Interview with a Job Centre Advisor: sanction targets & corruption revealed

@JobcentreMole is a Job Centre advisor who has taken to Twitter to speak out about the Job Centre’s unfair treatment of people who are claiming benefits. For obvious reasons he is anonymous. I think that what he’s doing is very brave. We did this interview by email. (All emphases are mine).
The Mole says: “I started my career with Jobcentre plus over 15 years ago at such a young age, I have literally done every job at lower (band B) level there is within the Jobcentre. I can assure you my knowledge of Jobcentre Plus is up with the best, I can also assure you I am not alone with my views.” 

Do the management have targets to sanction x number of people, or are your team encouraged to sanction people?

There is 100% no specific target at all, however it is and has been mentioned before that each signer should be looking at a minimum of 2 sanctions a day. say for example offices are looked at in clusters, and say there are 7 offices in a cluster, lets use London for example…. if there are 10 offices in London, Office one achieving 100 sanctions a week, office two 90, three 80 and so forth, I can guarentee you that offices 5 to 10 will be pulled week in week out regarding why they are not achieving what the other offices are achieving. we all have a sister office (generally means an office that has a similar register to yours) and we are marked on our achievements in accordance with theirs. If they have a bad ass office manager who hammers staff to sanction customers, it impacts on office b. I once saw a guy who works for us sanction 23 customers in one day!, it took him a ridiculous amount of time to do all the paperwork!, had he done this to get a better box marking? or to warrant his job? no he did it because the night before he had watched a programme on tv. it disgusted me!. There are customers that quite blatantly flaunt the rules and there are the odd customers that indeed require a sanction!, but I mean this, only the odd one!. and never generally the ones that actually get the sanctions!.

What was the worst thing that you saw happen in your Job Centre?

Without a doubt has to be the two facedness of the managers. we have weekly meetings, in these meetings we are encouraged to sanction customers for various reasons mainly not actively seeking employment in adherance to their jobseekers allowance. now not a lot of customers know this but its a lottery who gets pulled, it depends on the member of staff, and also on the customer, example, if a 6ft 2 big aggressive builder was to walk over to the signing section I can assure you he would not be challenged, however the more weaker clientel are. We give customers a JSA1(ils) form and are encouraged to get them to sign it to (re-open their claim if sanctioned), what we dont tell the customer is that signing this form puts another 2 weeks on the sanction.

We also do our referrals online now, and these are not vetted by anyone, so basically you could walk into a jobcentre and be pulled for not actively seeking, we would take the details of what you have been doing over the past fortnight and totally change your answers, thus guaranteeing a sanction. I have never in my time seen one customer ask to see the papers as to why they have been sanctioned. not one. the unfortunate thing is the general public is too trusting of jobcentre staff. Neither by the way do customers demand to speak to FJR managers (basically the manager responsible for the member of staff doing the paperwork). Sure they ask to speak to the office manager, who comes along and hasnt a clue whats really happening so pay lip service. Customers need to deal with the front line managers, only then will something be done, these guys get the easiest ride in the jobcentres, trust me I’ve been one!.

SO…individually what is the worst thing I have ever seen in a jobcentre, I see people on the DEA caseload (disabled people) sanctioned week in week out because if they don’t ask for support no one gives a damn. I see customers come in and get lied to and fobbed off. I once saw a gent come in who had missed an appointment because his wife had passed away, and because he did not make a fuss about this he basically accepted his claim had been closed and he had lost 2 weeks benefit. It’s a cruel world out there, and as much as I do believe people need to be looking for work, I can also assure you that even the genuine people that are genuinely looking lose their benefits.

Have you ever been made to take action on a benefits claimant that you feel wasn’t right?

I cannot say I have ever been made to take action on a customer, but what I can say is I was acting front line manager for 12 months due to me being the most experienced member of staff and the manager being on long term sick. During this time I was reprimanded repeatedly regarding the team I had and how little DMA we had done (not enough benefit sanctions ect). I was told that it was my teams fault that our office had no one kicking and screaming at the security guards, and this was a bad thing as it reflected that my office was not strict. I have seen many advisors and front line staff waiver their end of year bonus, we get box markings ranging from 1/2/3, 3 = £0 bonus, 2 = £300, 1 = £500, this is my grade, the ammounts go up the higher up the ladder you get. I have seen advisors and front line staff get a 3 because they are not sanctioning enough customers. They are the good people that work in the jobcentres, and generally are the ones that smile and can have a human conversation with customers on a 1 to 1 level.

I have also seen members of the public attend Jobcentre plus and just because they are known outside the organisation by certain managers they are let off certain requirements of receiving jobseekers allowance. Only 2 weeks ago my direct line manager was stood over me as I was explaining to a customer he had worked 16 hours so unfortunately had to sign off, she proceeded to ask him if it was 16 hours or 15.45 due to a 15 minute unpaid break, he didnt understand her so repeated 16 hours until she amended his B7 part time earnings form. unfortunately I wasnt in a great position as the said manager is very good friends with the office manager… nowhere to go you see.

Do you think that any groups (e.g. disabled, lgbt, women) are treated worse by the DWP or your Job Centre? Or is everyone treated equally badly?

Groups… Right, there is a guy who signs on in my office. He has signed on for over 6 years, I guarantee you he has never been challenged regarding what he has done by any member of staff why? because he is over 50 and death stares everyone who he comes into contact with. Also anyone who comes to sign who believe they are upper class, or lets say looking for work in certain sectors or area’s that jobcentre plus dont have expertiese in basically get a pass through the system until they find work. Work programme participants get no support from jobcentre plus, and as for work programme.. dont get me started.

Again I’ve visited offices and know the staff over there to know they have the most ridiculous easy job you could imagine… more on this later. to finish question 4 the group thats most effected is the vulnerable. they are targeted by the majority of staff, you know the ones, they approach and are not going to answer back or fight their corner. I am a firm believer that IF every customer read what they signed, and if they completed their paperwork according to their jobseekers agreement there would be no sanctions at all from jobcentre plus. unfortunately the weak dont ask questions, they take what they are told and live by that. “I’m sorry its not me that makes the decision” all lies, the front line member of staff knows categorically its a disallowance before it go’s up!. Another casing point, did you know that if you as a member of the public ask for a reconsideration and list enough to cover your jobseekers agreement, regardless of what initial paperwork went to the decision makers, the decision will come back favourably allowed?. No one knows this you see!. 

Are the middle class jobseekers treated better than working class, unskilled or long term unemployed jobseekers?

Middle class, elder, all very rarely challenged on jobseekers allowance. 80% of sanctions come from young Britons. I can tell you too that not even 5% of foreign customers get sanctioned for actively seeking or anything else like that, why? Because its too difficult to do in the 10 minutes tops that we have with a customer. There is not enough support in my opinion for the unskilled person. nowadays you need pc skills, online cv, a licence for this, a certificate for that. Do you know you now need a certificate to be a cleaner???. Where do the unskilled start if thats the case?. its a bad circle that will not be broken until we treat people like individuals and not all as collectives.

Does the Work Programme help the job seekers who attend your Job Centre find work or have more motivation?

Work programme…… total and utter failure, bad management, bad advice, bad motivation, and a total lack of customer understanding. We set out with work programme to target the “hard to work on” customers. genuinely for every 1000 people signing on for jobseekers allowance 200 are the hardcore, who are either more than happy with jsa and their life on jsa, or their skills are not required in the work place at any level. Work programme was set up to target these people and inspire them and help them to become more employable. Total and utter failure, this has come to light ever since april, since the returners have been coming back into the mainflow for jobseekers… basically put on weekly signing for no reason other than to inconvenience them… another interesting fact for you, every work programme returner is interviewed PURPOSELY 3 days after their signing day so we have 5 clear days if they forget to ensure their claim is shut… all craft you see!. My view is the work programme will be dressed up a success, but show me one success story and I’ll show you 100 that have not got anything from it apart from an utter waste of time.

Do the Job Centre courses or group sessions help people find work?

Well.. thats a tricky one, group sessions tend to be information sessions based at helping customers to know what their role as a jobseeker is, or other things ie what is expected of them. Some courses can help them find work, we often refer the customer to the FLT courses, or on occasion SIA courses, this of course will give the customer something new in their gun to fire at prospective employers. Now the basic skills courses… not one bit of those helps any customer in any way. One to one coaching in my opinion is what is required. Why try to milk a dog?, or teach a cow to bark?, its how it is!. If I had a customer and after a 30 minute consultation worked out that the best this guy could do was push trollies at a supermarket, why spend 6 months trying to brush him up?. We should be starting him pushing the trollies and move him up whilst in the job. instead we concentrate on making him apply for jobs beyond his reach, each time knocked back takes a bigger chunk from his confidence. deep and disasterous hole that he gets himself into!.

How have sanctions affected Job Centre customers who attend your Job Centre?

Now thats a hard question…. how have sanctions changed jobcentre customers.. Well they certainly have become aware of how to note down their activities a lot more than some of them were!, they also come across more matter of fact. the problem here is again people tend to accept things!. they accept that they have a sanction because this happened or that happend!. I liken it to insurance quotes… I often wonder each year how many people auto renew their car insurance?, one year £300 a year, the folowing £900, how many people actually check what they are signing?. Check why certain things are happening?. “the process has changed, if you have forgotten your looking for work book you now have to fill in this ASE stencil”….. really?…. no thats a coward working at jobcentre that dare not tell you he/she is not happy with what you have produced as evidence to support your JSAG. (jobseekers agreement).  Problem is too many people want a smiley face, I once saw a tattoo of two guys face to face shaking hands, whilst holding a knife behind their backs… unfortunately thats the relationship thats forming from these sanctions…. customers do not trust the jobcentre, and it will only get worse, while the jobcentre staff on large will always find ways to stick the knife in without the customer actually knowing who it is that had the final push!.

Are most of the Job Centre customers you see benefits scroungers who are happy to be on benefits for life?

Hmmmmmmm, I am not going to lie to you, I see a fair few people that are MORE than happy to remain on benefits all their lifes. I see sally who’s 30 with 9 children, I see jason who’s 40 and has continually signed for over 10 years without a job. all of which have in my opinion not had the education or the pat on the back throughout their lives to make them realise their is actually a purpose for them in civilisation. It takes on average is it £19k per year to rehabilitate a prisoner, a jobseeker gets £80 a week… cheap at half the price is it not?. A prisoner comes out of prison with one of the biggest barriers to work anyone could wish for, a criminal record, yet whilst he/she is in prison they are given all the education and training they require. A jobseeker is HIGHLY lucky to recieve training to get a CSCS card… We should be helping customers to achieve reasonable goals as aposed to sanctioning the ammount of benefits we sanction. I’ll tell you what heres one for you….. lets give the customer the choice actively seek work, however IF we feel you have not done enough to look for work we will sanction your benefit, and put the money we stop towards your FLT licence ect ect.

Unfortunately jobcentre plus as a business model and a public service is dead. My prediction is it has minimal time to run, customers are now using online services, within the next few years all jobcentres will be fitted with IAD’s (internet access devices), so customers can do all their benefit work online. Staff will be cut of course, and before you know it you’ll do everything from home, failing that an out reach or a library. The digital age is upon us, and will take with it all the bad advisors and bad management, unfortunately the good people that work for jobcentre plus will also be taken down with what is a sinking ship.

Why did you decide to take to Twitter to speak out?
Why Twitter? well… I had seen and been pushed with many @jcp twitter accounts, and how they were pivital to getting the digital word out there for customers and staff, it took a certain office over 2 years to get 1000 followers, its taken me 3 months to get over 500, and I havent been going gung-ho at that. I guess its just my way to stick it to the man, and also throw out some help to members of the public who are treated unfairly. Its a shame about the anonymousness (is there such a word? ha ha), but in a way I prefer it that way, I’d like to think of myself as the invisible friend. Come to me and ask, if I can help I will, simple as that.

 

You can follow the Mole at @JobcentreMole. Also follow @JCPAdwiser.

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97 thoughts on “Interview with a Job Centre Advisor: sanction targets & corruption revealed

  1. Stephen. Kelshaw March 27, 2014 at 2:39 pm Reply

    My jsa was sanctioned for 4 weeks due to non attendance at a job course the reason I didn’t attend was because a gas safety check was being carried out by a council engineer this is by law or face eviction informed jobcentre of above and my advisor couldn’t wait to send it up to decision makers for sanctioning please help any feedback would be most welcome

  2. visit now April 7, 2014 at 5:03 am Reply

    Hello. Great job. I did not expect this. This is a impressive story. Thanks!

  3. charlie April 8, 2014 at 11:25 pm Reply

    well done to jobcentremole for sharing their inside knowledge ..could you please put an action plan together that would deal with the steps to take for someone aware they are to be referred for sanction ..ie ask to see line manager …ask for reconsideration and list actions as on jobsearch agreement ..not signing JSA1(ils) ..ask for copy of advisers notes for referral etc ..would be invaluable reference for all to share ..
    if you are aware you are being referred for sanction would it be best to sign off guaranteeing the money owed to you then claim you will go self employed guaranteeing housing benefit for first three months and sell all your junk on ebay for couple of weeks or more to make the £70 a week ..would you be able to sign on within a month or so ? would be more empowering than being sanctioned and losing the money owed and would keep your sanction slate clean .who knows you may enjoy the self-employment and take it seriously ..thanks

  4. […] known as the Jobcentre Mole, who used Twitter to expose corruption and advise DWP victims. In the interview the Mole revealed the existence of sanctions bonuses and competition between JobCentres to sanction […]

  5. david boyd June 19, 2014 at 6:21 pm Reply

    I need an interveiw a.s.a.p because i am now ex army

  6. venky July 30, 2014 at 8:13 am Reply

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  7. Laura August 6, 2014 at 4:37 pm Reply

    Great post.

  8. Ollie Black August 27, 2014 at 8:11 am Reply

    I have been targeted also, I got sanctioned for not attending a.confidence building class due to looking after my dieing mother, my advisor went on holiday for 3 weeks and everything was fine, I was finding more.jovs to apply for, I was getting good feedback, and as soon as she got back I got sanctioned again yesterday, just as everything was getting back on track, I’m now homeless couch surfing and just typing this brings me to tears, I’m too scared and I don’t know what to say even if I did walk into the job centre, I still care for my terminally ill mother but it’s just getting really hard, I’ve applied for carers allowance and all I’m waiting for is an email back from the job centre to carers allowance to see how much I’m entitled for, I don’t know if this will be effected of not, and I only got.to know about carers allowance because the different advisor I had told me, please help me I don’t know what to do.

    • Slutocrat August 28, 2014 at 3:54 am Reply

      Wow I’m so sorry this is happening! Maybe you could get in touch with Citizen’s Advice Bureau, every area should have one. You can go on their site and find your nearest one. You can also apply for emergency funding from the Jobcentre, cos if you’re sanctioned you can still get £30 a week. So if you go and ask them they have to give it to you. And go to the local council about getting put on the housing list or in temporary housing (Homeless Accomodation) till they allocate you a property. I hope this helps.

      Slutocrat

  9. redSquirrel October 16, 2014 at 6:00 pm Reply

    Hi Slutocrat. I have been on JSA since 29th June 2014. I asked my advisor for courses but she said they were too basic for me (since I have a BSc in Information Systems and Management by the University of London). I said I knew which ones would help my CV but how expensive they are (about £1K for three days) and she said there is no money, so I went on and paid for it myself (Agile Project Management and SCRUM Product Owner). Also, I started voluntary work at a local charity (Mind) long before applying for JSA and I have slowly build up the time to nearly 4 days, as the people there is really lovely and it is helping me to finally get to meet some locals (after 10 years in the area) and have chit chat on a regular basis (instead of being at home alone).
    Now my advisor has forced me to do a basic course in Word, Excel, emails, etc. at a 24 hours notice for the assessment and a week to start the course, for 15 hours a week and during up to 8 weeks and threaten me to cut off my JSA if I don’t.
    She couldn’t care less about my qualifications, working experience (about 20 years in Banking and last 7 in IT within Banking), voluntary work or personal circumstances at all. What can I do? Please help.

    • Slutocrat October 17, 2014 at 11:24 pm Reply

      I’m not an expert on DWP policy, but what might help is searching for DWP guidance on volunteering, then printing it off and showing it to the Jobcetre staff to back up your point that you have the right to volunteer and doing the courses will stop you from volunteering.

      You could also try going to your local Citizen’s Advice Bureau. Try talking to the manager (though that’ds a long shot of course) and say thosecourses won’t help you, but your volunteering does.

      If you’re onthe Work Programme etc, get them on your side. You can get them to phone the Jobcentre or at least you can tell the Jobcemtre that they don’t think you should go on those courses. If the Jobcentre don’t listen, ring your WPP/course leader etc right there and shove your phone in the Jobcentre staff’s face. They won’t listen to you, but they might listen to them.

      If all else fails, find different courses or activities that would actually be useful to you and ask if you can do those instead.

      If that fails, let yourself be sanctioned and appeal it, then tell your story to the media eg the Mirror or Guardian, or specialist sites like Welfare Weekly etc.

      I don’t really know much about JCP policy so that’s all I can think of, I hope it was useful in some way. Good luck!

      Slutocrat

  10. Captain Black November 25, 2014 at 7:13 pm Reply

    Hi Slutocrat

    Thanks for your support

    basically I created an email address and used a free card specially for a complaint after the

    work program provider (Interserve working futures) attempted 2 Sanctions (both recorded)

    they have dragged their heals but it didn’t stop them leaking my details to the DWP

    Anything that you give to a work program provider or anyone with links to DWP will end

    up on the files the Jobcentre

    because the report to the DWP have email addresses by the DWP and are paid by the DWP

    Most of the problems have come from the Jobcentre

    the tricks have included:

    staff acting as the manager (Dawn Bailly) and trying to fob me off (recorded by me)

    forging the as made date on the Job seekers agreement (Ian Hinchliffe) after i put the current date in and signed it

    (i got a copy of the original via a freedom of information request)

    i’ll have a look at the links and i’ll be in contact 😉

  11. […] I once interviewed a Job Centre whistleblower who said that changing claimants’ answers is completely possible. And in 2013 I was threatened with sanctions for being late even though lateness isn’t […]

  12. captain black December 1, 2014 at 7:50 pm Reply

    It seems that i’ve been one of these sanctions targets but for much longer
    (more than 3 sanctions a year on average for the past 7 years)

    I’ve just finished the work program (a total waste of time)
    During my time they tried to sanction me twice and they overturned on Mandatory reconsiderations

    On 28th of October this year
    I went to my local Jobcentre at Low Hall Hemsworth West Yorkshire for my post work program interview
    i was met by a real harridan named Janice who demanded that i give her my phone number and email address
    i asked her why she wanted it and she said that it was part of the regulations
    i told her that it not the case and that under the terms of the Data Protection act she couldn’t have them,
    at this point she became very aggressive and stopped the interview
    she told me that i would not allowed to sign on and then said
    “we have them anyway”
    she walked away but came back 15 minutes later and tried again
    (this was recorded)
    I demanded to see the manager but strangely the manager was in a meeting, i refused to move and the manager remained in the meeting for the next 6 hours during the time i was threatened with the Police (which didn’t turn up) but they gave the the floor manage “Dawn Baily” the go ahead to the G4S Gorillas to attack me and throw me out banning from the building and of course stopping me from complaining
    I made my complaints by phone and moved my claim to another Jobcentre
    finished my post work program interview and signed on the 29th October without a problem

    I have since found out that the email address & phone number
    that I set up specifically with a free Sim card for a number of complaints to
    a Deborah Tillett of Interserve working futures was supposedly dealing with complaints
    from Interserve working futures Office In Leeds
    she has since done nothing about any of the complaints
    I have never met her and only spoke on the phone once, she is never available
    (does she exist ??)

    My details were emailed them to the Jobcentre
    (I had removed my consent for Interserve working futures to share my information)
    and they were warned that if they misused email address or phone no. they would been deleted
    (the email and phone number has since deleted and email address abandoned)

    when questioned the Jobcentre constantly claimed that I gave them my phone & email
    they have since (allegedly) removed them from their system

    meanwhile
    i was sent on a Skills Conditionality training course starting 3rd November
    these are designed to get hold as much of your personal info as possible
    it’s run by a man called “John Whittle” a little real chancer & snake oil salesman
    I seems that in order to pass this Skills Conditionality training course (and you have to pass)
    you have to bring in all your details emails, UJM (with log ins) and a copy of your CV
    on the 6th November we all turned up and he asked about my CV
    I told him that he could look at it on my tablet
    he could comment and advise me about re-writing it if need be but he could not have a copy of it
    but this is Personal data and is protected by the Data Protection act 1998

    if you do give anyone like him or to anyone at DWP your information
    you are waiving your Data Protection rights for that item as you are giving implied consent
    once given they can use or modify your document in any way unless it is has been copyrighted

    as this point I was asked to leave the course and we went downstairs to be released
    and once downstairs i understood the reason why they wanted my CV so badly
    John Whittle and the staff said that they had found a job for me
    they wouldn’t let me see any of the details but they wanted a copy of my CV
    so that could send it off to company and as on the staff “Julie” said
    “we can cut out the middle can and guarantee you an interview ”
    I said no I’ll apply for my own jobs and I was asked to leave the course

    (This conversation has been recorded)

    I later found that they were attempting to sign me up for zero hours jobs behind my back
    They tried sign me up with a nagency is called PRIMETIME specialising in zero hours jobs
    reviews on this company can be seen here
    http://www.reviewcentre.com/reviews243756.html

    It’s owed by a company called Cordant , PMP Recruitment who being investigated and face losing its Gangmaster’s licence after breaking the rules

    The investigation can be seen here
    http://blogs.mirror.co.uk/investigations/2012/10/payroll-parasites-primetime-wo.html

    so be warned if you hand over your CV ,they can (and will) apply for zero hours job and then tell you have interview
    if you don’t go to the interview or turn the job down then they’ll try a sanction

    if you give them your phone number:
    They call you to come in to JCP about a job but your phone never rings they’ll claim that you did answer the phone and try to use that to sanction you

    the same thing happens with your email and if you use it for UJM then it’s a back door login to you UJM account, they can monitor you and use that for sanctions or in some cases that I’ve heard of them changing the settings
    (ticking the consent boxes ?)

    Do not give the DWP or anyone working their behalf any of your personal info
    they will use it to generate sanctions or shove you into a job that you want anyone to do

    i was told by one of the JCP staff “if there a job for an escort (sex worker) you’d have to apply for it”
    when I asked her to repeat it in front of the manager she was suddenly very shy

    They will lie though their teeth or forge documents to get or lengthen sanctions
    One way is to fraudulently alter the date on a Job seekers agreement after it had been signed
    Once this is done so that any sanction can be backdated
    This was done on 16th October 2012 at low hall Hemsworth by Ian Hincliffe
    (this interview has been recorded)

    always make sure that you read and understand anything that they claim that you need to sign
    if you’re not sure then find someone (independent of DWP) to explain it to you

    if JCP are on the level they will have no problems with you taking it away for a second opinion
    but if not on the level they will try to intimidate you into signing
    the only reason for that is to get a sanction
    stand firm and tell them that your happy to go to a tribunal
    this will rattle them and they will back down

    if you do get a sanction
    Please note that a mandatory reconsideration has to be sent within one month
    without it you wont be able to appeal a sanction

    None of my sanction letters came with any mandatory reconsideration forms
    a new way of running the clock down and stopping claimants making appeals ?

    But you can click below

    http://www.leicester.gov.uk/EasysiteWeb/getresource.axd
    AssetID=194417&type=full&servicetype=Attachment

    and you’ll be able to download and print them off

    i always record all my meetings with DWP staff and hangers on

    I have been banned from all Jobcentre plus offices nationwide for 6 months
    from October 30th 2014 to April 30th 2014

    I’ve since been sanctioned for not turning up to sign up on the 28th ????????
    (read turn up and they tried to bully but it didn’t work, the result 6 month banning order)
    29 October to 25 November

    and on the 29 October 2014 to 27th January 2015 for not fully taking part in the course
    (read not letting them have a hard copy of my CV)

    and again the on the 29 October 2014 to 27th January 2015
    for for not applying for a job that they claimed they show me
    Read:
    trying to get my CV so that they could fraudulently apply to “PRIMETIME” for a a Zero hours job behind my back

    and again the on the 29 October 2014 to 10th Febuary 2015

    “for walking off the course”
    (read: being sent off the course for not letting them have a hard copy of my CV )

    and another one thrown but they forgot to put in what it was for and for how long

    I will be using the recordings as evidence at the tribunals
    (5 so far ?)

  13. captain black December 8, 2014 at 1:21 pm Reply

    i’m now on twitter

    Captain Black
    @CaptainBlack201

  14. captain black December 11, 2014 at 12:18 pm Reply

    I’ve had another sanction for the 4th of October this year for not attending a meeting with an adviser (NATHAN) at the work programme (INTERSERVE WORKING FUTURES IN PONTEFRACT)

    The doubt was challenged at the time and it was overturned, job done you would think !

    From my investigations it seems that sanctions are being stockpiled until needed, for example:

    A claimant has a doubt raised about their benefit so they complete the doubt letter giving their reasons in a satisfactory manner, problem solved so you would think ???

    Meanwhile the “reserved” sanction is then kept on file to be reinstated at a later date
    This can happen if you do a fast reclaim or make a complaint or any other reason

    (if they feel that they can get away with it )

    Update: after 15 plus phone calls in a month to the Jobcentre plus “help line” they still have not sent any of the Mandatory reconsideration forms that I asked for but instead spent hours lying, threatening, fobbing off, hanging up the phone and trying to mislead me (all phone calls are recorded )

    You can download Mandatory reconsideration forms here:

    http://www.google.co.uk/url?url=http://www.leicester.gov.uk/EasysiteWeb/getresource.axd%3FAssetID%3D194417%26type%3Dfull%26servicetype%3DAttachment&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&sa=U&ei=q4qJVP-2HsPlywPYhIGoCw&ved=0CCEQFjAC&sig2=eEIIuqnBSvE6detvUqpvVQ&usg=AFQjCNFm5Z5_Ph42jgD-D_Tixoo0GlqPcg

    The evidence is mounting

  15. captain black December 18, 2014 at 8:00 pm Reply

    Found out today that two letters I posted last week

    (my Hardship application and my postal signing voucher) have gone missing in the postal (read the DWP postal centre) system so I have been signed off and have to reapply and then re send my Hardship application

    How convenient for Jobcentre plus staff who sanctioned me and as yet no Mandatory reconsideration forms
    (6 weeks and counting)

  16. captain black December 24, 2014 at 7:11 pm Reply

    i made a reclaim by phone on the 18/12/20014 completed it even though the idiot tried to tell that i couldn’t claim if i didn’t give them my phone, the manager was called and we got it sorted so promised that Job Centre Plus Pontefract would be contacted in the about the interview

    guess what happens next

    i called Job Centre Plus Pontefract in the morning 19/12/20014 ……. Nothing
    called the JSA claim line and according to them i never made a claim on the 18/12/20014 even though i had recored the whole conversation

    they are very determined

    i am in the process of publishing all the phone call and all letters on here ans other sites so people can see what they have been getting up to

    The evidence is mounting

  17. captain black January 12, 2015 at 11:47 pm Reply

    Thanks for your support
    i have now got hold of a scanner and I’m the process of scanning the documents and will start to post on the Internet to show how these people go about their business

    latest news
    the Sanction for “not attending” on the 28th October last year was initially reduced form one month to one day, maybe in a bid to put me off appealing and now it has been dropped completely ?

    the letter said

    “I have looked at all of the evidence and decided to change the decision as you have shown good reason for not attending your appointment ”

    very odd

  18. chinster85 April 22, 2015 at 10:09 am Reply

    I was told yesterday I must end my claim by the Jobcentre adviser as I missed an appointment last Friday due to rushing around getting stuff organised for the weekend away. I thought that I was being sanctioned for failure to attend but they said if I ended my claim by ringing the call centre and telling them I wanted to end it on the Thursday I would then be able to do a rapid reclaim online the same day and get an appointment date sent to me within 48 hours which they have already done this morning by text. So by doing this I will have my last payment due to me by this Friday and the rapid reclaim will go through and get me my next payment quicker than sitting through a sanction period.
    The only downside is that since someone smashed the public phones in the Jobcentre with a hammer(probably been sanctioned or had no money on payday) ages ago they’ve not replaced them and advisers won’t let you use their desk phones to ring their own call centre. It costs money to ring these things and I had no credit. Luckily the community centre near me let me use their phone and computers for both things I needed to do.

    • Slutocrat April 22, 2015 at 11:27 pm Reply

      Well I’m glad you finally managed to phone them and I hope it all works out for you. Thanks for sharing this and keep me posted! All the best,

      Slutocrat

  19. Jason April 27, 2015 at 10:35 pm Reply

    Hi I am a 26 year old person with learning difficulties/dissabilities I don’t drive and rely on my mum to drive me to places I was referred back to seetec even the I had already just finished it about a month earlier anyway I couldn’t get to setec as we had bad weather at the time trees down ect ect so couldn’t get there so we called ceetec and they said they would send another date …. They never did now my money has been sanctioned for 3 months

    • Slutocrat May 1, 2015 at 12:57 am Reply

      Wow that’s shocking. Have you tried appealing the sanction? You have to ask the jobcentre for an appeals form. You can also talk to Citizens Advice Bureau, they have a branch in each area so there’ll be one near you. Good luck!

  20. cofirobz April 30, 2015 at 12:26 pm Reply

    I got sanctioned because i had the sack.yes i did fail serve legal 2ice but it was pure unlucky as i only had ever worked 2 saturdays in the job in 1.5 years. Because the letter said misconduct the jsa sanctioned me.i feel that ive been kicked in the teeth 2ice over..now i feel abandoned as ive had no interview since the sanction…is this ok or i have i got a case?

    • Slutocrat May 1, 2015 at 1:02 am Reply

      The best thing to do is try to appeal- you might not win, but you’ve nothing to lose. While I was undercover at the jobcentre (as a work experience person) I did learn that being sacked can affect eligibilty to claim JSA when you open a new claim. BAut they don’t call this a sanction. So maybe they’re not entitled to sanction you, especially if it’s not a new claim. So you should appeal it and talk to Citizen’s Advice Bureau (it’s free and they have a branch in each town) , as they know about this stuff. Hope it all goes well for you.

  21. cofirobz April 30, 2015 at 12:28 pm Reply

    .

  22. captain black May 4, 2015 at 1:06 am Reply

    As folks will know

    On the 28th of October 2014 I was involved in an incident at Job centre plus Low hall Hemsworth
    At 9am i attended an end of work programme interview
    The interviewer acted in an aggressive and threatening manor in an attempt to intimidate me
    However this failed and I was told that I would not be allow to sign for my benefit
    I was also stopped from making a complaint to the manager at low hall Hemsworth about this action
    I made a complaint by phone and made a request to move my claim form Hemsworth Low Hall to
    Pontefract Jobcentre Plus

    Where on the 29th october 2014 the end of work programme interview was completed without incident
    I later found that Due to the totally dishonest account given by the members of staff at low hall Hemsworth
    That I was ileagally sanctioned on the 29th october 2014 for 4 weeks for allegedly not attending the interview on the 28th October 2014
    and banned from all UK Job centre plus offices for a period of 6 months from the 30th of October
    2014 for alleged aggressive and threatening behaviour This has never been proved

    When the sanction was challenged, it reduced and then dropped completely
    A further sanction initiated by Julie Carrit of St. Marys Community Centre The Circle in Pontefract
    This was lapsed (I won) due to the fact that she lied though her teeth to get the sanction

    on the 1st may 2015 after the ban I returned to:
    Pontefract Jobcentre Plus
    Challand House
    Liquorice Way
    Pontefract
    West Yorkshire
    WF8 1DR

    To find that I have been moved to a “screened area” small room with a glass partition
    So in effect the illegal ban placed on the 29th october 2014 is still in place

    It seems that the DWP doesn’t like it when we make complaints
    so my first visit will be a DWP Compliance Officer Interview by a Steve Willson
    who will attempt to accuse me of fraud
    this has happened every time i make complaints that hit the mark

    It seems that the DWP doesn’t like it when we take on sanctions
    Winning 2 out of 5 sanctions so far due stuff and providers caught lying

    the future behavior of all DWP staff will be monitored very very closely at every point of contact

    The evidence is mounting

  23. Phillip Foster May 19, 2015 at 10:59 am Reply

    It is with total dis pleasure i read once again about sanction targets,how can you be encouraging unemployed people back in to work if you are reading about meeting targets that only cause negativity to the customer.
    The sole aim of being an adviser is t help people in to work not take away what little the person has already.
    I have had some good advisers help me and the other hand many who have been over zealous and to rigid to work with.
    I made a complaint against the job centre i was attending after being sanctioned because the data on my phone was not responding quick enough.
    I always keep my job searches on my phone and i was sanctioned rather hastily with out any real inquiry or explanation.

  24. kay ward October 22, 2015 at 2:36 pm Reply

    my daughter has a part time job working 16 hours a week and she also does voluntary work of 15 hours per week but yet she has been told by jobcentre plus that she’s not doing enough. she has already been sanctioned once and is being threatened with it again if she doesn’t apply for jobs or hand her cv into places. i feel this is very unfair as she struggles with her confidence and has just settled into this job. she had an autisum assessment and we are waiting for the outcome of this. because she struggles with confidence she just accepts whatever the jobcentre adviser tells her and won’t fight back. i don’t think there is anything that i can do to help her but i hate seeing her so upset.

    • Slutocrat October 24, 2015 at 6:31 pm Reply

      Hi Kay, I’m very sorry this is happening to your daughter. Has she tried speaking to the Citizen’s Advice Bureau, as they may be able to help? Surely if she’s already working the jobcentre should leave her alone and if you volunteer or do training you’re classed as looking for work anyway. If you like I could publicise the story on one of the online news sites I write for- if that sounds like something your daughter would like to happen, my email is slutocracy@gmail.com. Best of luck to you and your daughter.

      • kay ward October 25, 2015 at 7:30 am

        Thanks for the reply. I rang universal credit on behalf of my daughter and explained the situation and the lady I spoke to was very helpful. My daughter also had a letter to say that she would no longer be getting universal credit anyway because after deductions her wages were higher than the universal credit. They will monitor it for 6 months and if there’s no change then I assume that her claim will be closed.

  25. Captain Black October 26, 2015 at 4:17 pm Reply

    The latest news on my hassles with Pontefract Jobcentre Plus
    on the 1st may 2015 after the ban I returned to:
    Pontefract Jobcentre Plus
    Challand House
    Liquorice Way
    Pontefract
    West Yorkshire
    WF8 1DR

    To find that I have been moved to a “screened area” a private room with 20mm thick glass partition
    So in effect the illegal ban placed on the 29th October 2014 was still in place
    When asked for the reason why they refused to answer but you can guess the reason why
    This lasted for 6 months until i grew tried and warned them by letter on the 29th of September 2015
    that if they insisted on these arrangements that I would video the next interview
    so they had two weeks warning
    on the 13th of October I turned up with my video camera and they asked me if I was recording I
    answered “not yet”
    They “terminated” the interview and demanded that I leave I refused as I had not signed
    The police were called after a detailed discussion with the officers (4+) we agreed to leave the building
    When outside one of the officers gave me a job card and suggested that I call 101 and ask for an
    officer for the next time I turned up in order to keep the peace

    I had the labelled by the staff as “PV” which is short for “Potentially Violent”

    after some digging I found that I might be on The Potentially Violent Persons Register

    I called the DWP a number of times about signing
    And when I finally got through to someone I was given an appointment to attend the next day where
    On the 14th of October the same thing happened but this time the staff must have been very
    embarrassed as it appeared as I had done nothing wrong and police weren’t about to make an arrest so I got signed

    Oddly it didn’t get put into payment it took 6 days (normal is 2) only when I threatened to go down there did the benefit centre sort it for me

    I have now been banned from all job centres for 12 more months

    No one has been shouted at, nothing broken and police and I left the building via different doors

    Despite the police turning up with lights and sirens blazing

    (JCP staff lied in an effort to cause a punch up but the police went away empty handed) 😀

    6 SANCTIONS , 6 APPEALS WON SO FAR ……………RECORDING, IT WORKS 😀

    The evidence is mounting

  26. Captain Black October 29, 2015 at 6:08 pm Reply

    and now another Sanction
    on the 24 of august i was sent to do Mandatory Work Activity by the Jobcentre
    set up by Interserve Learning & Employment
    yes the same folks that ran the work programme that I was on and spent most of the time trying to sanction me (3 times)
    they sent me to the salvation army
    I was happy to do the activity but I was not going to sign up as a volunteer
    (Mandatory Work Activity it’s in the name)
    The manager, (Sam ex English teacher) invented a story claiming that I refused to do the activity and I gave up my place, one new sanction

    I recorded and transcribed the 10 minute conversation and now were waiting for a tribunal date

    If your sent on Mandatory Work Activity never sign anything to say that your volunteering

    IT IS MANDATORY WORK ACTIVITY
    YOU ARE NEVER ASKED TO VOLUNTEER

  27. david March 4, 2016 at 2:20 pm Reply

    I have had same issue with DWP I requested to go on course to upgrade my Math’s and English to obtain a cscs card I am taking the test on the same day as the interview which the adviser set up for me I called them back and asked if they could rearrange the interview with the company and they said I would be sanctioned if I didn’t go I explained to them that I had a cscs test at 10:30 and the interview was at 11:00 and I said to them if I don’t go for cscs test they will sanction me if i didn’t go to that as well which they would do and all they said was go to company and ask if i can change appointment but they set it up for me so i’m not sure what to do now as they have put me in a bad position were I will get my benefit stopped this will be occurring on the 7/3/16.

    • Slutocrat March 7, 2016 at 6:21 am Reply

      Hi David, I’m so sorry this is happening. You could try talking to Citizen’s Advice Bureau and if you already have a letter saying your benefit is stopped you can appeal the decision as well.Keep all of the letters they send you and record all phone calls. Going to a lawyer if all else fails is also an option, as you may be able to get Legal Aid so the lawyer will do your case for free, at least up to a certain point. I hope it works out. It seems as though you’re being punished for actually wanting to improve your job prospects by requesting the course!

  28. Captain Black March 18, 2016 at 12:26 am Reply

    I Won again 🙂

    On the 24 of September 2015 I attended and interview at the Salvation Army Charity Shop in Outwood, Wakefield for 4 week placement

    I arrived at 10am and was met by the manager (Sam ex English teacher) attempted to enroll me as a volunteer until I reminded her that it was a Mandatory work activity placement
    I asked about transport costs and we concluded the interview

    I later received a letter from Job Centre Plus claiming that I gave up the placement

    I was given a sanction on the say so of the manager who had lied and committed a libel in order to obtain the sanction

    The proof provided to the courts and tribunal service was incontrovertible

    (I recorded and transcribed the 10 minute conversation)

    the sanction was later withdrawn

    If your sent on Mandatory Work Activity never sign anything to say that your volunteering

    IT IS MANDATORY WORK ACTIVITY
    YOU ARE NEVER ASKED TO VOLUNTEER

    RECORDING…. IT WORKS

    • Slutocrat March 22, 2016 at 3:50 am Reply

      Good for you! I’m sorry this happened tpo you- it must have been very frustrating, to say the least. If you have proof you won I could write an article on it if that’s something you’re interested in? -S

  29. Captain Black March 28, 2016 at 8:07 pm Reply

    thanks S
    I may take you up on that, i have loads of recordings letters and photos

    I wrote to Interserve Learning & Employment (c/o) Jackie Taylor
    They claim that they will be investigating but they said that when their staff tried to place sanctions and then leaked personal information (phone number & email address) and spent the best part of 3 years trying to cover up
    I’ll wait to see what excuses that Jackie Taylor will come up with and then we’ll look to take all the evidence and take legal action

  30. philip catterall April 28, 2016 at 12:23 pm Reply

    discusting i mite be sanctioned in the next 3 weeks for having a bad interview i was not told by jobcentre that the job was working for muslims that sell allal meat as i am a christian i do not work for people muslims that supply issis with weapons rape children slaughter animals unhumanley

  31. Adam Brooks June 3, 2016 at 10:21 am Reply

    It’s a whole lot worse now..the job centre is a completely different place to what it was when I last had to sign on beginning of last year..they are simply looking to get you off benefits by any means necessary..throwing sanctions around like it’s nothing and making people homeless..you simply cannot live on no money..I cycle around Manchester a fair bit and I have noticed an increase In tents popping up..there’s no doubt In my mind that a lot of these are to do with people being made homeless due to sanctions..it is an absolute pressure cooker..my personal experience was being unfairly sanctioned because I stupidly discussed my anxiety and depression issues with my advisor and that although I am looking for work I cannot do call centre work..this information was used against me, call centre jobs thrown in my face that I ended up being pressured Into accepting..actually attending an open day but still getting sanctioned because I didn’t start the opportunity even though I was led to believe that I fulfilled what was required of me..I thought I had a choice of accepting whether to do it or not, I thought that was the idea of the open day..to see if it was for me but ofcourse it wasn’t as it was call centre work..I have had two call centre jobs in the past both ending up with me being ill with stress and anxiety, my advisor knew this and turned it against me in a sanction trap..I am now extremely close to being homeless and joining the tent people..I am convinced we are going to see a huge increase In homelessness in the coming years and it’s going to get more noticeable.

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