Nearly everyday someone tells me about their sanctioning stories. They all vary on the obscene and illegal reasons why they have been sanctioned. But the most common reason is that they didn’t attend an appointment. And guess why? Because they never recieved the letter in the first place.
Imagine this. You have a full time job. You loose you job because they no longer need you.. Not because you did anything wrong. You go to the Jobcentre to sign on and you are told that you are being made to go onto universal credit. Bad enough. Even worse you have to be looking for work on the universal job match website for all of those 35 hours. And we all know how that website is failing and has been proven to fail. This prevents you looking for real jobs and real work. Then by no fault of your own you become homeless. You are put into temporary accommodation. You inform the Jobcentre of your new address. They ignore this, they say they sent out letters to the old address even though they had been informed. The result is a 6 month sanction. The only way you survive is on hardship payments. You survive after the 6 months, you find somewhere to live but you become ill with depression and stress. The worry of not having enough food, somewhere to live and having to sit at a computer that you don’t have for 35 hours a week is too much. Your doctor signs you off as sick saying that your not fit for work. Your close to a breakdown. You go on the sick and quite rightly so. You begin to relax and start to get better. Then a letter arrived. We are going to sanction you because you failed to respond to a letter and an appointment sent on this date…. You realise that you were in full time employment on those dates and you have the proof of this. So they say well we will have to send it to a mandatory reconsideration!!!!
My issue is this. He never recieved such a letter as he was in full time employment and therefore wasn’t on any type of benefit.
My other issue is far too many letter are going missing from Ashton under Lyne job centre and other Job Centres up and down the country. Either they aren’t sent out in the first place…. I know this to be true in at least one case as the letter was seen in their file and wasn’t sent but they were still going to be sanctioned…. Or they aren’t wrote at all.
It’s an easy way to achieve your sanction target by claiming that they didn’t respond to a letter. It’s far too easy and it’s happening far too often.
I hope that we find all these missing letters. I’ve never known so many letters to go missing from one government organisation. It’s all a bit strange isn’t it.
Ashton Under Lyne Jobcentre please can you explain why your sanction levels are higher than most? We are most interested. Especially when you denied this at the meeting we attended with you. It wouldn’t have anything to do with the missing letters would it?
Update. Upon waking I have had 12 messages and emails about sanctions as a result of missing letters… Just where are these missing letters?? Explain please!!!