A Selection Of Especially Stupid Sanctions

jcp-signThe number and length of benefit sanctions has risen hugely under the coalition. Two and a quarter million JSA claimants have had their money stopped, and since October 2012 sanctions are for a minimum of four weeks and a maximum of three years. ESA claimants can have 70% of their benefits stopped indefinitely. Imagine being without any income for a month, when your annual income is less than £4,000 a year – no chance of savings to fall back onto. Claimants go into debt, go hungry and use foodbanks, go into rent arrears or don’t turn on the heating when it’s cold. Now imagine being without any income for three years and what you’ll do then. On twitter next week, various CAB branches will participate in #CABLive, if you want to see the reality of life for many people at the moment, follow the hashtag.

Sanctions targets at the jobcentre are combined with a culture oozing out from IDS down to middle management to shopfloor staff that demonises claimants as lazy, shirkers, scroungers, wasters who will only get into work if they are forced. This combination creates a toxic situation where jobseekers are sanctioned for the most bizarre of reasons by advisors under pressure to reach targets – or some chasing them to win an easter egg, or those few who think the same as IDS or are on a powertrip and sanction just because they can. Here we present a few cases we’ve come across online, in newspapers and parliamentary debates. Remember that sanctions are supposedly there both to “incentivise” claimants into work (by making them starve) and to punish those who flagrantly break rules.

  • You get a job interview, it’s at the same time as your JCP appointment, so you re-arrange your JCP appointemnt. Or at least, that’s what you think. You attend your rearranged appointment then get a letter saying your benefits will be stopped because going to a job interview isn’t a good enough reason for missing an appointment. (Source: Daily Mail)
  • You work for 20 years, then because you haven’t had the process clearly explained to you, you miss an appointment, so you get sanctioned for 3 weeks. (source: Councillor John O’Shea)
  • You’re on a workfare placement, and your jobcentre appointment comes round. The jobcentre tells you to sign on then go to your placement which you do. The workfare placement reports you for being late and you get sanctioned for 3 months. (Source: DefiniteMaybe post on Mumsnet forums)
  • You’re five minutes late for your appointment, you show the advisor your watch which is running late, but you still get sanctioned for a month (source: Clydebank Post)
  • You apply for more jobs than required by your jobseeker’s agreement, but forgot to put down that you checked the local paper (which you’ve been specifically instructed to do via a jobseeker’s direction) so you get sanctioned (source: Steve Rose on twitter – part 1 . part 2)
  • You’re on contributions based JSA (which is JSA paid on the basis of National Insurance you’ve paid in, not on your level of income) and get your appointment day wrong and turn up on Thursday instead of Tuesday so you get a four week sanction (source: Cheesy Monkey comment )
  • It’s Christmas Day. You don’t do any jobsearch, because it’s Christmas Day. So you get sanctioned. For not looking to see if anyone has advertised a new job on Christmas Day. (source: Poverty Alliance)
  • You get an interview but it’s on the day of your nan’s funeral. You have 3 interviews the day before, and you try to rearrange the interview, but the company reports you to the jobcentre and you get sanctioned for failing to accept a job. (source: @TSAAPG on twitter – part 1 . part 2)
  • You get given the wrong forms, get sanctioned for not doing the right forms. (Source: Adventures in Workfare blog )
  • You’re sick and miss an appointment, but you’ve already missed one so you get sanctioned (Source: @thinktyler on twitter. Rules actually state you can miss a grand total of two appointments for illness each year – particularly harsh if you’re sick and have been wrongly kicked off ESA by ATOS)
  • You don’t apply for an IT job that needs skills you don’t have so you get sanctioned. (Source: Geminisnake on Urban75 forums )
  • You volunteer in a youth club. For some reason the jobcentre thinks this is paid work so they sanction you. (source: @ukeleleKris on twitter )
  • You attend a work programme interview so you miss your jobcentre appointement and get sanctioned (Source: CAB )
  • You’ve got no money to travel to look for work so you get sanctioned (source: CAB)
  • You have an interview which runs long, so you arrive at your jobcentre appointment 9 minutes late and get sanctioned for a month (source: jsdk posting on Consumer Action Group forums)
  • You’ve been unemployed for seven months and are forced onto a workfare scheme but can’t afford to travel to the shop. You offer to work in a different branch you can walk to but are refused and get sanctioned for not attending your workfare placement. (Source: Caroline Lucas MP)
  • You attend a family funeral and miss your jobcentre appointment so you get sanctioned. (Source: Derek Twigg MP)
  • You have a training appointment at the same time as your jobcentre appointment, you tell the jobcentre you won’t be coming but they say you have to, and to get a letter from your new training organisation. Your training organisation says they don’t provide letters. (Source: Russell Brown MP)
  • You are easily confused or have poor English language skills, you will be disproportionately targetted for sanctions (Source: Fiona Taggart MP)
  • You retire on the grounds of ill health and claim ESA. You go to your assessment and during the assessment you have a heart attack, so the nurse says they have to stop the assessment. You get sanctioned for withdrawing from your assessment (Source: Debbie Abrahams MP)
  • You get a job, isn’t that great? The job doesn’t start for two weeks, so you don’t look for work in those two weeks, and get sanctioned for it. (Souce: The Guardian )
  • Update 23rd April 2015 – There is a huge list of especially stupid sanctions in this evidence presented to Parliament by the Trussel Trust foodbank charity

If the consequences of this madness were nil then it wouldn’t be a concern, but the consequences are huge for those affected. Some of these sanctions will have been overturned on appeal, months after the person has suffered as a result of having no money. Whilst many people support the principle of sanctions to remove benefit payments for people they think really aren’t trying to find work, the examples above are the direct result of having such sanctions available to be used and then pressuring staff to use them.

Sanctions are no help for jobseekers. They target the wrong problem. It doesn’t matter how hard you look for work when you are one of 2,500,000 unemployed people and there are only 400,000 jobs available. If we want to help people into work we need to create jobs, not punish individuals for being out of work during the worst recession for over 100 years.

Picketting Poundland

What is to be done?

If you are sanctioned you should ask for a review and then appeal if the review is not successful. You should get advice – in Birmingham you can go to the CAB, the TUC centre for unemployed workers or contact the Birmingham Claimants Union. You can join Unite Community Union or SolFed. Unfortuantely with cuts in funding and legal aid, combined with a huge rise in the need for their support, many advice centres are struggling and Birmingham Law Centre has closed.

If you find your housing benefit stopped this is wrong, you need to file a nil income claim. A Birmingham charity, Sifa Fireside, says that “housing benefit is increasingly suspended if people are being sanctioned by Job Centre Plus”

As a community we can fight back against the regime running the DWP. Boycott Workfare are looking for people who have been sanctioned to tell their story and are taking action around the country against workfare and the work programme, where many sanctions originate from, and helping to build up a movement to return welfare to social security.

In Birmingham, there will be a picket of Marks and Spencers from 1pm, in protest at their use of workfare which accounts for 2% of their workforce. Benefit sanctions must be fought against.



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78 responses to “A Selection Of Especially Stupid Sanctions

  1. When are people going to realise we have a vile bunch of fascists running the government? Or are they too busy being fat and lazy watching Eastenders and drinking Carlsberg.

  2. Alec Martin

    Nice class hatred you’re showing there.

  3. I think the government have achieved their objective of making people “hate those below you” to create a society where one is afraid of becoming one of “them”. This capitalist conservative government (and now with the full backing of the so-called LibDems) will avoid at any cost in paying out premiums that you have insured yourself against (NI Contributions) to keep the profit margins high and the stockholders happy. The only thing that matters to this bunch of thugs is money, and they will steal from the poor and anyone beneath them to keep their mundane way of life.

    They, the ones in power, in a civilised society would have been sectioned a long time ago for what they are doing to the people of this country. They are an absolute disgrace, they call themselves Christians as they can go to confession and be absolved of all their sins against their fellow human beings, the whole lot of them are laughing all the way to the bank and we are letting them.

    • your comment is so true divide and conquer has always been the tory way. We should start sticking together, and start protesting! and not just on the internet!

    • Robert Scott.

      Be careful when labeling the people in power as Christians. They may be some who claim to be Christians but some clearly are not. I am a christian and I try to love my fellow man as do all true christians.

  4. Paul

    How much did that guy get after leaving the RBS?

  5. You can add this one to the list:

    My son got an interview (with no help from JobCentre or the Work Programme he was placed with, might I add), so the WP said they could pay to get him clothes for the interview and the woman took him to Primark to kit him for the interview. This was on his sign-on day, and he assumed that the WP would have told the JC… They didn’t, and he got his benefits stopped.

    He should have appealed, but he got the job and decided that if he never had to deal with these morons again, it was worth it so didn’t pursue them (against my advice).

  6. Adrian

    Here’s another one for the list:

    You fill in your jobsearch log sheets every week, but most of your applications are via agencies, who of course don’t tell you the name of the employer you would be working for in order to prevent you applying direct and doing them out of their “finder’s fee”. So, when you fill in the log sheets, you state that the application is via an agency, and give the agency name and job reference number so that the JCP staff can look it up if they want to. You also print off the activity record from UJM, plus the application records from the various websites you use, and take all of those in with you each time you sign on, to show that you have indeed applied for the jobs you claim to have done.

    For weeks, the JCP staff are perfectly happy with this and accept your log sheets and other evidence without question or comment. You go in to sign one week and, without warning, one of the JCP advisers suddenly decides that this is NOT OK, and you should have listed the name of the employer – which is information you don’t have as it is not provided by the agency placing the advert. They refer your case to a Decision Maker, just sending them the jobsearch logs and ignoring all the other evidence you have provided, and you find yourself on the receiving end of a four-week sanction because you “have not been actively seeking employment”, despite applying for over 30 jobs per week every week when the required minimum activities per week was 11!

    You then ask for a review of the decision, and the JCP apparently ignore the request, failing to even acknowledge receipt of your request (which you know they received as it was sent recorded delivery), much less inform you of the result of any reconsideration they may have carried out. You push them for a response, but are again ignored. This failure to respond then pushes things over the one-month limit for mounting a full appeal and so, when you apply for one, it is turned down on the grounds that you are too late…

    And if anyone doubts that story is true, I’m only too happy to show you the paperwork, as I’m the one who receive the sanction for that very reason.

    • Anonymous

      Hi. I’d make sure you mention in your written statement for the appeal and reconsideration that you’ve sent a copy of your job diary off. I made the mistake of not mentioning it and DWP are pretending that I never bothered sending it off until the tribunal stage. They’re now trying to suggest I created it recently even though a member of staff at JCP signed it the following the day.

      What’s the reason for my sanction? Verbally I was told that I was being sanctioned for not spontaneously coming up with an additional task once I realised doing everything in my JSAg hadn’t found me work. When the advisor sent the sanction doubt off she didn’t give this reason of course. Instead she’s claimed that I didn’t look in the local papers or on direct.gov that week, despite my jobsearch diary saying I did both of these things. My favourite part is how they admit I applied for jobs advertised on the site, but are claiming I never checked the site in the first place. I’m not quite sure how I managed to pull that one off.

    • darryl

      I have no doubt this is true. Been in nearly full employment for 35 years in construction which are always temporary contracts through agencies, Have not had work since mid December, first time been unemployed under this new system. Was advised after six weeks that I should make a more detailed account of my job search in my log book, so I did, phone numbers, names, dates, responses. To be told after presenting this info at my signing, that my case was being referred to a decision maker which could lead to a sanction. “why do you need to do that, I did exactly what you asked me to do”. Tried to appeal to her better nature, I think she was offended by the suggestion that she had one. Got sanctioned on the whim of a callous JCP worker. The fact that ive worked all my life and have not suddenly decided that I am not going to look for work any more and now want to be unemployed did not register, I might as well of been talking to the desk. She did say there are people worse off and I can use the local food bank. How kind of her to suggest that to me.

  7. Kenny

    The biggest problem is that you are faced with these stupid decisions and it takes months and months to rectify them if you want to dispute them but they can make a decision on the spot that damages your physical/mental health and your sense of security in society. Not to mention putting you into a position of vulnerability and its OK. You couldn’t put an animal through these things or people would be up in arms but its Ok to do it to the jobless! People are far too accepting of the benefits bashing instigated by the media and politics but they would be singing a different tune altogether if they were the ones suffering!

  8. chris

    I was taken off JSA and put on ESA after an assessment by ATOS. Because I was on ESA and didnt have to attend a group work program that I had been attached too, so my JSA was stopped. I got a letter telling me that I would be sanctioned for 2 weeks so I called and was told that as I was now on ESA and no longer entitled to JSA, the sanctions would come into effect once I was back on JSA. So when I am well enough to start looking for work, I will lose 2 weeks money for not going to a work related action group that I was never supposed to go to in the first place because I was too ill to work. Brilliant, eh?

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  10. Reblogged this on Vox Political and commented:
    The list of unreasonable sanctions in this article is incredible. Well done to Birmingham Against The Cuts for uncovering them – vital reading.

    • Spikey

      I was santioned 100% for four weeks, for ‘not being available for work’ – for the week in advance!!! by my missing and/or not responding to ‘anonymous’ calls to my mobile phone!

  11. Jazz

    Awful. The rules are different in different Jobcentres and applied differently by different clerks. Nobody knows exactly what they can and cannot do, where the line is, or how they might cross it. Soon many people will be hauled into Jobcentres on a weekly basis with junior clerks trying to trip them up and sanction them for no good reason. This is absolutely crazy as well as perverse and unjust. And yet… where is the Labour Party?

  12. Reblogged this on paurina and commented:
    I couldn’t bear to read this to the end. The malice, cruelty, sheer hatefulness of this government and the ethos it has so successfully created, are beyond belief, yet they are clearly manifested in the Job Centre decisions listed here. The coalition have given in to their basest instincts, and are appealing successfully to the same in the population. It can’t end well…

  13. reblogged, with a cry of pain about how the coalition are appealing to our basest instincts, as they themselves have given in to them – as DwrCymru has noted

  14. I was sanctioned in January this year, because I was called for Jury Duty in the High Court, I immediately appealed, and last week was asked what jobs I had applied for at that time,this is now 7mnths later and I can no longer provide required evidence,as I have no record of it.

  15. Guest Speaker

    Here’s a couple more sanctions::
    “her search was “not good enough” because her six job searches were not spread evenly.”

    “problem in writing my job search neatly in the squares without trespassing the lines in the paper”

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  17. What I’d like to know is what advice the Unions are giving to their members in the Jobcentres with regard to issuing these sanctions, surely they aren’t condoning them. And also why haven’t the members of the unions given their union leaders concrete proof of any so called league tables of sanctions, and which Jobcentre is leading. The Jobcentre staff unions are the first to call for support when they are called out to protest, lets have it both ways and try and stop this inhuman treatment of the working class against the ( I would if I possibly could ) working class

  18. How in hell did my country sink this low?

    • Helen Lister

      In three short years, the coalition has merrily decimated the benefits system which, tho not perfect when they started, was at least fit for purpose. Their handiwork in creating this shambolic shell of a system we are now left with would have made Nazis proud….. One of the reasons Labour spent so much was that, when they took office in 1997, this country’s infrastructure had been ravaged by eighteen years of Tory misrule – people were DYING on hospital waiting lists….. No-one HAD to ‘pay down the deficit’ – THAT is a Tory obsession…. continued investment would have boosted jobs and the economy, creating wherewithal to repay our debts….. If I rely on a bicycle to get me to work 25 miles away (when there is no bus or train alternative) and I get a buckled wheel, what makes most financial sense: borrow to pay for my bike to be repaired….? Or throw in my job and go on the dole….? It’s hardly rocket science.

  19. rainbowwarriorlizzie
  20. Jayne

    I have to say that all of the staff at the jobcentre I attend – Bromborough, Wirral – are, strange as it may seem, really lovely. When I was facing being sanctioned for non-attendance at an MWA, my advisor practically wrote my (sucessful) defence for me, doing all she could to save me (bless!)

  21. So ashamed of my country..Its ok to be an Im all right jack….but when you hit trouble …and you will….you need the safety net out fathers and grandfathers fought for. this lot will not be happy until we are back to victorian times. bad housing…workhouses..and homelessness

  22. John Smith

    The jobseeker agreement refers to “the best prospect of securing employment”

    Now this means an advisor can decide that referring you to a long term job search course is the best prospect but that they can also sanction you for following their instructions and not applying for any jobs in the limited time you have before the course begins

  23. Whiskymouth

    The PCS and other unions say they are on the side of fairness and that it is all the ministers at the DWP’s fault not the bastards at the job centre who are handing out the sanction letters, abusing , demeaning and tripping up claimants any which way they can in order to help the cruel Con Government cut more public spending in a underhanded way sometimes for the prize of an easter egg. How is it feasible to argue that some of these sanctions described in these articles were not dealt out by paid up PCS members?. it is a known fact in Birmingham that there is one notorious female adviser at Sparkbrook Job centre who dols out sanctions as if she were handing out leaflets on a high street, why is she still allowed to be a member of a Union that says it is against the cuts ? when she is obviously a warrior par excellence in the cause of Austerity and making the poor pay for the ravenous greed of the rich. Many Jobcentre workers chose to fight the governments corner and do so in the most passionate way. A few resist not everyone who works their is bad but the predominant culture is and there lies the problem.
    Until the PCS actually strikes on sanctions and the kind of warfare on welfare reform we have seen waged by two Lazise faire governments they’re stand on this matter should be taken with a pinch of salt.
    The Jobcentre and government have been treating claimants like prisoners of the state long before the recent age of austerity and Condems got in New Labour set up the New Deal(with it’s monitored Job searches and opertunity for private companies to get even t richer out of poverty )
    and also push voluntary work as an alternative to unemployment.
    Non of the Jobcnetre Unions put up much resistance during the early years of the rich’s warfare against welfare either.
    So now we have a horrible situation because of recent complacinancy by so called champions of social justice for all.

  24. This is blatant genocide!

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  27. samantha

    It’s a sad day when you get sanctioned for doing the very things you are suppsed to do to comply with your jobseeker agreement

  28. clare39

    sick of it..made redundant back in october 2009 …in and out of work upto 2011 been on esa gallbladder removal, and sterlization went back on jsa and was supposed to do work programme ive signed off told them im going abroad which im not im waiting for temp work in another area, i want office admin reception work which Is my line of work not shop care work which Il be forced to apply for on the work programme dont need my cv tweeking its already been done by 10 agencies, must of applied for atleast 400 jobs in about a year and only 8 interviews, my problem is I have internet but to travel over an hour and half a day to the work programme seetec solid for two weeks is diabolical…why not leave me to my own devices I’m quite capable of applying from home without being a room full of rejects etc and being treated like a child Im 39 not 9….

    • pat parker

      my daughter was in a similar position she is on disability and has been for 4 years she was told to attend jobseekers and she would recceive all the help available and provided with a disability advisor to which not one of the above has materialised she has had 4 sanctions in the past year because her illness has got in the way, and she didnt recieve her JS payment when she should have done which prevented her from attending one of her seetec appoinments, which after doing her 2 weeks solid she then had to attend twice a week (the only one mind you) all the others only have to attend once a week?. They know exactly what they are doing and are targetting the weak and vulnerable which knocks me sick to my stomache.

  29. leigh

    I got sanctioned for not applying for the job I got dismissed from when they advertised the vacancy.

  30. Pingback: We Will Remember The Victims Of Austerity Britian And Oppose The DWP Which Broke Their Soul | Birmingham Against The Cuts

  31. Pingback: Especially Stupid Sanctions. | Ipswich Unemployed Action.

  32. ATOS failed to contact me, after 1st appointment DWP rang & proised ATOS would phone & make an appointment. After second one DWP rang & I explained how I’d had no communication from ATOS either via post or phone, during 3rd DWP phone call I was obviously annoyed & concerned about my income. Whilst I was explaining that the receiver of mail can’t submit a complaint about undelivered mail because they have no details of when the missing mail was posted or where it was posted the lady from the DWP put the phone down on me. Despite the fact my local Councillor wrote to the DWP explaining the situation & offering to take me to any appointment the DWP decided it was my fault that ATOS failed to communicate with me even though every call from the DWP was answered.

    The fact that whilst ill I’ve invented products & created work for others didn’t count, the fact that one of those inventions have been given to 1000’s of elderly & disabled in the UK & its made in the UK they decied to stop my income in February. This proved inconvenient as the Bedroom Tax pressured me into moving as my daughter married last year & the property I was in had spare rooms, moving whilst without income is extremely difficult & even payday lenders won’t lend money leaving illegal lenders as my only option.

    The fact I’ve been chronically ill since 1997 and the specialist saying I won’t get better didn’t count, the DWP didn’t ask the charities I’d done voluntary work for if it had any effect on my health. The DWP didn’t ask the employer who gave me a work trial how that work (which was easy with no stress) affected me or why after only 3 hours 2 days a week for 2 weeks it was ended, had they they would have discovered how it flared my chronic condition and possibly the fact that the job offer was open if my condition improves.

    Having used my illness to inspire ideas to help others & create work for UK businesses you’d think it might count but it doesn’t, all that counts is the lies that ATOS are paid millions to make.

    Being destitute isn’t a lifestyle choice but it is a reality for me, it’s also a reality that the poorest in society are expected to pay both Council & Bedroom Taxes despite having no income. If you don’t pay then the threat of legal action looms with costs payable by the poor. My income assessment by the Council said I had zero earned income but I had 1p a week from other sources, when I asked where the 1p came from the adviser said the Council aren’t allowed to say a person has no income so they class everyone as having 1p from other sources.

  33. Reblogged this on and commented:
    A great post from Birmingham Against The Cuts on some of the ways in which sanctions are used against people unfairly or unneccessarily…

  34. Tom (iow)

    It’s appalling that housing benefit is being suspended when people’s JSA is sanctioned. This is not correct.

    A person whose JSA ends entirely is still entitled to housing benefit by declaring that they have a low enough income.

    But a person whose JSA is sanctioned is still treated, for the purposes of HB, as receiving JSA and no action should be needed at all. [Regulation 2(3) Housing Benefit Regulations 2006]

    Local authorities even suspending benefit in these circumstances (let alone ending the claim) should urgently reconsider their practices.

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  37. John

    Ive been on the work program for a few months. Initially all was well, my advisor seemed friendly and supportive. I am a therapist who works in substance misuse/mental health. My advisor has told me to apply for jobs in Zoo’s because of my knowledge of psychology, hilarious! told me to apply for senior specialist sales management jobs because i once worked as salesman during university, not funny at all, and now i am told to apply for driving jobs with no driving experience, very depressing. How Interesting! bearing in mind i apply for jobs every week in my own profession.

    Hows this for a change. i cannot afford a mobile phone as the bedroom tax has left me with just £16 each week to live on after electric, gas, water and housing payments and this money is all i have for food. No problem i will suffer like everyone else until i get a job.

    Then out of the blue i get an email:

    you say that you did not agree to a telephone interview as you have no telephone and have stated in the Email your son has informed you he will not be an intermediary. In this case, I would advise you to use your Job seekers Allowance. If you are unaware of what your Job Seekers Allowance is for, it is exactly that. For Job seeking proposes.

    Is that true? what about buying food to live? sounds spiteful and degrading to me

    then more:

    If you are unable to purchase a phone, I will mandate that you save £5 per week for 5 weeks until this action is completed and you have a working phone. Not adhering to mandated activities by your Work Programme Advisor may result in a doubt being raised for failing to comply and effect your full entitlement to benefits. On this occasion it would mean the purchasing of a cheap phone from CEX ( £20 pounds ) and a sim card ( £3 pounds )

    Unbelievable! how do i respond to that??

    Not loving the work program at all. i can get my own job.


    • Contrast your experience with that of my wife’s. I’ll tell you why it’s different at the end!

      My wife got her cheap, basic PAYG mobile phone paid for, and her top-up every month paid for to help her look for work while she was unemployed as she didn’t have one. The phone cost around £30 and her top-up was £15 per month.

      The difference between you and her. She was in her home country of Canada, and the program (Ontario Works) even reimburses your travel costs to medical appointments and interviews, and you can apply for money for things like new clothes (whether they’re for an interview or not).

      That’s helping people back into work!

  38. me

    lost my job search wile moving house but found a book from a month ago and was all correct and sined by job center staff so i copped it word for word they cannot have a probblem with it becose thay have already ok it no they stopped my money becase i have not filled in my jobsearh correct . just shows you that they are doing it for no reason and you cannot win. thay are treating us all as crimanals and are even going to get us to do cammunaty sevies .its the jobcenter not probasion

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  42. KAY


  43. KAY


  44. KAY


    another site that deals with the universal jobmatch issue! quite horrifying they can take your data and have remote management of your account. these government run companies can not be trusted

  45. penny

    The so called goverment is a joke .all they care about is money and power .greedy bunch of tossers dey dunt care about the families dey hurt lives the destroy or lives that are lost .as long as their pockets look good in the papers they dunt care .as for tax ha joke tax cum around bk in ye ole times to pay crusades but we dunt have them no more. So all your doing is payin for some up there asshole to drive around in there fancy mercs and look like twooty noses down fucking joke

  46. Agitatorofpeople

    Adam his wife and 3 young children all under the age of 7 have been made unemployed abroad and have returned to the UK and are homeless, have no savings or any assets of any kind and are in debt to their bank.
    They complete their first application for Job Seekers Allowance (JSA) but are unsure of a historical payment made to his wife or how much it is for, they think it may be a Civil Service or even a Department of Work and Pensions (DWP) payment and ask the Jobcentre plus staff what to do about it and are told to complete the form to the best of their ability.
    Sometime later when they get access to a private computer to check their online only bank statements they find out that the payment is a DWP Industrial Injury benefit (IIB), and are sure that the DWP must know of this payment to them, the next time they go to the DWP Jobcentre and are asked to complete a JSA form, they also include this payment on the form.
    They are notified several months later that they have received an overpayment of JSA, because they are in receipt of the DWP Industrial Injury Benefit and are given a Civil Penalty of £50 for failing to notify the DWP of their own DWP IIB payment.

    And this has been upheld on an appeal tribunal, I would appeal but, the stupidity of the system is appalling.

  47. Andrea

    From a vicarage in the South of England, posted on the Money Saving Expert forum:

    “About to visit the job centre to find out why people we know are having their benefits stopped on the flimsiest of trumped up reasons.
    I quite understand that people must be stopped from abusing the system but these are honest people who would absolutely love to be able to leave the system altogether.

    One, who has 2 children, was sanctioned for 6 weeks two weeks before Christmas because she arrived at the usual time to sign in and was told that she was 15 minutes too late. For that week, and that week only, they had moved her time without telling her. When she asked why she hadn’t been notified of the time change she was told that it was up to her to find out.

    Another, who is dyslexic, has to have help with filling in forms. He was told to apply for a certain job and given a form. He made an appointment to see his helper and when she investigated she said that the job had already been filled, so he didn’t apply.
    When he had no money he rang up and was told that he had been sactioned for three months for not applying for the job. When he explained what had happened he got the usual reply, “NOT OUR PROBLEM.”

    On top of that our friend with terminal cancer who was told that she was wasting NHS money by needing to have more scans has been told that her benefits may be cut because she has out-lived the doctors’ prognosis. She has had to fill in a form which asks “Do you expect to live more than six months?”

    • Jason

      I am astounded that the lady with 2 children was sanctioned for 6 weeks for signing on 15 minutes late and the job centre said it was her responsibility to find out of a time change and yet they never told her of a signing time change by letter or she wasn’t told at her previous signing. I would sign on at the normal time if I wasn’t informed different and how can you find out if the job centre hasn’t informed you of the time change ? I am not psychic and nor is that lady I suspect.

  48. Squire

    In my previous employed life I had been an intervention officer for Jobcentreplus. I new the insane regime and was fully upfront and ensured I was inline with my agreements. I was late to sign by no fault of my own, and processing error that placed me in the wrong week to sign. Regardless I was sanctioned by a decision maker whom I took note in observing her delight to be implementing the sanction.

    That was my first sign in Jan 2012. I had not been paid since between Christmas and new year of 1 weeks money. The sanction was placed the day after signing which would mean that I would not get any money fro 6 weeks. eventually I was living on pancakes (Flower and Water) I had nothing to wash myself and had to wash my arse in the sink after the loo and dry myself on old clothes rags.

    It was not comfortable or pretty but I got through it.

    I was forced to contact the Signing Team for advice on the morning that I was due to sign that would authorise my payment as the weather warning advised me not to go out, I knew I did not have the strength to walk 4 Miles to sign in a foot of snow and as much as a meter drifts. I was advised If not able to travel that day I should attend asap.

    I was able to get their Two days later, in clothes not washed for weeks and was assessed by the same Witch. I can say I have not met such a vile, grotesque, evil person in my life. I feel she deeply enjoyed experiencing first hand what she had done to me and my destroyed and emaciated appearance.

    In short, she sanctioned me for a further 4 Weeks, failure to sign and placed me into a weekly attendance box with the warning to attend clean and presentable.

    This has not left me yet. I have been clearly disturbed by the whole experience and my faith in humanity has gone. Even struggling home, people avoided me rather than help, and I was glad to reach my bed and sleep myself away.

    My family eventually realised something was wrong and my sister found me a week later, and took me home. I have forgotten myself now, I see nothing positive and know if left to my own devises now I would find a comfortable way to dismiss myself.

    Im not a child. Im 42 Years Old.


  49. Dave

    Have severe social anxiety and avoidance. Recieve multiple sick notes from 5 different doctors confirming it for 6 months. Take a 20 minute test with a general nurse and get thrown off ESA. Hard to be taken seriously for mental illness, especially if you are male.

    • Spikey

      Dave – Not taken seriously – They just DO NOT CARE!! – about anyone! even when seriously ill with a life threatening physical illness! Male or Female! It makes no odds whether you have ‘evidence in black and white’ of a mental or physical / life threatening illness – male or female! Don’t succumb to ‘their’ Devide and Rule tactics! ATOS is a Disability Denial Factory! Take care of yourself for ‘you’ know the Truth!

  50. Joe

    My family have been going through a rough patch recently and my aunt had her children taken off her and given to the grandparents until she got her life back on track, however social workers was obviously involved and they forced the grandparents to give up their current jobs (bare in mind that the grandfather had his own business) and start claiming JSA whilst they was looking after the children. Obviously they wouldn’t allow the kids to be taken to strangers so they obliged.
    When they went for their first sign-on they was treated like filth and the grandad made a joke saying “I’m not bothered just find me a job and I’ll do it” their advisor did not like this and threatened him saying “I can laugh as much as the next person who sits where you are now but I’ll find it more amusing knowing that as much as you find this a joke I’ll have the last laugh stopping your payment” for this I find it inexcusable and highly rude.
    But sadly they have now been told that the grandad is not entitled to JSA because he is dyslexic and is not capable of job searching which also means his wife can not make a claim either as they both need to make a joint claim.
    I don’t know how these monsters are able to treat claimants unfairly and still be in employment, they’re unkind to us while telling us for jobs we need to have great customer service skills. I find this off putting and actually puts me off wanting to work with the public.

    *also the grandparents have never once claimed in their lives since coming out of education 40 years ago*

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  55. Vespa boy

    I was sanctioned for 3months because i got a date wrong also a family of 6 four of them kiddies got evicted last wk well done cameron and duncan prick

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  58. from east london

    let me share my own story of being sanctioned twice, which would of left me starving without my parents (im still very young).

    I was first sanctioned because of my job search they said that I applied for team leader positions in retail without experience, when i said i have experience my advisor said you dont have managerial experience, a team leader is a huge difference from a manager, their is no experience required, it was even stated on the job description, but she wasnt having that. and my other job searches included on that occasion, handing out cv’s which they said dont count, without letting me know. and applying for a maths course at my local college which doesnt count. I was sanctioned for 4 weeks.

    I decided to appeal it and gave in evidence of the job application for team leader at the retail store and showing no previous experience as a manger required, and that i have retail experience. they lost my evidence and rejected my appeal because i didn’t give any supporting evidence.

    than a week later i got a call asking why you were fired from your last job. i explained it was my first job ever and i didnt let them know half an hour before work that ill be of sick and was fired. they slapped me with a second sanction for not following work procedure. BUT me being fired is why im on bernifits in the first place, its not as though i got fired on purpose.

    anyways that second sanction meant now it was another 8 weeks of sanctions. so ive only ever been given 2 weeks of payments in over 3 months. i would literally be starving to death if it werent for my family. absolutely shocking how ive been treated, i come from a middle class business owning family, been paying taxes for generations must of amounted to x’s of pounds, been on the dole for 1 week before and that was it. I dont even know how I can appeal the second sanction.

    im not bothered to spell check my writing so please excuse it.

  59. sanctions are cruel heartless and totally unnecesary in most cases and MUST be fought against!
    I was sanctioned because a job centre advisor phoned me to arrange a job focussed interview, I missed the call and they left a msg which was never retrieved as I had no credit to get my msg
    the next time I went to sign on I was told that I was being sanctioned for not turning up for an interview I knew nothing about
    when I explained I was told that it was my problem.
    I was never sentcany other communication except the unretreivable text msg
    I am in process of appealing
    this is a cruel nasty edwardian practice that needs stopping.
    I explained that I have 2 children and was told to go to a food bank

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