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Job Seekers Allowance – Remove the power of the adjudicator to contact previous employer in certain cases

Comment 6th July 2010

Whilst applying for Job Seekers Allowance, I was told that an adjudicator would contact my previous employer for verification.  My employment was terminated by mutual consent and a compromise agreement was signed.  Why, when I have worked all my life and paid my National Insurance contributions, does the decision to pay me what I am entitled to, rest in the hands of my former employer  for verification.  I do not want him to know that I wish to apply for JAS.  I was happy to provide a copy of all documentation to the Job Centre. 

Consequently I turned down my right and entitlement to JAS and did not claim, on the basis that I think it questions my integrity.  I am furious that I am entitled to this allowance but have to go through measures that are unpalatable, unneccessary and intrusive.  When I refused to go forward with the claim, the job centre worker tried to persuade me to continue but added that the adjudicator could not operate on a case by case basis.

I also heard another applicant applying for JAS and he said he'd been sacked – there was no discussion as to whether his previous employer would be contacted, and it was turned into a joke.

Why does this matter?

My idea is to cut out the lack of trust and take into account factors that are already available to government departments.   It would have been simple to look up my employment history and to look at any documents that had been signed by both parties (drawn up by a solicitor) that I had brought with me.

It's just another hoop you have to jump through to get anything in this country, and the time and effort spent getting to the job centre (30 mile round trip), the cost and the inevitable let down at the end of the exercise; not to mention the irritation that you have paid your dues to no avail.

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