A recent FOI request received what I think is an intriguing response; one of the questions asked was “the total amount of complaints made against Jobcentre Plus for the same period, 2010 – 2014″. The response came under the heading of ‘DWP Staff Don’t Treat Me With Respect’, and the figures make interesting reading –
DWP Complaints – reporting year is from April to March
|Reporting Year||Jobcentre+ Complaints
|recorded under ‘Staff do not
treat me with respect’
|2010 – 2011||58,865||7,616|
|2011 – 2012||59,677||8,979|
|2012 – 2013||67,982||13,709|
|2013 -2014 (8 Mth)||38,301||11,611|
I was unsurprised but still slightly taken back by the huge increase in such complaints in the past 20 months;
The reasons for this rapid rise are not available, but I consider their are a number of reasons for this; it could be one or more likely several of the speculations below –
claimants are more aware of their Right to complain and are using it – I think this is the reason the DWP would like as they could claim they’re empowering claimants
claimants are responding to experiencing sanctions or other conditions being applied to their benefit and are complaining in the only way they can – this is a regular response to ‘hobsons choice‘ situations, we blame the messenger not the Policy maker
staff are behaving poorly towards claimants as they believe the Party line, claimants are unworthy – I’ve read/heard comments for years that some staff at the JobCentre treat claimants badly (I’ve also experienced this myself), so maybe such people naturally gravitate towards careers that allow them to indulge in their desire to bully.
Whatever the reasons for such a large increase, I welcome it and I’m certain in my mind it is further evidence of the growing dissatisfaction with Welfare Reform?