DWP: sanctions damaging, unfair, counterproductive. So it does more.

I’ve come across a remarkable document in the last few days – a report commissioned by the Department of Work and Pensions (DWP) on its own ‘Skills Conditionality’ pilot, in which it started to mandate training on jobseekers under threat of the sanction (suspension) of their benefit payments. The report was released in 2011, so my apologies if it’s not new information to you – but I haven’t seen or heard of it before, and it’s more relevant than ever.

This report, which you can download in full here, takes a bit of digesting, which is partly why I’ve been a bit quieter than usual the last few days. However, once you get through it, it contains some quite remarkable conclusions – conclusions which the DWP has completely ignored, even though it was it’s own advice to itself.

The most striking conclusions centre around the issuing of ‘sanctions’ – periods between 4 weeks and 3 years long, which can be issued instantly by Jobcentre Plus ‘advisers’ for offences as minor as being a few minutes late for an appointment. Let’s take a look at some of them:

Sanctions: damaging to, well, pretty much everything

Section 11 of the report, Conclusions and Recommendations, includes a section on the harm done by the trial itself, either by participation in the pilot project itself or by sanctions arising from it. First the report looks at the harmful effects of the training imposed by the pilot:

  • people prevented from looking for work by being forced to attend training that was no use to them
  • people already involved in training or volunteer work intended to improve their chances of finding work who had to end it to take part in ‘mandated’ training – or face sanction if they declined
  • transport difficulties and childcare problems – again potentially leading to sanctions
  • people who didn’t attend, didn’t complete or rejected a training course because it was unsuitable- and were sanctioned anyway

Having highlighted the insanity of forcing people to take training that was unsuitable or impractical and was likely to put them in a position of being sanctioned, the report then looks at the effects of the sanctions themselves on jobseekers – and their families, even if they don’t have dependent children. Harmful effects included:

  • forcing claimants to rely on family and friends for their survival (assuming of course they’re lucky to have family and friends to turn to)
  • damage to family relationships
  • damage to low-income families who had to stretch their resources to help a sanctioned family member
  • harm to younger siblings of sanctioned claimants

The conclusions section of the report ends with this statement:

If the pilot is mainstreamed and mandation at Stage 3 becomes more common, sanctioning is likely to increase. It should be acknowledged that when a claimant is sanctioned, the loss of benefits may affect low income families rather than individuals alone, even when the claimant does not have dependants (sic) themselves.

The report recognises that not only does sanctioning do harm, but it also harms people who have nothing to do with the claim being suspended – about as unjust as you could possibly get.

Pointless – and often counter-productive

The report looks at whether sanctions were sensibly applied – and whether they did any good anyway – and the answer is a resounding ‘NO!’. First it acknowledges that ‘directions’ to attend training were given to people who didn’t need them:

In more than half the sample, individuals were identified through basic skills screening as having no potential skills need

Then Jobcentre Plus advisers did not understand the rules properly and mandated training on the wrong people, setting many up for sanction. ‘Bob’, an adviser from one of the pilot centres, told interviewers:

I didn’t realise that it was only for customers with a skills need, so I was putting everyone in the pilot.

The report then looks at whether backing the instructions with sanctions made any difference to the outcomes:

The analysis has provided estimates of the impact of conditionality as operationalised in this pilot on training, sanctions and early labour market outcomes for individuals who were identified through basic skills screening as having a potential skills need, and who had a valid pilot marker. There is no evidence of an impact on any of these outcomes.

By contrast, the report acknowledges that adding more instructions backed by sanctions simply put people in a position of being sanctioned without any real cause:

Some advisers believed that sanctions could be avoided if training is positively ‘sold’ to claimants through encouragement and persuasion. While this approach may have merits, it is unlikely to have prevented most of the sanctioning cases reported to us. This applies particularly to the claimants who had missed sessions through human error, but also to claimants who left training because they felt that it did not meet their needs.
There was little evidence of poor motivation to find work among the respondents who experienced loss of benefits though sanctioning. They were upset at being sanctioned, with some finding it unfair when they were taking positive steps themselves to find work. Those who declined or left training still felt they were right to do so, because it had not met their needs, and sanctioning in these circumstances would appear to be ineffective.

In other words, sanctions were applied to people that had nothing to do with any lack of effort to find work, and because they were not related to any lack of effort, they had no effect in motivating people to find work – they just inflicted suffering for no reason.

While all these statements relate to one specific pilot, the comments about the justness and effectiveness of sanctions clearly have a wider application. The DWP cannot claim to have overlooked the significance of these comments, since it summarises them in a section of its own website discussing the significance of the report, in about as unequivocal language as it’s possible to imagine:

The report concludes that sanctions can cause hardship to families and is (sic) in many cases unlikely to be effective in encouraging future compliance.

The DWP published its report, and made that last statement, in August 2011. If you or I tried something and found that it did no good and in fact caused harm, we’d stop doing it. Right?

But the DWP did anything but.

It’s bad. Really bad. Let’s do more!

In the last full year before the publication of the above report – the first year of the coalition government – the DWP issued 528,700 sanctions, already massively up from the figure of 388,200 inherited from the outgoing Labour government (in itself much higher than the 2007/8 figure of 254,670).

In the 12 months to October 2012 – a period starting just 3 months after the DWP published its remarkably frank report and summary – the DWP issued no fewer than 778,000 sanctions, an increase of over 47% in a single year.

That’s not the worst news. In October 2012, the government introduced a new, even tougher sanctions regime, so the growth of the numbers of sanctions is likely to have accelerated even further. However, we don’t know by exactly how much – the latest statistics were due out this month, but the government has delayed them indefinitely. Most likely, the government is afraid of the political fallout of the results of its actions, or else the number of sanctions has grown so incredibly quickly that even the Tory-led coalition can’t quite believe the figures and is having them double-checked before an undoubtedly embarrassing release. One thing is already certain, however – the tougher ‘regime’ will not have slowed down the growth.

If any sane, non-sociopathic person analysed his own actions and found them to be not only harmful to others but counter-productive to what he wanted to achieve (or claimed to), he or should would stop. For this government, it appears to be a signal to pile on the pain – either recklessly disregarding or else actually desiring the damaging effects on ordinary people.

People who, as the government’s own report admits, are not scroungers or workshy, but are actively seeking work.

To me, that looks like a very good definition of one or two things – either insanity or evil. And in the context of this report – created by the DWP, for the DWP, and explicitly acknowledged – the DWP’s decision, which I exposed last month, to force people to take fake psychometric tests or face sanction is even more unconscionable.

If you want to hear from people who are the victims of this wanton campaign of sanctions, then please watch this 5-minute video made by the Guardian. I warn you, it’s moving, even heartbreaking – but it will make you very angry as well, and in this context that’s anything but bad:

79 responses to “DWP: sanctions damaging, unfair, counterproductive. So it does more.

  1. Friend of mine was two weeks off finishing her computer ECDL/CLAIT course that she was put on by the Job centre when she was told that she had to stop and do a course on “positivity” to boost her self confidence! Mental, she didn’t need to do the course but was told if she kept going to her computer course she could face sanctions!

    • Today i was told by the JCP that i must give them the right to check my account on universal job match or face sanctions(against their own rules) and when i showed her the info she need on paper she claimed that 100 job application per day is only seen as one so technically if you have applied for 700 jobs a week they only count as 7 jobs. Totally Gob smacked when i then was forced to give consent (even though it is against Data protecting act rules)she then turned around and said you are good as gold ,you have done more than enough(strange! at first she refused to look at the emails of all the jobs application and now that she got the right to spy i am good as gold) . something is wrong here and we can not do anything about it.

  2. IDS knows his number’s up (and there’s good reason for it you’ll agree I’m sure).This explains why all of a sudden he’s in the Telegraph declaring he’ll find another £3bn in savings from the welfare budget. He knows there’s the most enormous shitstorm brewing because of how he’s run the DWP and he’s begging to be allowed to keep his job. I don’t think it’s going to happen myself… bye, IDS.

    • I hope you’re right – but it’s not as if he’s off-message! If he goes, it’ll be Cameron and co protecting themselves by firing their hatchet-man..

      • Indeed – the entire government, Tory and Lib Dem alike, is united behind the way the DWP is conducting itself. Which, frankly, is like an organisation that knows itself to be entirely beyond the reach of any form of accountability, legal or political. A thoroughgoing investigation of the DWP’s entire operation is urgently overdue, with a view to prosecution and/or disbandment, but nobody has the political will or the courage to conduct such a review. (OK, there are perhaps 15 MPs in the house who do have that, but they have neither the influence nor the support.)

      • I disagree, I think Smith’s declarations in the Torygraph that he’s going to cut a further £3bn from welfare to pay for the armed forces and police is him begging for his job, telling Osborne’s Treasury he’ll be a good boy if they let him stay. He knows he’s in trouble, in other words. I expect him to be gone very soon. I do agree the DWP needs investigation and a lot of senior officials should be prosecuted, that’s a must. I doubt it will happen but hey, it all brings us one step closer to social breakdown and the civil unrest that will do away with our parasitic bankers and aristocrats altogether. We’re the only country in Europe where the upper class leeches haven’t been kicked out yet so anything which brings that day closer is all to the good🙂

  3. Sign-ons will now take place at a different time each fortnight — no more routine, and convenience depending on your luck.

    It’s easy to predict future changes in procedure. Anything that makes life a little trickier or places additional demands on the claimant is somewhere on the roadmap.

    The question is, how far will they dare to go.

    • I believe this one of the pilots, there are several versions:


      Planned jobcentre trials and pilots of job-search reviews
      The Department is experimenting with job‑search reviews
      pilot description year

      Electronic signing Claimants sign on electronically at job-search reviews
      and verify biometric data.
      November 2012 to
      March 2013

      Flexible signing Jobcentre staff determine the type, frequency and
      format of job-search reviews.
      November 2011 to
      March 2013

      Online signing Claimants complete online assessment of job-search
      activity and are called in if there is insufficient evidence
      of job-search activity.
      Planned for 2013

      Weekly signing Weekly signing rather than fortnightly signing for
      Jobseeker’s Allowance claimants aged older than
      25 from weeks 13 to 52 of their claim.
      February 2012 to
      May 2013

      Reduced signing for
      Work Programme

    • Planned jobcentre trials and pilots of job-search reviews
      The Department is experimenting with job‑search reviews
      pilot description year
      Electronic signing Claimants sign on electronically at job-search reviews
      and verify biometric data.
      November 2012 to
      March 2013
      Flexible signing Jobcentre staff determine the type, frequency and
      format of job-search reviews.
      November 2011 to
      March 2013
      Online signing Claimants complete online assessment of job-search
      activity and are called in if there is insufficient evidence
      of job-search activity.
      Planned for 2013
      Weekly signing Weekly signing rather than fortnightly signing for
      Jobseeker’s Allowance claimants aged older than
      25 from weeks 13 to 52 of their claim.
      February 2012 to
      May 2013
      Reduced signing for
      Work Programme

      • Fantasy – how can they have people signing on every week when the JC+ can’t cope with the numbers they have now signing fortnightly? It’s just more wishful thinking substituting for any kind of coherent policy.

    • Already being ‘asked’ to sign at different times throughout the last few months (same day but at differing times). Interspersed with ‘work focussed interviews’ at alternate fortnights – again with times varying.

      It feels like one more (small but significant) piece of the whole demoralising experience that they want to try to refer to as ‘personalising’ our experience.

      • I think signing at different times is down to the on and off-flow of other claimants, not evidence of evil intent. But it’s been a while since I signed on I’ll admit so I’m out of touch these days.

    • As far as we’re prepared to let them.

      @ gwenhwyfaer – you forgot most of the Labour Party too, we must NOT forget their craven complicity in all this.

      • Oh, trust me, I didn’t. I may have forgotten to *mention* them, but I am never, ever voting Labour again, precisely because of their complicity in all of this.

        (Also, didn’t I remember to mention Labour lower down in the comments?)

  4. Actually, even a sociopath would stop if he found that his actions were counter-productive. Unless he was an idiot as well. There’s a potential line of investigation for you.

    Sanctioning is evil, and expecting JCP staff to do it just reduces them to the status of the Capos at Auschwitz.

    • Sadly, the ones that sanction people the most often, delight in their achievements!

      If some of the the staff worked in a CAB office or a Food bank for a short period they may think differently!

      Sanctions rarely work, in the same way speeding fines do not change behaviour in the long term.

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  6. With regard to the delayed release of sanction numbers and with particular regard to ESA receivers;not only is it delayed they are manipulating already released numbers-http://statistics.dwp.gov.uk/asd/workingage/index.php?page=esa_sanc

  7. The dwp dont care one bit about the effects these sanctions has on real people. My daughters partner was sanctioned for 3 yrs for so they said not attending an interview when they kept him waiting over an hour before telling him he was late for the appointment by an hour he appealed got turned down applied for hardship got turned down. My daughter just been sanctioned for 3 mths for not doing enough job searches her weekly jobs search set by j/c is 7 she been putting down 15+ she appealed got turned down applied for hardship got turned down as they get child ben/tax cred for one child dwp say thats enough for the 3 of them to live on or you can ask family/friends to help. I am on esa hit with bedroom tax for 2 bedrooms. I am also helping them out as much as i can. To the condims we are just numbers to be shuffled about with no thought to how it affects us. I would like to know what happens to all these £71 x 770,000 goes to thats a whole heap of money gone into someones pocket its no wonder the dwp are scared to publish the newest sanction figures its a disgrace and time they were publically investigated.

    • I am so sorry to hear about your experiences.

      Did you get professional help? Many welfare organisations have a 90% + success rate.

      The cost of the appeal and administration is enormous. I am not sure what savings are actually actually achieved.


      How much do these appeals cost the taxpayer? Between April and June 2012 there were 52,300 ESA cases disposed of by the Tribunal Service – at an average cost of £293 per case, plus £55 cost to the DWP of defending an appeal – that’s over 18 million pounds just in the first quarter of the year! This doesn’t include those cases where legally aided representation is provided. And in 42% of cases there will be the additional expenditure of lump sums to claimants to cover backdated pay that they were entitled to during the appeal period – this can reach significant amounts when you consider that many appeals take between 9 and 12 months to be heard because of the backlog.

  8. Is it possible to get this to every MP throughout Westminster? It should be read by everyone.

    Pat x

  9. I really like the way you draw out the key messages. I wonder why DWP do not respond to the findings of its own research papers.

    It seems some Jobcentres are just rolling out the Skills Conditionality now!

    Back in 2010 another research paper found:

    Advisers were not entirely comfortable with assigning additional obligations because, in principle, mandating a customer to an activity could potentially jeopardise trust in the adviser customer relationship. This perspective was held by some Stage 3 advisers who preferred to approach the mandatory activity requirement more collaboratively with customers on their caseload. In these cases the preference was to generate customer engagement in work-related activities through mutual agreement. It was further noted that unilateral pressure could engender a poor attitude among customers. Advisers would either avoid imposing the requirement entirely, or only resorted to mandation if a more reasoned approach failed to initiate action.

    Mandatory Back To Work sessions were not a great success, but the Jobcentre continued to use them via non-mandatory group sessions!

    One can only conclude, that the attainment of sanctions outcomes rather than supporting the Jobseeker into employment is the key performance driver.

    • Thank you! I’ starting to collate information on what I’m loosely calling the ‘adviser resistance’ – the people within JCP who are trying their best to subvert the system to minimise suffering and retain their humanity. The 2011 report mentioned some such people (not by that name of course) and I’m aware anecdotally of others, but any info you have would be very welcome!

  10. My son is on second hit status after being sanctioned last year. There is little work here. He got initial sanction for not bringing in a written record of his job search. He is profoundly dysgraphic and his jobseekers agreement is that he will have a digital record of his searches, which he does diligently. He has had one reply in two years since leaving college, and got short-listed. His dysgraphia lost him the job. If he gets sanctioned a second time it will be for either three or six months. What does the government expect people to do in these circumstances?

    • They expect you to meekly put up with any imposition they care to put on you. So long as that’s what happens, this will keep getting worse.

    • Linda

      There is no legal requirement to provide written Jobsearch. The legal position established by case law since 1950s is that there is no need for claimants to have to corroborate their oral evidence (e.g. of job seeking) unless it is either inherently improbable or self-contradictory. Employers do not issue receipts for job enquiries so people often cannot provide evidence that they did something other than telling you what they did. Oral evidence is perfectly acceptable in the courts, so should be in a Jobcentre.

      The mix of elementary ignorance about the law governing by some public officials combined with a lack of antipathy towards claimants (which among other things shows not even an iota of empathy or any recognition that some have additional issues such as depressive symptoms or learning difficulties which make it more difficult to look for work), illustrates the political and organisational culture within Jobcentre Plus and which leads to unlawful unofficial targets and performance measures which cause real harm.

      • Hello, Mary.

        I realise your post is old, sorry for replying this long afterwards.

        I got sanctioned the other day because what my job search should entail changed from one sign-on date to the next and no one told me. Do you have any evidence that an oral job search is acceptable? It might help my case if i can send off the evidence off with my appeal.



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  12. Sanctions increase, despair in our communities rise, adverse effects beyond easy identification as they are so many. As millions lose all in sanctions, the knock on effect for society is that we all suffer the consequences. As division and hate grow at an exponential rate, a tangible and identifiable link to the sanction explosion must be the conclusion with so many left destitute.

  13. Is it reasonable to suggest that there may be as many as a million people who have now been (certainly immorally, possibly illegally) prohibited from claiming any form of benefits until after the next election? Certainly there will be tens, if not hundreds, of thousands; what will happen to those people?

    My heart breaks and I get sick to my stomach to even think about that. Yet Labour seem as wedded to the idea of basically kicking people out of the safety net as the Tories do. This is horrific. Britain has turned itself into Hell, and we’ve just stood by and watched. How could we let this be done?

    • Maybe the 3 year sanctions were brought in specifically so as to deny people benefits till after the next election which they expect to lose. By the time these people will be able to sign on Labour will be back in power (goes Conservative thinking) and then Labour can be criticised for the sudden surge in claimants and its visible consequences.

      • Good grief! That’s an ‘interesting’ point, (in quotes as otherwise ‘Interesting’ sounds lame). Three-year sanctions arrived during the later months of 2012 and they are an extreme measure (& reckless) to any rational, humane, person’s way of thinking. They might even be a tad excessive to those who somehow or another are able to support the principle of ‘sanctioning’ for the masses. At first glance, they seemed ‘just’ to be an extension and a more extreme versio of what had been accepted as ‘reasonable’ (by some).

        36 seemed an arbitrary number of months – it was/is a big jump, time-wise, but at least seemed nothing more than a randomly chosen (if mind-boggling) number of months. (One that bears no relation to the amount of time it’s feasible to live without a basic, minimum income). So it’s been difficult enough trying to come to terms with it on that basis alone.

      • It may be even more cynical than that. Clearly the DWP are pushing to ensure that everyone on benefits is sanctioned repeatedly; it wouldn’t surprise me if the covert aim was to ensure that there was nobody on JSA at all by 2015. And since that won’t be happening by them all getting jobs…

      • As we’ve said before, Gwen, when Grayling got into power he said at the time that by the end of this government there’d be no-one left on benefits. You could be right.

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  15. The video is chilling beyond belief, skwalker, and thanks for all the hard work you put into this report. When I see and read stuff like this I sometimes feel I’ve woken up in an alternate nightmare universe and now when I see IDS on screen, as in the video above, acting bemused and brushing the stark, incontrovertible evidence aside dismissively, I feel physically sick with anger and disgust. We have to keep on getting the truth out there. Thankfully there are a lot of good people on our side:-


    • I laughed about IDS claim that working for benefit was a very valuable work experience.Correct me if I am wrong, how is NOT getting paid to go to work a true and valuable work experience. It is of course exploitation, slavery and rather unhappy for the people that do work for the companies that grab free self stackers etc.

  16. From wilipedia:
    In ethics and law, “Let the punishment fit the crime” is a principle aphorism that means the severity of penalty for a misdeed or wrongdoing should be reasonable and proportionate to the severity of the infraction.

    Serious criminals receive warmth, food and water and a roof over their heads.

    If a Jobseeker attends a meeting late or simply forgets an appointment they risk the loss of food, warmth and shelter from 4 weeks to 36 months. It is impossible to survive long term on hardship payments and if you do not live close to a food bank and cannot walk or afford the bus fare to get there you risk further deterioration of your mental and/or physical health and move even further away from the labour market.

    What benefit is freedom to people who are on their knees and are robbed of every ounce of positivity. How are people supposed to feel motivated to job hunt or further still believe they are going to actually secure a job they interview for, when they are having the life sucked out of them?

  17. If you have been sanctioned always seek professional help. Welfare Advisers and advice groups have a much higher success rate than lay people fighting the system on their own.

    42% of people win their appeals already, this would be much higher if people took advice.

    You should always ask for a review first, because once the sanction kicks in you begin the nightmare of survival and it becomes increasingly difficult to remain rational and organised.

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  20. if you get 3 year sanction and you feel it’s unjust and have a case, first point of call is CAB, make sure you appeal and apply for the hardship fund, after 3 appeals i won full rent after i was stung with the bedroom tax, you have fight hard against these vile lot.

  21. My partner was sanctioned for “doubt over looking for work”. He had attended his signing on date with 10 mins to spare before due in, had his diary full of steps he had taken towards self employment (which he is now) and noted jobs looked for in the same time and yet still was sanctioned for 4 weeks. This affected not just him but myself and 2 year old who had no money for a week until it was decided we could get hardship (a reduced rate) and my family who had to help us out when there was no money. It seemed every time we contacted DWP about the sanction, and if there was a sanction as we were left hanging for 10 days, noone seemed to know what they were doing. We appealed and still have no reply but as we are now self employed we probably won’t get answers. These sanctions are unfair and will not stop those who really want to abuse the system as I can see crime rates rising in my area since these sanctions came into force. Let’s hope someone somewhere will listen to the genuine people who want to work but are facing an extermely tough time while on benefits.

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  24. The changes implemented to the sanctions regime have been changed since October of 2012. If you are sanctioned for whatever reason you must still seek work and be actively doing so. You will still have to attend Job seeker interviews and sign on. Now what’s the point in that. If you stop receiving benefit and are not entitled to any hardship or related payments why bother?. I was sanctioned for refusing to cow tow to these exploitations and stopped attending signing on days. The stopped my claim and I made a fresh claim after the 13 week period expired. I was lucky enough to have cashed in a personal pension the year before so I had a small annuity to fall back on. I refuse to be exploited in this way and had worked since I was 15 years old, contributing to the system in all that time, 37 years, until I was made redundant. After being sanctioned by the DWP my local authority made life hard claiming rent and council tax benefits. I stuck it out and won the day. I had a regular income, even though the amount was small, and the council had no legal right to with hold my entitlements. I will never be broken with these draconian measures.

  25. From what I understand. Sanctions are illegal. EU and UK laws states that a person has to have a minimum amount paid to them by law.
    If a person is sanctioned this is taking that person below the minimum amount a person has to live on.
    I could be wrong yet I am sure this being the facts.

    • I am also interested in this point. Can someone please add in? I’m surprised this hasn’t been answered already.

  26. I was sanctioned on the 11th of September this year as I failed to turn up with my paper work, I was at an emergency eye hosp app with my son all day. I Informed the job center in the morning that I would be late to sign on and I had no signing on card with me and they said it was fine and to arrive after the hospital. I arrived and was spoken to by a very Rude advisor who informed me that I wad going to be sanctioned as I couldn’t prove I had been looking for work, at that time I was 24weeks pregnant, I have always worked and only came out of employment in the May, my children and I have been living below the breadline for over 5 weeke now. It is disgusting the way unemployed people are being treated in this country, my eldest son who serves in the British army has had to do online Tesco shopping for me and his brother’s,, he lives in Germany and is worried sick how we are surviving.

    • You need to tell your MP, your local paper and the manager of the jobcentre about this. Complain, complain, complain.

  27. Facing possible sanction for applying for jobs they reckon I cant do I had 10 jobs in my application history reduced to 3 by them and they refused to look at my jobs in activity history if my benefit is stopped tomorrow going to try and get lrgal aid and take them to court they have walked over too many people and they are not going to walk over me

  28. My benefit was suspended on the 27th September 2013 for not filling in enough detail in my jobsearch diary and it has been continued by the compliance officer for my refusal to disclose bank statements on principal that it is intrusive and needless ,then I have been on hardship allowance since for a hardsip that the DWP created .after legal advice I was told the DWP are within their rights to make such demands without control or accountability.

    What next ? fictional stories like the Purge or Hunger Games becoming government policy.

  29. It is possible to get corrupt jobcentre advisers in trouble just contact your MP and tell them about your problem.

    • If unemployed people do not stand up and fight for there rights. Corrupt Job Centre Advisers are always going to take advantage and frame the claimant
      with a Sanction. We must not accept this, we need to protest and expose the
      Corrupt Jobcentre advisers. Name and
      shame them, so that they get sacked from there job. If the Sanction system is
      being abused, then the government needs to abolish the sanction system. I think the DWP are as bad as ATOS.

  30. Just to add to this list… you ARE RIGHT 100 PERCENT! The training programme’s provided are a waste of time, and we are forced to do things that are a waste of time or we will be sanctioned. (We get nothing out of them) I asked if I would get any skills… and no there are none just basic Maths and English EVERYTIME. I have done the basics many times and no certificates or anything.

    My current work programme is SLY. (Intraining)
    Basically they have sanctioned me one time which failed due to errors of them not contacting me. (Basically “YOU” get in trouble for their mistakes)

    Basically here’s what they do, You tell them you no longer own a contact number (My phone broke literally, and I didn’t bother buying one because I know that Intraining pass on your details to others because I was getting fake scams and only Intraining had my old phone number) and then they end up lying and stating they still have your number if they want you sanctioned. I have updated my details with them many times and yet they keep using my old contact details? (To basically say that they have contacted me when they really haven’t) You are forced to have a phone even when you do not own one, so they can contact you for the usual boring interviews and making sure you are applying for like 50-100 jobs per day., depending on how many you are forced to do. And Yet you still don’t end up with a job at the end haha! (What a waste of time) When you get sanctioned by the person Interviewer at the JC or Training Programme they get a BONUS. They are making it hard as hell to keep your money, can’t even go to college to get any qualifications when your with them. (And their mandatory Work Programmes are retarded, you get forced to do random stuff where everyone is lazy and stupid and do what they please and the person your forced to work for says “IF YOU DONT DO WHAT I SAY I’LL TELL ON YOU AND GET YOU SANTIONED”) (Talk about slavery)

    I’m trying hard to get a JOB but keep getting “You Were Unsuccessful” letters, not to mention I have no skills in ANYTHING, people seem to look at my CV and I guess they trash it or something even though its up to scratch. I guess my future is being homeless, well at least I wouldn’t have to worry about anyone being on my back, because these kinds of things put people into depression & so on.

    Same goes for the Job Center Advisors, some of them can be very mean, where as some of them are nice. If they don’t like you, they will def make things hard for you. Like the man said to me once, “All I have to do is go over there and tell them that your job search is not up to scratch or some bull and you will be up for a decision. (Even though I had been doing everything correct for some time)

    My advice to anyone “Try the Prince’s TRUST” or something similar because they will help you get into work…. don’t wait too long like i did because when you age over the limit 18-24 they are no use to you/wont help you. I thought it was cheesy but they really motivate people even though slum-like people go there, they actually motivate them.

    I feel very sorry for the people in the third-world countrys, but we are not in the state they are in and yet we are being put under pressure. I guess it’s either get work or fall underneath the pile of ROCKS, that’s probably the new message to everyone.

  31. Sanctioning benefits should be stopped its a violation of human rights its depriving people of what they are legally entitled to. They are on about sanctioning peoples tax credits as well which is totally out of order baldy Duncan smith you have a lot to answer for and you ought to meet job seekers face to face you arrogant evil pig

  32. My son is about to be sanctioned for 13 weeks so they have told him, they say he hasn’t applied for enough jobs. But how many is enough ? I have myself taken his CV and handed them into shops with vacancies advertised in there windows, but according to the job center i didn’t do that. They do not know me but they can judge me and call me a liar. This sanctioning is unfair to human rights, they still expect you to sign on every fortnight, even though you get no money. My son asked how is he suppose to get to the job center, Walk was the reply he got, how do they expect someone to walk when they have had no food for god knows how many weeks never mind days. How do they expect people to have clean clothes to go to interviews in. Not everyone has people who can help them, I work 25 hours a week I’m expected to pay full rent, council tax plus my other household bills including getting myself to work and now I have to support my son. I get no other income. You see people on tv on in newspapers, living in this country claiming benefits for children and spouses that don’t even live in this country, how can they let this happen. They say charity starts at home well it’s about time they started looking on there own doorsteps instead of feeding mouths that don’t even live over here.

  33. I on universal credit missed one appointment and have received no benefit for 2 months know know I just been informed my benefit has been suspended. Due to not returning a form which I have returned. Not to mention how many times they have messed up my claim due to incompetent staff.

  34. I’ve been sanctioned for over 300 days wtf. I did not get told about sanctioning when I signed the documents and unfair decision I rang up u.c the same day to rebook a appointment for a week later went in j.c and got told I’ve been sanctioned for not attending I really need sm sort of cash so I turn to crime as I have to live.

  35. Pingback: #DWP : sanctions damaging, unfair, counterproductive. So it does more. | The SKWAWKBOX Blog | sdbast·

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