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

Wallison Tue 23-Oct-12 10:24:51

I don't think Yshara was looking for a load of snippy comments about 'I have to go down a salt mine and you have an easy life with your £71/week' but she seems to have got them anyway. Does anyone have any actual advice about the problems she is facing ie this work placement and the changes to her JSA agreement?

Actually, Yshara, thinking about that second problem (the changes to hours you are available to work) although it makes no sense in terms of why you can restrict your hours, in practice there aren't that many jobs that are 9-3 so I would doubt you'd ever be put in that position practically, but it really isn't reasonable and I can see why it would make you jumpy with them shifting things around for you.

Wallison Tue 23-Oct-12 10:28:10

jellybeans - yes, that's a good suggestion I think (agreeing a 9.30 start). I'm still boggling at the idea of anyone - whether Yshara or the DSS - paying for childcare for an unpaid work placement - seems bonkers to me.

MrsjREwing Tue 23-Oct-12 10:28:16

Ten minutes isn't enough time to get between a lot of jobs and schools, like others I think 930 to 230 term time sounds more sensible.

Wallison Tue 23-Oct-12 10:30:39

Yes, they used to allow you to specify that, MrsjRE, but they've changed it recently. It's bonkers but I guess if you've set your stall out as being 'tough on lone parents' then you have to squeeze them somehow.

The main issue I would have for this is working for £70 a week.

If there is a job to be done then why isnt she entitled to NMW?

Why are we still enabling profits for business while people are treated like slaves? Its absolutely ridiculous.

And do you know how hard it is to find a job which fits around school hours. The whole system is utter bollocks.

OP, go to CAB and get legal advice!

MrsjREwing Tue 23-Oct-12 10:50:32

I hate the idea too of Starbucks etc having slave labour.

Wallison Tue 23-Oct-12 11:54:13

Oh it's just awful, the whole thing - like I say, if they've got capacity for an unpaid placement, they've got capacity for an employee.

And half of these so-called 'modern apprenticeships' are really just another attempt for employers to dodge the minimum wage. Do you really need to spend a year learning how to work in a sandwich bar?

fuckadoodlepoopoo Tue 23-Oct-12 13:22:57

Sorting out childcare isn't always that easy (to those saying op should just find some). Next year when my youngest starts full time school my options will be either the childminder who i caught being rough and aggressive with my dc (i was so stunned i didn't even say anything to my shame) or one of the other childminders who pick up from the school. There is one who is really hard and has loads of kids trailing after her or getting left behind or the others who unfortunately are friends with the one who was aggressive with my dc, and so hang out at her house with their charges! I do not want my child going to her house!

Or there is the local after school club which is chaotic, not very supervised and has the big kids running riot and the little ones getting knocked and squashed all over the place. They are also grumpy and snappy with the kids when they pick them up from school.

I find usually that the people who are critical of parents not working and come out with the "there's loads of jobs and childcare options out there", are the ones who have free loving childcare from relations and so because of this were able to keep their jobs from prechildren days. Not a clue about the realities for everyone else. I even know one who does shifts and her mum looks after the kids, she slags off people who don't work but refuses to see that arranging childcare to cover shifts is bloody hard so she is lucky. Or that not everyone can earn enough to cover the cost of it.

Yshara Tue 23-Oct-12 13:23:15

Think some people are clearly missing the point. And some people think they are better than everyone because they have a job and people around to support them. Well some people don't and for all the little haters who keep saying "Get a job"..Maybe they would like to help out and find people jobs and see how easy it really is. Maybe they should go and work in a shop full time for £70 per wk.
I didn't once say i don't want to work..All i said was i find it very off that people are getting focred in to doing stuff that they don't want to. If i only want to work in school hrs then it is my right to do that. Not have some pen pusher saying other wise. o.O

Vagaceratops Tue 23-Oct-12 13:30:25

He wouldnt be able to cope with childcare at 6 - so we are talking an Out of school club?

Does he have SN?

fuckadoodlepoopoo Tue 23-Oct-12 13:32:34

Oh, or the childminder who i saw dealing with a stroppy toddler shouting at him in the street and calling him a little bugger and who appeared to be taking the tantrum personally. Flags went up there.

AndBingoWasHisNameOh Tue 23-Oct-12 13:46:03

Ooh your rights again. hmm You're very big on them OP. I am very aware of the job market and know it isn't easy. And I have no family help. But to keep banging on about your rights when you are supported by the state is showing a real attitude of entitlement. Unless your child has SN then given he is 6 years rather than 6 months personally I think it unreasonable to refuse to work because he'd have to be dropped at school by a childminder.

Fwiw I'm no fan of the workfare schemes and think they are a disgrace in many cases.

flowery Tue 23-Oct-12 13:51:28

"If i only want to work in school hrs then it is my right to do that"

Indeed. It's everyone's right to work part time if they want to and can find a job for the hours they want. Just as it's everyone's right not to work at all if they prefer that.

It's not everyone's right to decide they prefer to work part time then expect the state to make up the difference. Benefits are a safety net for those who need them and genuinely can't find work, not for those who prefer not to use a childminder.

I really must leave this thread alone and not allow entitled people to irritate me in this way, life's way too short.

expatinscotland Tue 23-Oct-12 13:53:43

I think work placement is a major con, it's allowing big businesses to get around paying the NMW, which is low already.

BUT unless your child has SN, there's no real reason a 6-year-old can't cope with childcare.

jellybeans Tue 23-Oct-12 13:57:37

fuckadoodlepoopoo I agree with your posts. So many people have relatives free to do childcare at the drop of a hat and have no idea. My friend recently got a job and I asked what the hours were. She said she wasn't sure but that was ok as 'her mum would just have em whenever'. She didn't have to consider the hours look for good childcare etc. Out of about 12 local childminders I would leave my DC with 3. Many are just not good with kids or snappy at them. Also they have loads trailing inches from the road or leave them asleep outside shops and toddler groups. The 3 good ones are great and rather than chat to other minders at groups they spend time with mindees and obviously love the job and looking after kids. Why should a child have to be deprived of a loving carer just because the other parent cleared off? Hardly seems fair. Also it is cheaper for lone parents on low wages to stay home rather than pay tax credits and childcare. So why not let them stay home till kids at high school. In any case 70 percent would be working already by then looking at figures. Those who don't may have good reasons.

fuckadoodlepoopoo Tue 23-Oct-12 14:11:22

Jelly. I tried to do a few weeks temp work a while ago to get me back out there and keep my skills up to scratch. It was so hard to find childcare! There was nothing for temporary help! In the end i couldn't do it. sad

AllDirections Tue 23-Oct-12 14:18:16

There is only one way to stop the job centre make you go for jobs that you don't want to do and that's to find a job that you do want to do (want being very subjective!!)

I have quite significant (and mostly invisible) health problems and I have to stay one step ahead of the job centre. I'd always worked until I lost my job last year but I was able to claim income support. I was fortunate enough to get some more work in September which is just as well as my youngest DD is now 5. It's worrying that I could be made to do more hours than I can cope with or work that I'm not physically able to do. So I need to keep myself in work that I know I can do so that this doesn't happen.

Most of my friends (married or single parents) work and use childcare. There are the lucky few who have family to do the childcare but most don't.

OP you need to be looking at ways that you can support your own family in the long term and work towards that. Gone are the days when people had the right to live on benefits till their children went to secondary school. You need to do whatever it takes to keep yourself off those jobfare programs.

Wallison Tue 23-Oct-12 14:27:22

I agree that childcare can be very variable. I would no more leave my son in the after-school club at his school than let him be raised by wolves, tbh.

AllDirections Tue 23-Oct-12 14:39:04

That afterschool provision must be horrendous Wallinson

I'm lucky that childcare seems to be quite good where I live though I have has some bad experiences in the past

OddBoots Tue 23-Oct-12 15:23:31

Are those who are witnessing unacceptable behaviour in child care reporting it to ofsted? I hope so.

One of the employment options is to become a child minder yourself, I know it isn't for everyone but is is a very good way of getting to care for your children all year round.

I think you must be having a nightmare, really sorry.

It is a nightmare tring to find any job, let alone one that is term time / during school hours and/or you earn enough to cover wrap around child care for two kids.

Was made redundant in May this year. I am a teacher looking for work and have applied for the school jobs you mention - cleaning, meal supervisors, teaching assistants, teaching etc etc. There were over 200 applicants for the last job I applied for. I am either over qualified or lack experience in that particular field. It is very very hard and it is the reason we have only one child instead of the three we would like. Now that IS NOT in anyway dig at those with more kids - it just makes me sad sometimes.

it is totalyl different than when i was last unemployed 7 years ago it was much much easier. Partly because we didn;t have our DD but mainly becuase the job market, job centre, benefits and employment opportunities are much harder. If you get enterpirsing, sell things on ebay, make things, set up little buisnesses etc - there are hundreds of other desperate people doing examctly the same. Last time I was unemployed there were literally 10 s of local music teacher jobs.... there have been none in the 60 mile radius since June now.

i also think that there is a lack of understanding that kids need to be taken and picked up at schol so really hours can only be 9.30 - 2.30 realistaclly without childcare.

Best of luck OP

domesticgodless Tue 23-Oct-12 15:46:55

what rubbish the workfare scheme truly is. Perhaps if the OP were being trained in skills she may not have already, or given a proper apprenticeship which would improve her prospects, she would feel differently. But ordering her to sweep floors in Poundland is utterly unjustifiable imho.

State-sponsored slave labour for corporations who already avoid so much tax it would pay the lone-parent benefit bill for decades if not centuries!

Yshara Tue 23-Oct-12 19:44:39

I'm not being fussy what job i do..Being made to work in a chairty shop sorting clothes out of bags,steaming them and putting them on hangers for 25
hrs per week on a job replacement..And for all of £70 a week..Really how many people would be happy to do that??
I have spoken to my son and he is clearly not happy about the fact that some childcare might be needed..And really i don't blame him with the area we live in. I even know people who are having more babies just to stop all the hassle.
At least i am not one of those.
I have applied for many jobs in shops and so on..Who is the employer going to go for? Someone over 40 and wants to work part time.. Or a young kid just out of school.
Some people on this forum are really clueless..And never been in the same situation..Judging people is not really a good thing.

Wallison Tue 23-Oct-12 19:58:40

I know people who are having more babies for exactly the same reason, Yshara. I think it's what they call the law of unintended consequences. It would be funny - the Daily Hate and all of that ilk calling for a tougher stance on single parent scroungers etc just leading to even more 'undesirables' being born as the birth rate soars amongst the undeserving poor while the poor old put-upon middle class are outbred - if the policies weren't so fucking stupid, short-sighted, mean, nasty and vindictive.

OddBoots Tue 23-Oct-12 20:06:50

I fear with the cap on benefits coming in those who are having more children to avoid work will find things getting tighter for them.

As long as you didn't need childcare for the £70pw (is that including housing benefit etc or just the JSA btw?) the charity shop work sounds good, at least society benefits and kit keeps your skills fresh. What's the problem with it? I've worked in a few charity shops and it's pretty easy work.

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