Governments have tried to force job centre staff to treat claimants in a contemptuous manner by harassing claimants, giving incorrect advice & much more, those same staff have no understanding of solidarity & the PCS union does not support treating benefit claimants in such way..
Following the story in the Guardian newspaper that claimed jobseekers were being tricked into having their benefits taken away, the unions have written to Jobcentre Plus management to ask for urgent clarification.
In an interview with Sky News, work and pensions secretary Iain Duncan Smith dismissed the story as "claptrap" and officially the Department for Work and Pensions denied targets were being applied.
But many of our members have reported they are being instructed to make at least one referral a day, even where there are no legitimate grounds.
In the west midlands, for example, advisors have been told they must make five stricter benefit regime referrals a week, one of which must be a refusal of employment.
We are urgently seeking clarification from management what the official position is and whether local offices have discretion to set targets about referrals for sanctions.
We do not believe that targets should be applied and we have made it clear that our members are concerned that the story raises accusations that advisors are acting maliciously.