Universal Credit … The Farce Continues

universal-credit-shamblesUniversal Credit took another step towards dismal failure yesterday as the DWP announced a dramatic scaling down of the October launch of the new benefit system.

The new benefit will now be trialled at just six Jobcentres, taking the total number involved in the new regime to ten.  Crucially only newly unemployed single claimants will be transferred onto the new benefit.  This means bungling DWP Ministers will have no idea how the new system will handle part time or self-employed workers, people with children, disabled people or those on low incomes.

Iain Duncan Smith has said the new regime will be rolled out to all new claimants from April 2014 – a claim which now looks like pie in the sky.

The reason for the shambles is hidden in the garbled DWP press release yesterday which announced the scaling down of the pilot scheme.  Apparently ministers have decided: “that they should explore enhancing the IT for Universal Credit working with the Government Digital Service. Advancements in technology since the current system was developed have meant that a more responsive system that is more flexible and secure could potentially be built.

This would marry with the best of the existing system – which has proved viable during Pathfinder testing. Any enhanced IT solution will need to be both cost effective and deliverable to original timescales.”

Which sounds an awful lot like it’s back to the drawing board folks.

According to IT website The Register, even the miniscule Universal Credit pilot which has been taking place is proving to be a disaster.  Insiders claim that due to failures in the computer system much of the information is being entered by hand.    They also warn the system as it stands is ‘not scalable’ and vulnerable to being hijacked by fraudsters – and they don’t mean Lord Fraud, the inept toff in charge of some aspects of the scheme.

It is Iain Duncan Smith however who has spent hundreds of millions of pounds already on a system which doesn’t work. The same Iain Duncan Smith who has spent hundreds of millions on a Work Programme that doesn’t help people find jobs, or £16 million on the Universal Jobmatch website which is still littered with spam, scam and spoof vacancies.

Iain Duncan Smith’s welfare reforms – which have only increased the social security bill – are starting to look like one of the most expensive farce’s in the history of the UK.  As hundreds of thousands of people stare homelessness in the face due to the bedroom tax, IDS is blowing billions pursuing endless crazy schemes that all end in disaster.  And it’s all perfectly timed to blow up in the Government’s face in the year running up to the next election.  If only Liam Byrne and Ed Miliband weren’t such fucking idiots then that might be something to feel happy about.

Follow me on twitter @johnnyvoid


126 responses to “Universal Credit … The Farce Continues

  1. Pingback: Universal Credit ... The Farce Continues | Welf...

  2. If IDS was in any other job he’d be sacked for gross incompetence. Perhaps he could benefit from some workfare like scheme himself, you never know he might be better at stacking shelves than being a government minister. He must be good at something? Perhaps not!

    • something survived...

      Cleaning out blocked toilets with his face;
      Knackered bungee-cord stress-tester (off Telecom Tower);
      Spartan living history recreation: eating a broth of blood and offal, and sleeping naked in the forest on a bed of fresh nettles;
      Experimental subject: to see if crab lice can be shifted from the pubic region and genitalia by vigorous application of angry hedgehogs;

  3. IDS should be booted out now, before he squanders any more public money on crazy schemes!

  4. A few concentration camps might be more economical

    Stack ’em high, kill ’em cheap!

    I’m sure the tories and Tesco could collaborate on such a venture.

    Every little yelps!

  5. IDS, HOBAN and their inept leader CAMERON should all be up on Fraud charges for mismanaging ‘the peoples money’.
    Furthermore they are allowing this country to degenerate into a state anarchy with civil unrest just around the corner I call for capital charges to be placed on their heads. They are Fucking idiots that make Hitler and his henchmen look like primary school teachers…. Fuck the lot of them.

  6. Wasnt george osbourne against the whole UC system?

    • What’s virtuous about leaving claimants destitute & on the verge of suicide? I’d like that pompous twat Peter Oborne to explain that one away. And he couldn’t resist bringing the Philpott case into the piece, the implication being that this is typical of all claimants, when the truth is the complete opposite. There’s not a claimant who would carry out such a monstrous act, if Philpott even did it at all.
      I doubt very much that Oborne has ever met anyone on benefits, if he did he’d discover that the sterotype portrayed by the media is a very, very tiny minority.

      • something survived...

        They don’t quote the case a few years back where an upper middle class man with a huge house, killed all the horses and other animals then burnt down his house and killed his family. It got on Crimewatch.

  7. fuckthetories

    It’s been a comedy of errors since day one and they were warned by the great and the good 2 years ago


  8. I am trying to work out when people will start to wake up that they are being fleeced hard by these systems?
    Hate filled rhetoric in the daily mail and other right wing media is not going to cut it when people realise they are paying more money for failed welfare schemes than ever before.

  9. overburdenddonkey

    what an utterly bewildering shambles…

  10. So what is the score on the 35 hour job activity now?
    Has it been fully implemented and how on earth do they make sure you are doing 35 hours?
    reason asking as may end up back being unemployed (12 week probation at b & m ends next monday).

    • Since you can use. UJM from home on your own pc presumably they will have to monitor what you do on your own pc in order to check the 35 hour job search .i am sure big brother watch will have something to say about that

      • Will ones internet bill go up if you are using UJM from home doing 35 hour job searches?

        • it probably will

        • It depends on your internet/broadband package. The cheaper packages tend to have a usage cap, with extra charges if you go over the download limit. The unlimited packages don’t have a monthly cap, but are more expensive.

          Since a lot of unemployed people (like me) can only afford the capped packages, it’ll most likely be us, the people expected to conform to this stupid 35h/pw jobsearch, who will be hit in the pockets (again).

      • But is it 35 hour job search? or 35 hour job activity as outlined in the UC guidelines (e.g jenny is totally fed up and has been forced to do 2 day course of degrading waste of time cv writing and spec letter writing at local college, this will take 8 hours out of the 35 hour allocated job seeking activity).

        • Not many ppl are aware of data capping as seen in news today of teenager running up het dads phone bill she was using Facebook like a telephone..

        • It’s 35 hours of job seeking activity and that can include anything that you do related to finding work. So if you spend half a day in town shopping for an interview suit, that would count towards the 35 hours.

          As far as internet usage goes, they are installing 6000 new Internet Access Devices in the Jobcentres ready for the UC rollout and you’ll be made to use those if you don’t have any other way to get on the internet.

          • something survived...

            Oh really? Ours has 2. One is broken. The other is Mostly Broken.
            Our JCP has 4000 people signing on. It is open 9-5 Mon-Fri, barely enough time to sign everyone on in one 2-week cycle. Most of the job point machines are switched off, marked ‘out of order’ or are just broken. A few are left but none is working properly. They try banning people using the phones even when it is JCP business. JCP staff say they are bored, and criticise the claimants. If the claimants weren’t there they’d have no job and be claimants.

      • The cookies thing still applies. You can REFUSE to accept cookies sent by Universal Jobmatch on your computer: they can’t MAKE you use UJM at home. Of course they can insist that you use a computer elsewhere to do a jobsearch, e.g., at the local Jobcentre, if it has one, but by refusing to use your own equipment you can throw a really big spanner into the works.

  11. So after three years and 12 billion quid, all they can come up with is they have something “viable”.

  12. Lifetime costs of UC have gone from about 2billion to in excess of 12 billion… if he hadn’t bothered with this piece of crap they wouldn’t have needed the bedroom tax, the obc, the council tax tax (CTS) and would still have saved money in comparison… lets not forget that gov IT always costs at least 200% of any issued “budget figure” so will probably cost closer to 24 billion when the final figure comes in.

    Also if they are now saying that it requires more modern IT to run it, it probably means it will never scale on existing and intended (allready accounted for) future hardware… what the betting its based on a MS sql backend (based on an initial Excel spreadsheet trial) running on amd64 hardware… and someone forget to actually workout just how much data would be pumped into and out off the system every day/week/year.

    There are 354 “councils” (excludes police/fire/waste.transport and may be reduced where an overall council does the work). who all did the work of council tax & housing benefit.. and somehow they think that a few centers can process all that info and adjustments, then all the input from HMRC/payroll real time data, then all the fluctuations of other info manually required and/or entered by the “client” (us, such as a partners variable earnings)… and once a month run a huge batch job to produce the cheques… Heck they can hardly get the simple benefit paid correctly and on time, never mind all the additional quirks and oddities of housing benefit once they are added into the mix…

    Also the idea that “monthly” is good is laughable, especially as the most likely people to require benefits are weekly paid, low paid, and zero hours… not monthly salaried, except by way of redundancy)…. so they will have to wait upto 5 weeks to a get a penny while living on their last weeks pay checque… and seeing as housing benefit will be included by default, the first thing anyone is going to do with their first payment is spend it on food and the last five weeks outstanding bills… its a cockup of monumental proportions waiting to happen to both in work and out of work equally if it ever gets further than its “single unemployed pathfinder” group.

    • The RTI real time information updates is Its biggest problem..

      • The ATLAS system also doesn’t work. This is the one that local councils who set their council tax and such like, locally, use to tell the DWP about their residents entitlements which are then rolled into the Universal Credit monthly payment.

        ATLAS never has and never will ever be fit for purpose.

        And yet according to IDS, Freud, and Hoban everything is proceeding “on time and on budget”.

    • Another Fine Mess

      With only 282 jsa on it, and the IT needing upgrading already, I think your £24b is too low.
      Jeffrey’s not going to be very pleased when they tell him.

    • hahaha, so not only do they force sick and ill people off ESA onto JSA they are also part of the team developing UC… well thats gona end well, NOT!

      What a bunch of corporate benefit scroungers they are, cnuts!

  13. Arbeitsscheu_UK

    This really is a farce on epic proportions, at a time we are being warned that worldwid cyber attacks are a key threat to Britain the government should be steering away from vulnerable IT systems. Which ever way you look at it all government computers are linked via the Internet to potentially every other computer in the world. No matter what security and encryption they put in place that physical link still exists and protection can, and will, be breached. And we are not just talking about the information on the website servers here but all the information stored on all of their computers and data bases which are linked to the Internet. That immense vulnerability exists in all systems including those at the cutting edge of technology, let alone those that aren’t fit for the purpose they were intended. As for putting IDS in charge! He claimed £12.42 for a USB cable , nobody in their right mind would pay £12.42 for a USB cable!! That is how far this twats understanding of IT goes.

    • Obi Wan Kenobi

      USB data cables and other computer cables are readily available from most pound shops.

      Can anyone guess how much they cost – £1, yes that’s right just £1.

    • Arbeitsscheu UK,

      Sorry mate you are putting the ball too low. How about 1998, mates mouse and mine for pc stopped working. Popped to computer fair and picked up two for the grand price of £5. Next day at work [Gov] had to process a order for a single replacement PC Mouse… brace yourself… £250. Says it all. The problem is the higher ups have not a clue [world class leadership… yeah right]. Bonus cluture is to blame as they get blinded by the pot of gold offered by contracting companies and then the pat on the head from their bosses for signing up to these crazy contracts. No use going to Audit office. It’s been privitised and is now owned by the Audit companies… Who Audit guess who? [hint: Gov depts, who pay them for their oh so excellent sevice to verify value for money….] Truly a virteous circle of greed.

      As far as UC is concerned it would be very interesting to see what a SAR produced about the stability of the UC system, cost benifit of it compared to the old, access rates, reading age, expected costs [can anyone say PFI?] stress testing of the proposed UC etc etc.

      It is going to be interesting for me as I am shortly going to be signing on for sickness benifit – one of the test areas.

  14. Atos IBM and HP all talking together in real time ..oh please…who thought this was gonna work ?

    • “One approach for the Government could be to partner with banks in a mutually beneficial arrangement. The Government could piggyback a bank’s system, receiving a low cost solution, while the bank could benefit from marketing their services to claimants.”


  15. ” banls could retail their services to claimants” with regard to security..and what with mastercard also helping us to shop more wisely..yeah thanks for that…the “scroungers card” and then the big lottery financial confidence pot of pennies..

    Retail banks deploy a number of approaches to tackle this – including identification systems with two-factor authentication with Chip & PIN. One approach for the Government could be to partner with banks in a mutually beneficial arrangement. The Government could piggyback a bank’s system, receiving a low cost solution, while the bank could benefit from marketing their services to claimant

  16. Obi Wan Kenobi

    On 10 July 2013, the Work and Pensions Committee took evidence from Work and Pensions Secretary Iain Duncan Smith and other government officials on Universal Credit.


    • Obi Wan Kenobi

      No-one is gonna like this recorded video.

    • They seems to have a lot of faith in this PNS security system…who is willing to bet Its flawed..

      • Its biggest flaw is that there is no PNS security between claimant and gov, at that point it is wide open… no possiblility of a “chip and pin” style system as its end user computerinternetgov, even https is no guarantee of secure communication (although its quite good as a last hop system). The PNS works by having authorised computers connected to inter-authorised systems…
        A “single login” style of passkey authentication and a maintenance nightmare for people in the industry (admin), especially if different departments require selective access to other departments as apposed to top down access. (ie head of accounts wants full access to:- sales, nominal, purchase data=simple top down; if sales clerk also needs access to selective purchase data, say orders, but no access to order accounts and balances=fecking night mare) and nothing has managed to cover that kind of access 100% in all areas such as ease of use and configuration, especially in a client server MS “PCbackend” style system… its a lot easer with big iron “green screen” systems.

        The fact that I can sign upto UJM as an employer without giving even such a simple verifyable item such as company number (I know I could use someone else’s company no, but it would be a start) and trawl though everyones CV and place stupid, or fake, job adverts tells you all you need to know about the likely security breaches, fraud, and genuine mistakes that will happen with UC… the biggest prevention of such problems with the existing system was the face to face with hard evidence of identity that happened at both the JC and the council housing benefit department… removing this face to face local area verification opens the system up to both false benefit claims and also, especially, false housing benefit claims.

        • I knew PNS was flawed plus the rules on data sharing are mixed up

        • Another Fine Mess

          Perhaps they could get G4S in to run the security.

        • The very real human error problems facing the once proposed National Identity Card scheme seem to have been overlooked too – the very size of the project and the fact that it is a pretty much ‘open’ system with a pretty simple password access scheme means that quite often that screens will be left unlocked and accessible a fair amount of the time. It’s also been overlooked that increasingly it will be overseen by staff employed by the private sector on zero hour contracts paying shit wages – not exactly a good recipe for enhanced security, as badly paid, insecure staff are vulnerable to temptation, and may well be susceptible to being bribed to disclose information they have access too.

          As far as administration of the housing benefit side of things, as far as my local council goes, once the data is actually on the computer system it usually works quite well, it’s actually getting the info input correctly in the first place that is the difficult bit – they have an uncanny ability to lose vital pieces of paper, and that’s paperwork concerning HB coming from within the local authority!

          The whole UC scheme appears to not only not have a hope of working, but be wide open to massive abuses and fraud.

          What is so wrong with a locally administered system whereby claimants of benefits are processed and administered near where they live? Oh, it requires that relatively large numbers of people are employed, on decent contracts and being paid decently, who would then go on to spend money in the locality, thus creating jobs etc… but, for some reason we aren’t allowed such a workable, sane system.

  17. Pingback: Universal Credit … The Farce Continues |...

  18. “People living in caves as UK homelessness reaches five-year high”


  19. At a jobcentreplus group session this week the advisor told all of us to write down on paper all of the jobs we have applied for and not to rely on the activity history on the UJM site.This is because apparently there is an issue with it not remembering or not recording all the jobs that you have typed in or even all the jobs you have applied for on it.Since I have not given access to my account I have been printing out all my activity anyway but literally,WTF??????

  20. overburdenddonkey

    what a complete shambles..they try to set up a system to deepen the abuse of the benefit entitled…and it becomes so labour intensive, that there is no tangible entry point to the system, that will create even the appearance of a rational façade to it…

  21. Sections 122c 122d 122e 123 of SSAA the. sharing of social security information

  22. Hmm, Psycho Secretary Smith : the contender for the least stable person in the House of Commons. Even if the Tories could creat 2.5 million new jobs none of them would go this slap-headed psychopath.

    • This is nuts there are acts of parliament. Laws and amendments involved here..a single key stroke could infringe on a law..the lawyers could be all over this…

      • The welfare reform act is am amendment of SSAA 1992 so it still contains many of Its original laws..well worth reading this wiki readup.


        • The problem, as I see it, is that as UC is a phased roll out they couldn’t repeal SSAA 1992 as it would have left anyone not transfered in limbo, although had they done that and gone for a big bang implementation it would have been simpler than trying to bodge an amendment on to it… it would also have meant that they would have had to detail the fine points of the new act (had they repealed, or even deferred repeal on transfer) which would have meant thinking in detail about the subtleties of the act and how it would work against/with existing legislation in different areas… something the con-dems are loathed to do as most of the “reforms” are idealistic and nothing to do with real reforms and simplification of the system.
          UC was never anything more than empire building and having a big new shiny toy to play with, sold by “industry” to a gullible Lord Fraud and IDS as being a panacea to, to what?… feck knows… but housing is a hugely complex area running to a book an inch thick in tiny print; most LA systems don’t handle all the subtitles and are often maintained with manual “fudge factors” by inputting data into wrong fields to “adjust” the computer outcome to create a valid and correct result… and IDS somehow thought this could all be correctly and easily done with his new all singing and dancing UC system… oh dear, never mind, silly boy. (ht. “ain’t half hot mum”)

  23. Another Fine Mess
  24. Another Fine Mess

    The last sentence (rites) reads:

    “Having once promised a welfare revolution, it is clear that the government’s priority is now damage limitation.”

  25. Anyone know why the consent me website is now marked private?

  26. Our second source warned that the Universal Credit was in such poor shape that it could cost Secretary of State for Work and Pensions Iain Duncan Smith his job. “He is very exposed,” the mole said. “What he is trying to do is quite admirable, yet the civil servants just aren’t up to it. They wouldn’t last a minute in the commercial world due to their poor work ethic, interpersonal skills and competency levels.”

    And this source admirers the odious little prick

  27. Norman ( not norman )

    Hello, I am an insider and I should not be posting this here.
    I am in charge of the IT system for universal credit, I have had enough the system cannot be made to handle this much information and data. The scale and complexity of the universal credits is outragous. we have several major issues, I cant disclose too much information here but lets just say we are going backwards. Universal credit will not begine this year for definate. It was meant to start in october I promise you that it wont. April next year is our new set back target of completion but I feel this is optimistic . I have not used my real name for privacy purposes.

  28. Don’t worry Norman – if it stops claimants getting any money the Government will be over the moon …

  29. Registered, requested access, hope it granted as its got so much good information on. Much more helpful than the misinformation from dwp staff.(most dwp staff, maybe not all)

  30. Obi Wan Kenobi

    I think finally people are now seeing UC for what it actually is – a total shambles and it’s not even been properly rolled out yet. Do you get that sinking feeling Mr IDS?

    Universal credit: the winners and losers.


    • We seriously need someone to trawl back over what the DWP said would happen and what actually happened. If my memory was good enough I’d do it myself…but it ain’t. I do remember them saying several times that UJM was to budget and to schedule. Well it ain’t and it ain’t! 🙂

  31. Obi Wan Kenobi

    From the what IDS, Freud and some other minion said to the select committee the other day, they are totally comitted to UC, so when it does fail it will definiately be (100%) sackings all round for IDS, Hoban and Freud.

    Next review by the select committee of UC and the DWP is in October 2013.

  32. Obi Wan Kenobi

    I’m not surprised the Jobcentre advisers don’t know what they are allowed/not allowed to say to a claimant – could you work under such a system that has that many rules and regulations that IDS changes at will without cracking up?

    Next time you sign on, flood the adviser with as many questions as you can that relate to JSA/ESA rules and regs, then when they can’t answer your questions, tell them they shouldn’t be a frontline adviser unless they have the information you requested to hand.

    • Would love to know whats up with consent me website, anyone?

      • Obi Wan Kenobi

        Robin Hood 10

        It looks like people will have to register with http://www.consent.me.uk if they want to continue to use the site – I am puzzled as to why this is, bit don’t worry http://www.whatdotheyknow.com is still free for anyone to view.

        • Thanks Obi, its been marked private. Have asked the owner of the site (who ever that may be) for access, but still no joy. Just think its strange for a site with soo much information to disappear from the puplic eye like that. I wonder whether the owner was asked/ forced to take it down. Whatdotheyknow is also helpful

    • The Helping Hand


      1. I now record all my signings/interviews. As most signings take place in an open plan area, accommodating me is unfortunately causing my Jobcentre considerable inconvenience because they now have to ensure that I do not accidentally record other claimants’ personal information.

      This is the FOI link for Recording by claimants during interviews, telephone calls etc.


      2. This is the letter I sent. You may want to add your own reasons for recording your signings. For example: advisor bullying you to sign up to UJM or pestering you for access to your UJM account. And so on.

      Dear ******

      I am writing to advise you that as of the ******, which is my next signing day, I intend to record all my signings/interviews/telephone conversations with the DWP Jobcentre Plus. This will be done via a digital recording device. The recording device will not be visible to the adviser.

      My reason/s for doing this are as follows.

      Recent reports in the media seem to suggest that Jobcentres have been setting targets and league tables to sanction benefit claimants. And that staff are being warned by managers that they will be disciplined unless they increase the number of claimants referred to a tougher benefit regime.

      Furthermore, reading comments made by claimants on various Internet forums, it would appear that some JCP advisers do not know exactly what they are allowed/not allowed to say to claimants, particularly regarding Universal Jobmatch. Some even appear to be making it up as they go along, either through ignorance or just sheer frustration.

      When a claimant is sanctioned or a sanction doubt is raised against them, decision makers tend to believe the DWP by default. Being sanctioned or having a sanction doubt raised against me will cause me considerable financial hardship. Consequently, recording my signings/interviews will ensure that there will be no misunderstanding as to what or wasn’t said between myself and an adviser .

      If my signing/interview takes place in an open plan area, I may accidentally record other claimants’ personal information. To ensure this does not happen you may want to use a private interview room.

      I must stress that these recordings are for my personal use only and will not be published on the Internet. They will only ever be heard by a third party if used as evidence in an appeal should I ever be sanctioned or if a sanction doubt is raised against me.

      I would be grateful if you would write to me confirm receipt of this letter.

      Yours sincerely


      3. Insist they write back to you. The following link may be of some help. It is for a Jobcentre publication called “About Jobcentre Plus (Our Service Standards)”. You can also get a copy from your local Jobcentre as well. In the back is a feedback form with tick boxes where you can state the nature of your feedback, i.e. a complaint, and how you want them to reply to you, i.e. by letter. Staple this form to your letter. Address the letter to the office manager. Ask for their name at the reception; they are obliged to tell you who it is.


      4. For whatever reason, some Jobcentre managers may decide not to inform their staff that they are being recorded. To ensure that your adviser is on-message when you sign, advise them that the signing/interview is being recorded and give them a copy of the following letter. When I showed it to the adviser at my last signing, she freaked. She couldn’t wait to get rid of me. She asked me if I’d done any work in the last two weeks and if my circumstances have changed at all, and then it was a case of: OK mate, off you fuck!

      Dear JCP Adviser,

      I wrote to your manager on the ****** to advise them that I intended to record all my signings and interviews with the DWP, and I explained why. This will be done via a digital recording device. The recording device will not be visible to you.

      If my signing/interview takes place in an open plan area, I may accidentally record other claimants’ personal information. To ensure this does not happen you may want to use a private interview room.

      I must stress that these recordings are for my personal use only and will not be published on the Internet. They will only ever be heard by a third party if used as evidence in an appeal should I ever be sanctioned or if a sanction doubt is raised against me.

      Yours sincerely,


      5. To reinforce your message, email it to your Jobcentre as well. You may also want to send a copy to the JCP district manager.


  33. Obi Wan Kenobi

    Robin – as the website is in the domain of .uk, then pressure made have come to bare from the Government. but a .com website is free to operate with no restrictions from the UK Govt. as long as it’s nothing to do with UK security.

    • Interesting……didnt know that, im sure something fishy going on though. its very quiet here today. I guess everyones enjoying the sun. Thank for replies obi. Thanks johnny for the ever informative blog and thanks to the good people who help each other out on here, we all need to stick together(Viva la revolution) Faith in humanity restored 🙂

  34. thanx to no one for leaving a repy to my question…. Great…. Thank you.

    • overburdenddonkey

      seafarersoton…what is your question?

      • Hi, Ive just had surgery on a bust ankle, ATOS b/s last week I presume they will find me fit to work, what is my next best plan of attack? To appeal etc, I can not afford to live with no income so is there a hardship payment etc? Thanx for listening, Jonny (seafarerssoton)

        • overburdenddonkey

          seafarersoton…gl24 appeal form…check if mandatory reconsiderations by DM have kicked in yet…perhaps reapply for e and sa…certainly check on, blacktriangle, r-force, and dpac website for latest news…sorry standard stuff best i can do atm…

          • many thanks… the smallest amount of info can go a long way and give me hope!
            To jonny the void and all other readers, keep up the good work!
            We are not an underclass, simply unlucky at present!

  35. I know this is completely off-topic, but I don’t know where else to vent my feelings! I’ve just returned from an interview (which went well) and the employer said that if I got the job they would be recovering the fee payable to the recruitment agency (who they appointed) from my first year’s salary!!!
    So that would mean it’s cost me about five and half grand to apply for a fucking job!….if I’m ‘lucky’ enough to be offered it……

    • I thought that was illegal?
      I swear employers are not allowed to do that.

    • NEVER….but NEVER EVER EVER pay an agency an up front fee… they get their commision from the employer! Hard lesson…. the only time you may have to pay a fee (and you will be reimbursed) is if you need a PGV. Good luck pal.

      • Thanks for the comment seafarer, but the point is that I haven’t paid anybody anything yet. But the potential employer expects me to effectively reimburse them for the fee which they will have to pay to the recruitment agency if they take me on. Like I said, it’s about £5.5K!!!

        • yeah that is too damn harsh, I would run a mile from this employer and make sure the dwp, local press and also local council and cab know what they are doing.
          No way should they be able to get away with this.
          Did the JCP advise you of the job or was it a job you found yourself?
          Imagine getting a sanction if you did not apply for it or follow up?
          You need to let us know what the CAB say.

          • Dzwasp, I did originally apply for this job a couple of months ago via Universal Jobmatch(!). Heard absolutely nothing then (what a bloody surprise, eh?!), but recruitment agency contacted me about it after they’d received my details in respect of an application for another position.

  36. MAX ; just reread your thread, w.t.f. is your potential employer? thesse mongrels simply aint worth working for…I would report them to the DWP but with that cunt IDS inchrge of the party, you’re better aff pissing in the wind.
    All the best pal.

    • Seafarer, I have already mentioned it to my JC+ advisor (on my way home from the interview). She said report the matter to ACAS……..hardly the way to kick off getting a job, is it? The potential employer is an architect btw (as I am myself).

    • T’other thing is Searfarer, is that if I report them to the DWP I’m likely to put myself in deep shit for refusing a job (if it’s offered!) even though it will be at five and a half grand less than the job advertised. To make matters worse the job is a total fucking pain in the arse to get to travelwise (about two hours each way)

      • horrible catch 22
        defo report it to ACAS though and maybe let local press know about it.

        • Thanks for the comment dzwasp, it’s just unimaginable isn’t it? Don’t think the local press would be too interested though as it’s not exactly a local job (but I do take your point…ta!)

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