From Tragedy To Farce, How Universal Credit’s Work Related Activity Is Beyond A Joke

Johnny Void here lays bare the time the DWP believes the unemployed should spend each day of the 35 hours they are expected to look for work each week. This is a joke.

For most people, you couldn’t spend up to half an hour each day reviewing and updating your CV. There simply wouldn’t be any point, as there probably wouldn’t be anything new you could add. As for looking for jobs in the local and national papers, well, good luck with that. Newspapers can be expensive, and to take all of them would be extremely hard for those struggling to make ends meet. Furthermore, not all of them actually put in job ads. The Bristol Post used to have a Thursday supplement containing situations vacant, but I haven’t seen that in the paper for some time. As for the trade journals, you’d either have to have a subscription to them already, or live near to a very good library, which took them. Again, more expense. You can also expect that it could be difficult finding enough to talk about job vacancies for half an hour every day. Most likely the answer you’d get would be, ‘Same as I said yesterday. And the day before’. As for setting yourself up as self-employed, that all depends on whether you have a suitable set of skills or professional background. Quite apart from the fact that, as Mike, Johnny and the others have already blogged about, most of the self-employed jobs created through the government’s welfare reforms are really only the poor and desperate reduced to the very last resort of selling off their property. Their ‘businesses’ are fragile, pay much less than the minimum wage, and will mostly likely collapse.

Mr Void also points out that the DWP’s own legislation means that they can’t force you to fill up your day uselessly looking for jobs, if you’ve done all you can do and it simply doesn’t fill up the time. He also puts up the address for the Guidance on Work Related Activity, and provides a link to a site providing up to date information on the Department’s rules.

the void

zac-videogames Someone buy Zac a pint.

The rules on what constitutes work related activity for those claiming Universal Credit would be laughable if they were not backed by sanctions that can plunge people into destitution for up to three years.

As part of Iain Duncan Smith’s obsession with forcing unemployed, sick and disabled people into ever more irksome and pointless activity, unemployed claimants are now expected to spend 35 hours a week looking for a job.  The guidance for Jobcentre decision makers gives an example of a typical day:

“Dave is in receipt of UC. His expected number of hours of work are 35 a week. “On a typical day, Dave spends
1. two hours on-line looking through recruitment sites
2. one hour reading the “situations vacant” pages in the press (local papers,
national papers and trade journals)
3. one hour and a half completing a job application and covering letter

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