Job Centre daily attendance – a new IDS recipe for disaster…

The question I’ve seen asked most is who pays for these daily trips to Job Centres which might be miles away from claimants’ homes? Fair enough, especially as they are no more than punishment for being unemployed long-term but there are, though, rather more serious questions that need to be addressed.

For example, Job Centres currently have their “clients” distributed over the whole of the week (or whatever time-period they work to). So how do they cope when all of their long-term claimants are expected to turn up every day thanks to IDS’s latest lunatic scheme?

Can the staff actually manage such numbers? They would, I suspect, be in serious trouble if things got even moderately out of hand, and while I’m aware that JC staff have a very poor rep, most, like the rest of us, are just trying to get by.

Would the numbers breach fire regs? Buildings have a maximum number of people that they may safely and legally accommodate – does this apply to office buildings? In the normal course of events claimants would be in and out relatively quickly, and there wouldn’t be a problem – now they are liable to be stuck there for hours. Possibly most of the day if they’re unlucky or, as I suspect, this idiot plan crashes and burns (hopefully metaphorically).

And if not metaphorically, how long before the first riot when people get severely pissed off with waiting for hours to be seen, with multiple claimants turning up for every time slot? Or when the JC computers go down under the load?

Does anyone at the DWP actually have any interest in any of these questions, and the many others that need to be addressed – like who pays for travel? Because IDS sure as hell doesn’t. He just dreams up these half-arsed schemes and moves on to the next, leaving chaos for everybody in his wake.

13 thoughts on “Job Centre daily attendance – a new IDS recipe for disaster…

  1. Pingback: Job Centre daily attendance – a new IDS r...

  2. An idea brought down to practicality Ron – unworkable. Their other option is that you should ‘acquire skills’ by, for example,cleaning off graffiti for what amounts to about £1.60 an hour in order to receive the benefit…. it’s not a benefit then? it’s a job! Supposing the claimant has a wealth of experience,or a degree ? What’s cleaning graffiti going to equip them with, I ask you ? This is a policy suggestion with one purpose, to appease DM/DE readers braying about ‘layabouts, with their flat screen TVs…’ (blah blah). There will be far more to raise blood pressure beforethis conference ends…

    • The critical point about graffiti removal isn’t what purpose it serves – none – it’ll be back, but how are people supposed to simultaneously meet their quota of mandatory job applications while pissing about in the rain?

      Ditto while hanging about the JC all day.

      In neither case can it be done, so cue even more sanctions for failure to comply.

      And IDS has been told it will be illegal for him to force disabled people who have been found UNFIT for work to work for their benefit. Bet it won’t stop him though.

      Next – compulsory paper-rounds for all pensioners!

  3. What jobs are they going to get in the first place? That’s what I’d like to know. Unless employers get rid of staff who pick up litter etc, so that they can get the unemployed to do it for nothing for them.

      • They are actually criminalising the unemployed and the disabled and coming up with suitable ‘punishments’ for them which the unthinking voter will applaud them for. Grrrrr…..

        • Criminal receives a community service order – removing graffiti/picking up litter/cook in residential home. Recipient of Job Seekers Allowance…. same

    • Yes, and how demeaning to your son must this idea be. Dreadful!

      Which just shows the lack of joined up thinking on the part of this government. Greedy employers will rub their hands with glee – why pay someone to do a job when we can get another to do it for nothing. As you say, of course a spin-off will be higher unemployment! Department of Work & Pensions and Office of National Statistics data shows unemployment has rocketed since 2010 – tell me, just what are they doing right ?

      Just because the Daily Express/Mail/Sun runs a story about some ‘scrounger’ with umpteen kids, a 4×4 car and the obligatory flat screen telly, the myth that this typifies an unemployed person just inflates. Most people who are unemployed are desperate! Yeah sure, get the cheats – nobody is agin that – but don’t criminalise those, who through no fault of their own, find themselves without a job.

      We often hear that by doing community service, criminals ‘repay their debt to society’ – in Osborne’s view those receiving JSA are simply doing the same!


  4. So what they are basically going to do is make the people who do the jobs that they want the unemployed people to do for their benefits, redundant, therefore creating more unemployed who will need jobs but have to work for their benefits, and round and round it goes!
    As for IDS, he should be stood against a wall and shot! Every idea he has rolled out, or tried to roll out, has failed, dismally and people are really suffering.
    But as I have said before, if people won’t get off their arses and do something, then it’s going to get worse. Over three years they have been in power and nothing has been done. And the Lib/Dems are even worse than the Tories due to the fact that they have gone along with all of it and are watching people suffer. They could have ended this and still could, but they won’t, just like the people won’t.
    It’s a very, very sad state of affairs 😦

    • It seems unbelievable that this bunch could even get elected dog-catcher in 2015, and yet looking at the right-wing newspapers that haven’t yet vanished behind a paywall, and it’s all too clear that getting them back is perfectly possible, especially if Ed fails to unite the Left (I think he’s spent too long, now, playing the ToryLite game – I hope I’m wrong), and the vote is frittered away among the minor parties.

      A left-wing vote for the Greens really is a vote for Cameron, or whoever replaces him by then – Boris?

      There’s a terrifying number of people on Twitter who seem to think voting Green genuinely is a viable option. It’s not.

      I don’t know if you’re old enough to remember, Jay, but when Wilson lost to Heath in the 60s, he lost because Labour, everybody said, were a shoo-in for victory, and the Left just stopped trying. That risk is here, now. Ed, buoyed up by a few good ideas – and let’s face it, they’re ideas that no party calling itself Labour could afford to ignore – might relax and stop trying.

      He dare not do that.

      He has to keep after them, and harry the Tories at every turn between now and 2015 – fracking, surely, is too big a target to ignore for a start. All the anti-fracking evidence he needs is available from the US.

      Ed can win the election, even though he’s wasted a lot of time and angered a lot of Labour supporters – and lost some, I don’t doubt – but he has to try harder, and he can’t ever let up the pressure. Above all he has to stop jumping at shadows, build bridges with the unions, and shake off his ToryLite image, and if he has the will, it’s all doable.

  5. Hi Ron,

    Been reading through your excellent blog (found when I started doing some serious mobility scooter pre-purchase research a few weeks back) and so here I am introducing myself. Hello, I’m Jadey 🙂

    This idea of IDS’ is just ridiculous! Jobcentres are not set up for having day-long ‘visits’ – space is at a premium in many of them and they don’t have enough of those job-search terminals (touch-screen hell) to go around, let alone desks and (working) computers for all the long-term unemployed people to spend the equivalent of a working-week looking for, and applying for, jobs. All that before before you think about properly trained staff to assist and oversee them.

    Your point about who is going to pay for travel-cards, petrol, or taxis. There are bound to be people who can’t drive, can’t get there by public transport, and who don’t quite qualify for DLA Mobility Component or PIP so have to use taxis. Unless the DWP are going to lay on a bus service…

    Watched a Select Committee (DWP) session on Parliament TV, recently, where they were cross-examining a senior bod from the JCP staff’s union and (I think) a union workplace rep. Very interesting session which I can’t find the link for, at the moment 😦 But, right at the end, the Chair of the Committee asked them what was the one thing that would improve results in the JCPs. They looked at each other, took a deep breath, leant forward, and said:

    “Abolish the sanction regime.”

    Their reasons were that it achieves nothing except further distress and despair for claimants and their families; and that it destroys the possibility of positive relationships between the Advisors and the clients. They also said, amongst other things at other points during the session, that understaffing and administration requirements meant that they had insufficient time with each client to do the barest minimum. let alone doing their supposed job as employment advisors. No time to get to know the skills, experience, and personality (let alone the preferences) of each claimant; no time to go through the vacancies on offer, themselves, in order to come up with decent suggestions [i]for[/i] any particular claimant.

    There were other really sensible (and sensitive) things they brought up but meds have kicked in enough for me to believe that I’ll be able to get back to sleep. So I’ll wish you goodnight/good-morning and a good day ahead.

    All the best to you – and I dare say I’ll chip-in again another time when the inspiration/urge kicks in and I manage to lay hands on the keyboard before I’ve forgotten what I was going to do…

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