Monday, 3 June 2013

Sanctioned? - tell the local paper

One of those stories which crops up with increasing frequency appeared in the Nottingham Post on Saturday.  A man on the Work Programme with A4e found himself being "sanctioned" after he rescheduled an appointment.  I would like one point cleared up, but otherwise it's a familiar tale.  The man found that the council wanted to check his house on the same day as his "employability course" appointment, so he changed the latter.  (This is the thing I'm not 100% sure about, but the piece does say that he rescheduled the appointment.  Did he tell A4e before or after the event?)  Whichever, he was left destitute when his benefit was stopped.  The paper contacted the DWP, and it's been re-instated.
The DWP's response is the usual guff about "they can ask for that decision to be reviewed", without explaining how someone is meant to live meanwhile.  A4e "refused to comment but insisted its role is simply to inform Jobcentre Plus when and why an appointment was missed, not judge the validity of the claim".  And that, strictly speaking, is true.  If he didn't turn up and only informed A4e of the reason after the event, then it's a "sanction doubt".  But if he told them in advance, and the appointment was rescheduled, then there is no earthly reason except carelessness for the doubt to be raised.  The original appointment can be taken off the system, surely?
Anyway, it's certainly worth telling your local paper if you think you've been wrongly punished.


  1. The One True Elg3 June 2013 at 07:53

    I really don't like the idea of providers being able to just sanction you on the spot with no questions asked, as opposed to the Labour administered system where the claimant had to be consulted on the reasons for missed appointment x or failure to attend y, so claimants were rarely sanctioned when they didn't warrant it.

    Now you can be sanctioned because of administrative error and the DWP won't even consult you on it. you might not know until you next sign on and even then, they might not tell you. If you're one of the people who don't realise until payday you've been sanctioned, it'll then be weeks before your appeal has gone through.

    I wonder if the DWP hasn't realised the problems this kind of system causes or whether they just don't care.

    1. Im in the same boat as this person, my health visitor rang up the same day i was due on the work programme, i rang up and they still sanctioned me.

  2. I had a similar problem a few months ago.

    An appointment for a scheduled job search at A4E clashed with a gas boiler upgrade at my home. The appointment with A4E was re-booked but they left the original appointment on the system.

    We can guess what happened next. A few weeks later I received ''benefits doubt'' letter from the DWP stating that I had missed a mandatory appointment.

    After making numerous phone calls and writing two letters I managed to resolve the problem and escaped being sanctioned.

    Should anyone else ever face this problem you should protest your innocence straight away and insist on seeing a copy of the WP08 form, (Failure to participate in the Work Programme).

    Don't expect to receive an apology from either A4E or the DWP. In my experience they never admit to their mistakes and never apologise for the distress they cause.

    1. i would put in a maladministration claim:

    2. You could try. But this is talking about maladministration by the Department, and they could always argue that the mistake has been made not by them but by the contractor.

    3. providers are the legal agents of dwp and are acting on their instruction. plus, jcp have a duty to check facts. worth looking at:

      people can and do win compensation. there are numerous foi requests on whatdotheyknow seeking figures.

    4. I had compensation from the Jobcentre once when they mislaid several personal documents and it delayed my claim. £20.00 as I recall, but even if it had been 20p it would still have been an admission of liability which was my primary concern.

  3. I worry a lot about being sanctioned, but have to admit when I had to change a scheduled job club for a doctors appointment my advisor was fine with it and there was no threat of sanction.

  4. I had something like this happen in that I missed an appointment because I was working. So I phoned beforehand to cancel it explaining why and was told a message would be passed to my advisor and they'd call me back. They never did, but I assumed things were OK until I got a letter 6 weeks later (and after a visit in which the advisor asked me why I had missed the appointment and I said I was working, look here's a copy of the evidence which you can put in my file) from DWP saying there was a sanction doubt and unless I could produce reasonable evidence they'd sanction me.

    So all the evidence was sent to them (copies of mobile phone showing call to A4E, copies of evidence showing I had been working and a letter asking why it was A4E had this evidence too and yet they had still made a sanction doubt) and I heard no more about it. In fact I had to ask the JC what was going to happen and they said "Hang on I'll look it up for you now...... Oh, you're OK, they're not going to sanction you".

    And that was it. I've never heard anything from DWP saying officially that they are not sanctioning me for this. And for this reason absolutely every call I make to A4E is done via my mobile so the evidence is stored there should I ever need it.

  5. Perhaps A4E should be sanctioned when they send false information to the DWP.

    The WP08 form is an official government document and in Part 5 of this document (Provider details) it states ''I confirm that the above is a full and accurate statement''.

    If the statement is later proven to be false both the Work Programme provider and the advisor who signed the form should be held fully accountable for any hardship and distress
    suffered by the jobseeker.

    Removing a benefit without just cause should be regarded as a severe violation of the claimants rights. A4E, the DWP and others should pay for their mistakes. Everyone else has to.

  6. Ahh! So that would be the same people who raised a sanction doubt against me for non attendance at a mandatory appointment. One small detail being overlooked - I had attended the appointment.
    Upon receipt of the A4e threatening letter (and having calmed down) I wrote to A4e and the Jobcentre. I pointed out their error and requested a copy of the relevant A4e signing in page as proof of my attendance.
    I wasn't sanctioned but I never received a reply from either party.
    Raising a doubt is far more than just routine paperwork. It is a deliberate attempt to deprive the intended victim of all means of sustenance for a period of up to 3 years. This is not trivial, the consequences can be devastating and amount to total destitution. I would have thought that the very minimum that should be done in these circumstances is to inform the victim that a sanction is not to be applied.
    Call me old fashioned if you like but I also think that an apology may not be out of place. A4e please note - it needn't be any more than a standard letter printed on the cheap paper you use with my name misspelt as usual.

    1. Luckily I am very distinctive looking, ALL the staff know me, Some hide when they see me. Even if I had two broken legs, and a broken arm, I would still turn up. So the Provider raises a doubt for whatever reason, then the dwp should check but it appears to me that they rubber stamp it.. Then if its wrong the dwp says its the providers fault, the provider says its the Dwp's fault. Who takes responsibility? Appears that neither do what a world we live in.

    2. Perhaps jobseekers should send ''failure to provide tailored support'' notices to the DWP.

      I've asked my Work Programme advisor on several occasions to define ''tailored support'' and have never received a proper answer.

      Asking questions is probably the reason why my last employment review only lasted a record breaking 9 minutes!

  7. Unless it has changed, all A4e sanction doubts are referred from their local offices to A4e Scunthorpe. I'm not sure what paperwork goes from the local A4e offices to Scunthorpe, but the WP08 is filled in at Scunthorpe!

  8. The point is that the guidance states that once a sanction doubt is raised they can't go back and change it, just put the explanation as well. But it seems that a lot of doubts are raised wrongly because a rescheduled appointment isn't taken off the system before the doubt is raised.

    1. Do you remember all the A4E procedure documents found on the internet in 2011? I still have them.

      One of the guidance notes issued to advisors states that reasonable steps should be taken to establish why a jobseeker failed to attend a mandatory activity before a doubt is raised. This can be done either by telephone or in writing.

      It would seem that A4E don't even follow their own procedures.

    2. They do check up.
      I missed an appointment due to the advisor telling me it would be at a certain time, which I made a note of while I was there and double checked it, and then phoning me up on the day asking me why I hadn't attended 4 hours earlier. I'm waiting to see what the outcome of this is, especially as I said I was intending to come in at the later time.

      Possibly this is because on the previous occasion they didn't check up and it turned out to be their fault (see my post above). Perhaps DWP got back to them about it.

  9. I wouldn't even dare try to re-arrange a WP appointment with my provider in advance, no matter what the reason. I dread falling ill (stomach upset, bad back etc) the week before I have an appointment, so I watch what I eat assiduously (no eggs, meat or uncooked veg) in the days before I am due in there, just to be sure I am well enough that week. Sounds overly cautious I know, but I have been sanctioned before with these people after re-arranging an appointment with my provider. They even told me over the phone I wouldn't get sanctioned - but I was...

  10. it has become quite obvious, over the last twelve months in particular, that long term sanctions are a far more effective way of clearing people off the unemployment figures than getting them into nonexistent jobs!

    what i would really like to know is what financial reimbursement, if any, does a WP provider get if a 'client' is sanctioned in this way? i doubt it would be the full outcome payment but i equally doubt it would be zero. the WP couldn't survive if this was the case.

    1. There's no financial reward for sanctions, at least as far as the relationship between DWP and prime contractors go, and it would be difficult to see how any provider would benefit from having internal processes and systems that might incentivise it.

      I suspect the use of sanctions at the current level probably stems from a number of potential causes: (i) providers believe it has a genuine motivational effect , (ii) over-zealous and insufficiently nuanced implementation of provider guidance, (iii) internal CRM systems that don't allow advisers to discriminate between an error on the part of the provider vs. an error on the part of the jobseeker and (iv) a drip-feed of "scrounger" stories that makes people too willing to assume the worst about long-term unemployed individuals - although one would hope that daily exposure to WP customers would give a better degree of insight than that provided by the tabloids.

  11. In the hope that a possible comment of mine may be published, An Employment Advisor can deal with the following issues with the DWP:

    Fail to Attend: A WP08 is raised if a client fails to attend a Work Programme Appointment. The WP08 is sent to a DMA (Decision Making and Appeals) section of the DWP who then send out a letter asking for reasons as to why the client failed to attend. A decision is then made on what is sent back in the letter. Always reply to the letter otherwise a sanction will be applied for.

    The Advisor is within their rights to send a WP08 if they have justification not to believe the reason for missing the appointment.

    Sickness: Employment Advisors always have to report sickness periods to the DWP. The client is 'allowed' two periods of sickness during their current claim for JSA but a third period of sickness during their current claim will mean the JSA claim is closed and the client will need to reapply for JSA again to ensure they are claiming the correct benefit.

    Please always remember that Employment Advisors don't sanction people, the DWP does.

    There is a rigid complaints procedure to follow and Work Programme Providers do have to respond to complaints providing the client has followed the correct procedure.

    I personally have had a number of unsubstantiated complaints against me but I have faced all my clients that have complained against me and explained why I did what I did.

    Check your WP complaints procedure and follow it to the letter if this sort of thing happens to you.

    It just seems from the comments on this forum that people seem to want somebody else to do it for them when if you follow the correct procedures, then somthing has to be done if situations like this arise.

    1. The information you've given has been published here many times; you clearly haven't read it. As for people wanting someone else to do it for them - well, before someone else says it, I will. You sound horribly arrogant, and completely unaware of how difficult it is for someone who has just been made destitute to contest the system.
      Would you care to explain the main point; that if an appointment is rescheduled the computer should show that, and not be left unchanged through negligence or incompetence.

    2. The One True Elg3 June 2013 at 15:29

      Hold on, I thought the new system was sanction first ask questions later? Doesn't this mean they don't need to contact the claimant to apply a sanction and the dialogue happens after the damage is done? What you two are discussing sounds very much like the old system, not the new one which came with the Work Programme.

  12. Historian:

    The information given may have been published many times but clearly people are missing the point. The gentleman concerned will have recieved the letter from the DMA section asking for his reasons for missing the appointment.

    He obviously wasn't clear in his reasonings hence his sanction. The gentleman must have had a copy of somthing confirming that the Health and Safety Check was going to be done on his house. Why did he not send in a copy of this with the letter?? That should have been sufficient enough.

    He choose not and got sombody else sort it out. He could have gone back to his Advisor and explained to them when he got his letter from the DMA people to sort it out but again he choose not to.

    He could have resolved this himself if he had spoken to his advisor, the WP08 could have been withdrawn (this can be done, I have done this twice through my errors). If the advisor would not do it, follow the complaints procedure with your WP, it would have then been potentially resolved without going to sanction.

    I am not arrogant, just frustrated that some of the posters on this forum seem to want sombody else to run their life for them rather than sorting out situations like this themselves.

    1. And once again you completely miss the point. The chap thinks the appointment has been rescheduled. Presumably, letter or no letter, the "advisor" accepted the reason and changed the appointment. Then, out of the blue, he gets told he's being punished. This isn't a nuisance; it's devastating. And you don't seem to appreciate that. Someone like you makes a mistake, and a person's life is suddenly thrown into chaos.
      We'll end it there, because there clearly won't be a meeting of minds on this.

    2. If you're making mistakes and signing false WP08 forms then perhaps you should consider changing jobs.

      These ''mistakes'' cause genuine distress to jobseekers. We already have enough to worry about.

    3. Did you apologise for your ''errors''? I sincerely hope so!

    4. You state "There is a rigid complaints procedure to follow and Work Programme Providers do have to respond to complaints providing the client has followed the correct procedure"'
      We all know that the complaints procedure is designed to be overlong and intimidating. I complained - and, yes I did it correctly, but my letter was just ignored.
      We have enough to worry about without having to fight against a system that is loaded against us. In my case a simple apology would have sufficed. This apparently is beyond the sanction machine that the Work programme has become.

  13. Here is how it works so that no one accepts responsibility:
    Step 1: A minor infringement of the rules occurs (or maybe the WP adviser just doesn't approve of you).
    A sanction doubt is raised:
    Step 2 : WP Adviser (Smiling) "I have to do this - it's in the rules - I have no option - I'm only following orders etc etc" (See the Nuremburg defence).
    Step 3: The JCP " We're only removing all of your income because the WP provider has asked us to, You can complain to them through the published complaints procedure".
    Yes I know this is an oversimplification and that decisions can be contested and appealed BUT the whole WP feels and looks like a "sanction machine". If the bloody programme actually worked and found people real sustainable jobs there would be no need for mandation, coercion or sanctions. There would be a queue of people round the block beating the door down and begging to be allowed to join.

  14. Just as an aside, claimants who have been sanctioned generally shouldn't have their HB suspended (where applicable), although it often is as the sanction is recorded as a change in circumstance.

    Anyone who has been sanctioned should contact their local authority ASAP to make a "nil income declaration". Hopefully people will be aware of this by now, but I've heard of a few instances where people haven't been and have consequently fallen into serious arrears. Communications from DWP don't help much in this regard in terms of discharging what would seem to be a reasonable duty of care.

  15. As much as a great many wish it wasn't so, the work programme isn't going anywhere. The tipping point is long gone. If it was ever going to get scrapped it would have happened when the abysmal stats were published this year. But it's too big to fail. Too many politicians (lab and con alike) have their fingers in the till and their reputations on the line.

    And besides, the economy of the work programme is now a beast all of its own. Three of the people I graduated with last year now work in Employment Advisor type roles because they were the only places hiring. Its almost like an obscene funhouse mirror image of socialism: Everyone gets an easy, relatively well paid job just as long as there are enough poor, tired and desperate to feed the machine.

  16. Anonymous3 June 2013 19:40

    Yes I did apologise to the clients as well as phoning up two employers on their behalf and getting them both jobs. Both clients have been in work for 8 months continuously now and regularly text me with updates on their progress.

    If you are having problems with your Work Programme Provider and it is not resolved, ask for it to be reffered to ICE (Independent Case Examiner). Providers can be fined £5,000 for each complaint that is found against the provider.

    Not all Employment Advisors want to sanction everyone regardless of what people think (I do not work for A4E by the way)but as long as people are willing to help themselves then the Work Programme does work.

    1. The One True Elg4 June 2013 at 18:29

      Are you suggesting a single digit % of people want to help themselves? Suggesting the Work Programme works as long as the claimants want it would suggest the vast majority of claimants don't want it to judging by the statistics we've seen. Is that your position?

    2. Evidently only 3.5percent of people are willing to help themselves

    3. So it works does it?
      Not for me it doesn't.
      In 2 years it has done nothing for me.
      I do not need their stupid, infantile and irrelevant internal pseudo courses (though I have been subjected to my quota always without prior discussion).
      In my last job my salary was £5ok+. At my last appointment I was handed a sheaf of "hot jobs" which consisted of apprentice rates at £2 something per hour plus one dubious "self employed" driver position (I doubt that HMRC would regard it as valid self employment). I have repeatedly asked for relevant training to improve my job prospects only to be told that there is no funding available.
      The Work Programme has not influenced the number of unemployed by one iota, just played an expensive game of musical chairs. "Improving People's Lives" - MY A**E!
      More like "Impoverishing People's Lives".
      What a waste of time and money.

  17. Gissa, A way back there used to be a government department for the elite unemployed ie PER - Professional And Executive Employment. The Job Centre just cater for the low skilled and no-one else who has academic qualifications and a wealth of top notch work experience. Shame.

    1. Simone,
      I think the PER ceased to exist years ago. The extent of advice I have received from JCP amounts to:
      1. We will be sending you to the WP soon, Why don't you apply for a job in a call centre?
      2. From a girl young enough (but not clever enough) to be my daughter the three immortal words "Customer Service, retail", just that! I was speechless.

      Now I have nothing against either call centre workers (except when they phone me) or shop assistants but both suggestions were really inappropriate for me.

  18. Edii- Professional And Executive Recruitment.

  19. The One True Elg

    Perhaps we should wait until future figures come out before judgements are made as to whether the Work Programme works.

    Working with an Employment Advisor is a two way process. Unfortunately Gissajob feels he has had a bad experience but he still signs on claiming his £71 per week but was earning around £1,000 per week in a previous role.

    Perhaps if he asked his Employment Advisor to approach companies on his behalf or perhaps looked at the training he was offered to refocus his job search he may not be still signing on for his £71 per week.

    But perhaps he is still living on his past glories within his career and not focussing on the job market now compared to perhaps it was before the recession started.

    Hopefully this message will be posted.

    1. No more. You have way overstepped the mark, and must now find another platform for your insulting platitudes.

    2. "Dark Rogue" is clearly out to cause trouble but please let me reply.
      1. Why should I not "sign on and claim my JSA of £71 pw", I have contributed (a lot) over the years and even if I hadn't JSA is an entitlement not a charitable gift as DR seems to imply.
      2, DR states urges me to "look at the training offered". I suggest s/he rereads the thread. The training "offered" has consisted of completely useless. mandatory (i.e. not "offered" but "forced") standard CV writing/transferable skills stuff of a very poor and basic standard. The exception being an "INSPIRE" course run by an outside company specialists in NLP - that wasn't just useless it was insulting, condescending and even dangerous.
      I say again - I have asked A4e to fund relevant training and have been told "there are no funds available".
      DR suffers from a common fault amongst WP apologists: Ignore all evidence and witness to the contrary and blame the plight of the unemployed on themselves.
      Quite honestly trying to talk reason with these people is like dealing with brainwashed cultists on speed.

    3. Sick of the Work Programme6 June 2013 at 03:06

      Gissajob- well said! I am also on the Work Programme with A4e and agree with everything you say. Contrary to what Dark Rogue is claiming, my experience of the Work Programme is that it will not provide training to get its 'customers' back into work. And no, Dark Rogue, being required to sit there for a couple of hours looking for jobs on an A4e computer rather than on my own computer at home does NOT count as training! The irony is that there are jobs out there which I would be eligible to apply for if A4e would pay for me to do courses to gain the experience which employers are looking for, instead of claiming that there are no funds available. An example of a useful course which A4e could pay for me to do would be one which would train me to use Sage software, a skill which I have seen specified in several local job ads recently.

    4. The One True Elg6 June 2013 at 07:57

      I hope you will be back to offer an apology if the statistics for the second year turn out to be an abysmal failure too.

      Or perhaps you'll just level that at claimants for not being motivated enough to grab those invisible jobs, I'm sure that'll be the governments attitude.

    5. Totally agree, i sit there for 2 hours doing nothing, my advisor has been on 6 weeks of holiday since ive been there yet i miss one day for legitimate reasons and get sanctioned.

  20. Reality is a terrible concept for people when you are unemployed. JSA is not an entitlement right for people who are unemployed but a benefit to help support them into getting back into work.

    Should a client be able to keep claiming JSA until their ideal role that fits their previous experience appears or should the client be perhaps encouraged to look at other avenues to get them back into work?

    If your Employment Advisor does not try to stimulate other avenues for you then they are not doing their job correctly.

    You may not agree with this scenario but I ask any person that reads this to challenge their Employment Advisor to directly help them instead of blaming the government for their own current situation and start thinking about what YOU can do to change your current situation.

    1. I've allowed this - and I won't be allowing any more fatuous comments from this person - only to show the problems created by the ignorance of some people who work in the system.
      "JSA is not an entitlement right for people who are unemployed but a benefit to help support them into getting back into work." WRONG. You don't know your history, you don't understand the welfare system, and that, unfortunately, colours your attitude towards those who are entitled to welfare benefits. And it leads to the smug nonsense of your last paragraph (not to mention the silliness of your first sentence).

  21. The One True Elg6 June 2013 at 23:46

    Again, more rubbish about how it's the claimants fault. Claimants expectations are too high. They don't want the Work Programme to work. They don't want to change their situations. Nothing about how there's no specialised support, a one size fits all approach. No particularly useful training. Cherry picking, cream and parking. Sanctions. Workfare. Nothing about how the above makes the Work Programme essentially useless and creates a hostile, unworkable relationship between provider and client.

    If you are an adviser (I'm starting to doubt you are, the passive aggressive PR speak and propaganda informs me you're probably not a frontline worker.), I'm sure you would see people who are as you describe. However, I would argue it'd be difficult for you to say whether someone who didn't want to engage with the Work Programme was workshy or simply has no confidence in your ability to do anything about their situation and given your attitude that really wouldn't surprise me, your default answer amounts to ''Be more positive and apply for jobs you feel are beneath you or it's not our fault you're workshy.''

  22. Sick of the work program.
    I think you may find training in sage, eg sage line 50/90 is available at local colleges. As it is vocational it will be funded for you.Check it out and let us know please.

  23. I got sanctioned for 4 weeks recently for not smiling at one of these "job events". Put an appeal on twice to no avail, but luckily got a full time job whilst fighting it. I should really phone them up and ask them about my missing two weeks on jsa that they owe me but at this point I don't have the energy. This was a course carried out by TCHC and all they told the job center was that I 'didn't cooperate fully'. Not sure what that means or whether the staff there even knew my name. But apparently turning up for two days and completing the tasks just isn't good enough to be entitled to JSA, i.e that I have to grovel obsequiously to this private company in order to keep food on the table. These people are despicable. I can only say I'm glad I don't have children to support.

  24. I have just rang up regarding an appointment missed 2 days ago .. Which granted was my error .. It's was a job search and is written it as job on the calender and it was the same day and time of my normal signing so forgot all about it and assumed it was my signing noted down on the calender . Rang to explain but advisor not there but reception was less than helpful stating its prob gone as a did not attend already .. I'm sick with worry at the thought of losing my benefits for 4 weeks let alone 16 which is whats threatened .

  25. I have been sent a letter on august 14th this year saying i am being sanctioned for missing an A4E appointment in july last year (2012).
    I have checked this date and it was a day i had a very bad cold and phoned them on the day to tell them.
    They told me i had to produce a self cert sick note from docs which i did and it was attached to my file on my next session.
    A4E has this imformation but never passed it on.
    I have disputed the sanction and now await a reply.
    It is wrong that they can leave folks starving for being ill over a year before )-:

  26. I too have been sent a letter on August 14th this year from the DWP concerning non attendance with my WP Provider on a course run in July 2012 (Two weeks' sanction). I have sent similiar certification and it has made zero difference, and I am now applying for a hardship payment and appealing against the decision. I have diabetes and stress issues, and am currently wondering how I can afford to travel to any interviews should I be fortunate to get any. Fortunately I have nine weeks left on WP and intend to due precisely sod all in the meantime. I will of course comply fully with the requirements of my Job Seekers Agreement, namely 12 'Job Steps' a week, whatever their definition is of this at the time - it alters with each advisor. As for the (mostly)weekly Jokesearch sessions, I haven't applied for a single job on their computers as I apply for 20-30 jobs each week on my own PC and I'm not risking giving them any credit for my efforts.

  27. I'm in a similar situation to some people here, however with a slight twist!

    A4E keep telling the job center that they've been sending me appointments, and I've not been attending them, BUT, I've not received a single appointment from A4E since November 2012!

    I've complained to both A4E (Via email and phone), and the Job Center!

    I told A4E, that in addition to posting my appointments, they should email me, I gave them my email address, and double checked they had the right information, which they did - so there's no reason i shouldn't be getting any appointment letters OR emails!

    It's seriously ridiculous!

  28. This is really getting out of hand, I am waiting for an appeal after failing to attend a appointment that I never knew existed ! I have a big blue book that I keep all my notes, job searches and relevant information in and I write all important information in BLOCK CAPITOLS. I had my next appointment date written down in block capitols as the 29th August 9.10am that I wrote down with my adviser next to me.

    When I attended my appointment (today) I was told I missed my appointment on the 22nd August. I couldn't believe it as I "never" miss appointments. I asked why wasn't I informed by phone or post, I was told they are not obliged to do so. So I asked why didn't I receive the txt message you normally get the day before. I was told that's not compulsory, we don't have to remind you. So I am supposed to take their word that this appointment existed and accept a sanction of 4 weeks pending appeal that takes God knows how long to process. Meanwhile I suppose I am to just starve and hope a job falls out of thin air.

    This system is grossly unfair, you are guilty till proven innocent and nobody gives a damn as they see you as some kind of sponger because your unemployed. I am busting my chops trying to get a job and when this happens it just sets you back. I am so deflated that my usual aggressive searching attitude has went out the window. Today I couldn't care less, I would just like to say thanks to them for killing my positive attitude in gaining employment and I hope and pray that one day they are in a similar position. Its disgusting that British Citizens get treated like this in 2013 when all they want to do is get a job and support themselves..

  29. I have just been sanctioned over a a appointment i missed over a year ago...That's right over a year ago !!

  30. I missed an appointment (in-training)last month as i had got confused with my doctors appointment of the same time - different day. my advisor called me to tell me i should be there - so I said I could be in ten minutes as its only up the road, but she said she had already informed the dwp of my non attendance, fast forward a few weeks I receive a letter from dwp saying they need to know my circumstances for missing the appointment as it "may" result in sanctions. The letter was dated Aug 28th & I had 6 days to provide the information - well I sent it off & didn't think anything more until I went to pick up my JSA and it had not gone in. one trip to the job center & they tell me its because I am sanctioned, I ask until when, they reply until next week,I inquire is it a 2 week sanction then - nope they reply its from the 27th of aug - the day before they even sent the letter, so there is no way on earth that they could have taken my side of the story into account! they failed to inform me that I was sanctioned & for how long, they also failed to inform me that I needed to tell the housing benefit if it reached 4 weeks I would have to re apply for housing! I had also signed during this time & still not been told I was sanctioned!!!!

  31. I've been sent a comment which begins, "I have been not signing on for 2 years now as I found myself a job before I had my first appointment with A4E.". I'm not going to publish it at the moment because it's very specific and I'd rather be able to verify it. I suggest that the poster rewrites it, giving dates where possible and naming the office, and sends it to his or her MP. I'd also like a copy which I won't publish but could put to the DWP.

  32. I was told there was a job going so I went in and filled in an application form and attended an interview for which I had to ring the company and ask for! I was offered the job which actually wasn't a job and have ended up in such a situation that I didn't get paid for the work I did and I am still waiting to hear from DWP to see if my rapid reclaim is processed until then I have no money and am a single parent. the work programme have changed my adviser and they wont help me in taking action against the employer for my wages. just want to wash there hands of the situation.

  33. I received a letter today regarding a sanction as on the day of my WP appointment I was unwell and throwing up I managed to call the WP on the day before my appointment but have still been issued with a sanction doubt letter. I also recieved one las month saying I had missed an appointment however I never recieved a letter informing me of this appointment, I called A4E head office who contacted my advisor to find it was an error on thd system an the letter was infact never sent out. I have recently moved home so transferred to a new A4E and have only been there two months and they have tried sanctioning me twice.


Keep it clean, please. No abusive comments will be approved, so don't indulge in insults. If you wish to contact me, post a comment beginning with "not for publication".