Job Centre advice a waste of time..

(145 Posts)
mumstonic Mon 03-Dec-12 16:44:19

DP had his 2nd job seekers meeting today to officially sign on after being made redundant. First time he's ever claimed anything in his life. I being unreasonable to think this meeting was rather unproductive and slightly unfair?

This is what he was told to do?..

1)He should disregard his previous work experience and apply for all jobs within a 90 minute journey, his qualifications and experience.

2)Re-write his CV to include the words, trustworthy, hardworking and reliable.

3)Spend 20m minutes listening to an advisor use phrases such as any work is better than no work and with all due respect sir.

4)He must make alternative arrangements for DDs dental brace fitting appointment in favour of attending an interview skills course this afternoon. (DD has been waiting to have her braces for 2 years and I have 2 babies to look after!)

5)He should ebay the family holiday (weekend mini-break to Centrparcs , booked and paid for 6 months ago) as it clashes with his next sign on day. He must then declare the income from said sale as earnings. OR complete a holiday form with the caveat to say he MUST be contactable at all times. If mobile phone service is restricted, he must drive to the nearest signal hotspot and check voicemails at regular intervals. If an interview comes up he must shorten or cancel his holiday.

Failure to co-operate with the above will result in his pittance being withdrawn. AIBU to think this draconian approach is taking the piss? Surely its better all round (for the employer and individual) to focus his efforts in getting a job suited to his qualifications and skills, I know its hard at the moment but really? 20 years paying tax and this is the safety net?

mumstonic Mon 03-Dec-12 16:45:35

*regardless of qualifications and experience

AutumnMadness Mon 03-Dec-12 16:53:39

Sorry, I have no advice, but I feel very angry for you. What a demeaning, patronising way to "help" people. I am especially fuming at their insistence that your husband disregards your daughter's health in favour of their paperwork. But the advice about applying for any job may not be so bad. All depends on whether this "any job" pays better than the jobseekers allowance. Having one job does not preclude you from searching for another and it might be less grief that reporting what you ate for breakfast to the job centre police.

AutumnMadness Mon 03-Dec-12 16:55:21

And how in hell you can declare the proceeds from a sale of something that you paid for originally as "earnings"? You pay tax on profits, not on expenses! If you make any profit - then yes, but what is the chance of that?

TheFarSide Mon 03-Dec-12 16:58:58

In my experience, the JobCentre are not there to help people find work but to deter them from claiming benefit. Sounds like your DP had a spectacularly bad session, even by their standards.

This isn't a joke, is it?

LRDtheFeministDude Mon 03-Dec-12 16:59:19

It's difficult, but some of these things are normal and to be expected. So:

1) This is what the job centre is there for. It isn't there to get your DH a job as good as his last one, unfortunately. It is there to get him back into work. If, like lots of people, he reckons he could do better on his own, he should do that - the job centre is set up to help people into any job that is going.

2) I don't see the harm in that. confused

3) Again, I don't quite get the issue? Surely work is better than no work? I can see why, if he's gone from a really well-paid job, he won't want to search for a less well paid one. And I do hope that he soon gets a job that isn't too different from the one he lost. But the person who is talking to him is surely only trying to explain why they try to get people into jobs. He's free to discount that advice.

4) Tricky. I think I would fight this one - sounds as if they don't realize how serious it is!

5) Sounds quite sensible? It's dramatic but if you need the money you need the money.

Dahlen Mon 03-Dec-12 17:02:52

This is the reality for job seekers now. The sad fact is that the very people these sorts of measures are designed to tackle are the very ones who will manage to play the system and avoid it, whereas new claimants like your DH who have no experience of this sort of thing and a natural respect for authority will always be considered easier to pressurise into ticking the right boxes.

The whole thing is farcical. What is the point of your DH taking a role way below his skill set and earning potential? It may get him 'off the books', but it deprives someone who doesn't have those attributes from getting that job. Someone who could never do a job that might be ideal for your DH. It is a complete mismatch of skill sets and roles. Long term, this will actually see fewer people employed. A more sensible, humane approach that seeks to channel people into more appropriate jobs would be better all round - for the economy and certainly for the individuals.

I hope your DH finds something soon.

TheFarSide Mon 03-Dec-12 17:04:43

You don't think the interview was a tad patronising LRD?

LlanbaubleOnTheTree Mon 03-Dec-12 17:04:58

biscuit sorry I do believe you've embellished.

He is legally required to look for work within 90 mins travelling time by his normal mode of transport (90 mins one way so 3 hours commuting bearbearin total). He is required to look for any job he can do (not what he did, not what he wants to do) - can't see an issue with that. If he was that skilled or qualified he would have been given a permitted period where he could restrict his job search to his previous occupation for anything between 1 and 13 weeks.

He doesn't have to rearrange the appointment. He can advise them he will be late/can't attend and give the reasons why. However your payment won 't be generated til he has attended. Failure to attend without notifying will affect payment.

Total balderdash about eBaying your holiday. If anyone has advised you if that - then you need to use the contact us facility on the Gov.Uk site and ask if what you've been told is correct. You will get an official policy response which will explain fully that what you claim he was told is bollocks.

drmummmsy Mon 03-Dec-12 17:07:44

I agree, I'm signing on at the minute myself and they are worse than useless, total incompetents. They have no helpful advice for jobseekers who have a professional qualification/experience as in the case of your husband. It's all ticky-boxy, form filling hoop jumping bureaucracy essentially keeping them in jobs. Furthermore, their efforts at making you 'actively seek employment' are actually quite laughable and they are just going through the motions. For example, one of their recommendations to me was to check the paper weekly on the day it is published with the jobs in it. My response to that was, 'you do know that it's updated daily online, and I'm subscribed to this update?' they were like this confused

complain, complain, complain if you have to. at the minute my local mp is sorting out their latest fuckup angry

they cocked up migrating me from income support to jobseekers and so the last payment i had was 29 September! I have had literally no income since then - and they think people are claiming benefits for a living!? yeah right!

LlanbaubleOnTheTree Mon 03-Dec-12 17:10:05

Not sure why I have random bear - sorry blush

As for being contactable - yup that's right - he has to be available for work immediately (unless his availability is restricted). The Commissioners who are Lord and Lady Justices have said that immediately is the time it would take you to get ready for work, eg wash and change.

It's bollocks (again) about what he claims to have been told about driving/walking to get a signal.

Our payment last week was held back because we needed to fill in a change of circumstances form to tell them DD2 had been born.

We did tell them...how else did they know she had been born? But did they tell us then that we needed to do a form? Ofcourse not. That would have made too much sense.

Sympathies OP. They are on another planet.

drmummmsy Mon 03-Dec-12 17:12:52

oh yes, and I agree with Dahlen that they want to get you into a job, any job without really thinking of the long-term repercussions of this on unemployment figures.

and * LlanbaubleOnTheTree* i don't think they've embellished at all - it sounds just like the incompetent, ill thought out waffle spewed out by the advisers i've encountered

QueenofNightmares Mon 03-Dec-12 17:19:50

Nothing would stop your DH from applying for jobs in his chosen/previous field while working in a less skilled one.

Yes this is the reality for Job seekers I know because my DH has to do it every 2 weeks and neither of us has ever complained that it is unfair. It is reasonable that he does all he can to be avaliable for work whatever work that may be while he is being supported by the government.

It shouldn't be a holiday where you are expected to as little as possible your DD's appointment can be rearranged if he was working it would have to be.

"For example, one of their recommendations to me was to check the paper weekly on the day it is published with the jobs in it. My response to that was, 'you do know that it's updated daily online, and I'm subscribed to this update?' they were like this"

Oh yes, I had that. Even better, they told me to buy the paper anyway, so that it showed I was looking in a variety of places. hmm Ignoring the fact that the jobs were exactly the same and it was free to look online.

I got made redundant from a previous job, unfortunately as it was my second redundancy that year (last in first out policy in the second one) so I decided to sign on straight away, unlike the first time I couldn't afford to live off my savings, they were gone. So I go into the jobcentre the day after my job ended, and they start asking me what kind of wage I was looking for. I told them what I'd been on in my last 3 jobs, it wasn't a huge amount, far from it. However it was above minimum wage. I was told that I couldn't put down that amount, it had to be minimum wage, otherwise it meant I was refusing to work. Bearing in mind I'd been unemployed less that 24 hours I didn't think I was quite at a point where I could give up all hope of employment. Turns out I was right, and I had a new job before JSA ever came through.

But then, it is a government department for those on benefits, and I've come to expect that. We've been lied to and treated badly so damn often.

I had the misfortune to have a similar experience when I was made redundant a couple of years ago. I knew I wouldn't get anything out of the Job Centre, but I wanted to ensure my National Insurance stamp was paid, so went through the motions. Waste of time.

I have 2 degrees and a professional qualification, which took me 9 years in total to gain (whilst working alongside for most of that time). I was asked if I'd considered re-training as a plumber. It would only take me 3 years, apparently. Now, if I wanted to do that, they'd pay for me to do it. Great - that's a brilliant opportunity for those who would like it. I did say that the good people of the UK had already paid for my professional qualifications, and I felt I should probably be using them, but this was apparently unreasonable.

Thankfully I got a new job under my own steam within a couple of months, but it just beggared belief. I was perfectly willing to do pretty much anything in the meantime, but I was turned down by the likes of Asda, Tesco, call centres, etc., because they didn't believe I was committed to a future with their company. (Which was true....)

SantaWearsGreen Mon 03-Dec-12 17:52:51

I think it all sounded rather reasonable until you mentioned them dictating to him about the appointment and holiday. That's a bit out of order. I didn't even know you could sell a holiday on ebay, nor did I know that you had to declare money you had made on ebay? Surely not considering you pay a fee to list it..

Also the appointment is detrimental, they have no right to say he has to rearrange that- what if it was an operation dd had been waiting on for 2 years? Not life saving but necessary to general wellbeing.

The other pointers are reasonable though.

Sallyingforth Mon 03-Dec-12 17:54:56

OP, I hope your DH won't be put off looking for the right sort of job while following the job centre's requirements, or even after he's taken another less suitable job. The job centres do seem to be heartless but they have to push you towards any sort of job because of abuse of the system by those who don't want to work - e.g. people living in the middle of London who would only accept work as shepherds.
Good luck!

TheFarSide Mon 03-Dec-12 18:01:41

The problem with JC staff who behave like this is that they just rub people up the wrong way. When I signed on last year after redundancy, I definitely wanted to work and was (naively) genuinely interested to find out whether they could offer me any useful tips.

By the end of my first interview, I was massively pissed off - the interviewer was uninterested, offhand, rigid and generally the opposite of helpful.

MoomieAndFreddie Mon 03-Dec-12 18:10:50

i'm not surprised OP

ime jobcentre staff are mostly jobsworth twats who like to talk to people like shit on their shoe.

sorry you are going through this sad

WelshMaenad Mon 03-Dec-12 18:32:49

I font think you've embellished at all. IME job centre interviews are designed to reduce you to a height of approx 6".

DH was made redundant just before dd was born. He had to miss his signing on appt when she was 48 hours old because he had to come into the hospital as she'd been diagnosed with a life threatening brain haemorrhage. He phoned to let them know and asked for a new appointment, which I went to with him (dd was still in intensive care). They threatened to sanction his JSA for non attendance. DH had to physically restrain me from hitting her.

MoomieAndFreddie Mon 03-Dec-12 18:36:25

shock omg welsh thats awful, just.....awful

did you complain?

i hope your dd is ok now.

expatinscotland Mon 03-Dec-12 18:40:09

A friend of mine got a letter to come to an interview at the same time as her sign-on time. She took the letter in to the Job Centre to reschedule her sign-on, as, well, isn't it the most important thing to try to get a job?

They threatened to sanction her.

Emmielu Mon 03-Dec-12 18:41:47

Im afraid what your OH was told is true. If it makes you feel any better i contaminated my job seekers advisor as well as a few others because i had a stomach bug and was sick in her desk bin which she failed to empty or clean for the 30mins i was there.

The other 2 times i was there she didnt want to see evidence that i had looked for work, gone to interviews, sent or given out my cv etc. She just told me the next date i needed to go in and wished me luck and told me next time she'd help me out more. I was 30 mins early and one of the other customers cancelled on her but she didnt want to spend time helping me with my course either. She said because i didnt get the course via them then she couldnt help me.

I suppose you're lucky if you get someone who genuinely wants to push you with all the encouragement and confidence boost you need. Some get that. Some dont.

MoomieAndFreddie Mon 03-Dec-12 18:45:23

expat shock

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