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    Hello.

    I am not sure if this is a good place to ask this, but I was wondering if you could provide me with some information regarding my JSA claim. I have had an adviser whom I have been seeing every second week at my Job Centre, but this is her last month here, as she is looking for a new job herself. Regardless of this matter, I have been appointed with a new person who signs in my booklet, whom I have met for the first time just over a week ago. However, she has also informed me that I will be seeing another person who will sign me in, together with my regular every 2nd week meeting with her, I was not quite sure who he is and still am not.

    I saw him yesterday, and I felt like he was trying really hard to get me off the JSA. We have basically had a discussion (at a usual place where I would sign in etc), and he was asking me questions about CDG, whether I am getting any interviews or not, although it may seem like standard stuff, it really wasn't, it was really trying to be aggressive with me. Then he has asked me what I am doing about this, and why I am having a hard time finding a job, I basically have explained to him that we are in a recession, little jobs are being created and a lot of jobs are being lost, there are a lot of cuts and not enough keynesian style injections, and it is really hard for younger people like me, with no experience, with no graduate qualifications to be successful at this long and on going job hunting season. As he was asking me questions regarding my efforts and as he was talking about those with degrees, I have mentioned that I am taking some exams this month to help myself get out of JSA, and he went fumid. He asked me where do I study, I told him I do not, I am just taking my exams, he went really angry and stated "If you want to do it the hard way, let's make it the hard way" then he went somewhere for 2-3 mins, brought some papers, and told me to fill them up, education things, where I study etc. I told him once again that I do not, I am just taking my exams as a private candidate, then he told me where do I take them, I told him in London, and he went ballistic at me as if I am someone with a "down syndrome" "Well London is a big place!!", and I told him I do not remember the exact address, I only know how to get there. He told me to tell him where I am taking them as I could be in breech of their "terms and regulations", and I have told him that I am allowed to study part time of anything up to 15 hours, even though I do not, so why does he need to see the slips of my exams.

    I mean am I really required to provide such private information, that to my concerns, does not inflict with my JSA claimant rights? Not that I would ever mind, but the aggression I have received from this person(never met anyone like that from jobcentre), I am not sure whether it was something that he is required to do. I mean people have all sorts of examinations, driving license, British citizenship tests etc, it doesn't make sense to me that what he says is a valid information. You know, I would never mind giving out such information, and I would try not to be rude to anyone, but to me it seems he really wants to mess me up. As I have already had to delay my Job Centre appointment this Friday, and informed my new adviser as she asked me to e-mail her the details of my exam slip, which I had, so it is not something that I would find hard to do, it is just questioning my rights and whether he is in limit of his as my adviser and a person who is suppose to be helping me.

    Then he would try and tell me that he is within his power to suspend my claim if he wishes to, to which I have replied that I can appeal and I will win the case, because there isn't something that I am breaking, I am claiming JSA and I have my booklet with a Job Search. I have also told him I don't know why he is telling me these things.

    Then he took my booklet, and asked me about a job that I applied to, and asked whether I know the reference code to this job, which he showed me on the "Important Information for Jobseeker's Allowance claimants" in a form of a ex. SUH/12345code and told me that I was suppose to. It clearly states there that "Jobcentre reference codes e.g. SUH/12345 if using Job Points, visiting www.direct.gov.uk or contacting Jobseeker Direct."(for filling out job search sign in booklet)

    It clearly states that this applies to only using Job Points, as this does not make any sense, as in "what reference?" If I were to go somewhere to a store and hand in my CV, it is still applying for a job that I will fill into my booklet, but there is certainly no reference code of some sort. Basically I didn't say anything against that, wasn't sure if it was going to get me into any more trouble. Then he said if I don't know a "reference code" for any of the jobs that are in my booklet, I am breaking the rules and conditions of my JSA. Then he has also said that he has the power to have me come in here every day if he wants to.

    Basically you get the point....



    So I am not exactly sure how to deal with this situation, does he really have that much authority? Doesn't seem to be the case to me, is there someone I should contact about this? I am still not sure whether you guys are the right people to ask, but I just thought you might understand how these things work.


    Kind Regards

    -CupidMupid
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    I have 0 experience (signed on myself today) with JSA and the system. However, people can be nutty, and I expect these JSA people have been recruited and told to be a bit aggressive with people. What is your natural disposition? People can sometimes just not click even if you are a nice person and he is a nice person. Maybe he was having a bad day. Whatever the case may be it seems to me that you need to report him if he was shouting at you or intimidating you. Take a serious look at it because it may cost him a job; but don't guilt yourself into not reporting him if you need to. If he was rude, shouting, and being a general prat and unhelpful you should report his behavior and tell them you would not like to see him again when going back. I think it can be a difficult job because on the one hand it's true that you need to be actively searching and not leeching the system so they're looking to catch you out; but on the other hand it would be awful to be caught out without actually doing anything wrong. As long as you can show you've done the right thing.

    I hope others can help with the technical side of things because it is common for people with a bit of expertise who are handling something to really try and do you in if they can by keeping you in the dark. Call them up to discuss questions if necessary but don't beat yourself up about it.

    And as a comforting note: the British system favors you over him especially if he was aggressive. Usually people like that back out if you calmly threaten further action (I will speak to your manager). They'll act tough at the time (Yeah go ahead mate!) but they'll be sweating on the inside because even if they are right nobody likes their boss being bothered when its about their job!
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    (Original post by CupidMupid)
    Hello.

    I am not sure if this is a good place to ask this, but I was wondering if you could provide me with some information regarding my JSA claim. I have had an adviser whom I have been seeing every second week at my Job Centre, but this is her last month here, as she is looking for a new job herself. Regardless of this matter, I have been appointed with a new person who signs in my booklet, whom I have met for the first time just over a week ago. However, she has also informed me that I will be seeing another person who will sign me in, together with my regular every 2nd week meeting with her, I was not quite sure who he is and still am not.
    On the brightside you have some consistency by knowing who you have to sign on with.

    I have had similar experiences. However, my sign on is with who ever is free. Two of the four are complete *******s and its so stressful.

    I saw him yesterday, and I felt like he was trying really hard to get me off the JSA. We have basically had a discussion (at a usual place where I would sign in etc), and he was asking me questions about CDG, whether I am getting any interviews or not, although it may seem like standard stuff, it really wasn't, it was really trying to be aggressive with me. Then he has asked me what I am doing about this, and why I am having a hard time finding a job, I basically have explained to him that we are in a recession, little jobs are being created and a lot of jobs are being lost, there are a lot of cuts and not enough keynesian style injections, and it is really hard for younger people like me, with no experience, with no graduate qualifications to be successful at this long and on going job hunting season. As he was asking me questions regarding my efforts and as he was talking about those with degrees, I have mentioned that I am taking some exams this month to help myself get out of JSA, and he went fumid. He asked me where do I study, I told him I do not, I am just taking my exams, he went really angry and stated "If you want to do it the hard way, let's make it the hard way" then he went somewhere for 2-3 mins, brought some papers, and told me to fill them up, education things, where I study etc. I told him once again that I do not, I am just taking my exams as a private candidate, then he told me where do I take them, I told him in London, and he went ballistic at me as if I am someone with a "down syndrome" "Well London is a big place!!", and I told him I do not remember the exact address, I only know how to get there. He told me to tell him where I am taking them as I could be in breech of their "terms and regulations", and I have told him that I am allowed to study part time of anything up to 15 hours, even though I do not, so why does he need to see the slips of my exams.
    They have targets to get people off JSA. How do you do that when there is no jobs? Well you go sanction happy. I have been threatened at least 3 times.

    If you are doing exams as a private candidate then its best not to mention. However, as you are not a student ie not going to lessons and are simply doing so minor exams then that should not be a problem.

    I would personally refuse to give over private information.

    Now considering his behaviour you need to make a written formal complaint ASAP and post it to that job centre manager. Just state his reaction, his rude and threatening behaviour, and ask to change advisor.


    I mean am I really required to provide such private information, that to my concerns, does not inflict with my JSA claimant rights? Not that I would ever mind, but the aggression I have received from this person(never met anyone like that from jobcentre), I am not sure whether it was something that he is required to do. I mean people have all sorts of examinations, driving license, British citizenship tests etc, it doesn't make sense to me that what he says is a valid information. You know, I would never mind giving out such information, and I would try not to be rude to anyone, but to me it seems he really wants to mess me up. As I have already had to delay my Job Centre appointment this Friday, and informed my new adviser as she asked me to e-mail her the details of my exam slip, which I had, so it is not something that I would find hard to do, it is just questioning my rights and whether he is in limit of his as my adviser and a person who is suppose to be helping me.

    Then he would try and tell me that he is within his power to suspend my claim if he wishes to, to which I have replied that I can appeal and I will win the case, because there isn't something that I am breaking, I am claiming JSA and I have my booklet with a Job Search. I have also told him I don't know why he is telling me these things.
    Now the threat of sanctions is commonly used.

    I always recommend you follow the JSA agreement to the letter. If any attempts at sanctions are made just point out you followed your agreement and therefore, he cannot sanction you plus if he did you would win the appeal. I would also make sure to mention you would also be making a formal complaint at his conduct. You will be surprised how frequently this works as that threat has made them back down all three times so far.
    Then he took my booklet, and asked me about a job that I applied to, and asked whether I know the reference code to this job, which he showed me on the "Important Information for Jobseeker's Allowance claimants" in a form of a ex. SUH/12345code and told me that I was suppose to. It clearly states there that "Jobcentre reference codes e.g. SUH/12345 if using Job Points, visiting www.direct.gov.uk or contacting Jobseeker Direct."(for filling out job search sign in booklet)

    It clearly states that this applies to only using Job Points, as this does not make any sense, as in "what reference?" If I were to go somewhere to a store and hand in my CV, it is still applying for a job that I will fill into my booklet, but there is certainly no reference code of some sort. Basically I didn't say anything against that, wasn't sure if it was going to get me into any more trouble. Then he said if I don't know a "reference code" for any of the jobs that are in my booklet, I am breaking the rules and conditions of my JSA. Then he has also said that he has the power to have me come in here every day if he wants to.

    Basically you get the point....
    I have had a similar demand once before and I still don't bother with the reference code as its a waste of my time.


    So I am not exactly sure how to deal with this situation, does he really have that much authority? Doesn't seem to be the case to me, is there someone I should contact about this? I am still not sure whether you guys are the right people to ask, but I just thought you might understand how these things work.


    Kind Regards

    -CupidMupid
    No he does not. He can however stop your claim, but you can appeal and I fully recommend making a formal complaint.

    Make a formal complaint about his conduct in writing to the job centre manager ASAP. As I stated above you can get moved to a different advisor.

    Now a more extreme solution is to hide a microphone and use a dictaphone to record the sign ons which is what I have been doing. Now you cannot release this to the public as the background might include peoples personal details so you would breach peoples personal data security. However, you can produce a transcript and release that on a blog. Plus its a great thing to attach to a formal complaint with the offer of the full recording.

    Yes after 6 months unemployed I am now wearing a microphone to every sign on and secretly recording. There are just so many bad advisers at my local job centre that the only way to avoid sanctions is to record everything.

    Seriously I had one sanction threat as I did not apply for a bunch of jobs I was not told to even apply for. I only avoided that by threatening a formal complaint at her conduct and agreeing apply for these jobs (some of them were great opportunities) by my next sign on.

    Still the best sanction threat was "you have not applied for any research assistant positions".... ummm yeah there are none for my field. Then we ended up going through the list and I had to explain why a MSc in politics meant I lacked the chemistry or biology lab experience required for the listed research assistant jobs. Once I explained I fully complied with my agreement and I then threatened a formal complaint to the manager he backed down.

    You have to be prepared to fight tooth and nail. You also need to be willing to complain. If he is doing this to you then who else is he sanctioning unfairly who is not complaining?

    Hope this helps.
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    Find a job and get the hell out of there. I had the most annoying advisor, she made me even more determined to get a job. I see it as fuel for the fire!
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    Hello guys, just would like to update on the issue here, basically my claim is now closed.
    I did what you told me, I went up to talk to the manager about the problem that I was facing, turns out he is with him, they might be even friends from what I can tell.

    Basically, that new advisor himself has called him in, and then I sat in and had a chat with him. But before that, let me tell you what happened with this advisor today, whom I had to see 3 days after my first meeting with him.

    Even though you told me not to send him my exam details, as it was in breach of personal details, I did it anyway, in the hope of avoiding a potential conflict. Oh boy, was I wrong. When I sat and talked with him, I thought everything was fine, he was once again telling me to put in reference codes which didn't make any sense, as there aren't any for the jobs that you apply elsewhere than the job centre. Regardless of that, basically, he opened up my e-mail with my exam details, looked through them. He also asked to see my CV (??) I told him he didn't ask me to, and he saying that he did (no he didn't and I can assure you, even when he asked me to e-mail him the exam details, I had to go back to ask him for his e-mail), and he was printing out information, not sure who for, that I did not bring in my CV (apparently breaking some rules of some sort).

    Anyway, the next thing that he did, is he made a date for my next appointment with him, and guess when does it fall onto? Yes, on my exam day, and not only on that day, but with the time difference, that would make it impossible for me to attend the meeting with him and my exam at the same time. Not only that, he then said "And then after you will be seeing me everyday". I thought, that the first time when I spoke to him, he was just threatening me, but he was for real. Basically I didn't sign the paper, and went to the receptionist of some sort, to tell him that I would like to speak to the manager, but apparently for some reason, this advisor who has been giving many problems, I believe has called him first, and as I was waiting for around 10 mins, and saw him walking behind me, he did talk to him also face to face.

    Anyway, so we met, and sat down, and we started to have a chat.
    Basically I was telling him that I have been looking for a job with this centre for a while now, and I have seen over a dozen different advisers, and I have never met anyone as rude as Graham. I have seen a lot of people during all the time I've been here. I have told him that I work my ass off, I attend CDG meetings, I search for at least 60 jobs a month as they require me to, I apply and search for jobs as this job centre wants me to while seeing my sign in person, and now on top of that I get Graham. And I told him that I don't mind doing extra things, but he is taking an advantage of me. Basically, this manager was giving that awkward little nod, and saying yeah, where you know that no matter what you say, he will not take your side.

    I have tried to explain to him that out of all the dates, why would he pick this one, right when I have sent him the details of my exams. He didn't care... he said this just shows that you aren't available to look for work, when you are required to. I have also told him, I am available for the entire year, but these 4 days in the entire year, and you are doing this to me? I've told him that he will also force me to see him every day after, and no one is forced to do this. Basically he gave the same "nods" as if he "understands" but he is allowed do that. He has also stated that I am suppose to provide the advisor with my details like the exams, because it apparently is required for some reason that I didn't quite catch. He said that looking for jobs is a full time thing, and I must be available for whenever, otherwise I am not looking for jobs full time, so I have to attend the meeting or I get my JSA cut off (basically he wants me off). I once again tried to explain to him that I am available everyday, any day, why make me come on this day at this time, these 4 days out of the entire year, after all I am doing these exams so I can get better qualifications and so I can sign off JSA for good and go to university.

    I have tried telling him that I feel threatened by him, he makes me feel like I am bullied around. That he shouts at me, and that I would like to change advisers if possible, he said that it isn't an option. Even when I tried to advocate my case the best of me feeling like I am in fear when I am around him, the best thing he could offer is to sit nearby us on our next appointment (which he knows that I couldn't possibly attend, I guess he wanted to follow protocol and not get any complains as if he forces me to work with someone I feel threatened by)

    I have also asked him to understand my situation, and whether this appointment could be delayed by just a couple of hours so I could attend it - he wouldn't budge, he said it's all up to the advisor. I really feel like they are good friends or something. And that's how it finished, I told him that "You must be friends" he took a great offence to that, and started also using his voice, I didn't sign the paper for my appointment, said no thanks, and I left.



    So here I am now, with not much money left, soon to be with no internet, and probably will not have sufficient funds to even complete my education... and I am 23 soon... and oh God, how much I want to go to university, how much I want to leave all this crap behind!


    Any advice is welcome guys, and thanks for your initial answers, they are all appreciated
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    Argghh... I wish :/ I'd take just about any job right now, desperately need it!


    (Original post by phunky_fresh)
    Find a job and get the hell out of there. I had the most annoying advisor, she made me even more determined to get a job. I see it as fuel for the fire!
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    Thank you so much for your post, I have pm'ed you, I have also posted an update on here.

    (Original post by Politics Student)
    On the brightside you have some consistency by knowing who you have to sign on with.

    I have had similar experiences. However, my sign on is with who ever is free. Two of the four are complete *******s and its so stressful.



    They have targets to get people off JSA. How do you do that when there is no jobs? Well you go sanction happy. I have been threatened at least 3 times.

    If you are doing exams as a private candidate then its best not to mention. However, as you are not a student ie not going to lessons and are simply doing so minor exams then that should not be a problem.

    I would personally refuse to give over private information.

    Now considering his behaviour you need to make a written formal complaint ASAP and post it to that job centre manager. Just state his reaction, his rude and threatening behaviour, and ask to change advisor.


    Now the threat of sanctions is commonly used.

    I always recommend you follow the JSA agreement to the letter. If any attempts at sanctions are made just point out you followed your agreement and therefore, he cannot sanction you plus if he did you would win the appeal. I would also make sure to mention you would also be making a formal complaint at his conduct. You will be surprised how frequently this works as that threat has made them back down all three times so far.

    I have had a similar demand once before and I still don't bother with the reference code as its a waste of my time.




    No he does not. He can however stop your claim, but you can appeal and I fully recommend making a formal complaint.

    Make a formal complaint about his conduct in writing to the job centre manager ASAP. As I stated above you can get moved to a different advisor.

    Now a more extreme solution is to hide a microphone and use a dictaphone to record the sign ons which is what I have been doing. Now you cannot release this to the public as the background might include peoples personal details so you would breach peoples personal data security. However, you can produce a transcript and release that on a blog. Plus its a great thing to attach to a formal complaint with the offer of the full recording.

    Yes after 6 months unemployed I am now wearing a microphone to every sign on and secretly recording. There are just so many bad advisers at my local job centre that the only way to avoid sanctions is to record everything.

    Seriously I had one sanction threat as I did not apply for a bunch of jobs I was not told to even apply for. I only avoided that by threatening a formal complaint at her conduct and agreeing apply for these jobs (some of them were great opportunities) by my next sign on.

    Still the best sanction threat was "you have not applied for any research assistant positions".... ummm yeah there are none for my field. Then we ended up going through the list and I had to explain why a MSc in politics meant I lacked the chemistry or biology lab experience required for the listed research assistant jobs. Once I explained I fully complied with my agreement and I then threatened a formal complaint to the manager he backed down.

    You have to be prepared to fight tooth and nail. You also need to be willing to complain. If he is doing this to you then who else is he sanctioning unfairly who is not complaining?

    Hope this helps.
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    Thanks for the advice, but I guess I am going to have to find some job right now, as I am in a big and steep **** T_T


    (Original post by SPB)
    I have 0 experience (signed on myself today) with JSA and the system. However, people can be nutty, and I expect these JSA people have been recruited and told to be a bit aggressive with people. What is your natural disposition? People can sometimes just not click even if you are a nice person and he is a nice person. Maybe he was having a bad day. Whatever the case may be it seems to me that you need to report him if he was shouting at you or intimidating you. Take a serious look at it because it may cost him a job; but don't guilt yourself into not reporting him if you need to. If he was rude, shouting, and being a general prat and unhelpful you should report his behavior and tell them you would not like to see him again when going back. I think it can be a difficult job because on the one hand it's true that you need to be actively searching and not leeching the system so they're looking to catch you out; but on the other hand it would be awful to be caught out without actually doing anything wrong. As long as you can show you've done the right thing.

    I hope others can help with the technical side of things because it is common for people with a bit of expertise who are handling something to really try and do you in if they can by keeping you in the dark. Call them up to discuss questions if necessary but don't beat yourself up about it.

    And as a comforting note: the British system favors you over him especially if he was aggressive. Usually people like that back out if you calmly threaten further action (I will speak to your manager). They'll act tough at the time (Yeah go ahead mate!) but they'll be sweating on the inside because even if they are right nobody likes their boss being bothered when its about their job!
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    If a complaint is unfairly handled you have a right to escalate it.

    You need to make a formal complaint in writing. Seeing the manager will not do. You need to have a paper trail.

    I will post more later.
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    (Original post by CupidMupid)
    Argghh... I wish :/ I'd take just about any job right now, desperately need it!

    Keep trying. Agencies, ask your friends if the know of any jobs. I found a job in the newspaper once and I heard about my current job through a friend. Your hard work will pay off!
    • Thread Starter
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    I really am not sure whether I am in power to do anything about it
    If the manager sides with his so drastically, it could be very difficult to do anything about it.

    The worst part about this, is that all I want to do is to go to uni, and that's the only way I can pay for my exams unless I find a job quick, I'm at a point where I don't even have a working phone any more, and soon no internet, which will make finding a job even harder, I bet even McDonalds is probably competitive as hell these days...

    I do appreciate all your responses though


    (Original post by Politics Student)
    If a complaint is unfairly handled you have a right to escalate it.

    You need to make a formal complaint in writing. Seeing the manager will not do. You need to have a paper trail.

    I will post more later.
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    (Original post by phunky_fresh)
    Keep trying. Agencies, ask your friends if the know of any jobs. I found a job in the newspaper once and I heard about my current job through a friend. Your hard work will pay off!


    I lack qualifications, that's the bad part, and no experience either

    If I could, I would even work bellow minimum wage, but I am not allowed, which is pretty bad.

    I have to beg McDonalds I guess, I hope they are kind enough to take me on board!
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    (Original post by CupidMupid)
    I lack qualifications, that's the bad part, and no experience either

    If I could, I would even work bellow minimum wage, but I am not allowed, which is pretty bad.

    I have to beg McDonalds I guess, I hope they are kind enough to take me on board!
    I know a lot of people that lacked skills and find work. There is hope. Have you tried football stadiums? Event companies?
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    Wendy at Ilkeston jobcentres the same to me, she just trys to wind me up its clear as day, clearly knows someone who doesnt like me, but what do i do? Shes actually so aggressive its scary.
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    The manager at Ilkeston jobcentre is exactly the same, disgusting place, disgusting staff !!!
 
 
 
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