Dealing with the job center.

(93 Posts)
Yshara Tue 23-Oct-12 09:23:41

Hi all
I am sure i am not the only one..But i am not having a good time dealing with the job center. Single mother of two and my youngest is 6 i had to move from income support to JSA. They want me to go work full time in some shop for just my benefit money. I don't know if they can really do that? Working full time for just £70 pounds a wk don't really cut it for me.
The main issue i have with them is they seem to be forcing me to put my son in to some kind of childcare,so i can work longer hrs. At the moment they have changed my contract to find work from 9-3 and that is really not possible to drop my son off and pick him back up at school. I don't see what right they have to be making parents do that? Is any parent having the same issues?
I am really getting confused with my rights with dealing with them sad

fuckadoodlepoopoo Tue 23-Oct-12 09:33:24

Im sure you will get lots of posts telling you to get off your bum and work etc. It would appear that yes they can make people work, hadn't heard of them forcing people to put their children in childcare before though.

Can you try to actually get a proper shop job so that you get more than 70 quid for it?

Are they expecting you to pay for the childcare out of the 70 quid? Can't see that happening. Are they suggesting they arrange that for you?

On the plus side it might be good work experience, depending on what you are doing.

It would seem that you are going to end up having to work no matter what so best to do it on your own terms. Try to get a job that you will actually be paid properly for rather than working for your benefit money.

OddBoots Tue 23-Oct-12 09:34:59

I'm not too sure of the rules myself other than knowing you are expected to be looking for work of 16 hours a week a more (using childcare in the holidays etc as needed).

Gingerbread (charity for single parents) has a couple of pages that might help:
Claiming Jobseeker?s Allowance and other benefits
Moving from benefits to work

fuckadoodlepoopoo Tue 23-Oct-12 09:39:08

Oddboots. Is that right? I thought they would be happy enough with those working 16 hours (i know very little about this)

AndBingoWasHisNameOh Tue 23-Oct-12 09:39:49

Expecting you to look for work between 9 and 3 is hardly that outrageous. If necessary yes you may need childcare but so do most working parents. You can't expect to be allowed to remain on benefits indefinitely so I'd also try and get yourself a job that you like.

OddBoots Tue 23-Oct-12 09:43:59

I think they are happy with 16 hours (for now anyway) but you can't just stop working in the school holidays so some kind of childcare (formal or informal) is needed for then. I'm not sure if you can work more hours in term time and not in the holidays so it can average out to 16h a week though.

From the first Gingerbread page:

"Hours of work

You can place some restrictions on the hours you work and the type of job that you will accept:

If you have a child under the age of 16, you can limit the hours you work to take account of your caring responsibilities. You must be available to work as many hours as your caring responsibilities allow and for at least 16 hours a week
If you have a child under the age of 13, you can limit your working hours to your child’s usual school hours. You must still be available to work at least 16 hours a week and may be required to use childcare to cover your travel time to work and school holidays."

Yshara Tue 23-Oct-12 09:44:25

The working and finding a job is not an issue as i have worked up until my second son and with my first son i worked full time and had childcare for him. I don't want that for my youngest. The issue's i have is, it seems all my rights are being taken away from me and the way people are being treated. I don't think parents with children should be targeted the same way as young/older people who have no children ect.

jellybeans Tue 23-Oct-12 09:45:50

I think it is wrong too and hate the way this gov treats lone parents. Could you specify 9 30 till 2 30. That's 25 hrs a week so more then the Minimum 16. Or otherwise two full or long day shifts and just use after school clubs for two days. That's what I would do. Not ideal if you don't want to use childcare but not as bad as all week not being able to drop them off. If you agree to the shop I would say you will get there asap but it may not be 9. See if they compromise. Don't see why they won't if you are a volunteer not employee.

schools are excellent places to work. dinner lady, etc., have you tried the school?

jellybeans Tue 23-Oct-12 09:48:04

I would feel the same as you to be honest.

Wallison Tue 23-Oct-12 09:50:13

I know it doesn't help you much but I would expect a challenge to the 'must be available 9-3' rule sometime soon - they can't say on one hand that you can restrict your hours due to childcare (which is reasonable, to my mind) and then on the other say that you have to be available for work during the very time that you're dropping your son off at school.

You used to be able, until recently, to say that you could work 9.30-2.30, or even 10-2, which still gives you more than 16 hours/week. The fact that there are very few jobs out there with those hours just makes it all the more ludicrous to be putting single parents on JSA at all but that's this govt for you.

AndBingoWasHisNameOh Tue 23-Oct-12 09:52:18

Oh yes, your rights. Of course, poor you. hmm

Portofino Tue 23-Oct-12 09:52:18

I have a child - I have to work to support her. I have to use childcare. Why should anyone else expect to be treated differently? This really annoys me. If you can't FIND a job, then fair enough - but I think it is totally unacceptable to complain about working just because you prefer to be at home.

LFCisTarkaDahl Tue 23-Oct-12 09:54:17

Can I just ask why your youngest is different from your oldest? Is there a reason why working during school hours (or getting him there for 9) is a specific problem? confused

Genuine question.

Wallison Tue 23-Oct-12 09:54:40

I actually think the govt is getting a pretty good deal out of single parents who stay at home - it costs much more in tax credits and housing benefit when they are working; they're raising the next generation for not very much money at all.

Portofino Tue 23-Oct-12 09:57:38

Wallinson - but isn't that an assumption that all single parents have low incomes?

Wallison Tue 23-Oct-12 09:59:51

jellybeans - being late for a work placement isn't the answer. Can't remember the exact language of the regulations, but if you lose a placement due to your own misconduct (which being late is) then your benefits can be stopped for 13 weeks. You really can't fuck around with these people - they are sanctioning left right and centre at the moment.

Wallison Tue 23-Oct-12 10:01:33

Yes portofino, but most do. Can't remember the statistics but it's the case that they make up a disproportionate amount of the 'working poor'.

Yshara Tue 23-Oct-12 10:03:35

To answer some of your questions and yes people can make silly comments about "Oh yes, your rights. Of course, poor you" Clearly have no idea. And i'm guessing not many people are trying to find work at the moment.
When i put my oldest into childcare it was rubbish. He came home dirty and smelly. And these people are vetted out? Well meant to be anyway. In the end i went with a friend who was a childminder who i could trust. I am not willing to put my youngest thru all that as he really wouldn't cope. All kids are not the same.

Wallison Tue 23-Oct-12 10:05:58

Yshara - have you contacted the CAB? They would be able to help with what the joke centre can/can't do re this work placement. Have to say that it sounds most unreasonable for either you or the DSS to be paying for childcare for a job that gives you £70/week. Unreasonable for you because clearly you don't have the income to support it, and unreasonable for the DSS because that's public money going to shore up an employer's running costs.

Wallison Tue 23-Oct-12 10:06:50

This whole 'work placement' thing is a total con anyway - if there is work that needs doing, pay someone to do it ffs.

Yshara sorry but the "I tried nurseries and it was crap so I'm going to stay at home for my second" doesn't wash. The answer to find alternative, better , childcare, not to decide that all childcare is rubbish.

I would love to say oh my DS couldn't cope with nursery, and thinking back to when he started as a baby, I'd have happily walked away from nursery with him, but we'd have lost our house. These are the things that working parents have to do - you will have to use childcare, so start researching other, good, childcare. Are there any childminders who collect from your DS's school? Have any nurseries opened more recently?

Portofino Tue 23-Oct-12 10:16:04

But your youngest is 6 so doesn't need a nursery. Surely he will be at school all day?

flowery Tue 23-Oct-12 10:19:34

"with my first son i worked full time and had childcare for him. I don't want that for my youngest"

If someone is in the lucky position that they can afford to pay the bills without working full time and/or using childcare, then they can make that decision.

Not everyone is in the fortunate position to have the luxury of deciding they'd rather not work full time/rather not use childcare. Most people have to work to pay the bills.

No one has the right not to work, surely?

Don't know why I'm allowing myself to get drawn in tbh.

jellybeans Tue 23-Oct-12 10:21:15

Wallison, I meant to arrange with job centre to go in at 9 30am. See if they will agree to it. It would still be more then 16 hrs a week and they may accept as a starting point. I don't agree that just because some mums work lone parents should have to. They should be supported to work when able and ready when have a small child. I understand OP with childcare also. My oldest DC was in full time childcare and I didn't want it for my other DC. But it was only after staying home I realised the difference. Of course everyone is different and for some staying home wouldn't be best.

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