‘SH’ on his experience of how Jobcentres are forcing claimants in to accepting zero hour contracts.

job centre plus in glasgow

As my wait had exceeded the usual 15 minutes, which normally consists of a cursory glance towards my painstaking 26 step job search and a “sign here please”, I knew it was my turn to see ‘The Enforcer’.

Every now and then I’ve noticed I would be signed by a member of staff whom I didn’t recognise, and subsequently realised this was a roughing up process to make clear that I was only one wrong step away from a three month benefits sanction.

On this particular occasion, I presented my job search as usual, and welcomed any questions. However, it was immediately clear that this member of staff had taken zero effort to look in to me or my circumstances and thus proceeded to quiz me on the credibility of newspapers and websites which I use to find job vacancies. I have experienced this before however, so answered the questions politely and in full. The next step however, left me aghast. I was initially given a thorough dressing down on how I couldn’t hope to work in the public sector and “preach about benefits” when I had been claiming JSA for 3 years (I have been claiming JSA since graduating little over ONE year ago) and had “no life experience” so I should strongly consider looking at zero hour contract work as a way to gather it.

Now, I am, and always have been under the impression that the role of DWP Job Centres is to get those of us unfortunate to be seeking work back in to suitable and sustainable positions. Zero hour contracts offer no security to the employee and can surely, given their nature, not be seen as a sustainable form of employment.

I was left shell shocked that I was being actively encouraged to pursue such an insecure form of employment and on doing a little research, I found it may be worrying common practise in job centres across the country.