Jobcentre Staff Were Taught to Inflict ‘Psychological Harm’ on the Unemployed

Jobcentre Staff Were Taught to Inflict ‘Psychological Harm’ on the Unemployed


Someone can hold a job for maybe 20 years or longer lose the job through no fault of their own and to these people that makes them instantly scumbags. Systems broken and it's been broken a long time, someones not going to get back into a job by making them feel worthless.


My wife and I were fresh out of uni and trying to get jobseekers while we looked for something. We submitted an application and waited. We were told we needed to submit more information so we did, and waited. We were told they didn't receive the information so we went and submitted in person and waited. We were told they still hadn't received it, so we made an appointment and were told we hadn't provided enough information and would have to reapply starting this all over again. Meanwhile we have been begging and borrowing to survive and not become homeless. For nearly 3 months. On the way out my wife broke down crying, a member of staff at the branch saw, took us aside and asked a few questions and within 10 minutes we were accepted. I am forever grateful to that person and in shock that a system could be so poor it can leave you desperate for months but at the same time sorted in minutes by one person with empathy. And apparently the new system is even worse. Something really needs to be done but no one in power cares.


> On the way out my wife broke down crying, a member of staff at the branch saw, took us aside and asked a few questions and within 10 minutes we were accepted. The sad thing is that a person with that level of compassion will not last long in an environment like that and will quit due to the uphill battle they cannot possibly win.


I really hope not, but yeah, I have heard it can be as soul destroying to work there as it is to have to go. It is depressing when you know our country could be so much better.


Tories gonna Tory.


Disgusting inhumane psychopaths.


There's this weird, almost shameful feeling of having to 'go down the jobcentre'. It feels like social expectation and the experience itself, reinforces that. It can make you feel like the worst person in the world, no matter how you are. You look at the tables and chairs which are literally bolted to the floor and you almost feel like you've been sent to prison. I'm saying this from experience back when I was in a similar position, then over a decade later after being made redundant in a good job. My dad had to go through it too, who had never taken a sick day in 40 years, except for a back operation and he was back in 2 weeks. It's not just the jobcentre though, the societal pressure of 'being on the dole' can certainly makes you feel ashamed and it's hard in that position to take advantage of the help they can actually give.


Piggybacking this to recommend the film “I, Daniel Blake” to everyone who reads. It’s a scarily realistic portrayal of this exact thing.


The scene in the food bank broke me. :(


That entire film broke me. Had to watch it as a class in Media Studies for A-level, holy shit was it harrowing, way too real. Everyone should watch it imo. Edit: Hardest scene in the film: one character (who is trying to get universal credit for her family)’s two kids talk about being bullied for being poor and not having new sneakers/knock offs so she uses some of their allowance to buy them some but only has enough money left to feed the kids not herself. So later they invite Daniel over for dinner and while Daniel and the kids have spaghetti for dinner she just has an apple but reassures them it is fine she isn’t hungry.


It brought back hard memories of being on the dole. Explaining how shit it is to people who haven't been on the dole is extremely hard


"how come they claim they can't afford food, but they have an iphone" well because an iphone can be "only" £25 a month, and is a gateway to some of the best entertainment and media is someone's utterly miserable life. it has the internet where you can apply for jobs, look for help etc. I know someone basically said "their phones should be taken away from them, and they should use the library"... yeah, you want to go use the library to try and figure out your finances? The whole country has such a twisted view of benefits, massively overblown by the media CONSTANTLY pushing "on benefits = stealing YOUR money", meanwhile half the populations doesn't realise they are poor. Broke my heart when my Mum said she would never vote labour because "they are communists who will just give money to the poor".... but mum YOU are the poor. My first job stacking shelves i earned more than you do full time......


Also, what library? The town I grew up in had a library, 15 minutes walk from my house. The next town over, 30 minutes walk away, had one. The next town after that, an hour's walk, had one. All shut now. Nearest library is 30 minutes drive from where I grew up.


And finally Libraries shouldn't be full of unemployed people trying to submit benefit claims. They're a place for books and records!




Which is so strange because it doesn't even fit the genre of poverty porn. Poverty porn is Jeremy Kyle, Benefits Britain etc not I, Daniel Blake.


Shout out for Benefits Street in trying to paint Benefit claimants in a certain ligh and further exploiting vulnerable people. All in the name of "entertainment"




Can't Pay? We'll take it away is the jewel in their crown.


Channel 5's programming alternates between the following 4 topics: * Poor people * Rich people * The royal family * Princess Diana


It's amazing how the effect of that show still lingers. It ran for two series and there were only nine episodes ever made but it made an impact like no other documentary about benefits.


my Dad loves these shows (well, maybe not Jeremy Kyle) - but the benefits ones, the "Can't Pay, Take it Away" bailiff ones and the ones about landlords trying to get problem tenants evicted. Those shows + The Daily Mail seems to inform his entire worldview that everyone's scrounging, ruining landlords lives etc


My dad is a slight variation on yours. Instead of Can't Pay, Take it Away and the Mail it's Police Interceptors and the Express.




People actually think no one does manual labour jobs anymore? Wow. Speaking of which, I need to go plug in my brother to charge, he's been working on a building site all day.


Grayson Perry is a closet Tory imho


>the working class don't exist anymore, all their jobs have been automated, no one does manual work these days I literally shovel for a living. Admittedly all sane professions use JCBs to dig, but whoever said archaeologists had all their marbles in the right pot.


They're not known to use whatever intellect they have. Brains, brand new; never used


I had had a couple of brief stints on JSA a couple of years before that came out. It was uncanny how accurate most of it was. Like even if I didn't experience it all, I'd seen and overhead enough with others to recognise things that happened in the film. If it wasn't so tragic it'd be laughable.


Thanks for the recommendation


The system isn’t broken, it’s working exactly how it’s designed


I’m terrified of the day I’ll start job hunting. I’ve been a carer since secondary school, I helped care for my terminally ill step dad and now I care for my disabled mum. Therefore I don’t really have a lot of work experience (I had a few side jobs in a pub and some office work, but nothing substantial). My grades are shit due to struggles with mental health and attendance. I’ve been told numerous times that I’m just lazy, using caring as an excuse to not work. These people have no idea how much that hurts, they have no idea how much I’d love to have a full-time job, to get out more and meet new people. I don’t even get minimum wage as a carer and they think I *want* to live like this? I’ve heard no end of horror stories about JobCentre staff and I just know they’d be judgemental as fuck towards someone like me and it makes me feel hopeless about my future. Fuck this system, it’s meant to be there to help people. Edit: I just want to thank everyone who replied for the amazing advice and support, it was really nice to read them all when I woke up this morning. Kindness goes such a long way and it’s things like this that keep me going. You’re amazing people. :)


As a carer in an company, I understand your struggle. I work with people when their families cannot physically continue, either due to mental strain, physical or just life in general. Kudos to you for looking after your parents. I chose this job as I had nothing else going for me. I nearly break down most days and if I wasnt pregnant, I'd have left. I'm sticking here until I leave for maternity as it is safer, benefits wise. I personally found animals soo much easier to work with, it ran better and if you had a bad day (*don't think I did*) you could leave it at work and go home. I wish you all the luck in the future


I had to give up work due to work related stress, I was a mess and incapable of working full time for a few years. None of my PPI would pay out. No JSA for 6 months becuase I technically resigned. I got sanctioned for not traveling 2 hrs and spending a 1/3 our my JSA on 3 shitty bus services to an interview for a shitty job that would have seen my family pushed below what the government said we needed to live on. The bus service wouldn't have got me to work on time and no manager in their right mind would've given someone who lived so far away the job. In my appeal I gave them all the figures and the bus times. Fuckers still denied it. Let's just waste everyone's time just so we can save a few quid and make it even harder to crawl out of poverty. I did eventually. Not before I was utterly broken physically and mentally and even more of a drain on society. Fighting every day since working my way back to health. The one saving grace was the NHS. Took a while and a move away. Postcode LOTTERY NHS or fuck you if you live in the poorest area of the UK and all the tory voting boomers won't spend money on services cos apparently we were all work shy scumbags. I now regularly work 60hrs a week and pay more tax that JSA. £33k and still don't earn enough to buy my own home. Don't get me started on rent prices. Fuck Thatcher. Fuck Tories. Fuck Boris. Fuck 2nd homes and fuck buy to let and Fuck foreign property investors who purposely leave properties empty to push up demand. Why Housing benefit can pay a buy to let mortgage but not pay for affordable housing boggles my mind.




Almost what happened to me: made redundant with most of my site after 20 years and lost a fairly senior role. My first visit to the JC I was treated like absolute scum.


Here's how unemployment works in Germany: If you get fired you can claim immediately, and you can claim for up to half the number of the months you were working up to like two years. if you quit you have to survive on your savings for three months, so you lose that 3 months of payments. Either way, the amount you'll get per month is roughly 2/3 of your average salary over the last 12 months. Of course due to tax brackets your take home can still be like 80% of what you had before if you're a decent earner. You do still have to do job seeking stuff and technically you aren't allowed to leave your city without permission - but I met lawyers that had been travelling for 9 months without permission on ALG payments so I don't know how well enforced that is. It's funded by the unemployment insurance tax line we all pay in Germany, so the more you pay obviously the more you should be reasonably entitled to claim. In reality most people don't abuse the system. For high earners it's pretty hard not to get hired accidentally - I think I would struggle to not get a job within weeks honestly. Edit: if I got fired today I'd probably get about 2k£/mo after tax for the next 14mo until I got a new job. Once you drop out of that system, it's herz IV, but that is still set to slightly above the poverty level which is about 1k€/mo.


Yep. Worked from 1999-2017 and lost my job due to ill health and stress. I decided to undergo some training courses for adults and saw how badly people were treated with the fear of having their benefits stopped. It was really eye opening.


The job centre is like a giant Stanford prison experiment.


What staggers me most about the jobs centre is that they expect people to take careers advice from people who work at the job centre.


Gotta remember that anyone over the age of 45 who works for the DWP is on an awesome pension scheme and are in what they see as a job for life. As long as they turn up when they’re supposed to and do the bare minimum then all they have to do is count down the days to retirement


But what an awful existence. 2 of my grandparents never reached retirement age.


This is my biggest issue with pensions. I KNOW I should be paying into my pension, but my Dad died at 59 after being diagnosed with a brain tumour 12 weeks before that doctors all but guaranteed wasn’t there three months before that. Statistically we all live longer now. But what about those that don’t?


Look at it as leaving something for your family. Usually you can pass on your pension to your next of Kin, wife or kids when you die. I've got the same mindset as you, my Grandfather died really young. I was diagnosed with a chronic illness last year, reducing my chance of a long life. I feel strongly about working less now and not worrying too much about a pension, but that seems unfair to my wife and son. And if you do get to live long enough, you'll be grateful for the pension Edit: spelling


If that's not illegal then it should be. We're taught that psychological harm is distinct from physical harm and not as bad, but in reality they're tightly interlinked. Physical harm can do permanent psychological damage, psychological harm can do permanent physical damage.


Psychological harm can cause suicide, so I'd say it's the same.


It also reduces someones agency in a similar way to physical bodily harm. Brains are physical, and run on physical (chemical) processes. Those chemicals are a resource, and an imbalance or lack of them can impact what you're physically able to do. Berating someone that's unemployed and making their life miserable just depletes an already scarce resource, which is a great way to get people to struggle with impulse control, making their current circumstance even harder to escape.


I agree. It's similar to the GP's in this country, its the only real experience I have with this. I've never been on benefits, so I cannot comprehend what they have to go through. The GP's say, if you're ill, go see them. You get there and they look down their noses at you for going and seeing them. So I then ask, what's the point of the GP. Same deal with the benefits system, its there to help vulnerable people, they should show empathy and care for people in that situation, not scorn.


Sorry you've had that experience with your GP. Can't say that's ever been an issue for me, even when my condition was incredibly minor.


I have a couple of Aunts who work as nurses and reckon that's an attitude you tend to see from people who have done a decent stint in A&E. "Have you seen your GP about this?" becomes "What did your pharmacist say about this?" I had a bad experience with a GP I used to go to who had completely dismissed my long medical history of joint and muscle issues (I was hoping to be referred to a physio). Turns out he used to spend a good chunk his time bossing my Aunt around on the ward, and complaining about "time wasting patients". Registered at a new GP the following day, and they were fantastic.


It's been hit and miss for me. Some are truly callous, I have come out feeling worse at times. First do no harm!


I hurt my back at work , so I had to get a note from my GP as it was more than 5 days of recovery. After explaining my pain to him, he said 'You are only x years old, why have you not gone back to work, already!?'. He begrudgingly signed my sick note. I would hate to think of someone going to see him with mental health issues. Prior to the back injury, I had not had a day off work sick in nearly 5 years FFS


Similar happened to my Dad! Terrible back pain, needed a sick note to take time off work and they were reluctant to help with the pain or give the note. When they did write the note, it was so snottily worded as if he were making it up. Turns out he had a fractured vertebrae once they got around to looking at it. I understand that GPs are very overworked and under heavy strain, but the flippancy many of us experience from some doctors can be so dangerous.




Considering that people relying on benefits are often *already* pretty vulnerable, it should be bloody criminal.


Honestly being kicked off universal credit years back because I missed an appointment I was told I didn’t need to go to so I could attend my partners funeral definitely left me suicidal Whenever I’m between jobs now I prefer to sell everything I own and/or sleep on my parents’ floor rather than go through that again. The constant jabs they throw at you, the pointless training/education weeks they send you on miles away from where you live, the threats of sanctions if you don’t take zero hour contacts or jobs in fields you can’t possibly work in etc makes them my most hated group. I left before they made me do their jobs for them for 8 weeks for free as work experience


I really do think this is one of those cases, where the people looking after people, should be made to go through it as well. Leadership starts with the top, so maybe they should stop getting their fucking six figure salaries and start living how people at the lower end have to, which will never happen.


I've been through that shit. Was pushed to go do 8 weeks unpaid work experience at a Co-op, where I was mostly just left to face up the shelves for 4 hours a day since I wasn't allowed to legally get any cash handling/till training from them. Better still, when a vacancy opened up at that same Co-op a few months later (February 2020), and the owner being really happy to see me apply and come in to interview, I was still passed up for someone who had more experience. Shit was fucking useless. So glad to be free of UC's bullshit now


Sticks and stones may break my bones...but words are ghosts that haunt me.


I'd take a kick in the balls from any run up every day if it meant i could get the support i needed from these people. I need their support RIGHT NOW but FUCK jumping through their hoops which do not help at all. Every course they sent me on lost its funding and was a waste of time, they couldn't even help if they tried. I was applying to dozens of jobs for months when on Universal Credit until there were literally no more vacancies left that i could apply for to meet their quotas. Some companies takes MONTHS to respond and loads of the vacancies were fake so companies could get your data, so what was i supposed to do then? Sure i managed to beat a few thousand people for 1 interview, some i even got through but all the bullshit i had to put up with just to get £200 every 2 weeks or whatever was just not right. You are belittled and made to feel shit when you are more than likely way more qualified than them but haven't had to look for a job in years. Lockdown measures are being lessened on the 19th which means i'd probably have better luck volunteering anywhere i can be useful in my area and hoping someone throws a job at me. Covid did not make any of this better that's for sure.


Reading all this I feel incredibly lucky. My work coach has been nothing but helpful. In fact he’s too helpful. I mentioned once, a couple of sessions ago that I feel my depression is coming back and he’s been insistent that I talk to someone and don’t bottle it up and giving me numbers for services and things. Hes almost to helpful it’s starting to get annoying. He’s always building me and giving me encouragement. Shoutout to Lee, you’re not all monsters.


Yeah, my coach is actually pretty cool too. Makes a specific effort to help me find jobs that I'll actually be invested in, and is always super respectful.


I don't doubt this at all. I'm a carer on UC and the way the staff magically become nicer to you once they know you are on UC as a carer as opposed to a job seeker is ridiculous. Like you can litterly hear the change in their voice. It not only shows that they don't give a shot about job seekers but also that they treat UC as job seekers plus and you are a scronging job seeker to them until proved otherwise. Don't get me started to how they deal with the people I care for...


This does not surprise me. My husband is self employed and when he walked in there with a doctors note to claim ESA his case worker was massively sarcastic in a 'oh, I see you've got a "sick note" \*guffaw\*' kind of way. But then switched to totally sympathetic once he read cancer on the form. (he's all good now, 5 years remission coming up next year).


I'm glad to hear he's in remission but yeah, the attitude doesn't surprise me


Yep Their job is not to help people find work it’s go get you off the benefit anyway they can : sanctions being an easy stick to beat you to death with And yeah the disabled are a real problem for them since they have some protections and can’t be given the same insanely shit job offers (literally unpaid some of the offers I saw!) so they have to crush them another way


I did the unpaid shit. It was awful.


> And yeah the disabled are a real problem for them since they have some protections you're thinking that the tory fucks actually give a shit about the rights of disabled people, they've been waging a war on the disabled and long term ill since at least Cameron, we've been called out multiple times for it too. no one cares though cause they're disabled. [\[1\]](https://www.disabilityrightsuk.org/news/2019/may/uk-violating-its-human-rights-obligations-finds-un-poverty-expert) [\[2\]](https://www.hrw.org/report/2019/05/20/nothing-left-cupboards/austerity-welfare-cuts-and-right-food-uk) [\[3\]](https://www.disabilitynewsservice.com/un-poverty-report-uk-government-has-inflicted-great-misery-on-disabled-people/) [\[4\]](https://www.theguardian.com/society/2018/oct/07/one-in-five-britons-with-disabilities-have-their-rights-violated-un-told) [\[5\]](https://www.bbc.com/news/uk-37899305) source: I have long term health issues that are "invisible" illnesses usually associated with older people. I've had to deal with their "healthcare professionals" tell bare faced lies about my conditions, and answers (had to wait 20ish months for a tribunal to actually get it sorted so I wasn't "encouraged" to apply for warehouse work I am physically incapable of doing.) the whole system is fucked, but when dealing with disabled and long term ill people it's borderline fascist. and don't even *think* about organising a protest with other disabled people to protest the conditions under which the government is treating you because the police *will* report you to the job centre to get your benefits taken away. [\[1\]](https://www.disabilitynewsservice.com/police-force-admits-agreement-to-share-information-about-protesters-with-dwp/) [\[2\]](https://www.rollingwithoutlimits.com/view-post/Protesters-With-Disabilities-in-UK-Have-Welfare-Cut-1) and this is all A-okay with conservative voters and has been for over a decade now lol.


I know a few who voted conservative who literally don't believe this is happening or can happen in this country.


it's even funnier when those same chucklefucks bring out the "facts over feelings" line. Priti Patel (obviously, who the fuck else) said that the UN report was "politically motivated" so TIL if you're against abusing human rights, causing thousands to tens of thousands of deaths (suicide rates are astronomical), and dehumanising the most vulnerable in society it's purely a political position and not one of you know, just being a decent fucking human. but all these dickheads care about is 'oven ready brexit deals' and 'taxes' despite most of them **definitely** not earning enough to actually be impacted. and people wonder why I (and others) despise conservatives and their voters.


I have a full time carer and they still don’t believe I’m disabled


As a single person who had to survive on UC(universal credit). It's impossible long term. I was a single person with no family support receiving around 530£ a month. I was renting the smallest, cheapest room with black mold and no proper ventilation and a cheap asshole landowner that would only turn the heating on for 2 hours during winter. That cost me 400£ a month. + I would spend around 20-30 quid a month on cleaning supplies so I would clean that mold EVERY DAY. There was no way for me to move out of that room into something else because : 1) everyone requires a deposit and I was 18 years old with no savings. 2) You need to work full time. 3) City Council doesn't give a shit about your problems if you are poor. Tbh, no one gives a shit about you, if you are poor. I use to wake up, walk to "work" for an hour(Because I couldn't afford transport), work for FREE for 6 hours a day just to put "work experience" on my CV, then come home clean the fking mold, and then search for jobs. There wasn't any jobs in my city that I could take to improve my way of life. Mostly because of ridiculous transport costs in UK compared to the rest of the world. I managed to save up some money over the period of six months to have enough for a deposit just so I can move out of that place into another town where I've managed to find a proper full-time job. I would never fucking ever go back on UC. It was a fucking hell.


In towns like that, there's no jobs because the job centre fill those positions with free labour. It's absolutely insane. I was in the same situation when I was 21-24


I'm so sorry to read this, and I hope you're in a better situation now. Obligatory "Fuck the Tories".


My gran who I cared for every day died and the job center were trying to send me on a one day course on the day of the funeral and I broke down and pleaded with them, everyone was staring at me both staff and "customer" but they wouldn't postpone it and I ended up getting a 4 week sanction one of the lowest tiers, so yeah I can believe this. \*edit\* Thanks for all the kind words. It wasn't recent it was 8 years ago sorry if I made it seem like it was recent.


Yeah, I had to go to my local MP every time I got unfairly sanctioned. Luckily he was the shadow secretary of the dwp at the time and it got fixed straight away. I still have all the letters from the house of commons with the green ink. I like to pretend that they are from hogwarts.


Good MP. You should credit him.


Owen Smith Pontypridd, Labour Party.


Always seems to be labour mps who do these good acts, never hear a Tory MP doing this, funny that.


Feel like there must be some kind of correlation here… ahhh never mind


Must just be a coincidence…


Con +3


Yeah, weird that...


It is quite funny that it's Owen Smith that's the MP given this must be the first and last time on the sub he'll get some praise and even included in the pantheon of 'proper labour'


Not a Tory but I did write to my MP who is a Tory about the whole lockdown causing new drivers to have to retake all their tests and in fairness to them they did actually try their best. I didn't vote for them next election but I did respect them slightly more.




> If I ever fall upon hard times, I vow to never have to rely on them again. Quota met.


This is exactly what they want.


I don't live in the UK any more and I can say now that from outside, the UK often looks like a very mean-spirited place. The institutions anyway - the banter is great


When I applied for Job seeker's allowance, or universal credit or whatever the fuck it was, I came away with a seething hatred for the whole system. This was in 2017, so it might be different now. First of all, the jobcentre itself served a radius of around 15-20km, so if you lived a long way away and had to take two buses for an hour to get there and were so much as 1 minute late, tough luck, sanction. To actually claim the allowance, we also had to attend a two-week 'training course' on how to find a job, as if we didn't know. The course started every day at 9am and if you were late, you were sanctioned for it. The very first day, I turned up for the course, and we sat in a room with a smug woman who asked, "what is a CV?" and then went around the room, and each person had to answer the question in their own words. That was it. That was the entire fucking session. It lasted about 10 minutes. There were people in there who were disabled, who had taken two buses taking them over an hour to get there, only to sit in a fucking room and talk about what a fucking CV is for 10 minutes. I felt so sorry for them. Every day of the course was the same. The entire thing could EASILY have been done in a single day, but they deliberately spaced it out over the course of two weeks to make it as difficult and inconvenient as possible. We were treated like idiots, as if we had never applied for a job before. Some of the people in there were in their 50s. Disgusting.


That’s fucking awful, I’m so sorry that happened to you.


I'm sorry you had to go through that. Absolutely disgusting.


When I was on jsa around that time, a girl I knew was sanctioned for refusing to apply for a job at a strip bar. It's so disgusting


I got told not to apply for boots because "thats a girls job" I was like "are you aware that boots is a chemist. They sell cosmetics but so does fucking ASDA. Is ASDA a girls job?" They are fucking psychopaths. If it wasn't that it was the women at the call centre who replied with "You need to be more specific. Its not like you'll be a rocket scientist or anything" when I said "I dont mind I'll do any sort of work". The irony was that I had a decent engineering job lined up but needed something to fill the gap due to my start date getting pushed back. I can see how this sort of shit would demoralise people who already struggle with mental health.


I have overheard them saying they don't advertise their own job openings on their system. Its disgusting. I was only on it for a few months between jobs and they treat everyone like the scum of the earth


>I have overheard them saying they don't advertise their own job openings on their system. They dont advertise anything on their system. Its basically just a slower indeed with less jobs and a shitty user interface. You turn up and straight way they want to see the "booklet of bullshit" that you could literally write anything in. Then they sit you down infront of their shitty system and say "I have this job here" and you reply "already applied for that on indeed" "what about this one?" "Indeed"..."indeed"..."indeed". "Why didn't you write all this in your booklet?" "Because theres already enough paperwork when filling out applications that want you to attach a CV then basically fill out your CV on the application then write a cover letter"


And the new system where ypu have to apply through their page that just sends ypu to indeed anyway. Massive waste of time.


God, I hated having to sign on. Some of the people who worked their were lovely, just doing their job. Others treated you like rats. Condescending, unreasonable, unfair, sanction-happy twats.


I signed on during the period after I lost my job and it was just so demoralising. They spoke to me like I was a child and it was just so embarrassing for me. They made me jump through so many hoops, like them wanting months of bank statements and stuff? It was so odd


hilarious the change in tone once they found out my mother works at the job centre too. one min im a rat the next im a human worth emotions. unreal


Unsurprising. I worked in a Jobcentre for seven years and yes, getting claimants on sanctions was incentivised while refusing to do so was punished with low performance markings. Managers talked about disrupting claimants' routines by continually changing their appointment and signing-on times, and the phrase 'botherability' was bandied about which effectively meant harassing certain claimants until they signed off. Certain managers and senior managers there are among the most uncaring and unpleasant people I've ever worked for.


I remember when I signed on years ago before I found a full-time job. I was given a date for an appointment only to be rung up a week earlier getting an earful for missing an appointment. When I told them my appointment card had next week's date I was told that it was my fault... Somehow..!? That my advisor (whatever they're called) wrote the wrong date!? I should be a mind reader apparently. I also loved the fact when I got a job albeit part time (before being offered a full-time position) and was eager to go in and tell them I had managed to snag a job. I was quickly told that it wasn't good enough and basically spoken down to and ridiculed by them. Nothing like seeking help and having those who are meant to provide said help instead pin all the problems on you and put you down when you manage to achieve something.


I had a similar problem. Ended up bagging a part-time job at my friend's workplace. I joyfully told my work coach the good news, just to be told that it's not enough hours and that I should be looking for full-time, that I should turn down the job. Screw that. I was willing to take the risk to not be demoralised weekly by the Job Centre any longer.


Yeah I was basically told the same thing, that I should turn down part time work, which could possibly provide me more experience to increase my chances of getting a full-time job. Honestly felt like half of them had their heads up their own arses.


I ended up going full-time at the place after a couple of months. Luckily never had to deal with the JC again after that.


Jobcentre is an absolute nightmare. I've been signed on twice in my life, luckily the first time it was only for a couple of weeks, but they refused to pay out cause I couldn't attend my 2nd sign on date. The reason I couldn't attend my sign on date was because I was at a job interview. The second time I remember explaining that I would quite like a job as a driver and was willing to retrain, as my previous positions had been in IT sales. Rather than try to look for driving positions, or even IT/sales positions the woman just said "I think you'll probably be more suited to picking and packing" and handed me some paperwork with info for some dead end warehouse Jobs. Awful experiences both times and I'm so glad that I was able to find work relatively quickly on my own. Not once did they get me any interviews and any jobs positions they referred me to was simply just the most basic and first vacancy they could find. Pretty sure if Stephen Hawking rolled in there they would question his disability and try find him a job order picking for Amazon.


Telling them what you want as a job is a waste of time, my experience is that as specified, I’m a very active person and wanted a warehouse/postal job where I can be in the move or be active, this somehow translated to I’d be willing to go on an unpaid 6 month placement in a laundrette. Told my advisor stick it and ate the 4 week sanction for it. Think they’ve changed mandatory placements now but they were a thing like 2010-ish.


Random anecdote: When I went in for my first UC meeting back in 2017, the sofa was crawling with ants. I went to the guy on the desk and this is how the conversation went: Me: Hey, your sofa is crawling with ants Him: Are they your ants? Me: What? Him, talking slowly as if I’m stupid: Did you bring the ants with you? Me: Obviously not! They’re crawling out of the inside of the sofa


It reads like the beginning of a Monty Python sketch with the character of "Him" is played by John Cleese.


When I work in the dwp last year for a few months. We had training on how to deal with difficult customers. In a give situation one agent referred to the customer as a psycho (simply because the customer didn't talk much). Trainers were using expressions along the lines of "training customers to behave" as if they were children or pets, with the threat of a week's sanctions. Reactions to this from other staff were nothing, this was normal. There was no talk of trying to understand the customer, listening to them, having some basic human empathy. As soon as I got my current job offer I walked out middle of my shift. Fuck the dwp.


Why not stay for your notice period and just approve everyone's claims?


I didn't work in claims but fraud, and if it had done that I would have probably gotten into some legal trouble and for each claimment that I did that for, it would only cause them great issues down the line. With the DWP not letting it go and claiming back any money they obtain in error. Which potienal could be very distressing and financially difficult for them.


In contrast to people who cheat their taxes on a monumental scale and are able to negotiate with HRMC how much they can be bothered to pay back!


And the answer from on high is always the same, people doing that are either doing it legally, or detecting them breaking it is insanely complex and investigations take whole teams of people years to complete, whereas the low hanging fruit of the DWP are an easy target.


I know it's probably technically correct, but the usage of customer in this context is hurting me inside. "And what product would you like today, sir?" "Thought I'd indulge in a little survival and a side of dignity if I may?" "Oh no, we're all out of dignity, but I'll see if the kitchen can rustle up something vaguely survivally"


Neither word sounds quite right. Claiment while correct is a bit too cold. Customer is too friendly but a customer doesn't always get what they want.




This is how the system is designed - the cruelty is the point. If the government could bring back workhouses and child labour they would.


Yeah, we should remember this is from the twats that invented "hostile environment".


Last time I was unemployed I and claiming jobseekers I was living in a small village and couldn't drive. Most jobs in the area were in the nearest town, 15 miles away, and whilst there was an OK bus service Monday to Saturday during the day, there were literally no buses on Sundays and evenings. So that's a pretty good reason to not apply for jobs that involved working Sundays and evenings right? WRONG! I was told I had to show willing and get taxis if needed. Which would have cost way more than I would have earned. The bus service has been cut even further now, luckily I am not job seeking and can drive, but it fucks things up big time for some people I know. Why am I not surprised its gotten worse at Jobcentres. I suppose I should be glad it's not just us disabled people being treated like lying scum. Equality! (That's a huuuuge /s in case it's not clear)


I am not surprised at this. The system is designed to not help you


More than just being intentionally unhelpful, it’s also performative. It’s designed to show the voting public that there are no free rides with this government. It’s specifically intended to be cruel because people like that.


“Hurting the right people.”


There was a documentary that went undercover and they had hidden camera's during training sessions on staff etc, their performance was rated based on how many sanctions they've given to people. Explains why one time when I was on my way to an appointment (on time), a building was collapsing up the street and I couldn't go the normal route so had to take a longer way round, turned up around 4 or 5 minutes late and was sanctioned for it. They literally said I should have planned better. Also sanctioned for looking at my phone, not on a call, not texting, just reading some article while I waited for the advisor to turn up for the day. On a day course about applying for jobs, we were told to put our nationality on our CV because it would help us get the job if we told them we were British (The 5 or 6 people with me were British). We were told to exaggerate our skills and experience.


My mum has kidney failure amongst other complicated health issues and these idiots say she’s fit to work despite her gp and hospital saying different. It’s pretty disgusting how they treat people these days instead of actually helping.


How are they allowed to override the decision of a medical professional on a medical issue? I really don't get how they can have that authority


"The government has admitted it put disabled benefit claimants under pressure to accept lower welfare support than they were legally entitled to. Staff from the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) had been cold-calling disabled people who had appealed benefits decisions to encourage them to abandon their appeal and accept inadequate offers, evidence gathered by lawyers showed. .. Following an unsuccessful internal review, K began a tribunal appeal because she was told by her GP and support workers that she was entitled to the highest levels of PIP. After her appeal process had started, the DWP called without warning from a withheld number and pressured her into accepting a bit more than they had offered before, but not the full entitlement." https://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/home-news/dwp-disability-benefits-high-court-uk-b1883808.html


Me either, I was talking to her last night and she said because she can do some day to day tasks like washing dishes etc without having me or my boyfriend there to help; they deem that as acceptable to work. They honestly have no logic or common sense, and the people that do their “assessments” for what they deem unfit for work aren’t even medical professionals.


I work in the benefit appeals process and it's very common to hear appellants categorically dispute everything the DWP assessor wrote about them. I wouldn't be surpised if these "qualified" medical assessors are under strict targets for refusals and write whatever they need to justify rejecting a claim.


Keep trying, my mum had chronic asthma, COPD and emphysema and they said she was not entitled to disability benefits! We ended up going to a tribunal and they had to pay her over £10k in back payments.


I had a friend who is a GP and she told me about the time she had to tell the Job centre that the man they said was "fit to work" had actually died


Cut funding -> Make things shitter -> "Look how shit X is" -> Cuts more funding Christ, I remember when I could book a GP appointment, now it's like being crabs in a bucket trying to call at 8:00 because god forbid you're 1 minute late... I booked a phone appointment online at 8:00, only after the first two attempts failed because they were taken before I completed my request. And the real kicker, it wasn't even an appointment I wanted, I had to have it in order to donate platelets again, A neg. the universal platelets donor blood type, their greed probably cost them more money.


The NHS is just a shell now. Next time you see an ambulance look for a logo on it, you'll see that the majority are ran by private firms, there's so many of them. It's the same with some of the expensive equipment, MRI scanners and things like that, all run by private firms. The Tories have sold off the NHS by department, whilst keeping the front end of it looking like it's socialised health care. These private firms are all making profit off of our money. Many companies are based in other countries, many are ran by friends of the government. At this point I'd be in full support of a revolution, an uprising by the people. However, when I talk about these things with friends and family they look at me like I'm insane and treat me with kid gloves as if I'm losing my mind getting so frustrated with such things. I'd say it's mostly down to apathy, exactly what the Tories rely on to do whatever the fuck they want. A revolution would be so so easy to achieve. Even without violence. Simply strike, all workers, all of the working class, unite, and simply stop working. The ruling government would be utterly fucked without the working class. I don't think such a thing would ever happen though. And really, what with the coming environmental changes, within 50 years society as we know it will be flipped on it's arse anyway.


I couldn't stand working for the jobcentre. I had signed on myself when they got me to apply for their own call centre job. Absolutely nothing about the processes there was about being productive, helpful or efficient. Everything waa geared up to take calls as quickly as possible and fob people off. For what purpose? I don't know, to minimise payments made and put people off claiming in the first place. Ludicrous of course when people often have no choice but to sign on and the money that went into being as useless as possible could actually have been spent on being useful. They'd alwaya do stupid, short-sighted things like stop someone's benefits from the day they got a new job. Sounds logical, but then that person may have started on the first of the month and won't get paid by their employer until the end of the month. They still need some money to live until pay day and all too often I'd hear people had to give up a job or got fired because they ran out of money to get them to that job.


I fucking hate this government with every fibre of my being.


I worked in the he NHS earning £30k a year paying into the system, I got sick and was let go due to unavoidable inability to do my duty, but not incapable of working. I ended up going to the job centre to sign on. I was actively looking but had a mortgage and a disabled dependent. I needed money till I could get more work. I got assigned a woman who told me I should lower my expectations from my degree field and that I was useless. She said I should be applying for roles at McDonalds. It was the same week I signed on. I hadn't been looking 5 minutes. Anyway a week later I have a different women, she tells me the other is on holiday. She tells me how to fill out the forms and says you don't need to fill this paper book in if you do it all online, I was doing both so I thanked her and went on. Next week cow is back, she tells me I'm doing it wrong and I'm stupid. She has to have it written on her screen and in the book to prove I am Searching for a role. She also says my CV is garbage and poorly written it should not have made up words in it (coding languages) and should be 1 page max. I remind you that the journal is literally stuff like I did this for 2 hours this week. I did that I intend to do this So it's not actually looking for a job, it's busy work. I pointed out I did it already online and was told that's enough. She flips out saying I'm wasting real people's tax payments spounging and I shouldn't have an issue "earning" the money _others_ have paid in. I got angry and raised my voice to say excuse me I worked for the past 15 years paying my dues and don't need some self righteous cow who knows bugger all tell me I am worthless and a waste of space two weeks into signing on. Well security came over and told me I am being inappropriate and unprofessional and that I would be removed. I am 6'6 I stood up and told him in no uncertain terms was I being treated like this and demanded the manager. All the while my wife was sitting in the waiting area waiting for me, she came through and took my hand and when he seen this the security guy backed down and fetched a manager. I explained the issues and said I was very unhappy. She told me that if I put a complaint in it may impact my benefits. And that I should think carefully. I told her stuff the benefits I want a complaint. I left shortly after I returned the following week and received my money doing exactly what I was doing before from the girl who had been nice, turns out I was transferred to her. Three weeks after the incident I get a letter saying they agreed that I had done what I needed to and would pay that weeks benefits, but they didn't mention the woman. I raised this with the manager the next time I was in and she told me it wasn't right to push as it could cost people their jobs if it went far. I pointed out that if that's the outcome the responsibility for her actions are not on me. She said I should let it go. My wife agreed. At this point I had been on 9 job interviews and accepted a role paying 45k and was due to start in 2 weeks. I let it go. But yeah fuck so many people in that system. I am now earning over 100k a year and paying way more in taxes than most ordinary people. I don't think I have ever received as much as I have paid and I still think about that bitch.


i got told i was being sent for "Mandatory Volunteer Work" i asked politely how that is even possible when they have the opposite meaning? Some guy who was not even my job coach came over to tell me to stop shouting and being aggressive, i had been signing on for less than a month. The mandatory volunteer work was for home bargains, owned by a fucking millionaire.


"How depressing it that? Getting sent for voluntary work in Poundland - a shop where everything is worth a quid, except you." * Kevin Bridges


>mandatory volunteer work That just sounds like slavery with extra steps


This seems like terrible economics more than anything. If the government subsidise people working for free, it will drive away any competition that actually was paying people a decent wage.


I wish I got Home Bargains when the Mandatoey Volunteer Work was still allowed. I had two different members of staff search for me and all they could find was one charity shop. I was told this in a meeting with another claimant, and I was told to "walk" this other person to the place of work there and then. I refused (18yo at the time, this guy was creepy and 50+, I didn't want to walk him somewhere) and got in a little trouble. Had to practically beg to not be sanctioned.


Currently on UC, have been for over a year. I'd love to know what a Work Coach is actually meant to do, because mine have done fuck all. Any interviews I've had, I've got myself. The vacancies they send me are useless, and they don't seem to help. I've had more help from the JETS scheme, despite the fact my advisor lives in a different part of the UK.


The benefits system does enough to mess with your psyche without staff being trained to inflict further harm. I avoided it while unemployed to avoid further damage to my mental health (the reason I left my job in the first place), I'm still convinced that was the correct decision. People looking for work need to be treated like humans, the fact that has to be said and is considered wrong by some shines an awful light on society.


The tory government creates villains then devises public ways to punish and humiliate them. A nudge-wink public policy for the benefit of embittered mail-readers. I’d be tempted to say that it even functions as a soft replacement of public corporal punishment.


By default they reject disability/mental illness claims (PIP claims) the first time around, no matter what. Case in point; my aunt has been severely mentally ill her entire life, she's in her 50's now. She recently moved to a new area with a different council and had to resubmit her PIP forms. The care worker sent two copies, the exact same, two weeks apart, the first one was rejected, the second one was accepted. Care worker said it is like that in every county with every council, first one is rejected on principle. PS: They take several weeks to even send you the BOOKLET that you have to fill in (one that is incredibly difficult to fill in if you have mental health issues, may I add, hence why my aunt NEEDED help). Even if you have the answers to every question it asks ready it'll still take you 30minutes+ to fill in all the boxes. It's insane. All they NEED is the doctors word, but they insist on having minimum wagers 'asses' your claim as if they have a single fucking clue. I have a second story; I have a friend who has been signed off work due to mental health reasons. Universal Credit have been trying to get my friend to 'open up' and 'talk about things' on the phone regarding their mental health and why they can't work. They're in therapy, they don't need to talk to some dickhead in the job center about their problems, they talk to their therapist. They tried to claim my friend is is 'fit to work' based on one of their phone calls with them because they wouldn't "open up". She had to go back to the doctors and get another note. The doctor and therapist ended up having to contact the council to tell them to back the fuck up and stop making their patients mental health worse.


The DWP kills Disabled people. This is not hyperbole.


Oh wow this has brought back some respressed memories from when I was made redundant and signed on for a couple of months. It really was a disgusting place to be. "Ah I see Mr Catfish you were a a supply chain manager for quite a large car parts wholesaler". "Yes that's correct I'm currently looking to further my career down that path, I don't mind a sideways step of course". "There is normally bar work available in Birmingham city centre". .... .... Also witnessed plenty of people crying as the stone faced golems relished in taking people's only income, because aunt Nora passed away suddenly 'but you didn't let the job centre know at least 24 hours prior to your appointment'. Fuck you Wendy, you absolute cunt.


I was once sanctioned for being 2 minutes late to a job centre appointment because I had to go up 2 flights of stairs on my bum due to a broken foot. another time I was sanctioned for not signing up to a website that i was explicitly told was optional. The most hilarious one was when i finally got a job i rang the job centre to cancel my appointment and let them know i would be signing off, and i specifically asked for them to ensure they told the upstairs that I was signing off because there was a long history of both floors bot talking to each other. Two weeks after I started my job I received a letter saying I had been sanctioned and at the time that sanction would mean that if I ever had to sign on again I would first have to wait for that sanction to play out (not sure if this is still the case). I've never sought to sign on again (although there was a time that I really needed to) because of this and the general demeaning and stressful nature of being on jsa. it contributed a huge amount to the depression I was under at the time. thankfully I am doing much better now but for a lot of people the horrible grind continues.


The only time I was JSA, the woman seeing to me couldn't even spell but still treated me like moron. IDS and the Tories have a lot to answer for.


Yeah that'll help them get jobs won't it. This is all so fucked and so fucking stupid. There's not even a callous logic behind these policies, it's literally just cartoonish evil. The Tory version of "welfare" is actively hurting the country.


Pauline and her pens was real all along. Scary thought.


This isn't jobcentre, but feels like a good place to bring it up. I suffer from some pretty severe mental illness stuff, as a result, I cannot work full time, but I do still work. I tried to apply for PIP (The disability allowance) and my god. The way I was spoken to was terrible, and then afterwards the report was disgusting and upsetting. My assessment was phone-based, because of Covid, and in the assessment I had to talk about all my issues, being sectioned, my past traumas, everything. I was also asked some strange unrelated questions too, which I guess were to tick a box on their side (like how many steps can you take etc). Well, this woman from the DWP said in my report "She made good eye contact and was well dressed", even though it was on the phone, and she couldn't see me. The report also said "she says she suffers from manic episodes, depressive episodes, and hallucinations, but I have decided she is fine." Like this random woman from DWP knows more than my Dr??


it's a shame we don't invest the same amount of effort and funding into making the wealthy pay their fair share rather than targeting the vulnerable to force them further into poverty.


The jobcentre have posters that encourage staff not to talk to eachother while working.


The fuckers told me they weren’t there to help me look for a job. So what the fuck to you do then! Honestly. Bunch of bloody morons.


I remember signing onto UC after finishing a temp job just before Christmas a few years ago. With it being Christmas it was pretty hard to find anything on the regular job market, and most Christmas temp stuff was already winding down anyway, so I went about a month before something came up and I accepted it right away. Hadn't received a UC payment yet but I did get one week's wage from my new job as they'd paid from mid January up until the salary cut off which worked out at about 4 days of pay. Still nothing through from UC so I phoned them up just to see if I would get a proportion of my UC payment considering I'd started working again. They said no. I said it was weird because I've been unemployed for a full month before starting work so I must be entitled to something at least as by that point I was already in arrears with my landlord and some of my bills. The guy actually laughed on the phone and said "we're not here to pay your bills for you". At which point I just felt so humiliated I hung up, but I still knew that over the course of the five weeks I'd been looking for work that I must have accrued something to help keep me afloat. But seemingly not.


Scumbags. Tory voters voted for this shit. The deaths and damage from the DWP are on their hands as well. This could all stop too with a sufficient protest...oh wait, that's illegal now isn't it. Pathetic failing state, I wish it wouldn't drag so many down with it. EDIT: I don't care if the Tories didn't explicitly say they were going to do this, they are a nasty fucking party with a long history of screwing over the most vulnerable. From starving Bengal to starving the working class here, it's the one fucking consistant thing about that fucking awful party of cunts.


The thing is, most tory voters dont care about the damage that DWP 'reforms' have done. They certainly dont care about the damage our current PM has caused. The government and (tory) newspapers have created a perception that all benefits claimants (especially sickness benifits) are all lazy cheaters so theres no time for sympathy or understanding. People genuinely believe this.


[It's time for the graph](https://i.imgur.com/pXjT1Jt.png)


I'm part of the "benefits unclaimed" bar. I've had some horrific dealings with them in the past, enough to know that you're set up to fail right from the start. As a result I'm missing out on a not insignificant top up on my wages because I know that trying to claim will only end up making my existence more complicated and painful.


I remember back when I was fresh out of college looking for a job before going to uni. I only wanted something part time to fit around uni but decided to sign on between college and uni (I was allowed too as I hadn't been accepted yet due to late applications). At my first appointment the lady who was dealing with me was incredibly condescending telling me stuff like "it's tough out there" "don't worry you'll find something eventually". I had two interviews and two offers at retail jobs within the week and accepted one of them. I went back to sign off two weeks later and had the same spiel back. Lots of demeaning and condescending tones and statements not allowing me to get a word in edgeways. Eventually I was allowed to speak and informed her I was signing off as I found a job. The look on her face was priceless. I've never felt that satisfaction since.


I signed on after the first big company I worked for just up and went bankrupt one day and I hadn't been saving really anything so I was scared I wouldn't be able to pay my rent etc. 10 days later when I had accepted an offer for £45k a year I called them up to cancel it all. The condescending bitch that I had to have a meeting with calls me up and says I have to come in on X date for a last meeting I just told her to fuck off I have better things to do that go talk to someone who was trying to get me to apply for jobs in a supermarket after 6 years of working as a software dev (I didnt know at the time that I would have like 10 job offers by the end of the week because of that but she should have). Lets not ignore that they never gave me a penny and from what I understand I wouldn't have got anything for at least another week.




>Their demeanour was a bit like those bot accounts you see on twitter that just argue with people. This is exactly it. The thing is I put them in their place lol. I was in the same position as you. Fresh out of 6th form (basically highers in England) and had a decent engineering apprenticeship lined up. It got pushed back a year and I got put into the next batch of recruits. Fair enough Ill go on JSA and look for a part time job. They asked me a few questions like "what sort of work do you want" I gave a reasonable answer of "anything really just something temporary more than likely part time." I think there is a reasonable assumption there. I got a snotty reply "well its not like you'll be a rocket scientist, is it?" Gave her both barrels about how she's got a cheek to belittle anyone with a shitty job in a call centre of the dole office. Then said "put me down for a job in the dole office answering the phones. Your position will be available soon when I report you for being rude". "Ill put you down as retail, warehouse and bar staff. You know the usual type of temporary/part time employment" >The job centre could actually be a force for good if it was involved training people for interviews, building confidence etc but at the moment it's only purpose is to see if they can stop people's benefits, I personally think they shouldn't be giving out benefits. Benefits should be provided by an other agency and the job centre should be solely for training and providing resources to help people get into employment, retrain or progress their career.


It’s the same for my girlfriend who has four degenerating discs, two of which are bulging. She can’t physically do much of anything so I have to care for her full time, meaning we’re both on benefits. A couples UC and I’m on carers. She still gets told to look for apprenticeships and jobs even though she basically can’t move. It’s pathetic how they make you feel utterly useless for something you cannot help.


> A couples UC and I’m on carers. She still gets told to look for apprenticeships and jobs even though she basically can’t move. It’s pathetic how they make you feel utterly useless for something you cannot help. Has she applied for Personal Independence Payments? I assume she's at least on the Employment Support Allowance component of Universal Credit? It sounds like she could qualify, **but be forewarned**: you should make your application *bulletproof* and leave *zero* wiggle-room for the DWP to argue. I mean *carefully* read through the official guidance and scoring criteria and then present all information provided in as unambiguous and point-by-point a format as possible. Even then, they are liable to give no award or a lesser award, and you would likely have to go through the appeals and Tribunal process to get it sorted.   Also see if you can't revise her UC agreement, which she is entitled to do so, to *explicitly* acknowledge and exclude work that she would not be capable of safely and reliably performing due to the physical health issues.


A close friend of my mothers, who is incredibly intelligent man, well spoken (not that it should make a difference) had lost his long term job. He was treated as a shirker as most are by the job center. One day he was verbally abused very badly and as he tried to complain was physically removed from the centre. That same day the acute stress of the situation triggered the start of a degenerative disease conversion syndrome, that saw him hospitalised for years, unable to walk, swallow, and also has lost his vision almost completely. So incredibly, it seems that his possible contribution to society was diminished to nothing by the very system designed to utilise it!


I was briefly on Universal credit while I was on it a member of my family died and they expected me to go in on the day of the funeral otherwise they would stop my claim. Absolute cunts.


I missed an appointment due to a suicide attempt and at the next interview the "advisor" spent about half an hour talking about how his brother had committed suicide. In explicit detail. Ever since then I've put every single penny I don't spend into my bank account so I never have to deal with those pricks ever again. So far so good :)


I was on Jobseekers allowance for about a month when I was in between jobs. Thought it would be helpful to get some supplemental income. Yeah, after that experience I would much rather have simply not bothered... I'm a fairly timid person by nature, I get intimidated easily, when I was told I had to do an employability course I agreed to go. The staff member practically shouted at me "OF COURSE YOU HAVE TO GO, IT'S A CONDITION OF YOUR BEING PAYED!". To this date (8 years later) I still get intrusive memories of that moment and can't think of what triggered the person to shout at me. After that I asked my mum to come in with me. The security guard at the front was fine with it. The staff member who saw me was less so. After they (rudely) told her to leave, I got a 10 minute lecture on how I wouldn't amount to anything, and how, since I expected anywhere to employ me if I took my mum along. I was in tears for most of the week. (Aparently taking people in is a no-no, but no one told me that) They *did* warm up to me a bit after I'd completed two weeks work at a nearby British Heart Foundation store, and the storekeeper gave a glowing review back (aparently they've had a lot of people reffered by the jobcentre stealing or walking out after a day). The problem is, they just make the default assumption that you're worthless scum and treat you as such. I'm now in the final year of my PhD in preoteomics, so take that random jobcentre staff member who's name I can't remember! \-Cat


Here in Germany, this happened a little earlier, under Schröder. As part of the "Agenda 2010", a lot of reforms were made that made life much harder for the unemployed. Now all of a sudden, you could get penalized for even the tiniest infractions, and that could mean no money for three months. At the same time, the groundwork was laid for massive expansion of temporary work and marginal employment. These days, they say we have a much higher employment rate, but they usually neglect to mention that it's just a huge number of people in really shitty full time jobs that don't pay enough to survive, and where no money goes towards your pension.


I worked for a maintenance company with a job centre contract They treat the unemployed like scum. They have a script for every question to get people out of the centres "Can I apply for jobseeker's" "Do you have phone, you can do it from home" "No" "Can you borrow a friends" "No" "Do you have a home computer" "No" "Have you access to a library" It goes on and on. I was part of the roll out to take away the old touch screens, I asked what people would do without them "Not my problem, as long as the smelly bastards dont come in here" These civil servants are bigger sponges than any unemployed person, in 10 years I met one I had any kind of decency


In a just world the heads of the DWP and the Tories leading them would see prison time for torturous abuse of the vulnerable and inhumane treatment.


What gets me even more about this is some of the staff that get employed by jobcentres are themselves people who have been in similar positions as those they are supposed to support to get back into work. The lack of empathy from them considering that is shocking, I get they have been instructed to do this by thier superiors, but there must come a point where staff think to themselves "this isn't right". Are they afraid of losing their own job or being disciplined for speaking out ?


As someone who has just come off UC and into a full-time job, this is so fucking true.


Oh wow, this article and these comments have literally ruined my day. There's nothing that boils my blood quite like the DWP.


As someone who had to do an unpaid 2 week experience at job centre, can confirm the people who work there are kinda pricks, and the distain they had for the people was disgusting


It's crazy how England still has this weird mindset, it reminds me of what I teach in History sometimes about the workhouses. We still have a way to go.


Years ago, I applied for a job whilst claiming job seekers allowance, with the interview taking place at another job centre. Knowing full well how difficult they make the process of claiming JSA (seemingly only for those attempting to find work), I phoned the job centre twice to tell them I would not make my sign on time as I was attending an interview on the same day in a different town. They said no problem, just bring the interview letter as proof - no problem, or so I thought... Monday comes, I roll into the job centre to sign on, where I am told 'Sorry, but it won't be as straight forward as signing on today, you missed your last appointment.' Long story short, I had to fill out a bunch of paper work, including times it took me to get to and from the interview, any gaps in between, where I was etc. Once I had completed the paper work, it had to go before a panel to decide whether I would be paid or not. They were tougher on the people actively trying to find work, whilst the people who were on first name terms seemed to get a free pass!


I had to give up work due to work related stress, I was a mess and incapable of working full time for a few years. None of my PPI would pay out. No JSA for 6 months becuase I technically resigned. I got sanctioned for not traveling 2 hrs and spending a 1/3 our my JSA on 3 shitty bus services to an interview for a shitty job that would have seen my family pushed below what the government said we needed to live on. The bus service wouldn't have got me to work on time and no manager in their right mind would've given someone who lived so far away the job. In my appeal I gave them all the figures and the bus times. Fuckers still denied it. Let's just waste everyone's time just so we can save a few quid and make it even harder to crawl out of poverty. I did eventually. Not before I was utterly broken physically and mentally and even more of a drain on society. Fighting every day since working my way back to health. The one saving grace was the NHS. Took a while and a move away. Postcode LOTTERY NHS or fuck you if you live in the poorest area of the UK and all the tory voting boomers won't spend money on services cos apparently we were all work shy scumbags. I now regularly work 60hrs a week and pay more tax that JSA. £33k and still don't earn enough to buy my own home. Don't get me started on rent prices. Fuck Thatcher. Fuck Tories. Fuck Boris. Fuck 2nd homes and fuck buy to let and Fuck foreign property investors who purposely leave properties empty to push up demand. Why Housing benefit can pay a buy to let mortgage but not pay for affordable housing boggles my mind.


When I applied for Job seeker's allowance, or universal credit or whatever the fuck it was, I came away with a seething hatred for the whole system. This was in 2017, so it might be different now. First of all, the jobcentre itself served a radius of around 15-20km, so if you lived a long way away and had to take two buses for an hour to get there and were so much as 1 minute late, tough luck, sanction. To actually claim the allowance, we also had to attend a two-week 'training course' on how to find a job, as if we didn't even know. The course started every day at 9am and if you were late, you were sanctioned for it. The very first day, I turned up for the course, and we sat in a room with a smug woman who asked, "what is a CV?" and then went around the room, and each person had to answer the question in their own words. That was it. That was the entire fucking session. It lasted about 10 minutes. There were people in there who were disabled, who had taken two buses taking them over an hour to get there, only to sit in a fucking room and talk about what a fucking CV is for 10 minutes. I felt so sorry for them. Every day of the course was the same. The entire thing could EASILY have been done in a single day, but they deliberately spaced it out over the course of two weeks to make it as difficult and inconvenient as possible. We were treated like idiots, as if we had never applied for a job before. Some of the people in there were in their 50s. Disgusting.


Partner is on UC, 12 year old daughter get £470 a month. Jobs she has had have sent in wrong pay info, causing her to lose ALL UC for some months! She even left a care job (12 hour shifts) due to childcare. Because she "left" without a good enough reason they stopped her UC... SORRY THEY "Sanctioned" her for 3 months, told to go to good banks etc... Its awful and its depressing, its killing her.




From the same people that brought you the "hostile environment"


Not surprised,they care less about people finding work and more about having lower numbers by people quitting or getting sanctions I was on it about over a month, first person insisted I bus in every day to see what I was doing, it was a headache, spending money and time to sit there and just for them to ask over the top questions and no proper help or knowledge Spoke to one advisor as I was waiting,got chatting, told him it's a silly cycle hindering me, he offered to switch my visit to every 2 weeks, I asked for weekly, he agreed Had a job within 3 weeks ,had more time at home and time to offer days off for interviews and planning/prep. And weekly info I needed to do better Got very Very lucky by that guy, other person had no interest in long term. Bought him a gift as a thank you And I'm lucky I was young and no kids, I definitely saw some advisors try to make appointments for parents/ single parents at 3:20, 3:15, 9:05 instead of 10, 11. So they were hassles by appointment sanctions and school pickups /dropoffs Mine was always at 11, or 12,


The dwp is treated like the unwanted shame child of the Conservative government.


Oh no, as far as the Tories are concerned, its working as intended.


Nah this is exactly what the vermin running the country want


I’ve mainly had very decent work coaches who seemed to genuinely care, but I’ve also had a work coach with no empathy who treated me like I was lazy and stupid.


They treat you like scum regardless of what your reasons are. I spent a few months unemployed when I was 20 and I would have been lucky to get a hello or even have them look me in the eye when talking. Why get into social work if your head is firmly placed in your own anus


Back in 2010 I had to sign on for a couple of months, boy never again. Woman behind the desk was a horrific, belittling cow with some sort of preschool teacher complex. Once had an appointment and then when I got there she had gone to lunch. About an hour later simmering in my seat someone else noticed and sorted out the appointment and apologised. The last appointment I had with her she was training a newbie and this lass was cringing everytime this cow opened her mouth. how she didn't get lamped be someone I don't know. I let this cowbag do her condescending spiel and how I needed to double my job search evidence, then went on to say that needed to be put on some full time unpaid work that was across town and if I didn't do it I'd lose the money. I politely told her to stick it up her arse and to close my claim.


I remember them being absolute cunts around 10 years ago getting dead nippy with me. They always had some attitude on them. Not all but most.


As someone who is currently unemployed, this is how I feel every time I go there, a friends dad used to work in one and he confirms that it is horrible. I have walked into job centre in the past, feeling good about getting an interview to then walk out 20 minutes later feeling like I was a piece of crap. They don't care about people and I am dreading having to go back into there after the 19th because I know it will be back to feeling bad about myself after each visit.


Job centre staff are indifferent and unenthusiastic at best and absolute scum suckers at worst. I'd lump the work program groups they refer claiments to as well. I was sent to one. They were extremely unhelpful and I got the feeling they took delight from putting me and others through pointless tasks. One of them snooped over should while I was job searching and for whatever reason I can't remember due to how long ago it was, put me in a very embarrasing spot. Felt very much like they were telling me it was my fault for being there. I felt very diminished as a result. So fuck em' all, I think they lost the contract shortly after I stopped being sent there. Hope they all ended up on the dole line the same as I was.


I fuckin hate benefits I am on due to a car accident! 1 tins of spaghetti to live on till hopefully some money comes through, it's an absolute joke. I'm hoping I can get a fiver together tomorrow and grab some things but today for tea, we are having a can of spaghetti or beans :) No Toast because4 no bread! 48p in the bank and they can't help me. The bank will happily take money off me though


Time to scrap pressures like this and bring in universal basic income.


This is why I don't understand the Conservative vote. Why would people vote for this?


Because people vote so that ~~poor scroungers~~ *more deserving* people can suffer in their place. The Tories also discovered that the people at the bottom can be brought around to Tory thinking by defunding education and stoking racism, both of which make Tory voters by making people more selfish as they try to "get theirs", more likely to lash out against other people, particularly foreigners, especially since providing shit education and promoting anti-intellectualism ruins peoples' chances of getting good jobs, thus keeping them poor. That's right, we're headed down the path towards Nazis.


I worked for 18 years non stop before being made redundant then luckily got a new job straight away but after just under 3 years got sacked at the start of covid but I've never felt so useless when talking to people at the jobcentre.