Sanctioned for being a minute late. Threat of sanction for being two minutes late. Today’s demo. 

Today we had been hoping for warmer weather. Although the rain had stopped and the sun was lurking behind the clouds it was still freezing cold. I can’t wait for the warmer weather to arrive.

On the way to the demo I was stopped by a lovely couple that we have been helping. They didn’t need any help today, but they just wanted to say hello. That was really lovely of them to do this.

As I arrived at the Jobcentre, I noticed that several people had been waiting for us to arrive. They were waiting for their food parcels. Sadly we never received any food parcels this week, so a member of the team went to the shop next door and bought some basics. We should hopefully have some food parcels next week to hand out.

A man stopped me and told me that he had just been told that he was going to be sanctioned for being a minute late. Yes you heard right, a minute.

As usual the DWP showed their typical lack of compassion. We gave advice on what they needed to do next.

It’s unbelievable isn’t it. Mind you, a while ago a woman was sanctioned for being five minutes early. Yes early. So you see folks, you can never get it right and the system is set out to fail you. But of course, we already know this don’t we.

A disabled lady and her daughter then walked out of the Jobcentre. They were not happy. She had taken advantage of the legal right to have representation whilst attending her appointments. It seems that the Jobcentre advisor took offence to this.

The younger of the two ladies was disabled, as was the older, her mother whom accompanied her with a walking frame. The younger lady had failed her ESA (Employment Support Allowance) medical. Of course her advisor didn’t inform her of her legal right to appeal, how to do this and what the process entails. Nope. They told her that she had to make a new claim for JSA (Jobseekers Allowance) instead and to do it quickly. They made her an appointment for the next day.

Her advisor also told her that it would be better if she wasn’t accompanied (we know exactly why this was suggested), and that she would have to attend an appointment upstairs. There is no lift and she cannot walk up the stairs. You can imagine their reaction can’t you.

We advised her on appropriate action, of how to lodge a mandatory reconsideration, what to do, and we also advised her on what to say to the Jobcentre staff on arrival for her appointment tomorrow.

She is to attend with her mother as planned, and she is to insist that her mother will accompany her. She will also state the equalities act, and to note that they have to, by law, take into account her disability. They seemed determined and I’m sure that they will do this.

A man then walked, or I should say shuffled out of the Jobcentre. His face was pointing at the floor and he was clearly upset.

I stopped him and enquired as to what was wrong? Why was he so upset?

He told me that he is disabled and had been homeless. He has just been placed in temporary accommodation at the local Travel Lodge. He wants to build his life up again.

He became disabled when he fell from a wall and broke his back. He is in constant pain. He showed me his prescription. My heart went out to him.

It’s unbelievable isn’t it. Mind you, a while ago a woman was sanctioned for being five minutes early. Yes early. So you see folks, you can never get it right and the system is set out to fail you. But of course, we already know this don’t we.

The younger of the two ladies was disabled, as was the older, her mother whom accompanied her with a walking frame. The younger lady had failed her ESA (Employment Support Allowance) medical. Of course her advisor didn’t inform her of her legal right to appeal, how to do this and what the process entails. Nope. They told her that she had to make a new claim for JSA (Jobseekers Allowance) instead and to do it quickly. They made her an appointment for the next day.
Her advisor also told her that it would be better if she wasn’t accompanied (we know exactly why this was suggested), and that she would have to attend an appointment upstairs. There is no lift and she cannot walk up the stairs. You can imagine their reaction can’t you.

We advised her on appropriate action, of how to lodge a mandatory reconsideration, what to do, and we also advised her on what to say to the Jobcentre staff on arrival for her appointment tomorrow.
She is to attend with her mother as planned, and she is to insist that her mother will accompany her. She will also state the equalities act, and to note that they have to, by law, take into account her disability. They seemed determined and I’m sure that they will do this..

Now you don’t want me to tell you how awful this is, because you already know how awful it is. But these stories aren’t uncommon, and you aren’t on your own.
Sadly its become the norm to be suffering in some way now.

We have finally finished our survivors guide now and we are doing a print run with the last of our money. This will be money well spent.

This week has been an extremely busy week. Myself and two other women have been helping a lady that I met at the Jobcentre. She had become very ill, and certainly was not getting the care that she needed. The good news is that she is now in hospital, and hopefully we will find her appropriate accommodation. Seeing someone become that ill is always upsetting.

To be honest it never stops, along with the writing (unpaid) meetings and issues that I have to deal with sometimes I don’t know if I am coming or going sometimes!

I hate having to do this, but we are running very low on funds and have spent our last funds on a leaflet run. The leaflets are specifically for people using Ashton Jobcentre and have been composed by a couple of our members. They aren’t Unite Community leaflets as we are also an independent group consisting of people that may not necessarily be a member of Unite Community.

These leaflets will prove to be invaluable as they are a very simple step by step guide to surviving the DWP system.

I also am on an extremely low income and live from day to day. Please donate if you can, share or tell folk that are suffering that we care about them!

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9 thoughts on “Sanctioned for being a minute late. Threat of sanction for being two minutes late. Today’s demo. 

  1. Sadly, things aren’t going to get any better with the likes of Damian Green at the helm of the DWP, because he ‘thinks it’s ‘exciting’ that future jobs may not have stable hours, holiday pay, sick pay or pensions’
    http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/politics/dwp-gig-economy-damian-green-speech-holiday-minimum-wage-sick-pay-hours-a7421071.html
    He – like all Tories – wants to take us back to the days of self determination, where there’s nothing for the poor, it’s enough to turn Dickens in his grave.

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  2. So UC and the sanctions regime are meant to mirror the world of work and are designed to make people more abe to keep work? What employer would fine the workers a months salary for being one minute late or heaven forbid 5 mind EARLY? Utter bloody madness!

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  3. Im interested to know if people have been sanctioned for missing a appointment when they have said they didn’t receive a letter telling them of the appointment. And the DWP didn’t believe them and sanctioned them!? Has this happened!

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  4. Great piece and from talking to people I know this is 100 percent true. It’s disgraceful. Government has no compassion at all these day. I hope Karma bites each and every Conservative on the arse one day.

    Like

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