• Jamie McCarthy

Stories From the U.K. 'Benefits' System: 4.

20th October 2016.

'Good news. This is the last time I'll be in. I'm signing off. I start work on Monday.'

'Congratulations. That's great news. Just sign here. Have you got your evidence of your work-search?'

'Yes - here it is.'

'Oh this is nowhere near enough. This doesn't show you've done 35 hours a week of job-searching.'

'Well I start work on Monday - surely this isn't really relevant now.'

'You need to give me evidence of 35 hours a week of job-seeking. If not I may have to sanction you.'

'Sanction me? But you're not even paying me any benefit at the moment - it was refused and I'm currently arguing my case. I'm only signing-on for my national insurance record.'

'Yes, but without proper evidence of an appropriate job search, I may have to sanction you and it will be a bad mark on your record ... it may affect any future claims.'

'But I start work in four days time. I've known this for two weeks, so I wouldn't have been able to take any work I might have applied for anyway - it would have been a waste of mine and the employer's time.'

'I'm sorry - if you don't give me an adequate record of 35 hours a week of job seeking you may be sanctioned.'

'Who makes the decision as to whether this job-search record is adequate or not?'

'I do. I can sign it off or not.'

'So you can decide to let it pass or put me forward for a sanction?'

'This really isn't an adequate job-search record.' (Goes to type something in the computer).

(Growls) ... 'Don't even bloody well think about it!'

(Looks disconcerted - signs and hands back my job-search record). 'Good luck with your new job.'

2 views0 comments

Recent Posts

See All

Refuse to Be Cut Down to Size.

13th August 2020 My friend Tammy Arjona reposted these words I’d posted on 11th August 2015. I’d forgotten about them. Refuse to be cut down to size Refuse to have your irregular edges shaved off So y

A Tale of Lockdown Lack of Perspective.

9th July 2020. I've been working on a new album on and off for the last year and a half. During lockdown I've been working solidly on mixing one of the tracks for weeks now. I've found it really stres

Pride 2020.

PRIDE 2020. 28th June 2020. Yesterday, on the recommendation of my friend Miguel I watched a programme called 'Disclosure' on Netflix. It's about the representation over the years of trans people in f