Brighton man says Jobcentre is making it harder for him to find work

Posted On 20 Nov 2014 at 11:34 am
Peter Styles

Peter Styles

A Brighton man has accused the Jobcentre of victimising him and making it harder for him to find work.

Unemployed copywriter Peter Styles, 43, raised his concerns after being told to sign on each day and was then “sanctioned” – had benefit payments withheld.

He has since made an official complaint and started a blog which has attracted tens of thousands of hits and which has been reported in The Guardian.

His story has also been covered by Latest TV – see below.

In his first blog entry Mr Styles wrote: “I have been actively seeking work for a year since the company I was working for ceased trading.

“Recently I was ordered to sign on a daily basis – a measure I took objection to.

“Despite this, I continued to diligently look for work while voicing my opposition to Iain Duncan Smith’s draconian and ill-thought out measures.

“On (Friday) 7 November I was sanctioned by Brighton Jobcentre despite 67 (yes folks that’s 67) separate jobseeking actions in the last fortnight.

“I believe I have been singled out for discrimination for daring to object to government policy.

“I have appealed against this decision and put in an official complaint but am looking to raise awareness of this case and seek a review of the powers DWP staff have to make their ‘clients’ comply with their unreasonable wishes under the current Work Programme.”

In a follow-up entry Mr Styles wrote: “Over the last year since losing my job I’ve been applying for up to 15 jobs a day, securing at least an interview a month and doing whatever I could to free myself from an increasingly precarious financial position.

“I have a good degree and an arguably impressive work record stretching back 20 years but that elusive appointment seemed just out of my grasp.

“Just over two weeks ago I was told at a fortnightly signing that I would be forced to attend and sign every day.

“I objected to this and said it would be completely counterproductive and demoralising but the law is the law and the DWP staff seemed only too willing to carry out Iain Duncan Smith’s ill-thought out, vindictive and distinctly unhelpful measures.

“I made my opposition to daily signing obvious to staff and, though I may have been brusque and irritated by this massive invasion into my personal freedom and movement, did not swear at the workers.

“Their response to my passive opposition? To be ordered to sign alone in the screened area every day, being made to feel like some kind of offender.”

Logo JobcentreplusMr Styles has been signed off with stress for a month by his doctor which has made him ineligible for jobseekers allowance.

But despite not having to go to the Jobcentre in Edward Street each day, he is still searching for work.

He added: “If anyone needs someone with experience as a journalist, journalism and public affairs lecturer, content manager, PR or copywriter or related disciplines please step forward.

“I’d be delighted to hear from you and end this insane chapter of my life.”

A Department for Work and Pensions spokesman said: “Our Jobcentre staff work very hard every day supporting jobseekers.

“In return we expect jobseekers to do everything they can to find work.

“This may include daily signings to ensure people treat looking for a job as a job in itself.

“We take all complaints seriously and equally we expect our staff to be treated with respect.

“Thanks to the dedication of our staff and the determination of jobseekers, the number of people in employment has risen by thousands in Brighton over the past year.”

  1. Mark Verrall Reply

    if he’d have been an immigrant he would have had benefits thrown at him and not expected to work this proves how bad this country and government is!

    • hymie Reply

      where do you get such information from, your local BNP or UKIP member? and most of them are ‘members’!

      haven’t you ever questioned the sources of your ‘completely’ and utterly wrong beliefs.

      the governments and red top medias disinfomration service has got you good and proper!!

      think for yourself and stop being one of the sheople!

    • shaun Reply

      Rubbish. Why are you blaming immigrants for Works and Pensions Policy? I am an immigrant and when I lost my job, I had to sign on every 2 weeks. I was not given any “special” treatment. Think before you talk.

  2. paul Reply

    I’m with Mark with this one… we see this a lot over in Mansfield

  3. DuncanB Reply

    Even if your ridiculous story about immigrants getting benefits for the asking was true and it is not, in which way does attacking immigrants help Mr Styles? It obviously doesn’t help him or the many others in the same situation, you don’t give a damn about the unemployed but just using their persecution by the Tories to attack immigrants.

  4. Mark Pugh Reply

    I’m appalled that British People rush to blame immigrants for everything these days. If people bothered finding out the truth themselves instead of listening to racist right wing organisations like the BNP or Britain First they’d realise what a huge benefit to this country most immigrants are. Without their hard work and excellent work ethic our economy would suffer. It wouldn’t surprise me if the same people who make these racist comments are the same people who aren’t prepared to work at all or unless they are paid a ridiculously high wage for very little effort. Most immigrants l know are hard working, conscensous and worth twice as much as the lazy, moaning British people who forever blame others for their own problems. I’m ashamed to be British when l hear their racist tripe. Wake up and get off your backsides before you start spouting absolute rubbish like it’s fact.

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