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UK-Justice
UK-Justice, Barrister
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 16193
Experience:  Called to the Bar in 2007
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I am currently on job seekers allowance of £71 per week. This

Customer Question

I am currently on job seekers allowance of £71 per week. This claim only started
November 2012. I would like to know at the job centre, what they cannot force me to do by law and what they can enforce in regards XXXXX XXXXX jobs they want me to take. Also can they force me to attend daily? Also can they force me to attend on weekends as I use that for my social life and that would be a great intrusion.
Submitted: 3 years ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  UK-Justice replied 3 years ago.
Thanks for your question, I will do whatever I can to help you. Please remember to rate my answer SMILEY FACE OR ABOVE.

From the JSA survival guide:

When you first sign on you can look for work in your usual occupation for up to 13 weeks - unless you are a school leaver; have never worked before or your trade no longer exists.

This means that you can refuse work if it is outside your normal remit.

You don't have to justify refusing a job of less than 24 hours every week and they do not count as "Notified Vacancies".

But under the JSA they can order you to apply for these by issuing a Job Seekers Direction. If you don't apply you get treated as having refused a Direction. But if you apply and are offered the job you can't be sanctioned for refusing to take it.

Sounds odd but the thing is people signing on are agreeing to look for full time work not part time work. If the job offers less than 24 hours each week you can refuse it.

You are not obliged to apply for jobs you have found in your job seeking activity, i.e. from the papers, by asking around or off the Job Centre boards.

But if they know you've applied for and been offered a job and then refused it, they can argue that you are refusing suitable employment and may offer you the job as a "Notified Vacancy". Also, if you ask about a Job at the Job Centre it gets put on the computer and they can treat it as a Notified Vacancy.

NOTIFIED VACANCY


- this is when Employment Service staff tell you to apply for a specific job. It is not the same as a Job Seekers Direction. Be warned that just enquiring at the desks about a job off the boards could be treated as a Notified Vacancy if they consider it's reasonable employment for you.

If you refuse to apply for a Notified Vacancy you could face up to 6 months without benefit - unless you can show either:

That you don't have the required skills and qualifications, or : That you have good cause (see below).

A Notified Vacancy MUST be a job offering more than 24 hours pw (for ones under 24 hours they can only issue a Job Seekers Direction - see above).

A Notified Vacancy MUST be one that it is reasonable to expect you to do, but should also reflect conditions generally available locally. ES Advisers should always offer those vacancies with highest rates of pay for that type of work before offering one that pays less.

Also the Employment Service should not handle jobs or expect you to apply for / take jobs : which involve sexual or racial discrimination; where the premises raise doubts under the Health & Safety Act; where claimants' complaints suggest that it might be "doubtful, undesirable or not genuine."

Undesirability can include: allegations of unfair dismissal; non-payment of wages or expenses; sexual harassment, misrepresentation of pay and conditions and oppressive contracts of employment.

They MUST tell you that they are offering you a Notified Vacancy and that there are penalties for refusing to apply for it.

You can refuse a Notified Vacancy with "Good Cause" if you refuse:

To be a scab provided that the specific vacancy is one caused by the dispute.

On religious or conscientious grounds, which can include:

Objecting to not being a member of a trade union in a work place where non membership is a condition of employment

Objecting to work with material which may be used for the destruction of human life

Working in abattoirs etc.

On health grounds eg. "excessive physical or mental stress"

Due to excessive travelling time to work (more than one hour each way)

If the job's hours and days of working differ significantly from those set out in your Job Seekers Agreement.

You can't refuse to apply for a job because it is badly paid!!

I hope this helps and explains the situation.

Please remember to click *** OK SERVICE *** or above so that I am credited for my time. The question does not close and you can ask follow ups.

Important: If you feel the need to rate as one of the lower two scores, it counts as negative feedback so please reply to me via the REPLY with any further questions you may have. I will be happy to assist you further.

UK-Justice, Barrister
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 16193
Experience: Called to the Bar in 2007
UK-Justice and other Law Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 3 years ago.


I also asked whether I can refuse to attend on the weekends at that does intrude on my personal life.

Expert:  UK-Justice replied 3 years ago.
No you can't refuse,

But you are entitled to a weekend during the week,

I hope that clarifies,




Please remember to click *** OK SERVICE *** or above so that I am credited for my time. The question does not close and you can ask follow ups.

Important: If you feel the need to rate as one of the lower two scores, it counts as negative feedback so please reply to me via the REPLY with any further questions you may have. I will be happy to assist you further.
Expert:  UK-Justice replied 3 years ago.
I'm just following up with you to see how everything is going. Did my answer help?

UK-Justice

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