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I haven't committed any crime like this woman has, so why do I have to do 120 hours of unpaid work?

(366 Posts)

confusedangry Woman sentenced to 215 hours of unpaid work for committing benefit fraud. I'm currently having to do 120 hours of unpaid work (30 hours a week for 4 weeks) or I'll lose my benefits. So what's my crime? Being unemployed? Being poor? Completely baffled by this governments policies. confused

IfNotNowThenWhen Wed 01-May-13 20:36:56

That's really good OP. At least that isn't hanging over you anymore.You had some really good advice on here. Don't give up. Take advice on your CV, and all the best x

Darkesteyes Wed 01-May-13 20:33:46

Pleased for you DeadWomanWalking. I wish you and your DH the best of luck and hope he has some good news soon as well.

Just saw your latest post, thank goodness! Now hopefully your DH will get some good news soon too.

I don't have a problem with requiring people who are able to work to work/retrain for at least some of their time in order to get benefits, but it is apparent to anyone that this is just not working the way it is set up. It has nothing to do with punishing people, I'm not interested in that in the slightest, I do think it is reasonable to ask people to work the number of hours a week that it would take them to earn that money if they were being paid NMW (or longer hours over a shorter time that come to the same number of hours). I do think that a certain amount of studying should also be allowed instead of this work if it means that a person can retrain for a needed career.

Perhaps businesses should only be able to take workers for two months a year (not including their busiest season) and perhaps they should not be allowed to take people if they have reduced their staffing levels. Perhaps as someone posted only work that would otherwise be done by volunteers would count. Do businesses have to prove that they have trained these people instead of just putting them on the most menial job they have?

I'm hoping the benefit fraud hours are a red herring...? That that person would be expected to work those hours on top of what the OP is expected to do, not instead of...?

OP best of luck to the both of you, I hope one of you finds a job soon. I have been in the position of wanting a job, any job and it can really be frustrating and miserable.

edam Wed 01-May-13 15:12:29

Hurrah to that, Deadwoman, what a relief!

Dawndonna Wed 01-May-13 14:18:48

Well done DeadWomanWalking glad things worked out well for you.

ParsingFancy Wed 01-May-13 13:34:37

grin Hope things improve for you from here, DeadWomanWalking.

IneedAsockamnesty Wed 01-May-13 13:13:16

Told you so,womanwalking.

Glad you went down there

It went very well today Darkesteyes. grin I am now officially a carer, on income support, off JSA and no longer have to complete the rest of my MWA. The relief is immense.

lydiajones Wed 01-May-13 11:21:32

Sounds awful - I thought we paid taxes so if we are unfortunate enough to be made redundant we get JSA. It is out of order IMO. Good luck.xxx

Misspixietrix Wed 01-May-13 11:12:25

Couthy is correct they are a bad thing on a cv AND most refuse to provide a reference.

And yes she is effectively working for free but at the same time she's reducing employment and allowing companies to exploit workers and costing the tax payer more and she has no choice about it.

This! What sock said on Page 2.

If it was a handful of Companies involved I would say the OP was being unreasonable but it's not and so she isn't. http://www.boycottworkfare.org/?page_id=16

Oh and do you know you can't find your own Work Placement? I'm a Single Parent who was offered Work Experience related to my Degree, The Jobcentre told me I couldn't do it because the Company isn't being paid to take me off the Unemployment Figures registered with the Jobcentre!

OP Good luck with your Jobsearch and I hope you and or your Dh find something soon ~

Darkesteyes Tue 30-Apr-13 23:48:27

How did today go OP?

itsblackoveryonderhill Tue 30-Apr-13 18:58:42

OP, I've not read all the thread, but I got up to the bit where you said you would like to retrain, but you would lose your JSA.

There are now grants available for age 24+ students in post compulsory education courses, so further education etc (I don't mean the grants that go to students studying degrees). I'm not sure if you would qualify for this to retrain as a legal secretary, and if you do, whether it would be enough in replacement for the other benefits you will presumably receive due to your DH also being out of work and with you having dependants.

It might be worth going to see somebody at your local further education college. Going by what we have at our college, we have a dedicated 'student finance and support' person who advises students on their fees/grants/loans etc.

Like I said, I'm not totally sure because I work in higher education in an further education college, so I just saw something in our weekly newsletter, but I didn't get anymore details because it's not applicable to me.

Either way, good luck with your search for work and I do hope that you get some positives from your 'slave work experience'.

sunshinenanny Tue 30-Apr-13 18:29:24

Serving or helping in a charity shop is voluntary work, helping out at your local school is voluntry work, serving the community, helping to decorate a disabled or elderly persons house or clearing a local beauty spot counts as voluntary work.

swelling the coffers of a cheapskate store chain which should be employing people on the minimum wage or more DOES NOT!

IneedAsockamnesty Tue 30-Apr-13 18:15:48

Dark its called targeting people you believe not to have the skills or support to challenge it.

Darkesteyes Tue 30-Apr-13 18:00:43

Sock that is fucking appalling. Its sick. But unfortunately nothing these bastards do surprises me any more.

Darkesteyes Tue 30-Apr-13 17:48:52

Raspberry tightening the laws on the discriminatory and inflammatory articles that are written about disabled people and the unemployed and stopping the rhetoric coming from politicians would do a lot to change the culture.Why do you think Cameron has been so soft with the press? It is so they can collude in producing this rhetoric.

Im going to pretend its 1933 and rewrite your sentence just changing one word just to flip this.

This could so easily have been written back then

"Not all Jews /disabled (because Hitler came for the disabled first) should be made to volunteer as that is clearly not practical or enforceable.
But a culture change could make a big difference to how the Jews/disabled/unemployed are viewed."

If we came across a historical document from the 1930s which included this statement we would be quite rightly horrified.

IneedAsockamnesty Tue 30-Apr-13 17:24:26

Edam well to be honest it started way before the sanction with them being found fit for work.

They should be ashamed they claim its a shocking error but it does not stop other org's reporting that it is still happening and having simerler examples.

edam Tue 30-Apr-13 17:07:31

And yes, people on JSA should be able to volunteer -properly and voluntarily! They used to be penalised for volunteering as they were accused of not being avaiable for work - I don't know whether that has changed.

edam Tue 30-Apr-13 17:06:17

Sock, punishing learning disabled people/families fleeing violence in that way is appalling. The government should be ashamed.

raspberryroop Tue 30-Apr-13 17:03:12

I think I should qualify what I put - I meant all people on JSA should be able to volunteer and it should be seen as the norm and well facilitated - ''not all people on the dole should be made to volunteer'' as that is clearly not practical or enforceable. But a culture change could make a big difference how unemployment is viewed.

IneedAsockamnesty Tue 30-Apr-13 17:01:31

I have two compleatly none verbal learning disabled and physically disabled clients who have been sanctioned for none compliance, this pretty much means did not communicate during the meetings.

Another learning disabled client who took a Carer to a dwp referred course this person needs a Carer to function out and about and understand what it required of them,the Carer was not permitted to attend with them due to apparently fire regs the client was unable to understand what was required of them so sanctioned.

Another one placed as a emergency in the middle of the night in a refuge with her children miles away from home missed her sign on even tho she was taken by refuge staff to attend the nearest centre with evidence of DV low and behold sanctioned.

When you see things like this try and remember that a couple of weeks ago legal aid for benefit issues was removed.

Dwp staff no longer have assist people to claim the benefits they are entitled to as part of their job description. Its now find ways to prevent claims.

We're all assuming that big companies use job seekers as cheaper labour and I'm sure there is some truth in that. But in reality many many people in this country go straight from school to claiming benefits so actually some work experience with some of the country's leading retailers is a good opportunity

People used to be able to leave school and get a job or an apprenticeship they didn't need employer benefactors! If many many people are coming out of school and straight onto benefits then something is wrong with the labour market and the education system.

IfNotNowThenWhen Tue 30-Apr-13 16:48:38

Edam, as far as young people go, I did know a guy who benefitted greatly from the Future Job Fund (apprenticeship/training for young people) which ended in a real job.
The current government scrapped the scheme shortly afterwards.
So much for helping young people.
And, yes, darkesteyes, it is genuinely fucking terrifying the rubbish that seemingly normal people believe.

IfNotNowThenWhen Tue 30-Apr-13 16:42:50

The main reason that so many of our beloved "hard working tax payers" are behind these totally immoral measure is precisely what MurkyMinataur is pointing out.
For a long time now "jobseekers" and "unemployed" has carried with it an image of some kind of Vicky Pollard character, e.g Not Us.
Loads of people of in favour of people "working for their benefits", and "staying part of society" but imagine that's YOU. Imagine you get laid off. And then your husband gets laid off. After 3 months you have spent all your savings paying the mortgage, you try and try, but you cant find a job,and you become a jobseeker.

The whole notion of unemployed people being"Jobseekers" and having to "prove" they are looking for work (with the implication that they didn't really want a job)treats you like a less than trustworthy person.
ou are not allowed to volunteer in any helpful areas (like meals on wheels, reading to the elderly etc) because you are not then available for work.
And yet, if some bod at your local jobcentre feels like fucking with you, they can send you off stacking shelves at Poundland, and pretend it is to help your work ethic. Yes, you who worked as a financial adviser for 15 years.
The whole thing is set up to make you feel shit, supposedly in the hope that if it's awful to sign on, then people won't do it for long.
It is all punative and none of it is helpful.

If they really wanted to get people into work they would be encouraging people to sort out their own volunteering, and posting volunteering opportunities at the job centre. They would be helping people with adult literacy, and numeracy, and interview skills-that is OFFERING these things, not saying "do it or else".
There is nothing more draining to the confidence and spirit that feeling like you have no control over your own life, and Workfare is the worst for this.
And yes, Tesco and the like do not need to be subsidised by our taxes.
I just don't get how anyone can not see that in six months time, that could be them in OP's position. It could be any of us.

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