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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

expatinscotland Fri 26-Oct-12 20:29:17

Thing is, Wallison, is the government can and will sanction her benefits for this.

Things have changed, and she's going to have to find that job during school hours or do what they tell her to do or they will sanction the benefits.

That's how it is and, 'My 6-year-old doesn't want to go to childcare' isn't going to wash.

Wallison Fri 26-Oct-12 20:33:43

The govt will sanction her benefits if they don't think she is doing enough to find work. As a lone parent, she is allowed to specify that she can only work during school hours. What has changed is that their definition of 'school hours' has moved from for eg 9.30-2.30 or even 10-2 to 9-3 which obviously doesn't allow you to drop a child off at school and then go on to work. It's pretty fucking tight as well, because as a lone parent you are likely paying for every minute of childcare you have (no partner to do handovers or swap shifts etc) so even if you need just 15 mins or whatever you will pay through the nose for it. Like I said though, although it is unfair and completely goes against allowing people to limit their availability for work due to childcare, there are in practice very few jobs that are 9-3 anyway.

Wallison Fri 26-Oct-12 20:36:13

And if someone decides that it's not in the best interests of their child to go into childcare, then they should be able to make that decision. You or I have no idea of the OP's circumstances, only that she is the primary carer for her children and that she has made a decision that she doesn't want to use childcare. That's good enough for me and actually it's good enough for the govt as well, barring this new rule about the 'must be available 9-3' thing.

expatinscotland Fri 26-Oct-12 20:38:15

But from the sounds of it, Wallison, it isn't good enough for the government and it sounds like she's being put onto a work placement in a charity shop. They can sanction you for not participating in that.

Wallison Fri 26-Oct-12 20:44:46

Well, that's the thing about this govt. They're all so interested in being 'tough on scroungers' that they disregard the fact that people like the OP, who by the sounds of it has stuck to her jobseeker's agreement and is looking for work, haven't actually done anything wrong but they seek to penalise them anyway. I don't think that is fair or acceptable. She isn't asking for special favours or anything else that is so outrageous - just to be able to work without putting her kids into childcare. Unforch, because there are now thousands of parents being forced onto JSA and all chasing the same few part-time jobs, it's more difficult to find work. But that isn't the OP's fault. And I think it very unfair that she should have to find childcare for doing work that isn't paid and OP I suggest again that you get in touch with your local CAB about that.

Portofino Fri 26-Oct-12 21:31:16

But the reality is, if you need to work - which OP does - some form of childcare is necessary. It is no longer acceptable to claim benefits because you "prefer" to be at home. That is not me making a moral judgement on it, tis just the facts. I had to go back to work when dd was 5 months old as I was the main wage earner and the bills needed paying. I would have loved to have stayed home. it was just not an option.

Wallison Fri 26-Oct-12 21:37:13

Some form of childcare has only become necessary because of this 9-3 rule. And even with it, she isn't obliged to work full-time. I mean, even the DSS don't expect her to. It doesn't much matter what you or anyone else did although I will point out that if you wanted to have the freedom to not work when your kid was 5 months old, you could just have given up your house and rented somewhere and lived off benefits, since it's all so cushty.

Portofino Fri 26-Oct-12 21:41:07

And it has been ever thus, for working class women. I have done my family tree back to 1500. There is not a generation in my family where the woman did not work - charwomen, market gardening, bar running, glove making, nursing etc etc. Why do we get to say these days that my child needs me - I cannot work, ?

Portofino Fri 26-Oct-12 21:47:02

Wallison, but I had a job - I did not need benefits. Why should I choose to go on benefits rather than work? I never said it was cushty. I said OP is in the situation where she needs to work to support her children. Is that bad?

Portofino Fri 26-Oct-12 21:49:07

Why do people have this view that they should not/cannot work to support their kids? I will never understand it. The feckless men who bugger off and never pay a penny and the women who make endless excuses about wanting to be at home.

expatinscotland Fri 26-Oct-12 21:49:34

No, they don't, Wallison, but if she's being put on a placement then she has to do it or be sanctioned. She was probably moved to JSA a year ago after the child turned 5.

There was time, to get training, to find work and move out of the shite area.

But we all knew the new rules. In that situation, knowing there's a time limit on it all and then you face work placement, wouldn't it have bee prudent to re-train so the school hours job was more obtainable, rather than banging on about rights?

Because this government is Tory. They've been in power for over 2 years and we all know what they are like.

CelticPromise Fri 26-Oct-12 21:51:21

I don't think it's reasonable to ask you to pay for childcare to do workfare. Workfare is a disgrace all round. But I don't think it's unreasonable to ask you to consider ft work. But then IME the job centre won't be the best place to find work anyway, and t you'll do better looking yourself for something that suits.

Portofino Fri 26-Oct-12 21:52:02

I do GET the prohibitive cost of childcare by the way - I just get cross that you hear endless excuses and see no effort.

Wallison Fri 26-Oct-12 21:53:22

Look, I feel a bit uncomfortable about this discussion now because it seems like I'm speaking for the OP who I'm sure is more than capable of fighting her corner. But she isn't saying that she doesn't want to work; just that she doesn't want to use childcare because it's not in the best interests of her child. I don't think that is unreasonable, and the fact that one person or 100 people you know do it doesn't really matter a bean.

Portofino Fri 26-Oct-12 22:57:15

And my point is sometimes you HAVE to use childcare in order to feed your children.

thekidsrule Sun 28-Oct-12 23:36:14

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!

typical response from a two parent household

op i hope you manage to find something thats suitable for you and your family

Wallison Mon 29-Oct-12 10:37:17

> I do GET the prohibitive cost of childcare by the way

If you're raising kids as part of a couple, I don't think you do. Lone parents, unless they are lucky enough to have grandparents on hand do help them out, have to pay for every single bit of childcare they access. No swapping shifts, no juggling things around, no other person who can take two weeks off in the holidays, nothing. And with the changes to tax credits they are getting even less of a contribution towards that. And the OP has two kids to pay childcare for.

OP, I echo what thekidsrule says and hope you get something that you are able to do in practical terms. I know that dealing with the job centre is stressful and all the time you are worried about losing you benefits - it's horrid.

SugarMouse1 Thu 13-Dec-12 00:08:53

OP- would the job centre allow you to busk?

Then you can pick your own hours! Perfect!
You could even take your children with you to do it at weekends. And if you can't play an instrument, you could just dance instead.

Failing that, you could become a chatline operator while your children are asleep in bed. No childcare needed!

As you have slagged off all the childminders you know AND the after-school club, why don't you just set yourself up as a childminder? You sound like someone who nothing is ever good enough for, tbh.

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