is to have a couple of different browser installed and install a VPN add-on in one, which you can use for casual purposes in order to be private, and keep the other browser clean to use for serious activity like online banking, shopping and such like.

    Sounds like a lot of hot air to me, a bit like David Cameron saying when he was Prime Minister that the DWP were going to look for benefit claimants who had Sky TV or anything too expensive for them to afford on benefits and bring them to book all of which turned out to be as real as his fabled “Big Society”, i.e., not in the least real at all..

    Aleister

    April 7, 2021 at 6:07 pm

    • That’s what struck me, I mean you have to show them, from time to time, your bank statements, but what the hell is looking at ‘social media’? FB, Twitter, Comments on this Blog……

      Andrew Coates

      April 7, 2021 at 8:56 pm

      • DSC_0063

        DSC_0269_03

        its all about control and doing as your told or else i dont use fb as the army of ass holes had my account banned for refusing to sign there contract for mwa told to go home and got sanctioned for non attendance.

        i was told on there fb page that i was a smelly trap and a reject from society and was told to leave the store but then it did prove i did attend there that fkn stupid and got my fb account banned cos they was full of shit!

        superted

        April 7, 2021 at 9:16 pm

      • It would have to be the work of a specialist unit, a branch of Intelligence, or perhaps IDS’s Nudge Unit at the CSJ, or possibly even the sinister Institute for Statecraft. To what ends? Gathering info to better police the system? To catch fraudsters? To identify and plug any loopholes?

        trev

        April 7, 2021 at 9:20 pm

      • It’s easier for the DWP fraud squad to scan through a few facebook / instagram accounts, than it is to follow people around. Cheaper too. And as George M has said, so many of these idiots just can’t help themselves. They just have to put two fingers up to the DWP, and have their mates see them do it. And as they show off their holidays/ new car / expensive watch, it is obvious that their JSA couldn’t be paying for this on its own.
        So where are they getting the extra money from ?

        Jeff Smith

        April 7, 2021 at 9:48 pm

      • This should really be entitled: A week in the ‘life’ of a full-time Jobseeker – Universal Credit claimant AWRR Group. Though some people would say the DWP have long gone beyond irony of any kind.

        Jeff Smith

        April 7, 2021 at 9:58 pm

    • North Yorks Enquirer

      suebi28

      April 8, 2021 at 3:26 am

      • Maybe they even have undercover operatives on this blog posing as regular contributors. My advice would be to treat anyone on here claiming to be from Yorkshire with the utmost suspicion.

        suebi28

        April 8, 2021 at 3:28 am

      • Special Demonstrations Squad (SDS) and National Domestic Extremist Disorder Intelligence Unit (NDEDIU) conduct undercover operations in North Yorkshire.

        suebi28

        April 8, 2021 at 3:29 am

      • It was Dixon of Dockgreen when I was a lad.

        trev

        April 8, 2021 at 6:26 am

    • I suppose the DWP regard benefit claimants as naive idiots that will post things like: “I’m on Universal Credit supplemented by working for £20.00 an hour in the black economy on the side.” Maybe someone at the top likes Edgar Allan Poe and, after reading The Imp of the Perverse, think that claimants fiddling will confess what they get up to on social media and brought to book as a result. The whole things seems daft as arseholes to me.

      Tim

      April 8, 2021 at 7:54 am

      • “It will be found, in fact, that the ingenious are always fanciful, and the truly imaginative never otherwise than analytic.”

        suebi28

        April 8, 2021 at 9:32 am

      • @Tim, But look how many of these clowns have been caught already, showing off on Facebook etc.
        It’s not a case of them posting details of the jobs they are doing, but the holidays / items that they could not possibly have afforded on benefits. It doesn’t take Sherlock Holmes to work out that there is some sort of scam going on. Local guy near me had some explaining to do when he posted a picture of himself standing proudly by a new BMW car. A jobbing builder / handyman, he hadn’t officially worked for years. But on the side offered a property fix-up service to landlords.

        George M

        April 8, 2021 at 3:49 pm

      • I really don’t understand why people reveal so much about themselves on social media or give a monkey’s about how many strangers friend them, follow them, vote for them, or express approval for them. Mostly a young person’s thing as far as I can see which leaves me scratching my head and wondering why the heck are people divulging so much about themselves which could be weaponised and used against them by the powers that be.

        Tim

        April 10, 2021 at 9:10 am

      • People incriminate themselves by posting all sorts of stupid shit on social media. I know of one woman who posted a photo of herself on instagram swigging from a bottle of wine whilst driving her car.

        bob

        April 10, 2021 at 8:26 pm

  11. […] Monitoring of Claimants “suspected of Fraud” Extended to Social Media. […]

  12. Reblogged this on Tory Britain! .

    A6er

    April 7, 2021 at 8:05 pm

  13. The biggest fraudster is the DWP’s Work Capability Assessment [WCA]. Proven not to be disabled & cured of disability yet the disabled have been getting disability benefit, some for over 40 years. Now they are fit for work & not disabled. Which means Disability Benefit Fraud. Now who’s doing the fraud the DWP or the disabled !!! So the disabled have to repay back all their disability money now they are not disabled by the power of the Work Capability Assessment.

    Stepping Razor Sound Plate System

    April 7, 2021 at 11:37 pm

  14. Strange Alive Worm-Like Fibers Found In Face Masks Produced For Covid!

    https://davidicke.com/2021/04/08/strange-alive-worm-like-fibers-found-in-face-masks-produced-for-covid/

    Tigerlily

    April 8, 2021 at 11:21 am

    • This is more of David Icke’s nonsense. Why are people so ready to believe it ?

      Gerald Kenworth

      April 8, 2021 at 5:37 pm

  15. You don’t have to give your JCP Work Coach your phone number or email address, etc.

    DWP Claimant Committment

    https://www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/dwp_claimant_committment#incoming-1763775

    jj joop

    April 8, 2021 at 12:38 pm

  16. https://www.liverpoolecho.co.uk/news/uk-world-news/dwp-could-watching-your-social-19100762

    “Investigators may also check your social media accounts and search your online profiles for pictures, location check-ins, and other evidence which may or may not be useful to them.

    Those who use social media a lot will leave a trail of their life and habits, often allowing investigators to piece together a picture of what that person’s life actually looks like.

    If this is not consistent with the details of that person’s claim for benefits, that evidence may end up being used against them.”

    suebi28

    April 8, 2021 at 1:24 pm

  17. It’s open to question if past life’s as Egyptian Pharaohs could be used against you.

    suebi28

    April 8, 2021 at 1:29 pm

  18. DWP announces new jobcentre support to help disabled people find work
    An additional 315 Disability Employment Advisor roles will be created in jobcentres across the UK by May.

    https://www.dailyrecord.co.uk/lifestyle/money/dwp-support-for-disabled-jobseekers-23873684

    superted

    April 8, 2021 at 1:40 pm

    • Andrew Coates

      April 8, 2021 at 3:37 pm

      • What a caring Tory Party getting the DWP to do your disability nasty work.

        Stepping Razor Sound Plate System

        April 8, 2021 at 3:58 pm

    • If wasn’t for Disability Confident there would be no disabled people with a job – DWP Moto.

      Stepping Razor Sound Plate System

      April 8, 2021 at 3:56 pm

      • If it wasn’t for Disability Employment Advisor there would be no disabled people in work – DWP Moto.

        Stepping Razor Sound Plate System

        April 8, 2021 at 3:59 pm

      • Disability Employment Advisor got any bi-polar jobs !!!

        Stepping Razor Sound Plate System

        April 8, 2021 at 4:00 pm

      • Become a Disability Employment Advisor who is expert in bi-polar.

        Stepping Razor Sound Plate System

        April 8, 2021 at 4:01 pm

      • Do you need to have bi-polar to be an Disability Employment Advisor !!

        Stepping Razor Sound Plate System

        April 8, 2021 at 4:02 pm

  19. It would be more to the point if the government introduced Universal Basic Income, and made sure that every citizen had at least a decent amount of money to live on. Then let’s worry about which jobs people are going to do.

    Jeff Smith

    April 8, 2021 at 3:57 pm

  20. The welfare of humanity is always the alibi of tyrants ~ Albert Camus.

    Cloverleaf

    April 8, 2021 at 5:01 pm

  21. Trust me – Boris Johnson.

    suebi28

    April 8, 2021 at 5:14 pm

    • I wouldn’t trust Jackboot Johnson to tell me the time in a room full of clocks!

      Cloverleaf

      April 8, 2021 at 5:54 pm

  22. Holiday is over folks, work coach said after my next phone appointment it will be a face 2 face appointment.
    I don’t think it will be a face to face as she said if the JC is not safe then she’s not coming in.

    These work coaches do not want anyone going near them.

    Big bird

    April 8, 2021 at 5:16 pm

  23. And a disregard for the welfare of humanity is the mark of a selfish fool. – Jeff Smith

    Jeff Smith

    April 8, 2021 at 5:32 pm

  24. By definition, a government has no conscience. Sometimes it has a policy, but nothing more.

    Albert Camus

    suebi28

    April 8, 2021 at 5:48 pm

  25. Fuck the Tories

    trev

    April 8, 2021 at 8:37 pm

  26. Guilty before proven innocent.

    xclausx

    April 8, 2021 at 10:31 pm

  27. Looks like the good times are over. I’m on legacy benefits and have been left alone by the jobcentre for a year but today in the post I received an appointment date to attend the jobcentre. At least I have three weeks until I have to see a work coach again. The letter includes all the usual statements such as it could last up to an hour and to bring proof of job search. I’m 65,it’s hardly worth them bothering. I remember when they sent a guy on one of the old new deal schemes and he only had a month to go before he could retire. You would think they would prioritise the young.

    Rob

    April 9, 2021 at 10:29 am

    • Age is of no consequence to the b@stards Rob, while you are a benefit claimant you are a sitting duck for the dirty bullies, I bet you are dreading it, I really do not want to go back to the shithole because if the roach starts getting arsey I will probably lose my rag!

      Tigerlily

      April 9, 2021 at 11:04 am

    • @Rob – Strange, it may just be a local thing, but my Work Coach has been telling me he expects the telephone appointments to go on for some time. I got the idea for some months at least ?
      But it’s crazy really that they expect you to keep signing at 65 .

      George M

      April 9, 2021 at 4:05 pm

      • @George M

        My Work Coach told me the same thing about telephone appointments. AS a matter of fact, I was offered a choice, either telephone or face-to-face.

        jj joop

        April 9, 2021 at 4:31 pm

    • @Rob

      It all sounds a bit fishy. Maybe they’re going to try and push you onto Universal Credit. Like you, two years ago I met a guy a the Jobcentre who had only three weeks to go before he could retire and they sent him on a week-long mandatory IT course. It simply beggars belief that they would do something like that. But I suppose it was a case of computer-says-yes. Do keep us updated about what happened at your appointment, please.

      jj joop

      April 9, 2021 at 4:37 pm

    • @Rob

      It might also be a case that someone has made a mistake. At the beginning of January, I had a letter from the manager of my Jobcentre informing me that my next appointment would be at the Jobcentre, face-to-face. I called my Work Coach and she told me to ignore it that it would be telephone appointments only for the time being. Have you tried phoning your coach for clarification?

      jj joop

      April 9, 2021 at 4:54 pm

  28. @lily
    Maybe they thought someone my age would have had the jab and would be safer than someone younger. The medical centre that I am registered with have not contacted me regarding any vaccinations so I will be turning up at the jobcentre with my trusted face mask to protect me from the work coach.

    Rob

    April 9, 2021 at 12:43 pm

    • i have never had a 1hr appointment to sign on so there up to something like missed 1 week job search and sanction time.

      superted

      April 9, 2021 at 1:13 pm

      • @superted – I agree, that doesn’t sound good. No-one gets an hour to just sign-on. Most of the Work Coaches are running at full capacity, with these short 5 minute telephone interviews. This sounds like something else. Perhaps trying to get Rob onto a provider’s course, like the Work & Health Programme ?
        These hour-long meetings are usually where they try to persuade you to do something like this.

        Jeff Smith

        April 9, 2021 at 4:17 pm

    • @Rob- You should have been contacted directly by the NHS at your age, long before this, for your first vaccination. The NHS should have written a letter to you about it. As they did to a retired neighbour of mine, Then you can go online to make a booking, or ring them up and they’ll make the booking for you. It’s not really a GP issue, the NHS are co-ordinating it. You seem to have been missed out somehow ?

      Jeff Smith

      April 9, 2021 at 4:29 pm

      • @jeff smith : Good point Jeff. He’s 65, most / all of this age group have had their first vaccination by now.
        My doctors surgery has put a notice online to say that they are not offering the vaccination, and the NHS will contact you. So if Rob has been missed off the list, who knows when they will get round to him ?
        And if he’s going into Jobcentres, he needs to be vaccinated.

        George M

        April 9, 2021 at 9:05 pm

    • You should have received a letter direct from the NHS inviting you to book an appointment at a vaccination centre for the jab long ago. This should have been done for everybody eligible over 60 and for most of those over 50 by now.

      https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/coronavirus-covid-19/coronavirus-vaccination/how-you-will-be-contacted/

      If you haven’t received a letter you really need to inquire about vaccination while there is still a glut of vaccines available to inoculate people, before supply problems slow the process down. If you know your NHS number you can book an appointment to be vaccinated without an official letter here:

      https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/coronavirus-covid-19/coronavirus-vaccination/book-coronavirus-vaccination/

      If in doubt contact your MP who is obliged to help you but for goodness sake don’t miss your chance to be vaccinated against coronavirus for your own sake and those around you.

      Tim

      April 10, 2021 at 7:00 am

  29. superted

    April 9, 2021 at 1:59 pm

  30. ‘Parents go without food’ as child poverty rises fastest in Ipswich

    https://www.eadt.co.uk/news/child-poverty-rises-in-ipswich-ons-and-dwp-7875594

    superted

    April 9, 2021 at 2:00 pm

  31. @superted,
    Throughout the entire pandemic I kept applying for the odd jobs online even if they had been posted ages ago. If they want printouts of my email confirmations I will have to jump on a jobcentre computer on the day of my appointment. No mention of any requirements such as wearing a face mask but clearly they wouldn’t let me in without one. I will find out in three weeks time.

    Rob

    April 9, 2021 at 4:01 pm

    • Maybe they’re going to present you with a gold clock and a handshake, tell you not to bother signing again or doing any jobsearch but your Benefits will now be paid automatically until you reach State Pension age.

      trev

      April 9, 2021 at 4:24 pm

      • @trev- And maybe Rishi Sunak will decide that he’s been unfair about not giving the extra £20 to the legacy benefit claimants. Then all the legacy claimants get the extra money, and full back pay.

        Jeff Smith

        April 9, 2021 at 4:36 pm

  32. Flawed and Rushed Risk Assessment Process for Expansion of Services
    09 Apr 2021
    DWP senior management have failed to learn the lessons of the rushed plans to reopen the jobcentres last summer when the safety of staff and the public were not prioritised. Again they are trying to hurtle towards a set date and have failed to allow sufficient time to properly consult over the health and safety issues and take on board the unions’ concerns. We have summarised some of the key points that need to be addressed in the risk assessment review

    Government guidance has changed since last summer by finally recognising the substantial risk of airborne transmission of the virus. This has an impact on many aspects of the Covid-19 JCFRA that was hastily imposed last year without taking on board all the H&S issues raised by PCS at the time. Our negotiators have again been raising the full range of H&S issues that needed to be properly covered in all the guidance and the risk assessment review process to make the safety of everyone paramount. PCS negotiators also argued that it would be much simpler if all the issues covered in the Covid-19 Site related Health & Safety Checklist and Prompt Sheet were incorporated into the Covid-19 JCFRA to make sure that all the issues were properly reviewed. It is more difficult for sites to juggle all the documents and make sure everything is kept up to date rather than have one comprehensive document. Management refused to do this.

    Good ventilation critical
    Despite assurances that good ventilation would be considered in all the risk assessment reviews as a critical measure to prevent transmission to prevent the spread of covid-19. Management have not produced any guidance to cover this, additionally, nothing has been produced by management to ensure that both the JCFRA and the Covid-19 Site related Health & Safety Checklist and Prompt Sheet are reviewed in advance of expansion of services. Management insisted that ventilation is only covered in the checklist and have failed to mention let alone emphasise how important this document is to be reviewed.

    Introducing more people into a space increases the risks in poorly ventilated indoor spaces. It is critical that every site reviews ventilation to ensure that measures are in place to introduce fresh air regularly throughout the day and that the existing control measures are reviewed to take into account the changing weather conditions and planned increases in numbers of people in the jobcentres. Airflow through windows reduces with the warmer weather so further measures will need to be introduced.

    Site Capacity
    The capacity of a site needs to include everyone and factor in route ways through an office, 2m social distancing at all times between everyone, only desk 2m apart can be used, there needs to be safe route ways for both staff and claimants, one way systems, capacity of facilities including toilets and tea rooms/break out areas to allow everyone to have tea breaks and lunch breaks away from the public areas. And ensure all control measures can continue to remain in place.

    Hot-desking must be avoided
    It is crucial to avoid hot-desking and this includes where this is masked by describing it as desk sharing – the reason there are so many screens installed is for staff to have their own desks but measures need to be in place to ensure desks next to one another are not used at the same time. Where two different users do share the same workstation a full clean is required in between users done by cleaners. The two users can have their own mouse and keyboard which they can keep locked away for their own use.

    Screened Triage Point
    For the sites where there is not room to have a screened desk as a triage point next to the door then management were sourcing alternative furniture to provide a safe screened triage point last year. We would expect the solutions to be in place now and the JCFRA should be updated accordingly. It is essential that any solutions take into account safety for both covid-19 and UCB risks. Any references to visors should include necessity to wear together with a face covering to deal with airborne transmission

    TEAMS
    All references to Skype need to be updated to TEAMS and crucially it is essential to ensure that all the processes have been fully updated and reviewed as part of the risk assessment. New processes using TEAMS need to provide the safety support comprehensively for the 6PP and UCB.

    Social distancing
    Any existing control measures which consider 1m plus mitigation should be reviewed in the light of the both the government guidance on close contact, Scottish and Welsh social distancing legislation and the more recent HSE recognition of the risks of airborne transmission as the key factor in the spread of Covid-19. This will include any instances where management have put too much stock in protection given by screens. Screens can help with the Covid-19 droplets and high concentrations of near-field aerosols but do not prevent all the space filling up with Covid-19 aerosols if there is poor or inadequate ventilation.

    Control measures
    Every control measure should work to address both covid-19 and UCB risks. So the use of plastic chairs which are more easily cleanable also need to be the ones which are not easy to lift and use as missiles/weapons. All sites need to be checked to ensure that no hazards have been introduced which could cause issues when footfall is increased.

    Covid-19 Site related Health & Safety Checklist and Prompt Sheet
    The checklist covers key areas and all of the issues and all the control measures for these and must be reviewed properly before increasing the numbers of people in the workplace and control measures put in place –

    On good ventilation
    Capacity of the facilities – toilets and break out areas/tearooms and ease and safety of access of these areas with increased public in the JC
    Training and support for staff – All staff dealing with the public face to face and by phone must have done both parts of the Keeping Safe training – Confusion has been spread that the 2nd part was only for face to face interactions with the public which is not the case. So all staff who have not done both parts and are dealing with the public need to complete the course urgently. This includes all the new work coach staff who are dealing with the public by phone. This should have been planned for from when they took up post. No-one should be booked in for appointments without having done both parts of the training.
    Staff need to do DSE for their office workstation and have all adjustments in place.
    The 6PP and UCB processes need to be reviewed to take into account the increase in traffic and control measures introduced – all staff need to have the opportunity to familiarise themselves with dealing with these risks in face to face context – whether it is refresher or for all the staff who have not yet done any face to face work who are brand new staff or new to the work coach role. Everyone should be familiar and confident in how to summon assistance and get support without causing risk to themselves or others.
    Many of the staff will not know the workplace and need to be walked through the escape routes in a social distanced manner to ensure they are familiar with how to get out in an emergency
    Signature Box
    As well as completing the issues box with everything that safety reps have raised in the risk assessment review that has not been taken on board, reps should make it clear in the signature box that the risk assessment is not being signed off by the union. This indicates that we have been involved in the review but not been able to reach agreement. We suspect there will be a good number of sites where there has not been the required consultation with the local safety reps

    superted

    April 9, 2021 at 4:44 pm

  33. Opposing Extension of Jobcentre Services – Action for members
    09 Apr 2021
    DWP are extending services in Jobcentres from Monday (12 April). We believe that this is neither safe nor necessary because of Covid. We are continuing to negotiate a sensible and safe solution with senior DWP managers

    PCS officials are on hand over the weekend and during next week to offer advice and support to any member who needs it. Please complete our short questionnaire today so we know if you need help and would like us to contact you.

    You should also read our FAQs about what you can do if you’re asked to return to your workplace.

    As part of our campaign activities PCS has raised the important issues of staff, claimant and public safety with our PCS parliamentary Group of MPs who have written to the Secretary of State Therese Coffey. We are also looking to raise questions through the Work and Pensions Parliamentary Select committee and we are considering an Early Day Motion in parliament.

    It is also crucial that we keep up the pressure on the department so we need you and your friends and colleagues to complete and share widely our e-action to secretary of state Therese Coffey to urge her to stop the increase in face-to-face interviews and end the drive to return more staff to workplaces.

    superted

    April 9, 2021 at 5:06 pm

    • @superted

      From what I’ve seen of the PCS they’re a paper tiger. They’re all piss & wind. They’ll do what Coffey tells them to do and that’s it I’m afraid.

      jj joop

      April 9, 2021 at 6:22 pm

      • The PCS hardly ever invoke the strike weapon or taken other kinds of action to protest about changes to DWP policy and the DWP know it.

        Tim

        April 10, 2021 at 9:04 am

  34. It will be interesting to see how things go in the jobcentre and I will report back on here what happens. I will probably say at some time how unfair it is that I have not been given a penny towards the cost of face masks. I don’t think I will ask for the extra twenty pounds a week and to have it backdated. One thing you learn is to stay polite and non aggressive at work coach interviews. It’s never a good idea to upset them.

    Rob

    April 9, 2021 at 5:56 pm

    • Go out and buy some filterless woodbines and a bottle of the cheapest, nastiest whisky you can find. Smoke a couple of cigs, have a few glugs and phone the DWP up the day before your appointment with a hacking cough and ask whether it’s OK to come in if you think you’re suffering from covid.

      bob

      April 10, 2021 at 8:48 pm

  35. “Under cover of Covid, British workers’ rights are being quietly stripped away”

    https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2021/mar/30/covid-british-workers-rights-stripped-away-fire-and-rehire-employers

    Tim

    April 10, 2021 at 6:27 am

    • Aside from Covid we knew that Workers Rights were goung to be under threat from Brexit, it’s exactly what Jacob Rees Mogg and IDS want.

      trev

      April 10, 2021 at 8:06 pm

      • My bet is that privacy online will be the next thing to be attacked. The DWP also want a real time system like Universal Credit to monitor the bank accounts of Universal Credit claimants to monitor in-goings and outgoings and catch benefit fraudsters. The government hasn’t suggested making such scrutiny across the board for all bank accounts, which would make more sense really, since the amount of tax fraud going on dwarfs benefit fraud to next to nothing and it’s tax fraudsters robbing most from the system rather than benefit claimants but there you go. One rule for the rich and harsher one for the poor has always been the order of the day.

        Tim

        April 11, 2021 at 10:50 am

  36. superted

    April 11, 2021 at 1:09 am

  37. superted

    April 11, 2021 at 1:43 am

  38. Some interesting stuff here about the state pension and Universal Credit from the Daily Mirror’s Emma Munbodh

    Advance Universal Credit payments

    Universal Credit advance payments are also changing – and it’s good news.

    Advance payments currently have to be paid back in instalments over 12 months – but that repayment period is now increasing to 24 months.

    Deductions are currently capped at 30% of the standard allowance, but is also falling to 25%.

    https://www.mirror.co.uk/money/14-important-tax-year-changes-23857035?utm_source=pocket-newtab-global-en-GB

    jj joop

    April 11, 2021 at 10:18 am

  39. Non-essential retail; personal care premises such as hairdressers and nail salons; and public buildings, including libraries and community centres should be opening back up tomorrow. (Better book those sessions on Library computers before they’re all snatched up.) Jobcentres too I would imagine, since they are public buildings, which is why JSA claimants can look forward to having their chains jerked and eventually UC recipients too. There is bound to be an uptick of Covid-19 infections after this happens and it will be interesting whether spread of the virus can be dampened down enough for it not to begin growing exponentially as in the past. I hope so and that the much more virulent Brazilian strain doesn’t get a foothold in the UK and start spreading with a vengeance: I don’t believe that we know yet whether the vaccines already given to tens of millions of Brits is effective against the Brazilian strain. Good luck everybody!

    Tim

    April 11, 2021 at 10:42 am

    • There’s been nothing in my local newspaper about the library reopening. I suppose I’ll have to go in person and see, then see if I can remember how to log on! I’ve got a Jobcentre phone call appointment for this Tuesday coming, and my second Covid jab on Thursday.

      trev

      April 11, 2021 at 10:49 am

  40. Cloverleaf

    April 11, 2021 at 12:19 pm

    • If everyone just gets vaccinated there’s no need for any such “passports”. If such “passports” do come into being it’ll be the fault of those who refused to get vaccinated, in which case no shops, pubs or public buildings should be reopened until everyone has been vaccinated.

      trev

      April 11, 2021 at 12:34 pm

      • Everything you just said proves that you are scum.

        suebi28

        April 11, 2021 at 12:44 pm

      • How about a Vaccine Refusal Certificate for people who refuse to get the vaccine ? It could include something like ‘My selfish reason for refusing the vaccine ( on non-medical grounds ) is …….
        They could put something in here about aliens, mind-control etc.

        Jeff Smith

        April 11, 2021 at 12:54 pm

  41. What about people who can’t get the jab because of allergies trev? Not everyone can have the prick you know. It could cause them to have an anaphylaxis episode.

    Cloverleaf

    April 11, 2021 at 12:38 pm

    • Don’t you know yet that he just dossn’t care what happens to anyone else.

      xclausx

      April 11, 2021 at 12:53 pm

      • No empathy I’m afraid.

        Cloverleaf

        April 11, 2021 at 12:54 pm

      • Anyone who has a genuine medical reason for not being vaccinated could simply have an exemption badge issued by the NHS.

        trev

        April 11, 2021 at 1:10 pm

      • Trev is the greatest humanitarian on this blog, and a true socialist. A spiritual man, he cares deeply about other people and the welfare of humanity. Unlike some on here, whose posts seem to have to been made by inhuman aliens.

        George M

        April 11, 2021 at 12:57 pm

  42. Interesting that the PCS comments above don’t make reference to unvaccinated claimants attending the jobcentre in person. Presumably these are the ones who would pose the greatest risk to the jobcentre staff.
    Nor does the PCS make any mention of Jobcentre staff being vaccinated, before they see claimants.
    Signing-on is always such a close quarters thing, claimant and Work Coach facing each other across a small desk. The risk of infection, and cross-infection, must be fairly high in these circumstances.

    Jeff Smith

    April 11, 2021 at 12:49 pm

    • There could be a great many of the Jobcentres staff who have not yet been vaccinated, especially those aged under 50. Could be another few months yet before they have all had the jab. I very much doubt there will be any face-to-face interviews for a while yet.

      trev

      April 11, 2021 at 1:14 pm

  43. Indeed they could get a badge from nhs, but that wouldn’t stop them being bullied by the public.

    Cloverleaf

    April 11, 2021 at 1:32 pm


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