1 October 2014

Another sort of Jobcentre target

Most jobseekers have to attend the Jobcentre every two weeks but this is going to change. From October 2014, it is expected that 50% will be on weekly "Job Search Reviews" Enter "D McDermott" who was told s/he'd now have to attend weekly and was even told that everyone had to.

"D" made an FOI request, to find out more. In the first round it became clear that only 50% would receive this extra support. Also provided was the mechanics of the 50%. Basically, if JCP staff feel you'd benefit from weekly attendance, that's what you get. It gets more complex - Senior Operations Managers and Customer Services Operations Managers (CSOM) are going to  measure the position against the 50% ratio for their cluster of Jobcentres and will investigate where any Jobcentres are significantly above or below the target.

So, front-line staff have to decide whether to require weekly attendance based on what they feel about the claimant and with the knowledge that 50% is expected and will be monitored. "D" wrote back:
You can not possibly know for sure that 50% of all claimants will need this extra help so I do not understand how targets can be set.What happens if a Jobcentre only has 5% of claimants who need extra support? Will said Jobcentre employees be subject to extra demands/reprimanded to fulfil this quota?
From an FOI point of view it's rather week. The DWP is unlikely to have any "recorded information" showing that discipline will be applied to staff not meeting their quota.

It's still a good question though. 

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