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I have had to sign up using a new username as I couldn't gain access to my old account. I had forgotten my password and didn't have access to the email address I used. My old username was Deco_Nic

 

I signed on yesterday (Tuesday) and it didn't go well. My new advisor was sat there but I was actually dealt with by the Jobcentre manager.

 

Firstly I had my jobsearch evidence questioned. I stated I didn't give access to my UJ account and present it hadnwritten as I always had, I was told this wasn't good enough, lucky as I had been assigned a new advisor the fortnight before I had printed off my activity from UJ. This printout was closely scruntnised. The manager picked up on I had not applied for any jobs actually using UJ, I only apply to jobs that take me to external sites. They were not happy about this and kept questioning me as to why I would not use UJ. I was getting myself extremely distressed, I suffer with despression and anxiety. I had to call my friend over who I take with me to try and explain things as I could not speak as I was crying and gasping for breath.

 

The issue of jobsearch evidence was dropped and I was told it had been decided I was being referred for Mandatory Work Activity, it was something that had been decided with no discussion with me. As I say only two weeks previously I had been assigned a new advisor who said I would be given many opportunities once we had got to know each other.

 

As I was so distressed from the jobseatch evidence incident, I wasn't taking in anything that was said. I was giving a letter saying I had been referred and I would hear from the provider, LearnDirect I believe, within 8 working days.

 

The one question I did get to ask was about college, I have an interview on Thursday to start a part time Access to HE course at the beginning of next week, its so I would be able to go to university next September. The course has 15 hours of teaching and the college said that many unemployed take courses of 15 hours with no problems. I was told that MWA takes priority and I would not be allowed to take the course now I am referred and I would have to take it the next time the course is run, that is next September. I was told that MWA was my only option.

 

I had wanted to discuss with my advisor about starting my own business that I would be able to do alongside college and the university. I had read about New Enterprise Allowance and wanted to ask about it but didn't even get a chance.

 

All the manager could say is that they suffer with depression and anxiety and hold down a full time job and MWA would do me good. They even suggested it would help get me into university next year as I would be more confident.

 

I just feel totally railroaded and like my thoughts did not count at all.

 

Is there anything that I can do or do I just accept MWA and that I won't be going to university until 2017 at the earliest?

 

Also were they correct in saying I would not be able to do this college course?

 

To be honest I feel on the scrapheap and not allowed to retrain for the job I have wanted to do for years but until earlier this year not had the guts to go for.

 

Thanks for any advice

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I had this issue as i study with the open university

 

I objected to the Mandatory work activity the first time saying that i was allowed 15 hours study and i asked for a reconsideration of that job seekers direction

They dropped the objections there and then

 

You need things in writing, a paper trail as what they are saying is unreasonable

 

All those put on this mandatory work activity are removed from the jobless figures, it is political and that is why they do it

 

The second time they tried to send me to mandatory work activity was with a roof thatcher, even though i was on crutches

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These [edited] make my teeth itch, they really do!

 

Email/write to your local MP and have them account for the way in which this department is being run, after all (if they're Tory) it is they who have allowed this department to become so corrupt and left them with blood on their hands.

 

Have a look at the http://blacktrianglecampaign.org/

Edited by honeybee13

Who ever heard of someone getting a job at the Jobcentre? The unemployed are sent there as penance for their sins, not to help them find work!

 

 

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I was told that college was not an option as I was expected to attend for 15 hours per week and MWA would not allow for that.

 

I was told I have not worked for a number of years and this is a barrier to getting me back to work so needed to learn work ethics and have something current to put on my CV.

 

Dreading the post arriving with this letter saying when I start etc

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I was told that college was not an option as I was expected to attend for 15 hours per week and MWA would not allow for that.

 

The JCP adviser has informed you incorrectly. If your Job Seeker's Agreement (JSAg) or Claimant Commitment has restrictions on available hours, then any Mandatory Work Activity must be arranged around these restrictions. If/when you start this part time course, you would want to renegotiate your JSAg/CC to reflect your limited availability for work.

 

The MWA guidance also provides scope for absence from any placement at the discretion of the provider and DWP. For details, see: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/mandatory-work-activity-dwp-provider-guidance

 

I would suggest sending the DWP a letter asking for a Mandatory Reconsideration of the MWA and inform the JCP that you need to renegotiate your JSAg/CC. The former may only delay the inevitable. What ever happens, do not ignore any letters from LearnDirect especially if the word "Mandatory" is used. Once you receive a letter from LearnDirect, you can delay any placements further by demanding a MR on the grounds that times conflict with college hours.

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Firstly I had my jobsearch evidence questioned. I stated I didn't give access to my UJ account and present it hadnwritten as I always had, I was told this wasn't good enough, lucky as I had been assigned a new advisor the fortnight before I had printed off my activity from UJ.

 

Their own guidance (Universal Jobmatch Toolkit) quite clearly states that 'It is not up to us to dictate how a jobseeker shows their evidence and Universal Jobmatch will not change this'. So you can show your evidence written on a toilet roll if you so desire - however, remember that handwritten evidence is not proveable. Far better to have screenprints from job sites showing you've actually applied so they can't argue that you've just made it all up

 

The manager picked up on I had not applied for any jobs actually using UJ, I only apply to jobs that take me to external sites. They were not happy about this and kept questioning me as to why I would not use UJ.

 

I do exactly the same; I've NEVER applied via UJ for any job, only using external sites. You are merely required to have an 'online presence', ie be registered with an internet agency and have a CV on their site. It does NOT have to be UJ, there are many other internet jobsites (and they're all better than UJ too). I use Reed and CV-Library and that satisfies the 'online presence' requirements. None of the advisers at my JC argue as they know I'm in the right..plus most agree UJ is total crap anyway and even they don't like it.

 

Start audio recording every meeting with your advisers too, then you have evidence of their lies and bullying.

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You suffer with depression and anxiety.

*You are entitled to a representative which can even be your family or friends to any meetings with the DWP*

 

I suggest you start insisting on that as well

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The SabreSheep, All information is offered on good faith and based on mine and others experiences. I am not a qualified legal professional and you should always seek legal advice if you are unsure of your position.

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You suffer with depression and anxiety.

*You are entitled to a representative which can even be your family or friends to any meetings with the DWP*

I suggest you start insisting on that as well

 

As much as I agree and condone that, and I really do, if only it was that easy.

 

It will take until the eleventh hour (if at all) for someone suffering from depression and, or, anxiety issues, to even think of asking for help.

 

This cruel, barbaric, and inhumane treatment of the weakest, poorest and disabled members of our society must stop, these are not ''benefits'' these are OUR "social security" which we have paid into all our working lives, failing that it is "social security" which OUR parents have paid into all of THEIR working lives, and it is there to stop us from dropping through the cracks and enable us to have some sort of decent modicum of life, unless the Government has an honest version of why they tax the population then I cannot observe any other reason for doing so, other than to line their own pockets and feather their own nest

Who ever heard of someone getting a job at the Jobcentre? The unemployed are sent there as penance for their sins, not to help them find work!

 

 

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I agree there Bazooka

 

However OP knows they need the support now, so its as good a time as any to start insisting on getting it :)

If only the rep acts a witness it may have the silent impact of toning down the dwp.

PLEASE HELP US TO KEEP THIS SITE RUNNING

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The SabreSheep, All information is offered on good faith and based on mine and others experiences. I am not a qualified legal professional and you should always seek legal advice if you are unsure of your position.

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Right an update on what is going on.

 

1. Recieved my letter from LearnDirect saying they would ring me to arrange a meeting to discuss the placement. This call was made today, the same day I recieved the letter. I wasn't in to answer the phone so a message was left saying details of my placement would be posted to me as I was not there to engage in the arrangement of a meeting.

 

The letter actually said I had agreed to the referral to MWA, on Tuesday I did not agree to anything. I was in no fit state to agree. Apart from signing to recieve my JSA I know I did not sign any documents.

 

2. I actually got into college today. Its been confirmed as 15.5 hours per week, spread over 3 days. Effectively 3 whole days. And I start of Tuesday with an induction with the course starting properly the following Monday.

 

I went to the jobcentre after to request an appointment to reneogiate my CC but I was told that college hours would not be taken into account to restrict the hours available for work especially when going through until July next year. I would be able to do a course as long as it was done in my own time.

 

As they pulled up my records they saw I had been referred to MWA and I was told I would be unable to do this college course as MWA is 30 hours spread over a number of days.

 

I was given the options to either do the college course but would have to sign off or give up the college course.

 

Are they right in what they say or not?

 

Thanks for the help

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Sorry just thought of one further question.

 

It relates to MWA and what is deemed a good reason for missing a day. If I do have to do this, then I will be unable to do a day owing to seeing my father.

 

While that in itself doesn't sound a good reason, then I wondered whether the fact he moved to France around 6 months ago and I have not seen him since and if I don't see him on this day then it will be next year at some point before I get another chance to see him again.

 

Would this be reasonable or should I just tell my dad to forget seeing me as I won't be able to.

 

Thanks for the help

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I am of the opinion the benefit office is talking nonsense

 

I study with the Open university and i was allowed 15 hours a week to study when claiming JSA.

 

You need to formally request for which i would do in writing a reconsideration of your job seekers agreement and the MWA due to your educational obligations

 

Make sure no decision is made as to the MWA until that reconsideration

 

If the job seekers adviser says you can now go to college with no sanction, please, please get that in writing before you leave the job centre

 

Get it in writing

Edited by Andyorch
edited
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It is unlikely that the DWP or LearnDirect would allow a day off to see a close family member unless it was for his funeral. Even then, they would probably raise a benefit doubt over it.

 

As for refusing to allow time out for studies that would improve your prospects of employment, I think it time to get your local MP on board. This assumes of course that you do not have the misfortune to be represented by a conservative... I would also have a read of the DWP guidance on MWA.

 

LearnDirect is required to conduct an "engagement activity" before issuing a MWA placement. I'm of the opinion that a telephone call made on the same day as a letter arrives fails on two counts:

 

  1. There is insufficient time between the posting of the letter and the "activity" in question.
  2. A telephone call is a poor substitute for a face to face meeting where additional support requirements and suitable placements can be discussed - Further Education could fall in to this category.

Paragraphs 3.19 through to 3.22 of https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/mandatory-work-activity-dwp-provider-guidance should be used to support any action you take.

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Get a written decision on the college course - insist - then you can challenge the decision. You may also find that insisting on a written decision makes them rethink their position.

We hang the petty thieves and appoint the great ones to public office ~ Aesop

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Thanks for the advice so far. Apologies for the delay in getting back, been sorting out the loan for me to do this course and it has sort of taken over.

 

Another update and a few more questions.

 

1. I am still waiting for the letter regarding my placement. I have no contact details for LearnDirect apart from an address so I am at a loss as to what to do now. The jobcentre told me that it was down to LearnDirect now and out of their hands

 

2. I have been told that a form would need to be filled in to inform the jobcentre of my starting college, however I was told by my advisor that a decision would be based on the fact I signed up for this course after I was informed of MWA and it would be seen as me trying to get out of MWA. I don't even know what form it is to try and find one online.

 

3. People have mentioned a mandatory reconsideration. How do I go about this and do I need to have completed the above mentioned form first?

 

4. I am due to sign next Tuesday and it clashes with college, I am there until 3pm and have to sign at 2.20pm, as I am getting no help from the JC at all then not sure how to handle this one. Would I be allowed to sign late if I am at college?

 

Hope people can advise further.

 

Thanks again

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  1. The JCP are correct, it is for LearnDirect to make contact and supply you with the information regarding any placement. However, there is a time limit for them to comply with their contractual obligations with the DWP.
  2. You informed the JCP adviser verbally of the college course on the day you were told you were being referred for MWA. Not your place to ensure the adviser records the information on the DWP system :wink:
  3. There is no form for a Mandatory Reconsideration. You need to write a letter headed "Mandatory Reconsideration", detail the activity you require a reconsideration of and the reasons why. Each MR case is different, so there is no standard template.
  4. Your signing on appointment takes priority over all other activities. Do not miss it unless you have made arrangements with the JCP beforehand AND have it in writing. Anything less, and you will collect a sanction.

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Sorry for the long wait between updates again.

 

I am still waiting to hear from LearnDirect, I had signing on today and was asked what was happening. Said not heard anything for a while so I am expecting this now to be chased up.

 

I think I confused last time with my questions.

 

I have been told I need to fill in a ES567SJP to declare my course to the Job Centre, I can not get them to issue me with one but have found one online as long as the one published in 2011 is relevant.

 

Does the form above need to be given to the Job Centre before I ask for a Mandatory Reconsideration?

 

I am still currently jobsearching as normal and attending college 3 days a week, no more than 15.5 hours.

 

Hope someone can offer more advice and thanks for the advice so far

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LearnDirect have 20 working days to source a placement and ensure that you start. Failure to do so is a breach of contract on their part and will affect any payments that they might have received from the DWP. If asked, keep quiet and hope that LD fail to do their job.

 

If you have been advised to fill in an ES567SJP, then the Job Centre should provide you with the form. If the front line adviser refuses to supply the form, raise the issue with a floor manager and don't take "no" for an answer. You will need to fill in the appropriate form(s) regardless of any Mandatory Reconsiderations as you are no longer able to comply with your Job Seeker's Agreement, i.e.: Available for full time work and able to start at any time.

PLEASE HELP US TO KEEP THIS SITE RUNNING

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The letter finally arrived today and has thrown up several issues.

 

1. Learndirects own inital letter to me said there would be a meeting arranged by phone. This was not done

 

2. The address on the letter does not match my address. It is a completely different street. Could I claim I had not recieved this letter or it had been delayed due to this. A way of buying myself a little extra time to get things worked out

 

3. There is no mention of travel expenses being paid as they needed to be prearranged at the meeting I did not have

 

4. The nature of what I am doing is completely inappropriate. It states its arts and crafts, an area I have no experience in at all. In fact I would say I was a complete disaster when it comes to anything arty or crafty

 

5. It says I can make a representation if I think the placement isn't suitable, it does not say how this needs to be done or how long I have apart from 5 days, but 5 days from when?

 

I am due to be there 4 days a week from 8am - 4pm, its in an area I don't know at all and as I rely on public transport it is a 1 hour 10mins journey away from my home.

 

Nowhere does it says in the letter what clothing I am required to wear, if its arts and crafts do I dress is my old tatty stuff or think the job is more selling maybe and wear something formal?

 

I have been to look at where the place is, the building its in looks abandoned with smashed windows, blinds falling down etc. My friend who took me said she feared for my safety if I was there.

 

Thanks for the advice so far.

 

Hope someone can advise some more

 

Thanks

 

I have managed to get a copy of the ES567SJP form online to declare my college course. I have printed it off to fill in but this has thrown up questions but will post as a new post

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You could ignore the letter, but be aware that a benefit doubt would be raised the minute you failed to turn up at the placement. The DWP will not check that the letter was sent or that the details were incorrect - It would be up to you to prove that the letter was incorrectly addressed.

 

I would have expected the five day window for a reconsideration starts from the day you receive the letter. One would also expect it to be working days, not calender days. However, these people probably take it from the date the letter was printed, which may not even be the day it was posted.

 

If you decide to fight this head on, the main points to raise would be:

 

  • Failure to follow correct procedure and conducting an interview before making any placement.
  • Failing to ensure the placement is suitable and accessible by public transport, particularly at the start of the day.
  • The letter fails to provide any details of the placement in respect as to what is expected of yourself or suitable clothing.
  • The placement conflicts other provisions that would improve chances of employment, i.e. part time studies.

Throw in the fact that LearnDirect are addressing correspondence to an incorrect address and you have grounds for fighting future sanctions. You could also point out that they are putting client confidentiality at risk which the DWP generally take a dim view of.

PLEASE HELP US TO KEEP THIS SITE RUNNING

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OK, so if I do fight this would I still be expected to attend on Monday? Can get a letter in the post either today or tomorrow and send it signed for but that depends on when they look at it.

 

Thanks

 

You could ignore the letter, but be aware that a benefit doubt would be raised the minute you failed to turn up at the placement. The DWP will not check that the letter was sent or that the details were incorrect - It would be up to you to prove that the letter was incorrectly addressed.

 

I would have expected the five day window for a reconsideration starts from the day you receive the letter. One would also expect it to be working days, not calender days. However, these people probably take it from the date the letter was printed, which may not even be the day it was posted.

 

If you decide to fight this head on, the main points to raise would be:

 

  • Failure to follow correct procedure and conducting an interview before making any placement.
  • Failing to ensure the placement is suitable and accessible by public transport, particularly at the start of the day.
  • The letter fails to provide any details of the placement in respect as to what is expected of yourself or suitable clothing.
  • The placement conflicts other provisions that would improve chances of employment, i.e. part time studies.

Throw in the fact that LearnDirect are addressing correspondence to an incorrect address and you have grounds for fighting future sanctions. You could also point out that they are putting client confidentiality at risk which the DWP generally take a dim view of.

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Sorry for the quick double post but hoping to get an answer ASAP as time is of the essence here

 

OK, so if I do fight this would I still be expected to attend on Monday?

 

Can get a letter in the post either today or tomorrow and send it signed for but that depends on when they look at it.

 

Thanks

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If you have received the letter in good time, then you would be expected to attend the placement. Unfortunately, you do not have sufficient time to insist on a Mandatory Reconsideration before the placement starts.

 

I would be loathed to recommend any course of action that leads to a sanction, and as time is of the essence, you may want to contact your local JCP in the morning. Either by phone or pay them a personal visit.

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No... you can't eat my brain just yet. I need it a little while longer.

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