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Pregnancy and jsa and tears

(22 Posts)
kittensmum87 Tue 26-Mar-13 14:23:49

So had the Jobcentre again today.. And yet again left frustrated and crying...

I'm currently 15 weeks pregnant and haven't told them yet cos I'm too scared to! Since November (so before pregnancy) I have never actually done a normal sign on.. Always adviser meetings. It's irritating me.. Today she said I'm not applying for enough jobs or looking enough and I have to fill out extra forms.. If I don't do them she'll stop my money.. So stress there..
There's a jobs fayre tomorrow but my daughters been sick and she said I have to go so just put her to school or get my mum to look after her (mums not long had major surgery) I can't just leave my DD There all the time.

4 weeks ago she said I have to do the mandatory work placement thing and I only ever received 1 call from the ppl who organise it and she's making it out to be my fault cos "cos they're usually so fast at sorting it out"

I'm stressed and crying constantly.. I can't keep putting up with it! I don't want to tell them about the baby cos I don't want the 50 questions (baby is a surprise) and quite frankly I'm scared of what they'll say!

Is there anyway of being signed off by the doc or MW? Just so I can relax and stop feeling this way!

StormyBrid Tue 26-Mar-13 14:52:19

Unfortunately, "stress caused by the jobcentre" isn't sufficient illness or disability to qualify you for ESA, so I doubt you'll have much luck with that one, unless the pregnancy itself is severely impairing your ability to work. You will be able to claim ESA for a few weeks either side of your due date (two weeks before to six weeks after, if memory serves). If you're single, you'll be able to switch to Income Support at 29 weeks though, so if you can hold out for another three months, you'll be able to breathe much easier then.

I suspect the MWA people will need to know you're pregnant though. People in paid employment have to have risk assessments and whatnot when pregnant; you ought to have the same, so you're not putting yourself or your baby at risk. That's extra hassle, so may delay things. And if they know you're pregnant but you're not offered a risk assessment prior to being expected to take a placement, I'd advise contacting a national newspaper.

ladymia Tue 26-Mar-13 15:05:26

Just so I am understanding this correctly. You want to be signed off by a doctor so you don't have to report to the Job Centre?

I just banged my head against a table.

meditrina Tue 26-Mar-13 15:09:02

Why can't you just go to the job fair during school hours? Even allowing for school running, you should manage 4-5 hours at it and make progress in your job hunt.

And if you need to be applying for more jobs, why aren't you?

Wewereherefirst Tue 26-Mar-13 15:09:12

tell them you are pregnant and they will take it into consideration. I had to sign on until I was 5 months pregnant before I got a job to tide me over (just before due date).

I don't know why you are hiding your pregnancy from them?

kittensmum87 Tue 26-Mar-13 15:21:54

Well my daughters off school sick.. Should I take her along with me?!?

kittensmum87 Tue 26-Mar-13 15:22:57

And I'm not applying for more jobs cos I apply for everyone I can do! I don't control the job market!

meditrina Tue 26-Mar-13 15:30:11

Then it will have to be your mothers then, if she is still not well enough (though she might be better by tomorrow).

And you will have to expand your hunt to all jobs, including entry level ones which do not require existing qualifications/experience.

MaryannM Tue 26-Mar-13 15:30:21

You are going to have to tell them sooner or later, so if it's causing you this much stress then I don't see why you don't just tell them at your next appointment. That way it's all out in the open. They will need to ask you questions so that they can assess your claim and also as has been mentioned before, if you do the MWP, you will need to be risk assessed. They shouldn't ask you invasive questions or pass judgement. You are only 15wks, so still time to work and I'm saying this as somebody who found a new job at 16 weeks after being made redundant. I don't mean that in a patronising way, I'm just saying that unless there are genuine medical reasons, being pregnant doesn't make you unfit for work. So you will still be encouraged/required to apply for jobs etc whether they know you are pregnant or not.

Admittedly it will be more difficult to find employment whilst pregnant, but the job centre will know that and also it's not something you are obliged to disclose on a job application or at a job interview. It is possible tho and you are on job seekers allowance, so should be applying for jobs and it is their job to monitor this.

As for the jobs fayre, could you not just attend for a few hours at least?

Good luck and just tell them, you will feel better for doing so :-)

polkadotsrock Tue 26-Mar-13 15:30:33

I understand that you don't want to burden your mum but I do think perhaps putting your little one there for a while and heading to the jobs fayre is going to be the best plan for you. She'll be no trouble if she's ill and it doesnt need to be for long. You are best to get the job centre on side and make an effort. There is nothing to fear from telling them you're pregnant- what is the worst they can honestly do? Sometimes life is full of hoops to jump through and perhaps if you can settle down a bit and not be so upset you'll see that these hoops aren't that difficult. Good luck x

june2013 Tue 26-Mar-13 15:35:12

Hi Kittens -

While I have no first hand experience of this, I can only imagine how stressful it is for people. Massive administrations and bureaucracies are a nightmare to deal with. I just had to deal with a major admin headache (about my maternity leave) this week (long story) and thought I was going to loose it.

I recently read that the jobcentre have targets to get people into work and targets to sanction those who don't find work (which is outrageous) - so ignore people on the thread who are being unsupportive and unnecessarily unhelpful. I don't get why people bother commenting like this on threads - this isn't a newspaper and a political / theoretical discussion!

Do you have a friend who you could swap childcare with? Also, do you know exactly how much childcare your mum is able / willing to do? You might find she is happy to do more than you think. Of course, she might tell you she actually wants to do less... If all that fails, you should take your daughter to the GP and get a note saying that she needs to stay at home and you need to look after her, which you could bring to the jobcentre.

In terms of actual signing on, maybe you should should tell the jobcentre you are pregnant? (you know best whether this is a good idea or not) - They won't stop hassling you I'm sure, but at least, they'll know not to look for long term placements / work for you. And as someone else said, if you're single, from 29 weeks you can go over to Income Support. You shouldn't be dealing with this much stress while pregnant. Do they pay for courses / training? Maybe you could find something you'd actually like to do online, which you could do from home? Without any context I could be suggesting rubbish ideas - do ignore if this is the case!

I can't imagine what it's like being pregnant with another child, being unemployed and dealing with the jobcentre. Is there anywhere you can get support to help you cope? Are there bumps and babies groups near you? They should have childcare so you can go with your daughter once she is better...

Good luck x

kittensmum87 Tue 26-Mar-13 15:56:48

June.. I've tried to get courses and nothings happened.. I asked for admin courses just so I had some experience and try to get a job and they said they had nothing.. And probably won't do anymore they just do the work placements now. Which are usually full time during the week and unfortunately there's not childminders or after school club in my area!

I don't understand with why some ppl just come on here to be mean and nasty when all I wanted was a bit of support and advice.

ExpatAl Tue 26-Mar-13 16:02:22

Do what the Job Centre has asked you to do. Take your sick dd along and tell them that you're pregnant at the same time. Get it over and done with and you'll feel a lot better.

babyradio Tue 26-Mar-13 16:06:17

I signed on for a few weeks and ended up getting a job almost immediately, I signed up with some agencies and was clear I only wanted a short term contract (up to 12 weeks). I bit off more than I could chew with the job I took but made enough money in the meantime to tide myself over for the next few months so was worth it in that sense.

I don't want to patronise you because I understand how frustrating the job centre is, especially in your situation but ultimately we're pregnant, not ill.

Have you signed up to any agencies? If not do try that because there are loads - they can be a bit of a headache but you usually can get some work from them and it can be more flexible.

Also, tell the job centre you're pregnant and talk to your midwife. She can support you and the job centre will be more lenient with you because they will understand more. If they don't know the facts then they can't help you.

Hope this helps and things improve for you soon.

MajaBiene Tue 26-Mar-13 16:08:06

Just apply for every job you see - doesn't matter if it is completely unsuitable or there is no way you are qualified for it, it's just a numbers game. As someone mentioned they have targets for the number of sanctions they give out so they will look for any excuse.

I would also tell them you are pregnant, they can't hurt you because of it. Only 14 more weeks of signing on!

Catchingmockingbirds Tue 26-Mar-13 16:09:14

I had to sign on for a bit at the start of my pregnancy, tbh the only question they asked was 'when is your due date'. Have you been on their website? Jobs can be quite easy to apply for on the site, and I think the minimum jobs you need to apply for is 2 a week. When I used the site I managed the minimum quickly and it stores everything too so you can prove you've been looking.

It's odd that they're saying you have to go to the job fayre or you'll lose your benefits, you've only been signing on for 4 months, is that right? You should maybe have a word with them to clarify this.

Saundy Tue 26-Mar-13 16:15:48

I'm sorry to hear about your experiences OP. I can't imagine the stress you must be under. I don't have much in the way of practical advice to offer you as I have no personal experience of this but as a general rule I find honesty is the best policy.

Its a terrible climate at the moment and unfortunately the most vulnerable are often finding themselves as the whipping dogs.

When looking for a job my partner had his money stopped because (although he had applied for several others) he did not apply for a part time job in a different city that would have cost more in travel than he would have earned!

I guess what you can take from that is that you have to be seen to be jumping through their hoops. Its shameful how people are treated, but the staff are also under a lot of pressure. You have to try and find a way to let their attitude wash over you. You really need to find a way to get to the job fair, even if only for a short time. Its not ideal to leave DC with your mum but perhaps your only option.

Try not to let the unkind comments upset you, its just ignorance on their part and no reflection on you.

There is a lot of propaganda biased press out there that perhaps people are buying into resulting in a lack of insight and understanding.

Maybe this will help those who are unsympathetic to begin to understand:
www.guardian.co.uk/politics/video/2013/mar/22/jobcentre-sanctions-money-stopped-video

Good luck, I hope something comes up and your situation improves & remember its not forever.

SchroSawMargeryDaw Tue 26-Mar-13 16:19:38

I'm on ESA and there's no way you will be able to get it for JSA stress, it's almost impossible to get it with a severe disability.

I haven't actually told the DWP yet that I am pregnant and I am due in July, I actually forgot to tell them so thanks for reminding me.

I am sure you can claim income support though instead of JSA if you are pregnant from a certain point or have a child under 5? I'm sure there will be someone else on here who knows.

I hope it works out for you, they are extremely stressful to deal with.

HerrenaHarridan Tue 26-Mar-13 16:57:13

Hi op, sorry some people are being snotty with you. Please do not leave your sick child with family member who has recently has major surgery it is dangerous for both if them.
Drag poor dd to jc, then they will know its true and you can do min necessary and go.
I also would say don't announce pregnancy till at least 16wks.
Sorry you having such a tough timesmile

meditrina Tue 26-Mar-13 17:15:14

The advice to 'just get on with it' isn't unsympathetic, it's pragmatic, if you actually want to reduce the stress rather than just complain.

When signing on, you have to fulfil your individual Job Seeker's agreement. OP's adviser does not consider this is happening. Now, you can either get stressed, which won't help nor will it make the issue go away (and indeed will probably worsen it as you'll get a reputation for being difficult); or you can decide not to claim JSA (presumably not an option? But it would mean you can job hunt at your own pace); or you can just get on with it. Which does mean having enough childcare (including fall back at your mothers) for interviews, training, placements, or whatever comes up.

And it does mean making more applications - you'll get a better reaction from your adviser if you can say "I called in twice and found 12 jobs which fitted profile in my Agreement and applied for all of them, plus a further 5 long shots, plus another 5 I found online" than if you say something like "well I applied for the ones I think Incan do and the state of the job market's not my fault".

The more they can easily see you're taking the hunt seriously, the less stressy it becomes. It is their job to ensure only those hunting hard for work receive JSA; the more job hunting you can show you are doing, the better.

meditrina Tue 26-Mar-13 17:20:36

Oh, and I took my DCs to the Job Centre frequently, and certainly wasn't alone in doing so. Not so sure about a longer day at a fair though. But as you haven't said how unwell your DD is (how long ago did she vomit? Is the 48 hours school exclusion nearly up?) and did raise your DM as a possibility (your concern centred on frequency of asking, not health) then it really doesn't look like an insuperable obstacle.

And sorting out a range of childcare measures now will help reduce stress in the long run both for job hunting activities and working; and for around the time of the birth of your next child.

goodygumdrops Tue 26-Mar-13 17:37:07

Could your daughters father or the father of your new baby look after her?

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