The wages of sin? DWP announce plans to axe 800 jobs amid Jobcentre closures


As a reward for their work kicking innocent claimants off benefit and into the gutter (or, very often, the grave), the Department for Work and Pensions is sacking 800 staff members.

No doubt the situation will be packaged up with a nice PR spiel: “Staff will be encouraged to experience first-hand the department’s programmes to return people into work.”

I wonder how many of them will be sanctioned?

I wonder how many will experience health problems but be denied sickness or disability benefits?

I wonder how many will be threatened with eviction from their homes?

I wonder how many will end up dead.

And there’s one more thing:

I wonder if I’ll ever be able to muster up any sympathy for those who do. These are the wages of sin. How did they think they would be rewarded?

The Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) has today (18 August) announced plans to axe hundreds of jobs, as a direct result of planned closures to Jobcentre offices.

Under the plans announced today, 800 staff with be offered voluntary redundancy. If they refuse, however, the Public and Commercial Services (PCS) union says the DWP is likely to impose compulsory redundancy.

Earlier this year, the Tory government revealed its intention to close more than one in 10 jobcentres around the UK, which employment minister Damian Hinds said would allow the department to focus resources “on what we know best helps people into work”.

Source: DWP announce plans to axe 800 jobs amid Jobcentre closures

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11 thoughts on “The wages of sin? DWP announce plans to axe 800 jobs amid Jobcentre closures

  1. Florence

    DWP “What we know will help people back into work”. A phrase that will strike fear into every “customer” of their “services”.
    Tortuous journeys to inaccessible job centres to risk sanction for being a minute late. Going without food to pay for travel to the inaccessible job centre. And of course, being treated like dirt by the few ” lucky” remaining staff.

  2. Katie Gee

    You’re tarring all DWP staff with the same brush. Some of us do our best to avoid giving out sanctions but the system is set up in such a way that it allows massive inconsistencies which is why you read about so many sanctions being imposed out of cruelty.
    Try this for a freedom of information request: Ask how many letters have been sent out this year to claimants who
    a) Had too much money deducted from their benefits because sanction rules were applied incorrectly.
    b) Were not told the length of their sanction (which is a legal requirement.)
    Also ask what the largest amount refunded was.
    As for the redundancies, it’s a bit odd, because the DWP recruits frequently for both work coaches and service centre staff.

    1. Dez

      Thanks Katie for sharing your view from the other side of the fence it is always good to read a balanced discussion with input from both sides. Whilst branch closure will be very inconvenient and costly to your customers, and staff, the majority of your customers are living on meagre benefits probably far less than your take home pay. The application of punative sanctions should be extended and far more flexible to reflect additional transport issues and times. No doubt like the NHS property assets these DWP premises will be flogged off at the earliest opportunity. In private industry redundancies can sometimes translate into future outsourcing and privatisation of services using alternative paid for facilities…..time will tell what their real master plan is once they have pared the services to a marketable size for contracting out.

  3. Brian

    I’m sure that Katie is not alone in having a moral compass, many working for the DWP must be appalled at the actions forced on them. But Katie, the workers off all despicable organisations throughout history have had a choice, often quickly exercised if they feel uncomfortable enough with what they are asked to do. So the question has to be asked, what are the limits of acceptance for staff when administering DWP policies, or do the numbers become meaningless? I’m sorry if this sounds like an attack on your compass, it’s not, but given such an occupation you must expect to be judged by the prevailing tide of distaste service users experience. It also seems highly unlikely that history will record ‘orders followed’ as anything other than an escape route. Especially in light of international condemnation by the UN. Think of that as you fill in application forms, I suspect there may well be gaps in your future CV’s.

  4. hugosmum70

    so Katie Gee are you implyimg that this could be fake news? if its not fake. how often have we all said, just watch your backs because your not invincible just cos you work at job centres or in other dwp areas

  5. Ken J

    There are a lot of good people working in jobcentres. People who care and people who do their best to ease the path through this nightmarish benefits system. These are the unsung people. All the public ever hear about are the arseholes, and yes jobcentres have their share of those too. Problems with jobcentres are caused by targets set by management. I do not recall seeing this kind of anti jobcentre rhetoric before 2010. The loss of jobcentre staff will create more problems for those who will have to travel long distances to get to the “nearest” jobcentre and under rules will probably have to find fare money etc before it can be reimbursed. Put yourself in the place of a jobcentre worker……you know how crap the system is, you know that there is a purely arbitrary six week waiting period before Universal Credit is paid. You know the hellish hoops the government expect people to jump through. You have your own family to support. If you are one of the good ones you’ll do your best for your customer and get them through the system, knowing how it would wreck your own family should you be in that position. A bad one enjoys it. And they get all the publicity. I have been lucky in my dealings with my local jobcentre. I never have had to go through the hell of claiming UC. Now retired I do as a volunteer help people get through the system, and my local jobcentre, apart from one particular adviser is always helpful. Like everything you get good and bad in all. The folk who should be reaping what they sow is the upper management in DWP who set fatuous targets which seem designed only to obstruct both employee and claimant and the Ministers and MPs who have enthusiastically pushed this crappy legislation through

  6. wildthing666

    Katie I have heard people in JCP building being threatened with a sanction just because they didn’t apply for enough jobs! As everyones qualifications and speed of travel are different then they could demand the jobcentre give them a list of all the jobs that were available on their site in the previous month or fortnight, for a person with their qualifications. Because if you don’t have certain qualifications for some jobs then any CV is in the BIN, same if you put down qualification they consider out of date, like school qualifications after more than 3 years after leaving school.
    The maximum travel is 90 minutes so whereas one person could travel miles in 90 minutes another will not as they may not be able to drive, either they cannot drive or medical conditions make obtaining a license difficult or impossible.

  7. Dez

    The Con Government is blanket bombing all Government Departments as part of their final UK downgrading gift before departing. Having screwed many small businesses with destructive business rate increases, which will certainly lose jobs all over UK, they are now going to add to their total lunacy by self destructing valuation offices from 51 to 30 and probably 1000 jobs lost by 2021. This reduction just after introducing a new commercial valuation system is another total austerity madness displaying yet again no common sense whatsoever from this loathsome Government and Political Party citing best cost effective service plans …. just like the Police and the NHS …..yup got the picture Cons.

  8. Mr Nicholas Manning-James

    As the saying goes “what goes around comes around” Getting their “just desert’s” springs to mind. No sympathy from me!

Comments are closed.