Dealing with the job center.

(93 Posts)
Yshara Tue 23-Oct-12 09:23:41

Hi all
I am sure i am not the only one..But i am not having a good time dealing with the job center. Single mother of two and my youngest is 6 i had to move from income support to JSA. They want me to go work full time in some shop for just my benefit money. I don't know if they can really do that? Working full time for just £70 pounds a wk don't really cut it for me.
The main issue i have with them is they seem to be forcing me to put my son in to some kind of childcare,so i can work longer hrs. At the moment they have changed my contract to find work from 9-3 and that is really not possible to drop my son off and pick him back up at school. I don't see what right they have to be making parents do that? Is any parent having the same issues?
I am really getting confused with my rights with dealing with them sad

Wallison Tue 23-Oct-12 20:18:03

You don't really 'fear' things will be tighter for 'them' though, do you?

Portofino Tue 23-Oct-12 20:18:53

I don't judge. I just face the reality that you cannot dictate that you can only work PT when you have children to support. If you were asking for advice on how to manage that that is one thing. You are basically saying that you have 2 children in FT school but are asking about your RIGHTS to only work between 9.30 and 2.30.

expatinscotland Tue 23-Oct-12 20:20:15

'I'm not being fussy what job i do..Being made to work in a chairty shop sorting clothes out of bags,steaming them and putting them on hangers for 25
hrs per week on a job replacement..And for all of £70 a week..Really how many people would be happy to do that??'

I would be if I'd been out of work for a long time? I do not agree with workfare for for-profit businesses like Poundland or Tesco. But I see nothing wrong with your doing 25 hours of work/week for a charity in return for benefits.

You had plenty of time to take advantage of schemes that used to be in place to get a decent job and move to a better area before these measures came in.

OddBoots Tue 23-Oct-12 20:21:33

I do for the sake of their children, both directly because of the situation they will be in and because they have at least one parent who is using them rather than wanting them. I speak specifically of children born because they have a parent who doesn't want to go out to work mind, not any others, so bears no relevance to the OP.

expatinscotland Tue 23-Oct-12 20:24:07

You haven't been in work for a while, charity shop work gives you the chance to get back into the routine and a good reference.

Because you need to face facts: this government is not going to let you not work till your son gets to high school.

Anyone with a grain of sense could see that the second those Tories got into no. 10.

Portofino Tue 23-Oct-12 20:28:49

i am totally with expat in that no one should be forced to work for profit making companies eg Tesco. But I DO agree with working for Charities,

expatinscotland Tue 23-Oct-12 20:30:39

And I'd be happy to do that if I'd been out of work a long time.

Again, I disagree completely with workfare for any for-profit business, but it's fine for charities.

Wallison Tue 23-Oct-12 20:43:01

Actually, I should think that for most charities the last thing they would want is volunteers being foisted upon them who are only there on pain of losing their benefit. It is difficult enough to run things - ie to get motivated committed people to work for no money - as it is, without this extra aspect of people only doing it because they are forced to. It is no way to run anything.

fuckadoodlepoopoo Tue 23-Oct-12 20:45:25

Wallison. I was wondering about the effects on the charities as well. It would be a lot for them to take on. Too much probably.

Wallison Tue 23-Oct-12 20:50:37

There is quite an art to recruiting and retaining volunteers - it's very different to using paid employees. Thinking about the line of work that I volunteer in, it is actually quite demanding and emotionally draining at times; certainly you would find it unbearable if it were not something that you really wanted to do. I don't see how the charity I work for could function if they had people there who didn't want to be there - there is already far too much work shared between those of us that do - there just isn't any room for slack. If anything, charities have even fewer resources to fall back on in terms of employees who are not engaged with their work than commercial enterprises do.

jellybeans Tue 23-Oct-12 21:49:29

I have a lone parent friend who works in charity shops as well as helping in school much of the week school hours. This fits in with her health problems and caring for two kids. The job centre is trying to force her into jobs which don't fit school hours and are miles away. Why can't she remain doing voluntary. It is certainly cheaper then the gov paying her tax credits and childcare too. I think lone parents should be able to volunteer rather than work for pittance and that way they can fit round the kids if they are ill etc.

Rockchick1984 Wed 24-Oct-12 11:41:46

OP you do have a choice not to do the £70 per week work though. You either do it and put your son in childcare, or you don't do it and lose your benefits, or you go out and get any job you can. My DH was made redundant, he ended up in a call centre doing cold calling. It was horrible, but ultimately it was a job and we had some money coming in. Why should the government fund your parenting choices indefinitely? I would love it if me and DH could give up work an raise our son together but we wouldnt expect someone else to pay for it, particularly once hes in school all day!

If an after school club is so bad, complain to OFSTEAD not to an Internet forum!

fuckadoodlepoopoo Wed 24-Oct-12 13:01:02

How will complaining to ofsted help NOW!? It won't.

Rockchick1984 Wed 24-Oct-12 13:09:01

I mean complain at the time, otherwise if no one says anything then nothing will change!

Wallison Wed 24-Oct-12 13:25:29

jellybeans, I agree with you, especially about the childcare. Tax credits have been a massive boon to lone parents, and it's certainly easier now than it was before. However, what this provision together with the new rules on being shifted to JSA means in effect is that there is a whole generation of children being shunted off into childcare at the state's expense. It seems to me to be a massive social experiment, particularly given that bringing up children on your own is completely different to bringing them up in a couple. When you are on your own, you are everything to your kids - you are the only parent that they have. Taking this away from children is a big step, and not one that all lone parents feel comfortable taking, and five really is quite young. The one thing that tax credits have got right in this regard is to my mind the way that they support part-time working although as far as I can make out this will disappear with the introduction of Universal Credit, which I think is a great shame.

fuckadoodlepoopoo Wed 24-Oct-12 13:29:44

Can you complain if your child hasn't actually been there? I've seen an attitude from the staff towards the children which i don't like and so i wouldn't send them there, plus the terrible reputation and how others who've kids have been there took their kids out because of the lack of supervision. So i haven't had to withdraw my child due to any of it but it would stop me sending my child there in the first place. Would ofsted be interested in my complaint?

fuckadoodlepoopoo Wed 24-Oct-12 13:32:08

I agree wallison.

I can understand people not wanting to support lone parents via benefits but i also understand a single persons reluctance to put their child in childcare. The lack of attention to the child's emotional needs concerns me and i think could be a ticking time bomb.

Wallison Wed 24-Oct-12 14:38:55

It concerns me too. One other thing I have just thought of is that, while of course some parents separate amicably, there are children growing up in households headed by a lone parent where there has been domestic abuse, or drug or alcohol problems or even prison sentences. And even where the split is managed as well as it can be, children still have to come to terms with a parent not being around much any more, or not being around at all, with a knock-on effect of not seeing one side of their family as much as other children do. Given this, I don't think it's such a big ask for parents to want to give their children stability and not put them into childcare, especially childcare which might be of variable quality. Like I said, five is very young to be dealing with all of this and then also dealing with being in childcare and away from the parent who is the only stability that they have.

Yshara Wed 24-Oct-12 14:41:57

Rockchick1984 did i say i wanted to stay on benefit indefinitely?? Did i say i was not looking for a job? Think people only read what they want..Like "Single mum on benefits" Wish people would give some general advice instead of keep sticking the boot in.

But thanks to all the other people who seems to understand. smile

fuckadoodlepoopoo Wed 24-Oct-12 14:48:08

Wallison. I agree. If me and my husband split up i think the worst thing for my children emotionally would be me going out to work full time and putting them in childcare. They need a parents attention and love if possible at times like that.

Yshara Wed 24-Oct-12 14:50:27

As for childcare as a mother and knows her son better than anyone else. Also having a few little talk's with him..I know personally putting him in any childcare would not benefit either of us. Not saying when he is older but for now it would do more harm than good.
As for the school clubs..Yes there is one..And i'm sure it is a good one..But the area i am living in..Well when you got parents fighting at the school gate..Would you like to leave your child there even longer than the normal school hrs.

expatinscotland Fri 26-Oct-12 18:23:18

How long have you been single?

The over-5 thing isn't a new rule.

Portofino Fri 26-Oct-12 19:04:07

I know it is shit, but your focus has to be on supporting your children financially and improving your skills. Kids are adaptable. If you present it in the right way, he will be able to cope. You can't opt out any longer. The present govt's ethos is to get people who can work, working. Even if Labour got back in tomorrow, I don't believe this would change much.

jellybeans Fri 26-Oct-12 19:29:51

I agree Wallison. I also think how tired I am as a SAHM at times and I have DH helping when he is off work and doing household stuff etc. But my lone parent friend does everything all the time. That is a full time job in itself.

Wallison Fri 26-Oct-12 20:23:43

Portofino, the OP has said that she is applying for jobs but that she doesn't want to apply for jobs that mean her children will be in childcare. She doesn't want to not work at all; she just wants to be able to find a job that means that she doesn't have to shell out for childcare on one income and put her children into childcare when they are not ready for it. I think that is a reasonable stance.

Jellybeans, yes, it is different raising children on your own. There is no-one there to take up the slack. No matter if you're ill, or tired, or you have stuff you need to do, you are the only one who can look after them and also do everything required to keep your household functioning - if you leave it, it won't get done eventually, or even at all.

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