The result of sanction targets - JSA removed for attending job interview?

Mon, 24/06/2013 - 15:36 -- nick

A young jobseeker, Ceri Padley, has written a blog on her experience of being sanctioned.

She attended a job interview, telling a Jobcentre representative about it in advance as she would miss her regular signing on day, but on the day she was told to come to the Jobcentre its staff were all on strike.

She was shocked to find that she had been sanctioned for failing to attend on her appointed day, losing benefits for four weeks.

The stupidity of this action is breathtaking.

Not only could Ceri not afford to attend other job interviews she had set up, sweeping away the likelihood of getting work, but the cavalier attitude which is sometimes being taken to the removal of benefits takes no account of the extreme personal hardship created.

Two things have made this situation worse recently.

The first is that the government has admitted that it has been gathering and releasing information on the number of sanctions each Jobcentre makes, and that some have been putting targets in place for these as a result, increasing the number.

The second is also government-related. The coalition has increased both the length of sanctions and the number of reasons that can be used as justification for them. Some of these - including refusing work experience - have been slapped down by the courts, but some, like not using the Universal Jobmatch site, are still in place.

These changes mean stories like Ceri's are likely to become more and more commonplace, and the poverty and hardship caused more common.

Read the full blog here