Saturday, 9 June 2012

I ought to sanction them for not sticking to their agreement.

I am in shock, I went to the Job Centre yesterday to sign on as well as see my adviser about the Debenhams work experience and talk about my Job Search.

WELL where shall I start? The Debenhams thing has changed, the goal post have moved. I was told yesterday that I now have to apply online directly to Debenhams, then if that goes ok, I may be selected out of 20 people on Job Seekers, (Chosen by staff at the Job Centre) to possibly have a telephone interview, if that goes ok then a face to face interview and if that goes ok then 2 week work experience,  The adviser was informed at first, that he and his colleagues was to refer 30 people to Debenhams for 2 weeks work experience and they would be given an interview for any jobs. I was originaly  told if I did 2 week work experience I would guaranteed an interview. What a lot of old rubbish.  I ought to sanction them for not sticking to the agreement.

I was told yesterday that I am now to start the work programme in July. This is for two years with a private company, either A4E or Ingeus, to be selected at random. It's like the Lottery.

My biggest shock yesterday, was last time I saw that adviser I was given a new Job seeking agreement, you know the thing where on it-it says you will do this many things to look for work such as contacting so many employers, look at this site or another, be willing to travel these many hours to and from work each day, and be available between these hours.

Well the adviser told me It has changed from where you take at least 3 positive steps each week to find and gain employment, it is down on my agreement that I have to take 26 steps each week. Yes 26. This is not too hard to do if you consider looking on web sites and things but I am to challenge this as I feel they have just plucked a figure from thin air.  I have looked in depth about any change in the law and can not yet find anything.. I will let you know.  For someone like me who has access to the Internet and gets about quite a bit, talking to people and putting myself in a position to ask people about jobs and stuff its not too bad, but this is now ridiculous.. What counts towards the 26??

I have been told to go to my local volunteer centre and get myself another volunteer job, in retail or the like.  That as well as my already volunteer role, as well as all these steps to find work, as well as work experience and courses. Bloody hell.


  1. They keep changing the goal posts.. Anything to kick you off the dole.. I am crossing my fingers that you DO NOT have to go to A4e.. I am there and dear god.. If you do go to a4e.. Never sign anything read everything, You can do a search for not to accept signing the documents. Cover Your Back at all times. I would never even say record the interviews, or that you can get a cheap pen recorder.... Just one thing i have learned COVER YOUR BACK AT ALL TIMES

    But 26 thats 5 things a day.. There is no way you can do that unless you apply for every job. jobs you know you wont get. I have gotten to that stage myself.. Applying for anything.. just to get them off my back..

  2. The thing is, my job seekers agreement had recently been updated, and now this. I am going to challenge this though as what when I do not produce steps to their satisfaction??

    If it includes searching on line then that is one thing, but when I apply for jobs it takes forever and a day to fill in the application forms, as a cv is not enough (ever)Oh It is to cover 7 days too. It says this on the back of my agreement.

    Oh I have been hearing all sorts about A4E. And many said to check all paper work. I was with a private company before, an off shoot of Remploy and they was similar in some ways.

  3. I've been at A4e since September. I was really optimistic at first, they made themselves sound like saviours, they are not. My advisor kept cancelling my appointments, or wasn't even there, with no explanation. It took me writing to my MP a few times complaining about A4e for them to change my advisor. Still nothing's changed, they send you on a few courses then you go to a job club once a week to do a job search online (which most people do at home anyway) I've hand not interviews while I've been there.

  4. As far as I know any changes to a jobseekers agreement have to be by mutual consent. And if you are unable to agree to the changes you can request that it be referred to the Labour Market Decision Maker.

    I suggest you make a formal complaint in writing. When I was referred to the work programme, they gave me a new signing book - but I still only have to take 3 positive steps a week! To go from 3 to 26 A WEEK is ridiculous.

    It's worth mentioning that if the jobcentre perceive you as a soft target they are more likely to take liberties with you. Not that I'm suggesting you are.

  5. my mate was told he had to do ten things a week, he had just finished with ingous. had a another dole appointment were they told him this was the target,,, so i think your advisor being harsh

    1. They seem to be making it up as they go along. The JSA law hasn't changed from 3 steps a week, but what they are doing is changing the agreement which you sign and then if you do not stick to the agreement thats when they start with sanctions.
      Justine x

  6. It seems that receiving JSA has now effectively become a paid job (one that potentially pays less than the minimum wage and expects you to work 7 days a week, 365 days a year with no days off or holiday entitlement). "Looking for work will be a significant part of my everyday activities, taking several hours each day". I was told by a claimant advisor that as I was being paid for 7 days a week, I would be expected to look for work 7 days a week - good job I'm not a devout Christian then!

    Just be creative in your response to this unfairness and treat it/politicians with the contempt that they now deserve, for example stay in bed all day (assuming you will be sleeping) and then watch TV for a couple of hours before going back to bed again. That way your everyday activity would only be for 2 hours per day and so 1hr 30 seconds of job search would unquestionably be a significant part of that. Not that it is checkable anyway, so just follow the lead of the politicians - lie with a straight face and fiddle your expenses!

    Under the old 3 steps per week requirement, I was told that searching for jobs on the internet for two or more days only counted as one step, but thankfully logging onto 3 different websites on one day is now counted as 3 steps. I was also told that if I couldn't find anything to apply for (based on my qualifications and experience etc), that was ok, but just list any jobs you do apply for.

    I think it is far better to treat these things with the humour and contempt they deserve than to get worried, angry and upset, or even become lulled into more physical or drastic responses which aren't helpful to anyone - as IDS' comment on the unemployed's curtains being closed when others are going to work - I guess they will have to be now though if we are going to get a decent days sleep!

  7. Thank you for your input. I am back at my work programme tomorrow. Ummmmmm it seems we are all told different things.

  8. My jobseekers advisor when first met me seemed to think i didnt look for job well enough and she just kept looking at me as if im just another scrounger .
    Not pleasent at all .
    Am i the only one who has had this expereince .

  9. Hi,
    I'm new to this blog. My 20 year old daughter, who had moderate learning difficulties, is claiming ESA. The job centre referred her to A4e without explaining anything about the company or even if we had a choice. As my daughter's official carer I always accompany her to any appointments. At A$e it was obvious to me from the outset that this was the wrong set up for her (she does not understand why she is there or what she has to do.)
    Today, we were due to have a consultation with Occupational Health at our local A4e office 9arranged by the advisor at our last session in April. I had to take time off work at a primary school where I assist poor readers to improve their literacy skills. When we got to the A4e office they had no record of our appointment. It transpired that the outside agency which they employ to run the Occ health consults had cancelled our appointment without sending us any notification. I was livid! Not only had I wasted my time but three children had lost out on their reading time.
    A4e sanction their "customers" if they fail to attend an appointment - why doesn't it work the other way round?
    The A4e staff, including team leader and manager, gave me loads of flannel about how it wasn't their problem - rubbish! They made the appointment so it's up to them to make sure the consult happens when scheduled.
    I was told that I could appeal against the decision that my daughter is on the work programme - but refused to tell me how. Very convenient for them! The team leader even had the audacity to tell me that she shouldn't even be talking to me, just my daughter, thus giving the impression she was doing me a great favour. I know that I am entitled to attend the appointments as my daughter's carer and advocate. And to think I have to put up with this level of incompetence for at least two years is beyond belief!

  10. I've been experience those kind of things before when I was a job seeker. It is not really easy to find a job specially in other countries. But when I found Australian job search it was now easy to me to find a job in Australia. Thanks to my friend who recommend that to me.