This is a rough draft of a complaint letter I will be sending to my local job centre manager.
I already have a compliant in the pipeline on another issue and is being dealt with through my MP will add that later at some point.
I have successfully had 7 complaints upheld against the Wok Program but only just started to take the same route now with the DWP/Jobcentre.
For some reason the work program wanted to buy me a bicycle now the JCP are at it !
To: Jobcentre Plus
I wish to make a formal complaint regarding the behaviour and attitude of your staff and management at xxx Jobcentre.
As far as I am concerned at this point unless convinced otherwise staff and more worryingly managers are in my opinion neglecting due process leading to potential maladministration and have wilfully breached the civil service code of conduct on at least 3 separate occasions.
I do not make these accusations lightly but this misinformation unreasonable and possibly unlawful behaviour has gone on for far to long and is causing me great distress as I am sure also for many other members of public.
As I presume you are aware but nonetheless will remind you that presently at xxx Jobcentre you have been over the past month or so and for the foreseeable future randomly assigning a work coach to cover staff shortages due amongst other other things training for UC.
This means that generally the work coaches presently have no prior knowledge or understanding of the claimants circumstances they are signing on and this is an important point in my complaint.
Apart from my previous fortnights review which was accepted and actioned their was not any prior discussion before I was told I had to sign up to the ABC course.
I was only told that due to the fact I now been unemployed for over 12 months I was being referred to ABC training.
Fact: The last 3 Work coaches I have seen recently I have never met before !
On the 2 previous occasions with a work coach I have never met before I have been told that I have to sign up with ABC training course by way of a mandate and ABC training will managing me from now on,
I informed the work coach I have already been with ABC, Ingeus and other such providers and know for a fact they will not benefit me in anyway at all.
I explained I will not give my consent for ABC to manage me in anyway at all so it would be a waste of my time and the providers if I attended.
On both occasions I was told they would be mandating me the next time I signed on and made on note on the local management screen.
Therefore setting me up to have to go over the same issue with another work coach on my next signing.
I am fully aware that attending an opportunity could be mandated after taking my circumstances into consideration but not to be assessed as I was told would be the reason I would be attending ABC training.
Regardless it is still my choice if I accept the course or not, moreover given my circumstances in my opinion it would be a waste of money to the public purse to do so.
But the points I try to raise were ignored and interrupted.
- I am proficient in effective job searching techniques
- Fully understand and able to use IT effectively
- I am able to produce bespoke CVs and covering letters for any job role
- I am able to use the STAR (situation task action result ) as a effective tool for interviews.
- I belong to various online support networks
It also baffles me how a work coach could come to the conclusion that ABC training would benefit me in anyway at all without even speaking to me and therefore not taking my circumstances into consideration.
There has never been any criticism of my steps or efforts to find work in the past nor was there at any time I spoke to any of the work coaches recently. Again this begs the Question why issue me with a JSD
I am not sure if your work coaches are aware of the regulations but I feel they should be.
3. The purpose of a Jobseeker Direction is to make sure that those claimants
who are not effectively looking for work, undertake a specific jobsearch
activity that will put them in a better position to find a job.
4. This is distinct from those claimants who:
are thought not to be Actively Seeking Employment, which is one of the
basic conditions of entitlement for Jobseeker’s Allowance; and
Refuse Employment (RE). That is, those who, without good cause,
refuse or fail to apply for or accept a job notified to them by Jobcentre
5. A Jobseeker Direction may be appropriate for claimants who are
persistently not taking a particular action, or ignoring an obvious route that
has been discussed in interviews with an adviser.
6. A Jobseeker Direction is only to be considered when a claimant does not
voluntarily undertake a particular action, which will improve their prospects of
7. A Direction can be used to compel claimants, under risk of loss of
Jobseeker’s Allowance and/or National Insurance credits, to undertake a
specific course of action that the adviser deems necessary to move them
closer to finding work, as long as it is reasonable and appropriate.
Appropriateness of a Jobseeker Direction to the claimant
Appropriateness of a Jobseeker Direction to the claimant
14. When considering whether a Jobseeker Direction is appropriate, there are a number of factors to be taken into account. Advisers must:
have a full understanding of the claimant’s circumstances; be aware of what action the claimant has already undertaken;
know why the claimant does not want to do the particular activity, which has been suggested;
be sure that the Jobseeker Direction has due regard to the claimant’s circumstances, making it achievable; be aware that where the claimant has undergone training of at least 2 months, for a particular type of employment, which ended within 4 weeks of a Jobseeker Direction being issued, the direction must not relate to a different type of employment;
check the action required is not within particular restrictions that apply during a permitted period; and take account of previously agreed availability restrictions.
15. These should be taken account of when considering whether it is reasonable for a Jobseeker Direction to be applied to a particular action.
16. Claimants must be made aware that the reason Jobcentre Plus has directed them is because they have refused to voluntarily undertake an activity.
17. Claimants must understand the consequences of any refusal, or failure to undertake a particular action. Jobseeker Directions and provision
18. A Jobseekers Direction may be used to direct a claimant to attend an initial discussion with a provider about any provision, such as ESOL, to see if the provision will be helpful in getting them back to work. If they refuse to take the Jobseekers Direction, the appropriate action to raise the doubt must be taken.
If the claimant does take the Jobseeker Direction, this only requires attendance at the initial discussion; it does not require the claimant to
participate in the provision.
When a Jobseeker’s Direction should not be used
12. A Jobseeker’s Direction must not be used
to require a claimant to use the My Work Plan booklet or ES4;
to refer a claimant to a programme underpinned by separate legislation.
For example, when referring a claimant to the Work Programme, the
relevant and legally required referral notification (letter) must be used;
to require a claimant to apply for a notified vacancy - see Refusal of
to require people to attend an advisory appointment. The requirement to
attend these is underpinned by separate legislation and notifications such
as the My Work Plan booklet, ES40 or advisory interview letter;
for Credits Only claimants;
where it goes against any religious beliefs or sincerely held conscientious
to refer claimants to voluntary activities such as Work Clubs, Work
Together, Enterprise Clubs, Sector-based work academies, Work
to direct claimants to engage in drug or alcohol treatment, or attend such
discussions, as these are also voluntary.
I would also like to point out the civil service code.
‘Civil Service code’
Civil Service and its core values: integrity, honesty, objectivity and impartiality. In this code:
‘integrity’ is putting the obligations of public service above your own personal interests
‘honesty’ is being truthful and open
‘objectivity’ is basing your advice and decisions on rigorous analysis of the evidence
‘impartiality’ is acting solely according to the merits of the case and serving equally well governments of different political persuasions
On the last occasion I signed on the work coach again told me they were going to refer me to the ABC provider but this time printed off what was a poor attempt at a job seekers direction and certainly not lawfully enforceable which I quickly pointed out.
They then took the JSD back and at this point the manager intervened but rather than deal with the issue I had concerning a job seekers direction and understand my concerns they started to question why I was still unemployed after 5 years.
This was immaterial to the issue at hand and I was spoken down to and insulted by the comments the manager was making when I tried to explain my circumstances and why I was struggling to find work.
For example I said one barrier was my location in XXX, before I could speak any further they responded by telling me it was not the outer Hebrides and they would get me bicycle if that was a problem.
My point I was trying to explain before I was I was interrupted was that a lot of work I am able to do is located on the outskirts of XXX 20-30 miles away and require 2 bus journeys and 6:00AM starts.
As the earliest bus in my location is 6:20AM this is not possible, the suggestion by a manager they got me a bike was insulting and unreasonable I am in my mid fifties but really even a fit young person would find it difficult to sustain 30-40 miles bike ride each day and 8-12 hours work.
I would like an explanation to the points I have bullet pointed below.
- Why are work coaches under the impression that it is mandatory for claimants to sign up to ABC training and therefore misinforming other members of the public along with myself.
- Why are work coaches ignoring the guidelines when it comes to issuing a Job seekers direction and not taking the public’s circumstances into account
- Why did they circumvent the actual process for issuing Job seekers directions and print off what could only be described at best as a poor attempt of an actual job seekers direction that was not linked to my claim.
As a resolution I would like
- Confirmation it is not a mandatory requirement for me sign up to and accept the opportunity with ABC training and confirm it will not affect my benefit by refusing to do so .
- Confirmation that a Job seekers direction is not appropriate for this activity as it is voluntary.
- Assurances that staff are fully informed of the guidelines so this unlawful activity does not occur in the future to myself or other members of the public
- I would also like an apology in writing from the manager in question who was rude bullying and did not help me in anyway at all nor provide me with the correct information and was more interested in demeaning me in front of a younger impressionable colleague. as a manger they would have known on the balance of probabilities that my complaint was valid but chose to ignore it and announced I will be mandated on my next appointment.
Considering the financial implications it is only fair that due process is followed
I have sent a copy of letter of this letter to my MP and expect a reply within 15 days.
Practising Anarchist, Pacifist and Minimalist.
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