Legal use of a Jobseeker's Direction

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Legal use of a Jobseeker's Direction

Post by Mary_FV on Thu Jun 29, 2017 10:06 am

Latest information:
https://www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/397071/response/962263/attach/4/3c.Jobseeker%20s%20Directions.pdf

Important clarification:

Examples of inappropriate or poor quality of Jobseeker’s
Direction entries

Example 1
I am directing you to undertake a course of training between the 23rd and 27th
of September 2016 at Anytime College.
This needs to:
 be separated into 5 Jobseeker’s Directions
 include specific details of the course
 include start and end dates for each day of attendance

If you have been issued with a singular Jobseeker's Direction to complete a Workwise or similar course, you've been mandated unlawfully. You can challenge and overturn a sanction at any time due to official error.


Last edited by Mary_FV on Thu Jun 29, 2017 8:33 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Re: Legal use of a Jobseeker's Direction

Post by Tarquin Flotsam on Thu Jun 29, 2017 1:03 pm

Heh, good stuff, thanks Mary! This'll stuff 'em when trying to put claimants on useless courses. I'll be sure to pass the word around at my jobcentre should I come across any unfortunate claimant being forced on one...
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Re: Legal use of a Jobseeker's Direction

Post by Caker on Thu Jun 29, 2017 2:49 pm

Be discreet though TF. You don't want the WCs cottoning on Wink
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Re: Legal use of a Jobseeker's Direction

Post by Tarquin Flotsam on Thu Jun 29, 2017 4:59 pm

Oh I shall be very discreet, Caker..! I do have a feeling my new "improved" designated work roach is keen to get all her claimants on these fecking courses. So should she refer me to one, and I only get the 1 jobseeker's direction, I won't be pointing out her error(s)! Very Happy
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Re: Legal use of a Jobseeker's Direction

Post by Jara on Sun Jul 02, 2017 6:06 pm

Great stuff!

I read somewhere that Jobseeker's Direction now can be verbally given (please correct me if I am wrong). If my work coach tells me that an activity is mandatory - is that now a Jobseeker's Direction?

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Re: Legal use of a Jobseeker's Direction

Post by Admin on Sun Jul 02, 2017 6:45 pm

welcome to the site jara

not all activitys is mandatory as theyve tried a few new ones that they quoted as mandatory when in fact they are voluntary

therefore even verbal ones can be false and weve seen way too many over the years
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Re: Legal use of a Jobseeker's Direction

Post by Tarquin Flotsam on Sun Jul 02, 2017 7:03 pm

Jara wrote:I read somewhere that Jobseeker's Direction now can be verbally given (please correct me if I am wrong). If my work coach tells me that an activity is mandatory - is that now a Jobseeker's Direction?
No, it can't be given verbally. I had one rather twattish work roach (good ol' Asswipe) try to "mandate" me to contact this voluntary organisation. This was ignored because a) it was verbal b) you cannot be mandated to do voluntary work. He got rather upset the next time I saw him and I informed him of this. So upset he referred me to a course (one which I'd already undertaken) and said that if I didn't attend my benefits would be stopped. A referral letter isn't a Jobseeker's Direction, so I didn't attend, even though I went there (as it wasn't far away) and explained to the course providers that I'd already taken a similar (better) course showing them the certificate I'd received on completion of that course. And as it wasn't mandatory they had no choice but to send me home, saying I should never have been sent there in the first place.

And thus began several apparently "correct" (according to my jobcentre) Jobseeker's Directions dished out to me to attend other courses (even though the courses are voluntary they decided I had to go for my own benefit), all of which I never attended and was never sanctioned for because I was either on a sickie or because the JSD was incorrect!

By all means if they think they can mandate you to attend a course verbally, don't argue with them, just let them carry on. When you see them next there's nothing they can do! Oh, and it's very important to record any conversation with your work roaches if this is the road they appear to be going down. Unfortunately too many claimants take everything they're told by their roach as gospel and comply in fear of being sanctioned...
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Re: Legal use of a Jobseeker's Direction

Post by Jara on Sun Jul 02, 2017 7:13 pm

Cheers! I just looked where I read it and I compared it with official DWP policy. It looks like you are right here Smile


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Re: Legal use of a Jobseeker's Direction

Post by Mary_FV on Sun Jul 02, 2017 7:30 pm

Hello and welcome Jara! Smile

The legislation does not require a Jobseeker's Direction to be issued in writing.  However, DWP policy requires it.

17.A sanction can only be imposed on a claimant’s benefit where they do not
have good reason for failing to comply with a Jobseeker’s Direction which
was reasonable, having regard for their circumstances.
18.To meet these requirements, a Jobseeker’s Direction must be:
 personalised and appropriate to that individual claimant
 related to labour market activities
 a one-off specific activity, which the claimant can reasonably be
expected to undertake
 time bound and reviewed by the Work Coach within 2-4 weeks
given in writing

https://www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/397071/response/962263/attach/4/3c.Jobseeker%20s%20Directions.pdf

In contrast, you can be mandated to apply for a job verbally providing all the legal requirements are met, namely:

1. The job matches your availability (usually 24hrs+ for JSA claimants) and you are capable of doing the job
2. You are provided with a copy of the job vacancy
3. You are informed how and when you must apply
4. You are advised of the consequences of failing to apply
5. If you are claiming JSA it is not a zero hour contract
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Re: Legal use of a Jobseeker's Direction

Post by Mary_FV on Sun Jul 02, 2017 8:01 pm

Just out of curiosity Jara, how did you find this site please?
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Re: Legal use of a Jobseeker's Direction

Post by Jara on Sun Jul 02, 2017 8:18 pm

Thanks guys Smile I can't believe it took me so long to find this forum!

Mary_FV wrote:Just out of curiosity Jara, how did you find this site please?

From a comment in this blog: https://copingwiththebenefitssystem.blogspot.com

Tomorrow is my Work Programme completer appointment as I have now done two years on the WP. So I been trying to find as much information as possible tonight Smile I just hope I won't get put on a bunch of courses.

Tarquin Flotsam mentioned that he avoided some courses because he already done similar courses. During my two years on the Work Programme I had tons of smaller sessions about CVs, interview techniques and the hidden job market.. I hope that going to let me dodge some of the courses my work coach want to put me on Smile

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Re: Legal use of a Jobseeker's Direction

Post by Mary_FV on Sun Jul 02, 2017 8:22 pm

Jara wrote:Thanks guys Smile I can't believe it took me so long to find this forum!

Mary_FV wrote:Just out of curiosity Jara, how did you find this site please?

From a comment in this blog: https://copingwiththebenefitssystem.blogspot.com

Tomorrow is my Work Programme completer appointment as I have now done two years on the WP. So I been trying to find as much information as possible tonight Smile I just hope I won't get put on a bunch of courses.

Tarquin Flotsam mentioned that he avoided some courses because he already done similar courses. During my two years on the Work Programme I had tons of smaller sessions about CVs, interview techniques and the hidden job market.. I hope that going to let me dodge some of the courses my work coach want to put me on Smile

Thanks Jara!

Please let us know how you get on.  We will help you in any way we can! Very Happy

I don't think TF will mind me saying that I helped him to challenge being mandated to attend various inappropriate courses!
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Re: Legal use of a Jobseeker's Direction

Post by Admin on Mon Jul 03, 2017 12:21 am

thankyou for letting us know jara its appreciated

its ourwelfare's site

Tomorrow is my Work Programme completer appointment as I have now done two years on the WP. So I been trying to find as much information as possible tonight Smile I just hope I won't get put on a bunch of courses. wrote:

you will find that interesting its a load of crap to be honest many of us went through this just watch out for the lies that they add to your info

you can also refute this info as well if they have lied to make you look bad in there report for the jobcenter some members here have had to do it
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Re: Legal use of a Jobseeker's Direction

Post by Jara on Mon Jul 03, 2017 4:13 am

I am not looking forward to it.

Sorry for dragging this back up but I just found https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/537727/dmgch34.pdf and especially 34906:

A JSD can be given to the claimant in whatever manner the Emp O sees fit. For
example
1. verbally
2. in writing
3. by email
4. by telephone
5. by other electronic means (e.g. text message).
Note: There is no requirement for a direction to be in writing or any other permanent
form. However, a record must be made of the issue and details of the JSD (either
written or computer records) as acceptable proof of the existence and terms of the
direction if required (for example; if the claimant appeals a sanction determination
following a failure to comply with the direction).

I believe this is where I read it first a JSD could be given verbally. Now I hope this text is wrong or irrelevant Smile

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Re: Legal use of a Jobseeker's Direction

Post by Mary_FV on Mon Jul 03, 2017 4:39 am

HI Jara

As mentioned above the law does not require the employment officer to issue a letter, but DWP policy does.

It is a matter of procedural fairness to notify you in written form in order that you can comply or challenge the direction. A verbal notice is hard to contest and in most cases to remember what you're expected to do and where you have to go etc.
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Re: Legal use of a Jobseeker's Direction

Post by Tarquin Flotsam on Mon Jul 03, 2017 7:01 am

Mary_FV wrote:I don't think TF will mind me saying that I helped him to challenge being mandated to attend various inappropriate courses!
Indeed Mary. Without your wonderful advice and letters these bastards at the jobcentre would've hurled me into the abyss of despair. Being clued up on certain rules and regulations, more so than the roaches I was dealing with, certainly put them on the back foot! Of course the end result of that was them giving me nastier and nastier work roaches, and even though I never quite won the war, thanks to Mary I won all the battles!
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Re: Legal use of a Jobseeker's Direction

Post by Caker on Mon Jul 03, 2017 8:38 am

Exactly the same thing happened to me. I was given the nastiest roach they have there. If it had not been for Mary I would have been in a very dire situation by now and possibly on a 3 year sanction. Mary and UM have helped me in more ways than I can say. sunny


Last edited by Caker on Mon Jul 03, 2017 1:18 pm; edited 1 time in total (Reason for editing : typo)
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Re: Legal use of a Jobseeker's Direction

Post by Jara on Mon Jul 03, 2017 10:44 am

You guys are super helpful!! Thanks everyone Smile

I been up all night not being able to sleep because of my upcoming appointment today. I'm feeling very nervous, especially about what's in my exit report. My last few months on my WPP was very rough.

Once I am back home and maybe after some sleep I'll give you all an update on how it went Smile

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Re: Legal use of a Jobseeker's Direction

Post by Tarquin Flotsam on Mon Jul 03, 2017 12:56 pm

Funnily enough I never received an exit report from the work programme. I think they'd given me up as a lost cause. Though I guess I was lucky when doing mine as it seems to have become much worse since my time on it. I didn't mind it, the final year I had weekly appointments only to do "supervised" job search for 1 hour each time. Never had any stupid workshops or one-on-one sessions with my WP advisor that final year. Plus it kept the jobcentre off my back for those 2 years, way less demanding than they usually are.

You might get lucky, Jara, the first few weeks after finishing the WP and your JCP won't give you such a hard time. But they definitely seem to have a more hardline attitude towards post WP claimants... Sad
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Re: Legal use of a Jobseeker's Direction

Post by Caker on Mon Jul 03, 2017 1:40 pm

@ Jara

BEWARE!! the WP will not let the facts influence their report Shocked

My experience of the WP exit report (I was not there for the interview as I found casual work), was that it was full of lies. A template of standard phrases (possibly drop down menu) was used to compile the report. None of the phrases applied to me or my situation, everything written was false and nothing was evidenced.

I challenged the whole report and it took a year but I got it rescinded and a factual report issued as a replacement. The new report essentially was that the WP had not been able to ascertain anything about my employability and that I had stopped attending and I had said I spent time in employment, for which they had no record and could not verify.

Beware of their recommendations for further support. Mine said that I would benefit from basic skills (not evidenced or assessed btw) and work experience / up to date references. I have spent a number of years attending uni' and if I lack basic skills this was never detected by any uni' I ever attended lol!  

I was employed (p/t) in my professional occupation, while on the WP, so I have recent experience and references too.

The original report actually looked vindictive. Whoever wrote it, intended that the DWP would be able to justify sending me to basic skills courses and to workfare. I stopped that happening (long story). Basketball
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Re: Legal use of a Jobseeker's Direction

Post by Mary_FV on Tue Jul 04, 2017 1:08 pm

@Jara

I hope all went well with the final work programme provider meeting!

The work programme completer interview is not compulsory..

Completion and return of the Exit Report
5. At the end of the Work Programme you are required to complete an Exit Report
for each participant in receipt of a benefit and due to return to Jobcentre Plus
after 104 weeks on the Work Programme.
Please Note: There is no policy requirement for an Exit Report meeting to be carried
out with a participant when they are about to complete the Work Programme. All
information required by Jobcentre Plus should have been recorded throughout their
time on the programme.


https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/608045/wp-pg-chapter-10.pdf
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Re: Legal use of a Jobseeker's Direction

Post by Jara on Tue Jul 04, 2017 5:13 pm

They booked my interview with my normal sign on time.

I would say my appointment yesterday went reasonable well. The only thing that really happened is they removed any mention of my WPP in my claimant commitment.

My work coach wanted to put me on some work trial/experience for a particular type of job as they thought I didn't have enough work experience in that field. Luckily they didn't have anything for me at the time, it was mostly just charity shop positions. I told her I disagreed on me needing more work experience but she still opened up her document and looked for some. She didn't mention anything about it being mandatory.

Also I wasn't put on daily sign on, my next appointment is my normal sign on in two weeks. I expect my work coach is going to try again to put me on some workfare, so I am going to try find out what schemes are still around in these two weeks.

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Re: Legal use of a Jobseeker's Direction

Post by Tarquin Flotsam on Tue Jul 04, 2017 7:04 pm

Jara wrote:My work coach wanted to put me on some work trial/experience for a particular type of job as they thought I didn't have enough work experience in that field. Luckily they didn't have anything for me at the time, it was mostly just charity shop positions. I told her I disagreed on me needing more work experience but she still opened up her document and looked for some. She didn't mention anything about it being mandatory.
My (soon to be ex) assigned work coach had a similar idea with me, as I was lacking "work experience" the past few years. She muttered something about work experience not being mandatory, so I told her a) I didn't believe in doing full time work for zero pay etc etc, and b) that I'm registered with various voluntary organisations and will do voluntary work if/when I find something suitable. That soon shut her up.
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