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Claimant Sanctioned- For Missing JobCentre Appointment To Accept Part Time Work

November 17, 2016

A BARROW woman has told how she was given a benefit sanction after missing a job centre appointment because she took a last-minute offer of extra part-time work.

The punishment is one of three handed out to the part-time cleaner, from Barrow, which she claims have left her and her partner on the breadline for a year.

It forced the pair to use Barrow’s foodbank and town community kitchen to keep hunger at bay while living without heat or power on occasions when the high tariff pre-payment electricity meter at their rented home ran out of credit.

They have now hit out at the ‘unfair’ benefit system they claim is making them ill.

The woman, who is in her 20s and says she has applied for scores of jobs in a bid to secure full-time work, said: “I was given some extra hours on a Monday morning starting at 7am.

“My job centre appointment was at 9.30am and I didn’t have any credit on my phone. I took the work and called to explain about the appointment the next day but it was a sanction.

“I got another one for missing a workshop about Twitter. I know how to use Twitter but it didn’t make any difference. They’ll sanction you for anything.”

Crippled by sanctions, the couple even faced homelessness when they could no longer afford the rent on their two-bedroom home.

They moved into a one-bedroom flat in the town after the landlord offered to accept a deferred deposit.

“We try our hardest,” she told the Evening Mail.

“I would love to have a full-time job but we’re really struggling. The stress has made me ill. These sanctions are not fair; they need to be stopped.”

Sanctions can be applied to people receiving benefits for a range of reasons. They can include missing appointments at the job centre and failing to follow instructions from a work coach.

But Barrow councillor and former job centre employee Michael Cassells said there needed to be more flexibility in the system to ensure sanctions were dished out fairly.

“There’s no doubt sanctions are cruel and causing real hardship and, unfortunately, in most cases, people are not told they can appeal against them, or how to do it.

“We need this system to be looked at so that people are treated with respect and empathy. Otherwise they simply feel they are trying their best but hitting a brick wall with nowhere to turn to for help.”

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2 Comments leave one →
  1. November 17, 2016 2:27 pm

    In 2008 I used to go in to the JCP some hours before my appointment time and say I had a test at a work experience thing that they had sent me on the first time I did this they refused so I sent a complaint to the manager at the job centre. I also said that any action taken against me would result in a criminal prosecution against JCP and the DWP, I went in near the end of the day and they said I was late! I lost it with the person behind the desk, this was the time I got the reputation as someone not to be messed with as I turned on the security as well, Those at JCP who used to try it on soon found out that they got no protection from the security as they just used to tell them something by whispering in their ear, I think it was something about my temper as I just got the form to sign.

    If anyone gets a sanction because they claim to have been sent a letter they didn’t receive they should ask the DWP for a clearly marked, COPY or DUPLICATE, of the letter, proof of postage and proof of receipt. If it is claimed they were handed a letter then they should give them a description of themselves, I always wore the same clothes for DWP appointments, and ask them to show evidence of me clearly been handed the letter.
    If they claim not enough jobs then just ask for a copy of all jobs you could have done with the add for every job, you would be surprised how may “CLIENT CONFIDENTIAL” they would throw up, these are jobs taken, or put on UJM, by other jobs agencies, these will be found by going through and looking at the phone numbers many CLIENT CONFIDENTIAL are other job agencies, only a very few are where the employer does not want other employers finding out they have a vacancy that means one of their employees may leave for higher pay!

  2. November 17, 2016 3:15 pm

    Reblogged this on sdbast.

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