JobCentre+ – Staff complaints growing exponentially!

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
received Overall
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 reacting to the stress of having to apply the negative conditions to benefit and this stress is showing – when we’re under such pressure it has a detrimental effect on our performance

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?

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29 thoughts on “JobCentre+ – Staff complaints growing exponentially!

  1. Pingback: JobCentre+ - Staff complaints growing expedient...

  2. Reblogged this on Vox Political and commented:
    The alarming rise in complaints against staff at Job Centre Plus is highlighted in this excellent article by Jayne. My one criticism is that the headline word should be “exponentially”, not “expedientially” which – according to my dictionary – isn’t a word!

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  3. I spoke to a disability advisor at my local job centre in about 2011, I think, and she was LOVELY. One of the nicest people I have ever met. On the other hand, I spoke to a JSA advisor at the same place in about 2005, and he was rather less pleasant. It is his condescending attitude and obvious comfort at having his well paid job that sticks with me when I remember the place, which is perhaps my failing, but then I didn’t force the JSA advisor to overdose on the smug pills.

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  4. “maybe such people naturally gravitate towards careers that allow them to indulge in their desire to bully.”

    Really? Are you sure it’s not a more evolutionary process, where those who aren’t happy to bully according to the party line get jobs elsewhere if they can, or break if they can’t? I can see it easily be far more that non-bullies are expunged than bullies are attracted.

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  5. on reading the above i had a mental picture of the DSS woman in the soap about a Liverpool family …..called “BREAD”..she was loving trying to be bossy and that was set around the 60s i believe. no change there then unless its that they’ve got worse now. much worse.

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  6. Unless you are a person with a thug mentality I suspect actually working in a Job Centre must be hell. Yesterday I was made redundant so I’m about to go through the Job Centre Plus process. I’m not looking forward to it.

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    • in the mid 90s i was living down south. my former partners mother was taken ill. i had always promised i would be there for him and her when the time came for her to die and this was imminent so i came back up north. i was on sickness benefits and DLA myself by then being disabled. and had a payment book. i was allowed 2 weeks away from my home address but if i needed to stay longer i had to fill in a white form at the post office in order to receive my weekly benefit. this i did . his mum had died by then and we knew when the funeral was and i had already arranged to stay for that but go home 2 days later. i received a letter at my ex’s address from the local dss in his town telling me to take my book in. i knew this was wrong and if i did i would not have the money to get back home… i worked in an unemployed workers centre back home giving benefit advice . on a voluntary basis.for therapeutic reasons (again ,something you could do back then if you were disabled). anyway i dutifully went to the dss office. queued up for ages. got to front of queue,. and asked why they wanted my book in. well to cut a long story short. i told the woman behind the desk that it was wrong. they had a date for my return home and the reason for me staying a few days longer. she argued with me so i asked to see a manager. a young man came through.i explained it all to him, and was told yes you are right. so i said i think you need to train your staff better don’t you? and walked out… we had this whenever any of us from the centre went to the dss in OUR town, quite often so i was used to it/ we called them jobsworths. imagine how it would upset others who had lost someone closer than i had then.

      Liked by 1 person

  7. Dear Sir
    I wish to make a complaint about the disgusting treatment I have received from my local job centre this has made me very angry and had to walk away from my claim in order to remain in a calm state of mind.
    On Tuesday the 9th I filed a claim for job seekers allowance I filled the form out online later that day I had a call from the job centre that I missed so I called back only to be kept on hold for 20 minutes I gave up then I received another call telling me my form has been lost and I will have to go to my appointment at 10 am and not 11.45 so I can fill the form that I have already done
    when I got to the job centre I was told I was early for my appointment I explained the reason i was told to go upstairs and see jane when I went upstairs I was asked by yet another rude bully
    who I was seeing I explained and was told again I was early when I got to see someone I was told again I was early and then made to wait why as there was no one in the job centre but me
    then I was told to fill in the same form in writing that I have done twice already I was given a pen that did not work by this time I had had enough and for my own state of mind explained
    I was leaving as they were not helping me I explained I would make a complaint about the treatment I had received I was then then told I can deal with your complaint
    they are the problem how can they deal with it this made matters worse and she then said if I leave my claim would be cancelled its hard to believe that as they cannot even process a form or treat
    People with any kind of respect they made me very angry and upset me
    I shall not be claiming but register unemployed and also take mater as far as I can
    I see no point in running a department that is rude and ineffective at doing its job

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  8. I had been working 7 days a week in the shipyards from october till april worked all the way threw easter and christmas and all the holidays eventually work got limited and they started laying people off and i was one of them! I put a claim in and they put me on a new benefit called universal credit. Which is the same as jsa just you get paid monthly instead of every 2 weeks. I told them i was expecting a payment as i worked a week in hand at my previous emplyoyment. They said no bother your claim will be as normal and wont effeft your claim as its from past employment. How ever just before i got paid i received a letter claiming i would only be getting £72 for the first month instead of £250 because i had been paid of work a month earlier. I then rang up and told them i already explained this to an advisor and the person on the phone told me that my advisor was wrong. Half way through my claim my dad who suffers from mental illness took a bad turn and became really depressed hed lost 2 stone in 3 months!! So i was going round every day doing the basics like.cooking cleaning taking things uo for him thay he needed because he did not like to leave the house. I eventually put a claim in for carers allowance and it takes 4-6 weeks to come threw. I explained this with my advisor and that i was caring for my dad at the momment and that i could not possibly apply for jobs 35 hours a week so is there anything we can do to change my claiment commitment temporarily while i waited for a decison on carers allowance. I was told no and if i do not do what she says i will be sanctioned! She then told me that becuase i was only 19 she has to put me on some sort of corse like i was some sort of project she had to complete. She told me to ring a number and that the corse would be for two weeks 3 hours a day for 5 days a week. I told her this is not possible for me to do at the momment. She then told me “what are you going to do if you get the best job offer in the world and you can’t take it because your dad can’t sort his life out” I became very angry after that and stopped being friendly with her and she then asked why i had an attitude. I told her again that it is not possible for me to attned a two week course as i am caring for my dad. She just replied with “well the you will be samctioned” apsoulte vile bully with no empathy at all!! She was like a designed cyborg just blurting out things from my claiment commitment. I have no idea where she received her training but she has no customer service skills what so ever! Couldn’t and wouldn’t understand that circumstances had changed since i agreed to my claiment commitment the last time i was there! So i then told her that i would rather just sign off as its not worth all the bother! But apparently you can not sign off and on anymore like you could on jsa with universal credit. You have to be working for six months or more before you eventually get let of their system other wise you just get sanctioned. Absolutely appalled by how they are running things in that place.

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