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Reasonable Adjustment For Disabled People Claiming JSA? NOT

December 4, 2014

Let’s start with a bit about the ritual humiliations people have to put up with when they claim jobseekers’ allowance:

I was at Kilburn jobcentre early this morning. Everyone had to come in to sign on between 9am and 11am, because the jobcentre is closed this afternoon. This meant that the signing-on exercise was even more pointless than usual. I was at the jobcentre today with Eddie, the 51-year-old man with learning and literacy difficulties who I’ve been accompanying to the jobcentre for about three months. He’s no closer to getting a job than he was when we started. Today’s effort certainly would not have helped. His jobcentre adviser didn’t even look at Eddie’s jobsearch sheet. The adviser just said hello, made a couple of notes in the computer, and that was the end of that.

Staff wouldn’t say why the jobcentre would be closed this afternoon. Whatever the reason, they should have just excused everyone from their sign on sessions this week rather than making them come to the jobcentre for two minutes. “We’re cattle,” several people said as they were herded quickly to advisers. There was already a crowd outside the jobcentre by 9am when I arrived. The whole thing was just pointless. People had to make a trip all the way to the jobcentre in the rain for a rubber stamp. Daily sign on regimes are the same. People can’t argue the toss, because they’re unemployed and so they’re not allowed to challenge anyone, or any point. They have no rights. They can’t complain. They just have to follow meaningless, pointless and patronising instructions. I do sometimes wonder when being unemployed became such a hideous crime. The freedoms people lose are not just financial. They might as well be tagged.

It really is like that. Today, a security guard tried to stop me from accompanying Eddie to his appointment. There is inevitably a scene like this. The guards look constantly for reasons to get in everyone’s faces. They pick people up for no end of so-called infringements. Last week, a security guard tried to confiscate my coffee, even though it was nearly finished. They tell people off for eating – a problem for Eddie, who is diabetic and sometimes needs to eat the biscuits he always carries with him. Today, it was You Can’t Go With Him, which was laughable – and new, at least for us. Eddie is entitled to have someone along, particularly as he needs help when he’s writing things down. It’s never been a problem in the past.

Full story at Kate Belgrave.

One Comment leave one →
  1. December 4, 2014 9:56 pm

    Reblogged this on Britain Isn't Eating.

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