After the Work Programme

30/4/16 letter from PIP, denied, appeal time

29/4/16 See the months they don’t matter, it’s the days I can’t take

Might finally be back on track, home sorted, debts sorted, ESA and PIP on the way.  College interview in a couple of weeks, then focus on beating the anxiety without medication.

Going to turn this blog into a resource library for helping people get on and keep benefits.  

The Tomorrows People stuff will be moved to its own page.  When I’m ready I am going to release everything I have because I don’t think they can do anything about it.  
 

21/1/16 I’m only complaining to keep myself busy sweetie

Locked out today, meds fucked short term memory, lucky I am sick, only had to wait an hour to get back in.  I am almost done with my story, it needs to be out there or here.  I have left 2 glaring inconsistencies on this blog and will use them to show that Tomorrows People and the job centre have lied to me.

18/1/16  walking with a ghost

Finally broke on through to the other side, DpDr, nice.  Got the website and got the plan.  If I said I was sick and  instead of helping you decided I was ok I won’t forget that.

If you think this might mean your own name is brought up in public then delete anything online because I will be linking to anything I can find.   Last time poor Alex had to remove his.

21/8/15 Back to Work We Go

Back to work in a couple of weeks, can’t get income support or housing benefit, can’t survive on SSP so have to try work again.  Not going to be easy and doctor had said to take another month off.

11/08/15  I Told You I was Sick

After seeing the disability adviser at Bishopsworth Job Centre in Bristol I was told that I was disabled and could now apply for any jobs with the two tick symbol.  This is after struggling for years to the interview stage of any application.  I told the fat slob that was barely listening to me (she decided that because I mentioned a history of drug use that I had a heroin problem) what kind of jobs I could and could not do.

I managed to get a job a couple of weeks later without using my CV that involved customer service.  It was a low paid job that would barely cover my expenses, rent and council tax.  I let the DEA adviser know that I was employed and told her where and asked if I would get my first months rent covered and she replied that I would not.  This was wrong and I at least did get that.  I have managed to work from November 2013 to June 2015 but am now off sick again but still employed and receiving statutory sick pay, I am at risk of losing my flat and really do not think that I can go back to work again.   I am on 3 types of medication and feel worse than I did last time I was suicidal.

I am not going to hurt myself but I did a years voluntary work at a work programme provider before starting this blog, during that time I was doing Initial Assessments of work programme clients.  I have contacted the “charity” that I did two days a week work for a year without being offered a job despite hitting every target that a proper employee would have had and all that I am asked for is to be paid for that work that I did there as they did not help me find work and most voluntary placements last 6 months but I was “special”.  I feel special, I have contacted their head office 3 times now by email as I will only deal with them in this way and have had no reply.  This is not helping my current situation as now on anti depressants so able to stand up for myself but very angry about the way that I have been used by this charity.

I have loads of financial information about this charity because the way the IT department works meant that everyone there was sending them to my personal outlook account.  I could even look up my own name on the system to find out what the job centre had written about me and see that anything around suicide or self harm that was on file at one point was removed before my placement on the work programme.

Will add more to this soon, especially how we used to work out how employable the new batch of referrals were, red, amber or green.

What are they asking you to do?

I have just had my Post Work Programme Support interview at my job centre after completing two years on the Work Programme without getting a job.

I did not know what to expect but it quickly became obvious, they want to get you off benefits one way or another.

I have to:

Use Universal Job Match everyday, 7 days a week, this is not a problem, I am lucky and have internet access at home, I know that a lot of people on the Work Programme do not have internet access at home.

Contact 1 company by telephone a week, I am looking for admin, IT or finance work and cannot remember the last time that a company has asked you to telephone to apply for a job.

Send 4 letters a week, this should not be a problem as long as I can find 4 jobs being advertised that ask for a CV and a covering letter.  If not then it was suggested to email big companies.

Visit 2 employment agencies or companies a week in person, this is the most annoying one, I was provided with a list of  agencies that are in the city centre, I had to argue that any more than 2 a week is unreasonable because of travel expenses and it was also suggested that if I could not afford the bus fare that I should walk 4.5 miles to the centre.

The interview ended and I have to go back tomorrow afternoon and then next Monday to see National Career Service, I am not sure what tomorrow is about but have previously seen National Career Service when I first signed on to Job Seekers Allowance.

In total there are 14 steps that I have to take a week to keep my benefits.

Please let me know in the comments section below what steps they have asked you to take and any problems you foresee in completing them.

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Appointment Two

Had to complete JSA claim forms, not sure why they need this but will be looking for information later.  I was then asked to complete forms relating to my voluntary work.  The same forms that I had also previously completed in November when I started there.  They could not find any record of these forms being completed on their system.  Once I had completed these forms again they tried to count it as part time work because I get paid £20 in Tesco vouchers for each day, I work 2 days a week.  Another advisor was called over and they also said that this would count as part time work and this money could be taken from my benefits.  So I said that I would quit the voluntary work just to make things easier, planning to go in there on Wednesday and ask them to contact the job centre to clear things up.  Luckily the bit of paper that they have to log any forms given to me had details of the date that I was previously been given these forms, they then looked into my notes and they found that because I am volunteering at a registered charity that it is still counted as voluntary and the forms that I filled out were ripped up.

I also asked about my end of work programme report, I thought this would be something that they needed before completing my job seekers agreement, they have not received this yet and it does not seem to be as important as it is made out to be because my advisor said that as I am still unemployed it does not make much of a difference.

For proof of telephoning employers I was asked to log the call under “Job Search Notes” on Universal Job Match, this can be found under “Activity History”, list the company name, name and position of who you spoke with and their contact number.

When visiting employers or agencies they would like a compliments slip or something on headed paper, it might also be an idea to log this under “Job Search Notes”.

When I asked how many jobs I have to apply for my advisor only pointed out the steps that I have been asked to complete, it is possible to complete all of the steps that I have been asked to do without applying for a single job, this is not something that I am going to try!

The most important thing that I learned today is that they are now providing Jobseekers Directions.  These “directions” are added to the letter with the time and date of your next appointment.  If you fail to complete these “directions” then your benefits can be stopped.  The only direction that I have to complete is to allow my advisor access to Universal Job Match.  I have no problem with this as I thought they had access already but I did get my advisor to check that I could still refuse this as they cannot force you to give them access.  If you are one of the many people that do not want

to give the Job Centre access to your account then

be prepared for them to try and sneak it in this way.

click to enlarge

directions, a new way to get sanctioned. click to enlarge

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Appointment Three, Signing on Day

I had a new advisor who was a lot more helpful and understanding.  First thing that he wanted to check is that I had allowed access to Universal Job Match, which I had, I then questioned what would happen if I went home and removed access, the answer is that I would be issued with another Job Seekers Direction to allow access.  The main reasoning seems to be that by not using UJM or allowing access then it would create the suspicion that you are not trying hard to get a job.

He had a check over my new CV and did let me know that the name that you save your CV under on UJM, such as New CV Finance, is how the employer would receive it, so it is good advice to change it to just your name.

I did ask about completing new JSA forms and he will find out for me by my next appointment on Monday.

He was happy with my job search and I did not have to provide any extra evidence which I had printed out just in case and from now on there is no need for paper evidence, just a daily write up on Universal Job Match of positions applied for and steps completed.  One signing on day completed without sanction!

Im back in on Monday.  If you have not seen the Universal Job Match page on this blog please check it out.  I have added video instructions to how to set up a scheduler to log into Universal Job Match automatically and even if you do not need that, the Firefox add on Remember Passwords is very handy as it means that you do not have to enter your 12 digit code and password everytime you want to use the site.

Thanks also to the commenters that are providing great information and the retweeters that have helped this blog get 3000 hits in ten days.

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Appointment Four. Check up

This was a very brief appointment with the same advisor that I had seen at appointment three.  He started off by going over the report from my work programme provider but had very little to comment about on it.  He had a look at what I had done for the last five days, which included going to a jobs fair and applying for five jobs.  Everything was logged on Universal Job Match under the Activity history as I was told that this would mean that I did not have to fill out the job logs that you normally do, turns out this is not the case and I have been given the usual sheet of paper to write job search on.  Next time I am in is on my usual signing day so it feels like they are just relaxing a little bit around me, there has been no more mentions of training courses or them having any problems with my voluntary work.

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Appointment Five: Signing On

Different advisor today, seen by an advisor that I had seen a long time ago, even before I started the work programme.  We had a brief look over what I had been applying for and the kind of work that I am looking for.  It was then mentioned that I should be applying for any kind of work, I said that was not possible because I am not good around people anymore because of my mental health problems.  The advisor asked if I needed to see the Disability Employment Advisor again, I said that I have never seen them before and a quick check proved that I was right, I have now been referred to see a Disability Employment Advisor, I am not sure what these people do, so if anyone has any experience around what they are looking for and what kind of help they can offer can you let me know in the comments.  Apart from that the sign on went ok, got paid, next appointment is in two weeks for signing on, so I seem to be off weekly appointments, do not think that is because of the referral to the Disability Employment Advisor as I was told that that could take some time because of the amount of people going from Incapacity Benefit and ESA to JSA.  Are the job centres already finding it hard to see people once a week?  or could it be because in four years I have never failed to provide adequate Job Searching and I have not missed an appointment, the chances of them finding something to sanction me on are low, is that why I am back to just going in on signing day?

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186 thoughts on “After the Work Programme

  1. If you’re going to complain to the Jobcentre, then put it in writing and insist they write back to you. The following link may be of some help. It is for a Jobcentre publiction called “About Jobcentre Plus (Our Service Standards)”. You can also get a copy from your local Jobcentre as well. In the back is a feedback form with tick boxes where you can state the nature of your feedback, i.e. a complaint, and how you want them to reply to you, i.e. by letter.

    Ask for the name of the manager at the reception. Mark the envelope – strictly confidential addressee only.

    http://www.direct.gov.uk/prod_consum_dg/groups/dg_digitalassets/@dg/@en/@benefits/documents/digitalasset/dg_202270.pdf

    If you don’t feel confident enough to contact your local Jobcentre, then contact the district manager instead via this link.

    http://www.dwp.gov.uk/docs/managers-by-region.pdf

    • I have to go to the work programme and within 2 times of going they messed up all the paperwork and letters… then I got a letter through the door to say I have missed my appointment when I never!

  2. Well. I had my first appointment on 1st.

    1) Apparently I seem to be treated as an over 25 at the moment (Shame I don’t get the over 25 money, eh?), but I’m not going to be complaining as my adviser is extremely helpful and congratulated me on getting a conditional offer.

    2) They expect me to do 7 actions, write four times, phone once and visit once. Up from five, but to be honest, I never do the phone or visit because I feel like I’m harassing people for work. Another reason why I always refused to use the yellow pages to call at the WP. Adviser said they advised to look for work 35 hours a week, but she doesn’t expect me to do that.

    3) Compliance interview was held off, what ever the hell that was. To be fair, if they were going to review my benefits, not much has changed. Still poor, still unemployed and still depressed and anxious.

    4) Skills check with that national careers thingy at 2 just for a refresh to figure out what my skills actually are then an appointment at 3 with my adviser. Essentially, she’s not making me do half the stuff because I’ve pretty much got work. I just need to be seen doing things. She’s like in case your dream job comes up (to be fair, being paid london living wage to train and work in admin IS my dream job haha).

    All in all, I think I have a brilliant adviser who knows I’m mentally ill and she’s put it on my file as a potential barrier to employment, at my request, I said I feel fine but it can be a barrier. I’m not really doing the majority of what everyone else seems to be doing because they know I’m potentially off their books in about…. 2-4 weeks maybe? I just hope this CRB stuff hurries the hell up so I can be all ‘hasta la vista mother f’er’ and hope I never have to go back there again.

    • woops forgot to add that i haven’t been told to let JCP access universal job match. but i did complain about the fake jobs using moonfruit to get cbs and pointed out that the whole system was silly and harder to use now. i said i do use it but find the majority of my jobs on my own back. i think my universal job match requirement is actually once a week.

      • A lot does seem to be dependent on the advisor that you get, the one that I had for my first two appointments did not seem interested in anything that I had done in the last 4 years to make myself more employable. The advisor I had for my third appointment, looked at my CV, saw that I was doing voluntary work and was happy with my job search after briefly looking at it. I am glad you got a good advisor who understands that you have got a job and that you have done all that you can. Hope the CRB comes through soon so that you can get started.

    • I had my first ‘Interview’ at the JCP post-work programme yesterday and its now five in the morning as I have not been able to sleep. I have to go for the second appointment today and I’m extremely anxious indeed. It has been an awful experience and I’m left feeling sick. I know this is simply fear but it is not entirely irrational or baseless since ‘the advisor’ made clear the threats and promises laying in store for me if I do not get a job, any job, immediately. I have two kids and I fear for them in the coming weeks. My apologies for this vague and pointless rant but I genuinely fear for the very near future and can’t even think straight right now.

  3. Just signed on second time since finishing wp,have completed 42 leads on jcplus sheets and was told by adviser that because none came from uni jobmatch wasn’t trying hard enough and she would be referring me to mandatory work activity programme. Don’t know my rights on this. I don’t use uni jobmatch because i don’t have internet access at home and don’t really know how to use computers. Are all post wp advisers as rude and demanding as mine seems to be.

  4. 2nd appointment, have been refereed for the compliance interview. Where I’m almost certain I’ll be sanctioned for having to borrow money to survive and having money that doesn’t even belong to me go through my account. Still my adviser said she hoped she could hold it off longer but unfortunately won’t be able to.

    • How did they know what money you have going in to your bank account? As far as i’m aware, they’re not allowed to just dip in and out of your account for a nosy, and they are supposed to only be able to do that if they have evidence that you are commiting benefit fraud.

      • Pffff!! You fucked up big time there then mate. There is no way you are legally obliged to show them you bank statements. The cheeky bastards. I’d av told them to put that request in writing and watched them squirm.

      • Yep, all they can request now is a mini cash point statement which only shows the balance of your account. From what I can gather the only time JCP can request this is when claiming hardship allowance.. But then again, they stopped your only source of income from going in to your bank, so they know full well you would be in hardship. It’s more like a half baked attempt accusing you of benefit fraud without following correct procedures.

  5. Pffff!! You fucked up big time there then mate. There is no way you are legally obliged to show them your bank statements. The cheeky bastards. I’d av told them to put that request in writing and watched them squirm.

  6. No, afraid that is a BIG NO NO, They are not entitled to see your bank account details, this is yet another way for them to find a reason to sanction you. NO ONE is looking at my bank details. If they ask I will refuse and will say i will take legal advice..

    • You’re on JSA, right? Don’t they have a company already trawling the accounts of everyone on JSA loooking for anomalies, which means they’ve already got access to any bank account you have? That’s been the state of play for some years now I believe.

      • I am on JSA, all of my bills are pay as you go, so all my statements would show is the JSA going in and the cash being taken out. I can understand why people would have a problem with showing statements that have more information on them.

      • No they don’t go through peoples bank accounts, I think your getting mixed up with the contract that the dwp have with a credit reference company (i think its experian) and they trawl through claimants credit history to see if they have taken out any credit cards or loans which may raise suspisions as to how someone on benefits can pay for such things…(basically the dwp are looking for any excuse to investigate claimants for benefit fraud

  7. Bumped into a friend today who has survived work programme. He is now having to sign on 3 days a week. Had to present his passport, proof of all utility bills and 6 months of bank statements. Seems they are trying to do anything to get people off benefits.

  8. My program ended but no one told me! First i knew was when i went to the bank and my jsa was missing. Panick. Told its not my fault,its a crossover/jc+ cokup.come to the office and we will sort it…twenty minuites later( jc+,2 muppets, 1 supervisor and me) and i started to smell a rat. MY FAULT they said. I should have been daily signing but because i hadnt my claim was closed..despite my evidence of current, to date js agreement, printed personnal work evidince forms, no call no letter no exit interview no idea wat they were on about…i was told 2 fk off,appeal,new claim from scratch,dont pass go and collect,procceed directly to my nearest foodbank and hit my amitryptyline stash for comfort. Four weeks starvation later and my appeal was denied only to be overturned by a jsa allowance processor in the newcastle feedback team. Backdated jsa and im back on the merrygoround. No exit interview yet though as ive not been flagged yet, she said. What a mess. Lesson…..always have enough tinned food,electric,gas to survive sanctions, cokups and bullshit. Amitrytyline will help but is not mandatory.

    • I honestly feel for every one of yous.
      I was unemployed for 18mnths n spent over a year being bullied by the jobcentre and work programme, they made my life a total misery, eventually I found a good job and signed off.
      I have been working for over a year now and its upsetting 2 c that this bullying is still taking place.
      I only came on this site today because my parents received a phone call from the work programme demanding to know where I work, when I got my new job I signed off without telling my work programme provider where I work.
      For the first couple of months I was called by phone and received letters from the wp asking abt my employment details. I stuck 2 my guns and never revealed where my new job is, which means they can not receive there bonus.
      At the end of the day they bullied me for nothing as they are no financially better off.
      I urge everyone to do the same.. good luck 2 everyone.

  9. I have to say that in my experience dealing with lone parent, tax credit, housing benefit and jsa problems, i have always used my local CAB who have been lifesavers for me even if only to have someone human to see your side of the problems and share the weight of finding soloutions.

  10. Although Job Centre Plus may issue a Job Seekers Direction which would coerce candidates to engage with Universal Job Match (specifically creating an account, creating a profile, uploading a CV, making the CV searchable), there is currently no legislative enabler which would coerce candidates to providing access to a UJM Account.

    However, it remains the case that the Monster Corporation administers the system on behalf of DWP, and when candidates create a UJM Account, they accept a number of legally binding agreements (administered within the Court in England and Wales) which includes acceptance that Monster Corporation is a Data Processor, and may distribute the data contained in UJM to any party deemed authorised by the Minister of State. Hence, irrespective of whether the candidates gives authorisation, the personal data contained may be distributed to any party.

    On a matter of substance… UJM remains Unfit For Purpose. Once you create an account on UJM, you may be matched to Job Leads automatically, through personal choice, through the intervention of admin staff in JCP and outside.However, even at the time of being matched to a Job Lead let alone for an unspecified time afterwards, there remains no proof that the Job Leads that you have been matched to, when highlighted through an External Website, are malicious and/or whether exist.

    You could therefore be matched to a Job Lead, be asked by JCP to provide proof that you have applied for the Job Lead, but when you had to apply for the Job Lead through an external website, discovered that the vacancy did not exist. Unless you take a screenshot at the time, there will be no proof that the vacancy did not exist, and you are likely to be sanctioned.

  11. How did you get on at your fortnightly signing ? are you still on fortnightly and which category are you in, JCP support or MIR ?

  12. This is totally absurd,the DWP are for sure focussed on chucking people onto the streets and ensuring they starve.I am due to end with my WP contractor soon and this news is going to be daunting to me and thousands of other WP leavers nationwide.Constant bullying,harrassment and intimidation.I and many other crack under the strain of looking for

    work.The DWP offer no support at all,they are using scaremongering/’bull boy’ tactics against the unemployed.It disgusts me the way I and thousands are treated.Were bearing the brunt of the stick treatment now

  13. News from Sheffield about some “post Work Programme support”. An 8 week full time mandatory “Essential Employability Skills” course. I use the term “course” very loosely although, this time, it’s Sheffield College “in partnership” with JCP and Edexcel a “qualifying company”.

    Course content is dire (and familiar to any WP victim) ranging from the patronising Jelly Baby Treehttp://binged.it/15HWCca; to the insulting: “use deodorant” to the punitive: A section called “Modifying Your Behaviour” and constant calls for “flexibilty” (on the part of workers not employers…) The ethos is the same old Thatcherite message “it’s your fault you’re unemployed” – nothing to do with mass unemployment.

    What’s significant about this familiar drivel is the involvement of Sheffield College, “mainstreaming” this kind of punitive waste of time/taxpayers money. The irony is that anyone wanting to do a useful vocational course (at Sheffield College for example) is not allowed to until the “course” finishes. Same goes for voluntary work or study. The message is: stop what you’re doing – even if it helps you find work – and PASS this course. Sheffield College is only paid for those “learners” who pass the course so there’s another round of the farce familiar to A4e attendees: you pretend to learn, we pretend to teach/assess, the JCP is happy and – in this case – Sheffield College is paid per “successful” “learner”.

    60/65 people started in July and Sheffield College is planning to provide 700 places for “learners” by September.

    This “initiative” feels like a rushed job: the course materials are constantly being revised; the tutors are (largely) appalled at the rubbish they’re supposed to “deliver”. Basic stuff like pointing out fire exits has been omitted.

    Happily, there’s been resistance: a petition calling the “course” a “back to school approach” which needs to change has been signed by a majority of us who started in July. Template letters to MPs have been handed out and UNITE community union has been recruiting. College management and JCP seem very jumpy about the course. They should be.

  14. Many thanks for sharing your experience of what looks like hell. I have my first interview next week at 9.10am (peak bus fare time). Do you get travel expenses for these interviews? Can’t see me lasting long with this hassle,looks like going self employed could be short term way out.
    All the best
    Ol

  15. Hi, is it possible to just register with Universal Jobsmatch, provide a public CV, but then simply use other sites for your jobsearch ? Keeping records etc. of your jobsearch, but not actually using UJ ?

  16. Post work programme interview Kennington job centre
    Thursday
    The advisor who I never met before just gives me a mandatory work activity handout
    I am told I have to do this even though I have found a volunteer position
    he does not ask anything about what I am doing to find work
    we then review and update the job seekers agreement
    I speak to the manager and even though I have mental health problems I am told I have to do MWA I am told to put my health problems to one side ?
    Tuesday
    The advisor tells me the manager is waiting to see me after interview as arranged
    He goes off to talk to the manager I have a folder full of paper work including the DWP guidelines on MWA all of which it seems they have broken and newspaper piece about a study by the DWP in 2011 that states MWA does not help people into work.
    I think advisor tipped off the manager because after the interview the manager tells me he is still gathering information about MWA providers and will speak to me on Monday.
    I was also given a new job seeking form to fill out and told to put my jobs on there
    It is backdated for the last two weeks and I am not given any information about how this form should be filled out.
    Every week I have to provide 11 jobs including the reference number I applied for
    List 8 steps I took to find work
    Write why I think the steps I have taken to find work gave me the best prospect of finding work
    If I have not/did not take all the steps to find work agreed on jobseekers agreement please state why
    and supply any additional information to support my jobsearch or prevented me from looking for work
    provide info on any courses I attended
    and I have to sign and date that all information is correct
    When I sign on Friday with the form complete they told me they did not want to see it
    and I would no longer be signing on downstairs everything will be done upstairs
    at their mercy I guess.
    Back in on Monday will keep you up dated
    I am also being sanctioned for not attending an appointment that I knew nothing about
    I explained this in the good reason letter reply and am now asking them to look again at the decision. But both the job centre and CAB told me that this is happening all the time
    and is very hard to win because how do you prove that you were never told of an appointment

  17. I have recently completed the Work Programme with Working Links. Had my first ‘robust’ interview etc. I would advise anyone to download the Universal Jobs Toolkit from whatdotheyknow. This is the basic operating document for the advisers. There are basically 3 types of jobseeker: 1.Registered on UJ with public CV , jobsearching on it & allowing Jobcentre Full Access to UJ Account. 2..Registered on UJ with public CV using UJ for jobsearch,but Not Allowing Access to account by Jobcentre.
    3. Registered on UJ with public CV and not allowing access to the account, or using it to jobsearch. – You do not have to allow access or even use it for jobsearch. All you must do is create the account and post your CV on it, and make the CV public. You can be asked to provide a print-out of your CV as it appears online, that is all.
    You can insist on continuing to fill-in the Jobsearch record form, and of course bring in your evidence of jobsearch. If you do this remember your evidence will have to be very solid. So 10 -12 e-mail application confirmations from CV Library, Reed or whoever, etc. You will still have to send letters/ make phone calls etc as directed.
    The advisors are trained to get you to put as much of your jobsearch online with full access if possible. Don’t fall for it, you have the protection of EU privacy law, and that is why they reluctantly have to allow an opt-out on giving access. I have had an advisor say ” I just want to see you sign-on, to make sure you can do it, I won’t look at the page.” This is rubbish, they want to see exactly what you are searching for, so they can extend it into other areas, and see what activity you have done. If you have denied access, politely point out that this includes, ‘quick looks’, ‘just a peek at’,etc. If you fall for this, you will be considered to have temporarily granted access to your account. If you want maximum privacy, be a Type 3 jobseeker, and stick to it.

  18. Well, I’ve only had two post work programme appointments. The first hour long one set the aggressive tone, and on the second two hour long one the scumbag “adviser” launched into going through my job log with a fine tooth comb. The upshot was that my benefit was suspended under the “actively seeking employment” rule.

  19. Interesting comments here.

    I’ve recently come off the Work Programme and I’m now on this so called ‘Post Work Programme Support’. The first thing that happened was that I was moved from signing on at my local Job Centre 5 mins away to another one 45 mins away. And as a result of this, my Jobseekers Allowance for my last signing on at the old Job Centre was messed up and paid to me a week and a half late (luckily I have some savings to fall back on). So far, nothing has changed for me….I attended an interview at the other Job Centre during which my advisor drew up a ‘new’ job seekers agreement (which is identical to my old one) but said I needed to provide printed emails as prood of what I’ve applied for when I next come in. I was given an appointment for my next signing on day (today) for some kind of Personal Advisor interview and asked to bring along a copy of my CV. So today, I turned up at the Job Centre bright and early this morning, about 35 minutes before the interview was meant to be and went and used one of their computers to print off a load of my job application emails as I don’t have a printer at home. So far, so good. But then when I went to the reception desk and informed them of my interview, they told me they had no record of it and it must have been rearranged for a different date without anybody telling me. I was then told I could sign on early whilst I was there, as the mistake was their fault (my normal sign on time is in the afternoon). When the guy I saw signed me on, he had no interest whatsoever in any of my jobsearch activity, just ‘Sign here please’ and get rid of me, told me I should just come back in 2 weeks as normal to sign, and then the interview I should’ve been having today has now been moved to Novemeber, on my signing on day in 4 weeks time.

    So far, they’ve not requested any bank statements from me but I will refuse to supply them if asked. They have no right whatsoever to look at what goes in and out of your account and what you spend your money on. You’re allowed to have up to £6000 savings…if they want to run some kind of credit check on me to make sure I’m underneath that figure, then fair enough but anything other than that is a severe breach of my privacy and I’ll be looking to take action against them under the Data Protecton Act.

    At this stage in time, I honestly think the whole process is created and run by a bunch of Muppets, who are more hindrance than help. I only hope that some kind of job miraculously comes along before next April, as George Osbourne has now threatened us all with having to do community service for our Job Seekers Allowance, basically punishing us, the long suffering job seekers, for this Government’s complete failure to deal with unemployment over the last few years and them wasting God knows how much public cash on the completely inadequate Work Programme.

  20. I’m up for my first support interview.
    I will be recording the conversation by dicta-phone (for my own training purposes).

    Stay informed, stay positive.

  21. Well, I had my first post work programme support interview this week. I went armed with my tape recorder and a load of print offs in case things went a bit “box ticked”.
    My adviser ceased the opportunity to send me to a career’s adviser as a mandatory exercise and will probably have a few extra tasks to do under threat of a sanction for agreeing to it, it might help and I will reserve judgement until Ive attended. The key is to negotiate a better JSA agreement, ask as many questions you need to, try to understand the motive behind why they want to put something new into your agreement. I stood my ground and politely explained that the bottleneck designed to get people off the dole is not the same as the “creation” of jobs, something myself (without capitol), the jobcentre advisors or the career advisor I’m due to go and see has the power to do…that is create jobs, I just needed to remind them and put the appointment into perspective.
    Without our collective unemployment these third party interloper “CV” tweaking houses would be empty, as like any Obligate parasite, your misfortune is their bread and butter!
    A4E,Seetec, this place that place etc etc do not produce anything tangible to help the survival of man, on benefits or otherwise, they do not produce food, they only consume it so to speak or point in the direction they think it is…for a fee claimed off the government.
    Remember that the people who work in these places are only one stamped letter away from being unemployed themselves so be respectful always, they are just people, told what to do half of the time without a broader understanding of the care of knowing through consequences how fragile their influence really is, just don’t sit there nodding without getting something out of it that you know will help you if you are sat at the desk, find out everything they can do to help you train,learn or motivate you without just ticking their computer screen boxes, make them earn their money as they advise you to do, just be nice and these things should general flow alot smoother.
    Do as they ask you to do, if you think what they are asking you to do is unreasonable, tell them, explain to them why, as otherwise your new agreement will only serve to trip you up.
    Most of the paperwork I took along actually proved unnecessary but it gave me the confidence in knowing I could back up every single claim I made if needs must. Regarding the use of UJM you only need to set it up and that’s it, they will not badger you after that and the use of it after is voluntary, I explained that UJM does not offer anything above what I couldn’t already do for myself…its true and they know this, you only need to let them know you know this and they will not go anywhere near asking you again, at least in my experience questioning the motive has proved to show their understanding of it being different and can be challenged, giving them personal details they do not already have or taken from the time of making the initial claim can be politely objected too, I do not give email addresses, mobile telephone numbers and bank statements are a total no no. I Showed them a paper copy of my CV that has all the particulars blanked out and put a copyright mark diagonally down the front to show that I can create a CV and that I would tailor my CV to the specific Job, they will not get a digital copy EVER….look but don’t touch! The two staff present at my appointment were very good and gave honest information, I’m not sure weather the presence of knowing they were being recorded helped but based on previous experience I think it is far easier to hold to account any bad advice given if its recorded, you also get to learn about your negotiation skills and how to improve on them, as an added bonus I cringed at the sound of my own voice….no applications for radio until further notice.

  22. Be warned even if you get a job and at some point in the future lose that job, you will be put straight back on PWP. I was on the work programme and found myself a job (with no help from them), was working just under 18 months before being made redundant, (again) four weeks after signing on and nearly 3 months after the work programme ended, I was presented with PWP. it seems no matter how long you will work for this will always be hanging over you. which I find grossly unfair

  23. Hi, I shall not go in to too much detail, but I’ve been through the exact same scenario you have been going through. Even more ironic, is the fact that you mention working with Tesco’s, and getting paid in Tesco Vouchers, this is something I have been looking in to as well, but more about that later :D.

    This is what I would suggest doing, however, it’s not wise doing this unless you really want to put up a battle, and therefore can somehow scrape together enough cash to help cover any prioriity bills.

    Anyway, with regards to not having been given the end of term WP report, this is something you should of been given before exiting the work programme. This is requested by the DWP \ JCP about 4 weeks before you are due to finish the full 104 week term.

    Work Programme Guidance Procedures state that the DWP will not tolerate delayed reports, as it can “delay” the customers switch over back on to JCP support, that being PWPS. Failure to adhere to these strict guidelines according to the DWP will result in a possible £5,000 fine, and the the Work Programme Provider in question, could possibly be kicked off the list as being a company contracted to provide such a service.

    With that said, chances are, they have supplied the report to the DWP and\or JCP, but if anything like mine, a 2 year report is basically 60 words on 1 piece of a4 paper, and whatever little information is found in this report, is nothing more than a load of bo**ocks.

    So 1st thing would be to use a mobile to record a PWPS adviser clarifying that they had/had not received the work programme report at the time you first requested it. (Make them aware they are being recorded). You will either get no response, or an overpaid adviser stupendously agreeing to put themselves out of a job, or at least try to pass the blame on to something or someone else!

    Either way, the recording will be speak for itself, with or without a confession.

    As for Universal Jobmatch, it’s not a mandatory requirement to have to use it, and therefore if it’s included in your Jobseekers agreement, but not something you would use as providing job search evidence one week, you could be getting sanctioned for no reason at all, other than it’s a step you had not needed to take, but is one that conveniently becomes something to sanction you over without whenever JCP feel like it. Basically, they have your Jobseekers agreement in front of them every time you sign on, so they have the ability to pick and choose when to be arseholes over what methods they decided you did or did not meet.

    The more they change your Jobseekers agreement, to include making extra financial effort to find work, just so they receive a bonus payout and reach targets by forcing someone else in to work, ask them if they are willing to subsidize the additional requirements to make achieving and financing the extra costs needed to meet their demands before getting sanctioned.

    If they do sanction you once your original jobseekers agreement changes from the normal 3 steps minimum required each week, which is what the £71.80 the law says you are required to be paid as a minimum based on your original claim for JSA, then don’t be surprised to hear the word “Discretion” when it comes to whether or not a sanction is given to you. “Discretion” (at least in my experience) is used to give out a sanction, if you are not concerned about appealing their “discretion” to sanction you. Once they know you will appeal against any unfair attempt to force an unlawful sanction on you, they will give up with that game.

    Also, with UJM the one major thing people are refusing to sign up to it, is purely because they are consenting the DWP to access their accounts, anyone who has nothing to hide are obviously happy to use the service. However, it’s not what you have or do not have to hide that’s the real problem it causes them by refusing to allow them access, it’s the fact that they cannot check your job search activity. Therefore, if the DWP cannot check your job search activity without them actually accusing you of something as serious as benefit fraud, then any information such as who you contact about work, is covered by the data protection act, needless to say,, if the DWP cannot check your jobsearch history without good reason, neither can job centre plus. How many times do u see staff at JCP type on their PC’s anything positive you have done to find work? They may photocopy the odd joblog now and then, but they don’t hardly bother to log anything other than negativity which allows them to raise a sanction.

    As for working with Tesco, your allowed to earn £5 a week before benefits are affected. Offer to do an 4 hours a month for a £20 Tesco Voucher; on the understanding that it can be used in the same way as they offer customers the ability to use them as Clubcard Rewards. Once you have your £20 for 4 hours work over 4 weeks, trade it in for 4x it’s value, therefore turning you £20 in to £80 in something like dining out or day trips, AUCTION the tickets on e Bay as a private seller with a 0.99p starting price, as long as u research what people are looking to buy, you will end up getting a lot more then £20 from something you dont want, but can use he cash made off it, for something else (IE help towards paying costs that you have lostt in benefits, food groceries, electric bills).

    To be fairly honest, you could put any additional cash in to your bank account, as it would be considered as personal savings through selling your personal items, and not additional money earned through a 2nd income, and your still available for work 24/7 – What can they say? ;-).

    Another thing to do is use cashback sites on whatever you can, you can get £5 cashback for using sites like topcashback when you spend x amount of money on groceries with tesco, so that’s £5 cashback that can be withdrawn as tesco clubcardpoints, meaning £5 again, coold make you £15 profit, just remember to use whatever profit gained in a sensible way that cannot be used against you as an excuse to purchase luxury items, although the odd few should not cause problems :-).

  24. one time I went to the job centre and the little man handed me the little green book thing and said “where is you job search log” in a very condisending and smug manner, I flicked through and couldn’t find my page with all the jobs on it even thought I knew it was in there. Then I looked at the front and it said ‘Mr Peterson’ i.e not mine. Hahaha the look on his face lol, he was like “oh I’m so very busy and…someone must have mixed these up” I felt like I’d deflected his cok slapping me in the face and quickly slapped him the face with my own cok, like some crazy mad bruce lee shiz… was a great moment.

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  26. Hi i have just read your article,i attended my post work programme interview today,while updating my details it stated i was a carer which is not the case,the advisor took this off. I have a thirteen year old who i claim child tax credit for could it have meant this?, confused…thanks in advance

  27. I have worked all my life and I am now coming up to 60yrs old lifes rollercoaster now means that I have to claim job seekers for the first time and I have every sympathy with those struggling to get by.Those so called advisors were not even born when I had completed 45yrs working .Will those kids ever get anywhere near that? I don,t think so.i respect when it,s earned and proved until then don,t get a bunch of kids to do the dirty jobs of this gov.

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  29. I am about to come to the end of my work programme. If I sign off for 3 months does that mean I can sign onto JSA again as a new claimant? I am over 25.

  30. I have been going to a4e for nearly two years no and it’s drove me to depression. I now have such bad anxiety attacks before I go there I hate it so much I cry all the time knowing I have to go there every week. I WANT and NEED a job and that’s the only thing keeping going. They look at me like I’m less of a person. I was such a happy go lucky person before all of this. I hate my life. I have “reviews” every week just to tell me that I’m “dumb” or to join the “army” as I’ll “never get a job aroud here” they put me down so much I feel like utter crap by the time they’re finished with me. I have bad depression and I can’t cope. They won’t put me on any course’s or help me in anyway. I don’t see a way out of this unhappiness. I can’t deal with one more day there. I am doing all I can to get a job it’s hell when nobody will take you on and you have nothing to get up in the morning for

  31. Thank you so much for all these postings. I have a post-work programme interview booked in a couple of days. Although the work-programme is a 2 year agreement, I was in full time work for 5 months of this. Also, at the beginning of my work-programme period with Prospects, no-one from Prospects offered me an appointment or helped me at all for 7 months. I had to complain and demand some help, which when it came was pretty useless. I’m wondering if the DWP are now entitled to consider me as having served my time, (2 years), with the work programme. I can’t find any specific information? Can anyone offer any advice please?

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  33. Hi can someone give me some advice. I have finished the work programme (2 years) so i have been referred back to the jobcentre. The advisor told me during the first interview that soon i would be put on 1 of the following three: Attending the job centre everyday to look for work on their computers, mandatory work placement where i will be placed in work unpaid, and cant remember the other one. Well today was like my 4th/5th appointment and the advisor said i can choose from either attending the jobcentre everday for an hour to look for work on their computers or do unpaid work. I had already told him before that if i did unpaid work he would have to sort out childcare for my daughter which he aid he will look into asking the work programme company if they would fund it. He also said if i chose to be placed in unpaid work it would be referred on to the same company i was on the work programme with. I chose to attend the jobcentre everday i have been given the times i need to attend. I dont see what difference it will make doing the jobsearch in the jobcentre. Can anyone tell me whether i have to attend daily is it mandatory?

  34. Do you work for JSA, because anyone else writing all this crap instead would be making an army to go to every fucking JSA centre in this country and slowly cutting the heads off all those dirty bastard jobs worth twats that destroy people’s lives because they have a little bit of power, the day I am waiting for and be the first to sign up to and show them a little bit ISIS in this country. Forced labour is not the way forward; the way I feel in this country at this moment in time well ISIS is looking very attractive better than forced labour.

  35. I finished my two year work programme august 2013 . I was then sent back to the jobcentre to be allocated an advisor and for a year till this august 2014 I was put through my paces with mandatory work experience and course after course with lots of appointments with my advisor. this was called post work programme programme. I am now attending fortnightly to sign and as long as my jobsearch is adequate I am left alone to get on with it. the advisors I see are different every time I go and they don’t seem to know what they are doing. all I know is that when I left my advisor after that year she told me that as I had been with her for a year post work programme programme and had been with her before april 2014 when new schemes ie the help to work scheme had been introduced I would not be required to visit the job centre daily or work for six months for my benefit. I am totally confused and am living in what I can only describe as a false sense of security. I cant seem to find any answers as what I may have done to me next or when can anyone put me out of my misery and let me know!

  36. I completed a four day course to show me how to fill in a weekly action plan, on the course the only mention of the form was, “even if you put the wrong date format, it could lead to your benefit being sanctioned” they then updated my CV. All of these companys do this, I have never heard of an example of any of these companys saying your CV is fine as it is, the updated CV was absolute rubbish, to be fair,the spelling was good, after the course I did receive a certificate from the regional examination board, I am now certificated, employable? I did enquire, if the paper was worth anything, the next time I saw my “Advisor” he told me,”You don’t need to fill in the action plan, just the job search diary will do” I did wonder how much Pertemps, were paid for the four days,

  37. I am disabled with osteoarthritis in my back, neck, shoulders, knees, some fingers, I’m currently on ESA, when I was on jsa I was advised by disability advisor at job centre that I shouldn’t say on my CV that I’m disabled or that in between jobs ive raised a family, in the hope that I will get an interview, but I feel that id be misleading a possible employer by not admitting my disability, I think that because I haven’t worked since 2007, the job centre want me to say I’m healthy and fit, to get off benefits. My doctor deemed me unfit to work so after being on jsa on and off for approximately a year, I’m now on low rate ESA which I have lost my disability premium until my next medical with Atos replacement healthcare assessment, when ever that will take place. I feel its disgusting that job centre disability advisors can even suggest such a thing to get people off benefits, if people like myself are disabled and difficulty finding work shouldn’t be made to feel bullied into lying on their CV about their health .

  38. I am coming up to the end of my work programme commitments and I can honestly say I feel that I have had two years of my life completely wasted. I made it pretty clear that the work I was looking for was in administration and possibly copywriting, yet I was offered no help in finding this line of work an was instead constantly put on courses that were related to retail and customer service, which I already have experience in and don’t particularly want to go back to (although I will do if the hours are reasonable and the company is good). I have had two short-term jobs during my time there and they didn’t help me find either of them. The first was a job at a service station which I left because the “20 hours per week with occasional overtime” translated to “30+ hours in ridiculous inconsistent shift patterns just standing behind the till and given no additional training”. The second job was a temporary data input role that has ended now and was blighted by very poor communication both within the company itself and with the recruiter. This second role came literally days after I was told in no uncertain terms that I would not find an admin job. I even went to the trouble of finding a short course on admin and business that could potentially help me and be an addition to my CV (it is low on work experience as I was a student until 2012 and am finding out what a mistake this was, I wish I would have done an apprenticeship instead but now I’m not eligible) but to do so I had to turn down an interview that they set up for me without my consent via threat of sanctioning, and when I was confronted about it they proved that they had no idea what the course was about as they thought it was full-time and said I could work around it even though you can only do the course if you’re on benefits. They made it sound as if I was just dodging work and that I lacked perspective, but after almost two years of making no progress and them showing absolutely no interest in helping me I didn’t see how three additional weeks doing something that might actually give me a foothold in the longterm career path I was aiming for could possibly be a problem. It’s this sort of myopic, target-driven nonsense that prevents these providers from actually providing for their clients. Probably the funniest instance of their inanity was when I was ‘invited’ to a mandatory interview. There’s some very nice people working there which is why I won’t name anyone personally or the provider, but they just have no intention of engaging with anyone unless they submit to everything. I signed back on after the temp job and received a voice mail last Monday, which was a bank holiday, from someone I’ve never heard of at my WP provider saying he’d text me again during the week to set something up, but I haven’t heard back from him. And now I have a letter about my first post-WP appointment yet I haven’t had anything arranged by them regarding getting a review letter. I’ve had no communication from them whatsoever. I’m hoping once I have this appointment I can talk to them about the course, as it’s starting up again soon, and reason with them that it’s the way forward for me unless I happen to find anything else before or during it (I do have an interview lined up later this week), but surely this is the sort of thing the work programme should have been helping me with instead of hindering me for two years.

  39. you provided a document entitled “SR13 HtW Implementation Memo 026
    CWP contingency 2014 12 05.pdf ” which details which areas can mandate PWPS claimants whose return date from the WP was pre 28 April 2014 to attend a CWP.

    Please provide all the information you hold which details actual or proposed plans for further expansion of this to other areas including which areas will be affected and when.

    Also provide any information you hold which clarifies exactly which part of the SR13 conditionality enforces the sending of PWPS claimants who returned from the WP before 28 April 2014 to CWPs

    https://www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/memos_that_cwp_was_extended_nati

    https://www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/areas_in_which_pwps_claimants_ca#incoming-658031

    https://www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/163458/response/403920/attach/14/PWPS%20Guidance%20v3%2013%2005%2029.pdf

  40. FFS, what a bunch of lazy whining, money grabbing gits you lot are. Oh boo hoo hoo, you have to do something in exchange for free housing and money! No wonder the country is in such a state with lazy scrounging,whining parsaisties like you lot!
    I work 3 jobs and it grates me massiveley to see my hard earned wages getting the shit taxed out of them to subsidise you sitting on your fat arse eating McDonalds and watching Jeremy Kyle all day! Look at countries like India where there is no jobcentres (or as I like to call them the junkie cashline) and you will see just how well of you lot really are.
    if you want more money get off your fat arse and get a job or 2 like the rest of us and then see how you like it when your wages get taken off you to fund some scumball’s sky and buckfast bills!

    • Truthfull Tony, maybe it’s lack of education which has you working 3 jobs. Truthful is how it is spelt. If you are full of truth then send me 3 wage slips and I will publish them here for everyone to see how much a hard working individual like yourself is taxed. I would email you but the email address that you have used is false like everything else that you have written. Instead of pretending to work 3 jobs, next time you are bored why not say that you have one good paying job and if you genuinely work 3 jobs then I suggest you get down the jobcentre as it would look good on your CV and they could type one out for you. If any of what you claim is real then I would suggest that its lack of education, ignorance and that you are not really likable that means you have to work 3 jobs and cannot get employment full time that pays well enough for you and your family, as you must have a family to want to work like that. Maybe you should not have had the kids you pretend to have or the the lifestyle you lead is wrong, so you are making so many bad decisions in your own life that it should not be used as an example to others. Trolls are the lowest of the low but you are a sad cunt. What ever it is that makes you angry wont go away and I hope you do everyone a favour and kill yourself.

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