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shiftytigger

Sanctioned by Job centre - help with appeal please.

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Hi -

Dont have much of a post count but mainly lurk and take heed of the bountiful advice on here.

 

I turned up for my 'usual' signing appointment but was unceremoniously left waiting for nearly an hour with no explanation or communication.

 

When I was finally called over to another desk I was told that my jobsearch was too generic and vague. At this point I defensively retorted 'Well looking at the same relisted jobs over and over , in my field of work IS generic by its nature'.

 

My jobsearch 'sheet' , as with many more at the Canning Town jobcentre , has been reduced to a single sheet , into which I have to shoehorn details of everything I do and look at - included in this weeks search was a screening interview for a job that I could prove I had attended.

 

I have complied with everything the workplace has thrown at me and been very accommodating up till now but as I was not the only one having this done (seems like a chosen block of people going through the same wringer) I am assuming that this is an office wide response to the terrible statistics surrounding the workplace scheme.

 

I said to the 'advisor' -

'what about the fact that you can clearly see from my other sheets that I am actively seeking work , in accordance with the agreement that was set out - as well as volunteering in a charity shop once a week and attending the workplace for a group jobsearch'

- to which his response was

'we are not interested in the past weeks searches'

' really how convenient - can I have them back then please.'

'no we keep them for reference'

'but you just said you're not interested in the past weeks'

 

Before long I could see I was getting nowhere and just asked him to get on with what he was obviously going to do - this turned out to be typing the few bits onto a template sanction letter that referred to me - oddly enough the dates didnt seem to be part of the user defineable text.

 

No mention made of the changes to the rules / regulations. No mention of UJM.

 

I hope someone can correct me , but based upon a 'clean' claim with no advice EVER given on improving my jobsearch or I will be sanctioned - surely to sanction as a first step is excessively harsh. Surely this must be contradictory to the agreement I entered into.

 

So , to my main points/questions.

 

1) As I have somehow mislaid my agreement , is it feasible/legal to request to see my claim file and paperwork in person?

2) In obtaining a copy of my agreement and then appealing by way of proof of complying with the last agreement set out - would this be a good basis for appeal? Does the freedom of Information act allow me to do so and in doing so would it allow me to take copies of all related documents in my claim?

3) I shall also be making a formal complaint about the service standard in the branch. 54 minutes of being ignored leads to impatience and as the customer before me had to be led out by security with the same problem it seems this approach of cowardice is favoured in order to disarm claimants and lead to heated exchange and possibly more sanctions.Am I going too far or should I stand up for this too?

 

If this information regarding data protection is available to read (and preferably understand) then it would certainly help.

 

I am not legally savvy but I am willing to take measures against the jobcentre if they are legal.

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You can request a copy of your JSAg at any time if you have mislaid it.

By keeping previous job search records it is easier to see if you are repeating your job search by applying for the same vacancies week after week etc.

If you have met each step of your JSAg then DMA will allow your referral but missing one part of the agreement can result in a disallowance of you benefit.

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Like Flumps1976 stated, you can request a copy of your JSAg but you can't apply for the same vacancy all the time as it will easly get you sanctioned! a friend of mind did this and he got sanctioned for 4 weeks and he was in a mess as he didn't have any money for electric, gas and food so make sure you don't apply for the same Job over and over again!

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as a matter of interest, what if you live in an area with very little work? you apply for every job in the area one week only to find that the same jobs and no others are available the next week? surely you cannot be sanctioned if this is the case?

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I don't know 100% about that debt4get sorry, the area I live and work in isn't too bad and public transport isn't too much of an issue, the 90 minute travel time has opened up the vacancies that people can be expected to apply for.

The JSAg should be updated to reflect realistic expectations ideally.

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