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When I contacted the Employment Plus a couple of weeks ago, having received notification of my appointment, I rang to ask why they needed to see a CV. Of course I have no problem showing mine, which I duly offered only to have it thrown back in my face with threats, I just object to them keeping it and sending it to all and sundry. I was told, quite clearly by the lady in the office that I didn't have to give it up. I told the adviser this on Monday, who of course didnt' believe me.

This seems to be a giant black hole; all the guidance and rules say on this matter is that it's entirely up to the Provider whether they can compel this information. I don't really know the Data Protection Act well enough to use it to support me, but at the very least - again - withholding consent would certainly be interpreted as refusing help that's offered. This seems to be the DWP's ace in the hole; after all why, they would say, would you refuse to give a CV to people who are applying for work on your behalf - you want a job don't you? Thus ignoring the bigger issue.

I contacted Rehab Jobfit this morning to ask what the rules were. They are the prime Provider so they would know, you might think. Unfortunately all they did was pass my number to...the Salvation Army. Had I known that's what they were going to do (obvious, in hindsight) I wouldn't have bothered. They themselves don't know. 

So again I get to speak to the same lady who, with a bit of prompting, remembered me ringing her before and affirmed that I didn't have to give up my CV...well now she's a little bit less sure. Apparently that's what she understands, but only the 'Operations Manager' would know, and he's in a meeting, in Birmingham. I gave up. No point pursuing this at the moment, I'm sure he'll decide the complete opposite and I can do with people ringing me back from this wretched organisation. Interestingly the Adviser said he was going to ask the lady in the office after I explained to him that she had said I didn't have to give up my CV.

I've no wish to speak to them right now. I need to sign on tomorrow (floodwater permitting!). Once that's out the way, and any fallout from Monday that I have to deal with there, is processed, then I can focus on complaining to Employment Plus and finding a new adviser (at the very least).

I find it bizarre that they think it's acceptable to compel my CV on the grounds their 'Employment Engagement Coordinators' can distribute it to any employer or agency (or indeed anyone, presumably) they see fit, on my behalf. I suspect even a redacted CV might be seen as grounds for 'sanction by non engagement'. But it makes no sense to put people in this kind of position; isn't it ridiculous to find yourself receiving phone calls from employers you've never heard of about jobs you know nothing about - never mind their suitability (and that includes the issue of mental heatlh the adviser continue to deny). The end result will be a confused and irritated employer who will likely feed back thus to the Salvation Army (who will then no doubt use that against me). 

How do they expect people to react in that position? Isn't it absurd to just expect people to blithely accept any possibility of any work whatsoever from whomever, just because they are unemployed? Is that how far we've sunk? People are now so conditioned that even this nonsensical situation - surprise job interviews! - is acceptable. What reaction do they except: obviously one of immediate joy and compliance. Is that rational? What if you don't react like that? I certainly wouldn't. I didn't on Monday morning - and my instincts were correct. It was spam. Suddenly I'd have to consider - on the spot - my health issues as well as suddenly being in a state of mind to capitalise on this opportunity; whatever it might be. It could even be a job that's not enough hours due to transport costs. Would that be taken into account by the Salvation Army?

This is what bothers me. If you are not compliant enough in this fashion, never mind if you can cope with this kind of nice surprise, you'll just get into trouble. You'll be accused of putting up barriers. All the usual guff from an unprofessional bully pig ignorant of genuine mental health issues who will no doubt subscribe to pop psychology cheap thinking that does nothing but paper over the cracks. I think that's dangerous.


  1. "Isn't it absurd to just expect people to blithely accept any possibility of any work whatsoever from whomever, just because they are unemployed? Is that how far we've sunk?" Sadly that seems to be pretty much it at the moment. They expect you, me , all of us on JSA, to be ready to drop everything at an instant's (a moment is too long doncha know?) notice, jump on the bus/our bikes and attend whatever job or interview or God knows is on "offer". No time to prepare mentally or even to say get some decent intervies clothes together, just stop what your doing, get out there and on yer bike. That is the absurd otherworld our masters in the DWP have imagined up, no doubt cheered along by the right-wing tabloids and other ignorant groups who feel they are placed to comment on the lives of others.

    Sorry for that long ramble, but I feel very much as you do, in that the system is completely incapable of taking into account any issue or problem or consideration people may have, and that any expression of doubt is immediately interpreted as "non-compliance" or "non-engagement", which of course can result in sanction.

    Gugh the whole thing stinks, but I'm afraid we are stuck with it. Good luck with your signing on. :)

    1. I can't deal with this system the way it works. What it expects of me I cannot give. Unfortunately the system thinks its demands are reasonable and doesn't care about what I think. I can see this being problematic in time. Hopefully not tomorrow.

    2. They want people to turn up to the mystery job at no notice, 'drop everything and turn up at work'. What if people turn up naked?

  2. The reason they can't demand that you give them your cv to do what they please with it is because it contains your personal information and your data belongs to you and you alone, that's why they need your permission to share it. It's like if they demanded a copy of your birth certificate or your passport to share as they please - you would just laugh in their face right? and rightly too! It's the same principle with your cv so i'd really stand your ground on this one if you can as it's one of the few rights you have. (Yes i know that's easy for me to say when i'm not in your shoes and your the one who could be on the receiving end of a sanction, so i understand if you feel like you have no choice in the matter.)
    This whole work programme is such a useless bag of shite, and the sooner the whole thing implodes the better - and it will. Don't forget, the figures are finally going to be revealed next Tuesday on how brilliantly the providers have been performing, and how many hundreds of thousands of the unemployed they've managed to get back to work....i can't wait.

    1. And you really think they will put the figures the true figures without the spin. See the problem with me is the staff ALL know me, they ALL nod to me in the street.

      If they have my cv, and i get no jobs from them showing evidence i do apply then at some point they will say hang on this scheme didnt work for him, how many others it hasnt worked for.

      This is the problem with the black box approach, they can do anything to you "for your own good". I have a beard if they tell me to shave it i can say would you ask someone of a religion to shave their beard or cut their hair.. or ask a woman to cut their hair? No then why are you asking me to do it Isnt that discrimination. I am waiting for them to try it to try anything to get me off the dole (sanction) but because i cover my back i am pretty much immune

    2. But do they really need permission? It seems to me they can just compel this information and get it under pain of sanctions. I can't find anything that specifically allows people to retain consent. All they DWP seems to say is that the WP can do what they like and if yo urefuse you are refusing help from an employment/training scheme and thus get sanctioned.

    3. I have signed a j.s.a. agreement. Therefore, do i have to disclose my personal data at a work programme?

    4. I honestly don't know.

      Unfortunately these people have the power to make things very difficult if you don't comply, even if you aren't legally obliged.

      The CAB would know more about this.


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