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Sanctioned For Missing JobCentre Appointment- The Day His Brother Died

March 27, 2015

And ten other bizarre reasons for sanctioning, from the Guardian:

The coalition’s benefit sanctions regime, under which more than 1 million jobseekers had their unemployment benefits stopped last year, has spawned hundreds of documentary accounts of claimants being penalised for capricious, cruel and often absurd reasons.

The recent MPs’ inquiry into sanctions heard copious evidence of claimants being docked hundreds of pounds and pitched into financial crisis for often absurdly trivial breaches of benefit conditions, or for administrative errors beyond their control.

A typical example is the following anonymised list of sanctions reported by food bank clients to the Trussell trust charity:

  1. Man who missed appointment due to being at hospital with his partner, who had just had a stillborn child.
  2. Man sanctioned for missing an appointment at the jobcentre on the day of his brother’s unexpected death. He had tried to phone Jobcentre Plus to explain, but could not get through and left a message which was consequently not relayed to the appropriate person.
  3. Man who carried out 60 job searches but missed one which matched his profile.
  4. Man had an appointment at the jobcentre on the Tuesday, was taken to hospital with a suspected heart attack that day, missed the appointment and was sanctioned for nine weeks.
  5. Man who secured employment and was due to start in three weeks. He was sanctioned in the interim period because JCP told him he was still duty bound to send his CV to other companies.
  6. Young couple who had not received any letters regarding an appointment that was thus subsequently missed. Their address at the Department for Work and Pensions was wrongly recorded. They were left with no money for over a month.
  7. One case where the claimant’s wife went into premature labour and had to go to hospital. This caused the claimant to miss an appointment. No leeway given.
  8. One man sanctioned for attending a job interview instead of Jobcentre Plus – he got the job so did not pursue grievance against the JCP.
  9. Man who requested permission to attend the funeral of his best friend; permission declined; sanctioned when he went anyway.
  10. A diabetic sanctioned and unable to buy food was sent to hospital by GP as a consequence.

Sometimes sanctions have a bizarre, nightmarish quality, such as this one, reported by Highbridge and Burnham-on-Sea food bank and cited in a recent Church Action on Poverty report:

We had a number of customers who had been sanctioned including one guy who had been sanctioned for being late for his appointment at the jobcentre because the queue was so long it took him to past his appointment time to be seen. He was sanctioned even though he had arrived at the jobcentre in plenty of time.

6 Comments leave one →
  1. March 27, 2015 3:49 am

    Job centre staff must be very brave (or stupid). I’m astonished that there are not countless assaults on staff at job centres. If a member of staff decides to sanction a claimant then one way for an individual not to starve would be to commit a crime and be arrested. A bit drastic I admit but it would certainly have an effect on sanctions if this were the consequence.

  2. March 27, 2015 6:48 am

    Reblogged this on sdbast.

  3. March 27, 2015 11:21 pm

    Reblogged this on Britain Isn't Eating.

  4. March 28, 2015 9:12 am

    Reblogged this on lawrencerowntree.

  5. stevendmcilroy84 permalink
    April 2, 2015 1:05 am

    I was sanctioned for over a month during the Xmas period for attending my Graduation ceremony even though I called to tell them about this. I was left with no money from 12th Nov 2014 to 5th Jan 2015!!! For missing ONE appointment. Fuckers!!!

  6. November 9, 2015 8:56 pm

    Reblogged this on campertess and commented:
    Who are these people that are carrying out the sanctions in the 1st place. There should be a name & shame….

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