That this House notes with concern reports that Sparkhill Jobcentre in Birmingham hands out unusually high levels of sanctions; further notes reports that people have inappropriately been given jobseeker’s directions, which are supposed to be only for people with a history of non-compliance; further notes that the practice of making people attend 8.15am appointments and then sanctioning them for a few minutes’ lateness was stopped after it generated negative publicity; calls on the Government to fully investigate reports of unfair practices at this jobcentre; draws to the Government’s attention cases from around the country of people being sanctioned, even though they informed their jobcentre that they needed to rearrange an appointment to attend a job interview, training appointment or family funeral; urges the Government to consider how people who want to work are supposed to travel to job interviews, maintain a smart appearance or even feed themselves if the income they rely on to survive is removed for such reasons; and calls on the Government to use all effective means possible to dramatically reduce the inappropriate use of an increasingly oppressive sanctions regime that seeks to penalise rather than encourage an effective route back into work.
by Birmingham Against The Cuts | November 10, 2013 · 2:17 pm
Roger Godsiff, MP for Hall Green constituency, which includes the Sparkhill area has tabled an Early Day Motion in the house of commons, calling for the government to investigate the sanctions being handed out at that job centre. 400,000 people around the UK have been hit by the new sanctions regime in the first 9 months after it was introduced in October, with complete loss of income lasting from four weeks to three years. Sparkhill Job Centre has been shown to be breaking DWP guidelines on the use of jobseekers’ directions, in relation to early morning group sessions which they created to further hassle claimants at the job centre. In September a claimant who had been sanctioned put in the windows of the job centre. Around the UK we have seen many ridiculous sanctions happen, at least in part because advisors have targets to sanction people and are put on performance reviews if they don’t make their quota. Please write to your MP and ask them to sign the early day motion and help to shine a light on the worst job centre in the West Midlands for stopping claimants money.