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To think my relative should complain about this job centre adviser?

(61 Posts)
ThisIsAPissTake Sat 20-Jun-15 21:46:46

I am asking this on behalf of said family member who is very upset and is at a loss as to what to do. Tbh I don't really know what to do either, I think it might be worth it to complain but am not really sure if we're overreacting.

Basically up until recently she has worked full time. The company she works for is having financial difficulty right now and everyone's hours have been cut, including hers and she now only works 4-8 hours a week which is obviously not enough to live on. So she has applied for job seekers allowance.

She had an interview at the job centre about a month ago and was told she had to sign up for universal job match however she was told that she didn't have to allow them access. So she signed up but didn't allow them access. Two weeks ago she went to sign on and was seen by a different member of staff who told her that she'd try to view her universal job match account but she hadn't allowed them access. Again she was told this was fine and she didn't have to.

Fast forward ahead to yesterday when she went to sign on again. She said that she arrived ten minutes early but was kept waiting for 40 minutes. Then two members of staff approached her (again two different ones to the ones she had seen previously) and they told her as she hadn't allowed them access she would have to log on to a computer now and she them her account. One of them then wandered off and the other tried to log her on.

However as she didn't have her log in details, the adviser who had wandered off then came back over, asking if there was a problem. Relative then explained that she didn't have her log in details as she wasn't aware she would need them.

At this point she says the adviser then turned really nasty and told her that she wouldn't allow her to sign on as she couldn't give them access. She was then told that she would have to go home and allow them access and come back later. However she had to go to work later but when she explained this her adviser then started interrogating her about that, saying she thought she only worked one day a week, she should bring her rota in from work to prove she's telling the truth, etc.

The adviser then made an appointment for her to come back on Monday to sign but before she left apparently told her that she just allow her access like everyone else has to do.

Anyway said friend is very upset and said she felt really got it and felt like the adviser was accusing her of being a liar and treated her like shit on the bottom of her shoe. She now doesn't want to go back and wants to try and live off her 4-8 hours a week wage (and I have no idea how this is even possible).

WIBU to complain? Both about this adviser and the fact she has been told contradictory things?

ThisIsAPissTake Sat 20-Jun-15 21:49:34

Also, about the whole not allowing her to sign until she gives them access thing -- are they really allowed to do that? I've never been on job seekers allowance so have no experience of how it works but after googling it seems allowing access isn't even compulsory. So in that case how can they refuse to allow her to sign until she allows access?

She is as tough as old boots and not easily upset so she must have felt really got at.

ThisIsAPissTake Sat 20-Jun-15 21:52:15

So many typos -- sorry.

ilovesooty Sat 20-Jun-15 21:54:08

Unfortunately in my experience (I work in careers advice) if you don't allow them access to your account you very soon run into difficulties. You have to evidence compliance with your job search agreement and the activity on UJM is the way they expect to monitor that evidence. If you don't allow access they do expect you to log in in front of them and show them your account.
The experience is horrible when you're not used to it and I can understand why she's upset especially as she received conflicting information and felt her word was doubted.

Jengnr Sat 20-Jun-15 21:56:25

Allowing access isn't compulsory but providing proof of jobsearch is so they were right not to allow her to sign if she hadn't brought evidence and couldn't show them her account. She would be better off allowing the access tbh as they can only view what she's doing and then it's done. They can't mess about with her account.

If they were unpleasant to her that is a different thing entirely and she ought to complain. They can't do much about the rules but there are ways of speaking to people without making them feel like shit.

SilverBirchWithout Sat 20-Jun-15 21:56:47

I'm not sure what Job .match is, but I do know you have to prove you are actively seeking work and applying for jobs to qualify for JSA. Maybe they thought it indicated she hadn't been looking as you hadn't allowed them access and did not know her sign-on details.

sharonthewaspandthewineywall Sat 20-Jun-15 22:00:27

Since when did people sign on on a Saturday?

ThisIsAPissTake Sat 20-Jun-15 22:02:26

Sorry I should have made it clear, she doesn't have a problem with allowing them access. She just didn't like how she got contradictory information - first two said she didn't have to and it wouldn't be a problem if she didn't. Then this other told her she had to and was nasty to her when she couldn't give them it.

Also she did bring evidence of her job search. She had filled in her paper job search diary and had also brought several print outs of her job applications from various websites to back that up.

ilovesooty Sat 20-Jun-15 22:02:28

The OP said yesterday which was Friday.

GuiltyAsAGirlCanBe Sat 20-Jun-15 22:02:38

Some of them are absolute arseholes. I came out of the job centre in tears once. I was pregnant and had to sign on because I was out of work and had to take a year out of medical school because of said pregnancy. I was spoken to like absolute shit by one of the workers. They seem to group everyone into the feckless scrounger category and seem to think it is their God given right to treat you like shit.

ThisIsAPissTake Sat 20-Jun-15 22:03:53

Read my post sharon.

"Fast forward ahead to yesterday when she went to sign on again."

It was yesterday she signed on, a Friday. Not today.

GuiltyAsAGirlCanBe Sat 20-Jun-15 22:03:57

And despite being pregnancy I ended up obtaining and working in three different temporary jobs during that pregnancy so it wasn't as if I wasn't trying to help myself

ilovesooty Sat 20-Jun-15 22:05:03

They often won't accept the job search books and printouts - if you get an advisor who insists on the UJM evidence you're in trouble signing on. Unfortunately they aren't always consistent in their expectations.

Jengnr Sat 20-Jun-15 22:05:03

In that case she absolutely ought to complain. Access to UJ isn't compulsory and if she's providing jobsearch she is meeting her Claimant Commitment.

Iliveinalighthousewiththeghost Sat 20-Jun-15 22:05:26

Oh I hate people getting upset. Hate the unemployed being treated like shit, if it were not for the unemployed. Job centre staff would not have s job.
I've heard of that universal job match. Isn't it mesnt to be really dodgy. Thought it was getting shut down.
However to keep them happy why didn't she just give them access. If she is seeking work. She has nothing to hide, and if it stops them moaning.
You seem like a brilliant friend op, but you can't complain, it's not your argument. They'll rightly tell you to myob. But your friend is within her right to complain.
On the grounds of
Poor service.
And conflicting confusing advice,

Jengnr Sat 20-Jun-15 22:06:22

Ilovesooty There is no reason not to accept the printouts/booklets. That is why they're issued. If someone is refusing ask to see the manager, there is no way that would be enforced.

ThisIsAPissTake Sat 20-Jun-15 22:07:08

ilovesooty I admit I don't know much about it but why does it matter where or how she's applying for jobs? Just as long as she's applying for them? confused

ilovesooty Sat 20-Jun-15 22:07:49

What does the Claimant Commitment that she signed actually say?

Jengnr Sat 20-Jun-15 22:08:53

It doesn't. She has to do what she's agreed to on the Claimant Commitment. And bring evidence to show that.

If someone is being a twat about that the manager ought to be involved.

Loletta Sat 20-Jun-15 22:10:25

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

ilovesooty Sat 20-Jun-15 22:10:53

Jengnr I work with claimants on a daily basis and most advisors do insist on the use of UJM. One or two will accept the job search books but many won't. I have quite a few clients who are given the target of registration for UJM, using it as required and uploading a CV to the site.

sharonthewaspandthewineywall Sat 20-Jun-15 22:11:24

Oh sorry blush was going to say the job centre being open on a Saturday? I know they have to get people back into work but that's keen for them!

ilovesooty Sat 20-Jun-15 22:12:41

There is of course no excuse for treating people rudely and distressing them.

In my experience the success of complaints about such treatment is variable.

ThisIsAPissTake Sat 20-Jun-15 22:12:52

We have looked at her jobseeking agreement that she signed and several people have had a look over it in case someone missed anything but all it says is that she must look on job websites and newspapers and apply for x amount of jobs a week. It doesn't mention which job websites she should use and it certainly doesn't say anything about allowing them access.

Jengnr Sat 20-Jun-15 22:14:42

Ilovesooty, I'm a jobcentre advisor. I know the rules. I also know some of my colleagues like to apply them to their own liking.

They may be expected to open and use UJM, which is reasonable as it is a jobsearch resource, but as long as they can provide evidence of jobsearch in other ways they are meeting their commitment and don't have to provide UJ access.

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