DWP Dealing with Jobcentres

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Part 1 - Their Tactics

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Before reading this section you may want to look our Contract Law page, as the first thing to understand about the DWP is the fact that everything they do is based on contract law which in England and Wales is English Contract Law. This has been supplemented by another set of contract law called European Contract Protocols (ECP) which is European law and has been ratified into all EU member states legislation.

Everything is based upon something called a Jobseekers Agreement and we need to fully understand what this is, an agreement is a set of binding promises of two or more parties, an agreement doesn’t have 'a consideration' but a contract does. When an agreement is 'legally enforced' it becomes a contract and contract legislation applies to it; and the DWP bring charges against many claimants which are well documented so there’s no dispute about it being a contract.

If you take a look at any case where a claimant has been taken to court concerning benefits fraud the actual charge is 'breach of contract' so more proof if it were needed. Now we have established it as a contract and bound by contract law we can move forwards.

When you undertake any dealings with the DWP you have to record them, it’s vital, they record you and all your information to create something called 'the private record of the parties' and it is this they use against you. Basically they are creating a record of documented evidence and this will be put in a paper format if necessary as paperwork wins court cases, nothing else; so you need to counter this with your own evidence. If you audio record which you’re legally entitled to do then nobody can refute they have said something or made a misleading claim as you have the evidence, but here is the first hurdle, they don’t like you recording as they know there staff aren’t experts in contract law and only work to a prescribed script.

They use misleading terms and make misleading statements to give you the impression they have power and authority over you when they don’t; and to employ a tactic called 'railroading' which is to use carefully constructed phrases to give you the impression you have no choice but to comply when you don’t have to and have a choice.

Next we need to quell most of their tactics and this is surprisingly easy to do but to do this you need to have a copy of your contract (Jobseekers agreement) and understand the conditions laid down within it as these are the contract conditions. In addition to this you need to have ONLY the terms and conditions in force at the time you signed your contract as only these apply and this is backed and bound by a legal precedent made by Lord Denning.

From this point on we must fully understand what they are saying, so listen carefully to what they say and how they say it, one word different means they are saying something totally different from what you think they are saying.

Now they begin their tactics and they do this by assessing you and seeing what they can get away with to formulate their strategy to try to trick you, so never answer back, listen very carefully, and never lose your temper and shout at them, they expect you to lose your temper. You need to get them to put everything in writing and for them as an individual to sign it with a real pen and not a digital signature, now the game begins.

They begin by asking you about your job search and what you have done, this gives them a stepping stone to claim you haven’t done enough and this is the start of them retrospectively and unilaterally applying contractual conditions.

Retrospectively applying legislation is when legislation is introduced after you signed your contract and they try to apply it to you when it doesn’t apply; remember only the terms and conditions in force at the time of signing apply.
Unilaterally applying contractual conditions means one party is trying to introduce conditions into a contract, they cannot do this as for any change to a contract to be lawful you have to sign either a 'variation' or enter a new contract.

They will try and use this to report you for sanction and now you need to be careful as the play on words really begins; to continue we need to refer back to Contract Law and another of Lord Denning’s legal precedents. For one party to try to nullify a contract; and that’s what they’re trying to do to force you to sign a new contract; they have to PROVE non-performance by you.

Remember, the Jobcentre staff are lazy and don’t understand contract law and always apply the latest terms and conditions to a claimant instead of the correct earlier terms and conditions, which were in force when you signed your contract and apply to you.
Non-performance is where one party fails to undertake a contractual obligation and this is currently defined as a 'significant obligation' which would have an impact on the performance of the contract detrimental to the other party or parties.
Unless they PROVE non-performance they cannot even report you for sanction as the report will be both illegal and unlawful but this never stops them.

Now they try to obfuscate and confuse the issue by obscuring the fact they have unilaterally and retrospectively applied contractual conditions to your contract and they are trying to report you for not acting under these new conditions which don’t apply. It’s all about applying deceit and stress, to force you to consent by signing a new contract.

Now you have to establish why they are trying to report you and you have to inform them they have unilaterally and retrospectively applied contractual conditions and that they are threatening to report you under conditions which don’t apply, now they have no excuse.

Next you MUST ask what their foundation evidence is for a report for sanction, normally they will say something along the lines of 'in my opinion' and you must get them to say this, if they don’t then ask 'is this your opinion?'. Remember you are recording this conversation and this admittance gives you vital evidence.

Lord Denning set a legal precedent in which he stated 'opinion is mere puff' and continued by saying 'nobody can retrospectively or unilaterally apply contractual conditions, only the terms and conditions in force at the time of signing apply' which covers this entire issue.
Take careful note of what is happening here, they try to force later legislation onto you which you know wasn’t in force at the time you signed your contract and try to sanction you under this inapplicable legislation so always be wary of this trap as it has implications.
Under contract law you can enter a contract by something called 'ACTION' and this is another crafty trick they employ. They tell you many weeks before you are going to be asked to sign a new contract that new conditions are applicable, or try to force you to act under newer conditions not in your contract. A simple example may be that you have to undertake three actions PER WEEK and they try the play on words and tell you that you have to take three actions per day. If you comply with this request/demand you enter a contract by 'action' which is by your own actions of compliance with conditions which don’t apply to you, and you give them the evidence in your job search. They may say 'our terms have changed' or 'new legislation has come into force' or 'its new policy' or even 'we have changed the way we work' and in each case it’s wrong, they change their conditions or policies then simply don’t comply as they don’t apply to you.
If they try to use this tactic then inform them you are on an older contract and why aren’t they aware of this as they are looking at a computer monitor with your information on, if they respond it will be with “oh, sorry I haven’t looked at it” which shows incompetence. Remember you have this recorded. To understand this we have to understand that every time they have a policy or legislation change they train their staff in this and the staff apply this to every claimant, basically one size fits all and this is the newer terms and conditions which don’t apply to you.

From here they will try many tricks and I will go through some of the more popular ones used:

The Government has changed the law?

    Fine, so what? They can change the law as many times as they like as only the terms and conditions in force at the time of signing apply.

We have changed our policy/policies?

    Great, your policies are yours and apply only to you; you have admitted it’s your policy and it’s nothing to do with me, I am NOT employed by the DWP.

How do you expect us to pay you?

    That’s not my problem; If you change your system then it’s up to you to make provisions to ensure you pay us who are on the older contracts and not my responsibility to change my contract to satisfy you.

I will report you for sanction for not complying with my request?

    Fine, you are obviously aware that a request is just that; a request, a request which I can refuse. So what you are saying is that if don’t comply with something I have no obligation to comply with, you will report me for sanction, have you PROVEN non-performance yet.

We are reviewing your Jobseekers Agreement

    Fine, review away as much as you like but remember I won’t be signing any new contract or variation.It’s in any contract they use that they can undertake a review at any time so let them review it, it doesn’t mean you have to accept their findings or agree to any changes they try to make.

One of their normal tricks is to ask you what you do for your job search if you are on an older contract and as you are speaking they add this to your Jobseekers agreement on their computer, anyone else looking at this will accept it as your in force agreement and try to work to them and enforce them against you even though they are not in force. They also use this updated information against you which we will see later on.
Their other trick is to print this off and try to get you to sign it, they will come up with their well scripted 'you already do it so it doesn’t make a difference to you' trick, but it does and they know it. If you sign the new contract then you also consent to the newer terms and conditions which are much more stringent and gives them considerably more power and control over you and their aim is to get you to accept the new contract solely for the newer and more stringent conditions which they can use against you.

If you refuse to comply they begin interrogating you and ask their carefully scripted questions, never fall into the trap of playing this game, if you don’t want to answer a question then say 'no comment' and don’t reply.

They will persist and if they do then ask them if they are deaf or just plain thick, you have already responded with 'no comment' and ask them if you are obliged to answer their questions and they will always say 'yes'. Just respond with 'so my right to remain silent doesn’t apply then'. and watch them squirm.

If they say no or you don’t have this right then ask them to provide proof of claim as your right to remain silent is an inalienable right which cannot be removed and is in force under the Constitution of England and they cannot remove it. They have also made a false claim as to law without any legal training which is false representation.

They now move onto 'double speak' and the current in vogue terminology and a prime example is 'you are not adhering to the conditionality of your Jobseekers Agreement' so ignore their claims or simply state 'is conditionality in my terms and conditions'. If we look up the term 'conditionality' it states:

conditionality
adjective

1. Imposing, containing, subject to, or depending on a condition or conditions; not absolute; made or allowed on certain terms:
Conditional acceptance.

If we dissect this we see its double speak and nothing else; they cannot impose any conditions not contained in your contract upon you, none of your contractual conditions are containing or subject to anything, they are specific and clearly defined. It clearly states they are not absolute whereas your contractual conditions are absolute through being clearly defined, and nothing in your contract is allowed or disallowed on any certain terms.

Always be aware of their double speak and play on words as I have actually witnessed them making up words which don’t exist in any dictionary and I have access to many dictionaries. They also state gobbledegook such as you aren’t complying with the spirit of the contract, really? As long as you don’t breach the stipulated terms within your contract then they have nothing and can do nothing.

Now they will try and crank it up a little and often they are very irate by this stage and get very stroppy and try a couple of big hitting tricks such as the 'jobseekers direction' or my favourite 'mandating you' to do something.

Let’s revert back to the contract law section which you should have already read; it says:

Nobody can be forced into signing any contract

For a contract to be valid it must be entered into freely and without any threats, harassment, or distress to create something called true consent or a meeting of the minds, only when true consent is given does a contract become valid. ECL and ECP place great emphasis on true consent and fairness, along with the English courts as, until someone truly consents there can be no valid contract.

Let’s be very clear on this point; you cannot be threatened or forced into signing any contract and a jobseekers direction is just that, threats; they will threaten to stop your benefits and report you for sanction, or both. Jobseekers directions are solely based upon an advisers opinion so once again ask the question!

Am I in breach of the terms and conditions in force at the time I signed by contract?

    If the answer is no or they fail to answer then press them hard and ask.

Is this based upon your opinion?

    If they answer yes or fail to answer, then they are struggling.

Why are you acting under unilaterally and retrospectively applied contractual conditions?

    By this stage they are flustered and usually struggling as most of them won’t understand what you are talking about.

Tell them there is no mention of a jobseekers direction in your contract, therefore it has no validity other than being an informal request and a request can be denied and you are denying it. They will come back with some answer and when they do tell them you are demanding to know if they can prove non-performance and until they do prove non-performance they cannot do anything.

Mandates are another matter and under contract law they are defined as “a judicial order or command” which means the order or command is one made by either a court or a judge and these are easily dealt with.

Ask who issued the mandate and the usual response is “I am issuing it” which means the adviser is issuing the mandate; or “I have the authority of the DWP to issue a mandate” and they blather on about Acts and Statutes, now let’s be very clear on this point.

ONLY A COURT OR JUDGE CAN ISSUE A MANDATE – by their very own admission they are claiming either a DWP employee OR the DWP are issuing a mandate, or giving a judicial order or command.

Neither the DWP or their employees are a court or a Judge so they are making some blatantly misleading claims and claiming to be a court of law or a Judge, both are serious offences as impersonating a court or Judge carries harsh sentences.

Now you need to ask the serious questions:

I now require the original sealed court document signed by the court representative or Judge presiding in the case, I require you to produce this immediately.

Of course they cannot provide such a document as it doesn’t exist.

If they don’t produce the court order (which they can’t) then you ask them which court heard the case, what date the case was heard, and which judge presided over the case. You need to follow this up with why didn’t either the DWP or the court inform you of this hearing so you could attend and provide a defence as you are legally entitled to, and this is a very serious matter which you intend following up with the court.

At this point they will try to drop the mandate angle or deflect the conversation away from the issue, don’t let them; persist with asking the questions above and tell them you want this document producing or are they simply lying to you. Inform them that if they don’t produce this sealed original court document with a true wet signature immediately or admit to lying you will be going straight to the Police to report this matter to them as either they (the adviser) is lying and impersonating a court, or they are committing fraud. Inform them that you need the requested information so you can contact the court directly and you need the case number from the original court document so when you contact the issuing court you can get it set aside.

If they admit to lying then remind them they are committing fraud and any contract you may sign is now a void contract and its terms and conditions are invalid.

Now watch the mandate angle disappear quicker
than money in a betting shop

    One recent tactic I have seen used is particularly nasty and designed as a last resort to apply as much psychological pressure onto you is the false sanction and this works thus:

    Advisors will tell you (verbally) they are reporting you for sanction, yet you will receive no paperwork stating they are reporting you for sanction which is automatically a breach of their procedures as they are obliged to issue this at the time of threatening to report you for sanction by printing it off and handing it to you. You go in to sign on and your advisor informs you that you have been sanctioned (again verbally) and you pursue it by asking them when and why, and why you haven’t had any paperwork confirming this. They will claim a senior member of staff in the office has issued a sanction and will refuse to name them or the reasons for the sanction, and then they move to the next stage which is pure trickery.

    They then get an alleged manager to speak to you and he/she refuses to answer any questions and pleads ignorance as to why you have been sanctioned and they parrot the one line “you will have to wait for the letter which will explain it all” and play dumb. They then state that you will have to wait for the letter explaining it all to arrive as they know nothing about it. They usually make numerous apologies and claim they will chase up the letter on your behalf but this is just psychological bluff and bluster.

    Note the contradiction here, they have allegedly reported you for sanction yet they know nothing about it even though all their computers are connected to their database which gives instant updates, yet they plead ignorance. They then thrust a piece of paper under your nose and tell you that to reinstate your benefits you have to sign it; NEVER UNDER ANY CIRCUMSTANCES SIGN THIS PIECE OF PAPER AS THIS IS A BLANK FORM CALLED A VARIATION TO CONTRACT.

    The trick is simple, you haven’t actually been sanctioned and they merely tell you that you have been sanctioned to get you to accept the fact you have been sanctioned, they then try to trap you into a contract “by action” by you thinking you have been sanctioned. This is a double edged sword, on one hand by accepting you have been sanctioned you are trapped into a contract “by action” or by getting you to sign the blank form which they later fill in after you leave. If you accept the fact you have been sanctioned you will receive a letter from them informing you that you have been sanctioned.

    YOU MUST VERBALLY REBUT ANY CLAIMS OF SANCTION IMMEDIATELY, you then follow this up with a formal letter of complaint which also contains a written rebuttal and do this the same day, you take a witness along and hand it in personally and film it if possible. Always number your correspondence both on your complaint and on the outside of the envelope and get a receipt containing this number, also photograph the envelope to show this number is present.

    This type of action is high risk by Jobcentre staff and any high risk strategies they employ always leave a high degree of evidence which is irrefutable and implicates all the staff involved and usually the Jobcentre manager/ess. Brilliant evidence for you.

Important Rules

  • 1
  • It’s a contract so don’t get hung up on the play on words between contract and agreement as theytry to play these tricks, always refer to it as 'the contract'
  • 2
  • Only the terms & conditions in force at the time of signing your contract applyanything introducedAFTER you signed your contract does NOT apply to you
  • 3
  • If they cannot PROVE non-performance then everything is based on their opinionand opinion is invalid for reporting someone for sanction
  • 4
  • Listen very carefully to what they say and never argue or shout back about their rules & regulations& statutes, stick to what your contract and nothing else
  • 5
  • Stick solely to the contract, they cannot force you to do anything else

Jobseekers Directions and mandates are invalid, their opinions are invalid,
and remember a contract is only valid if you truly consent to it.

Go to DWP Page 2 for Dealing with JobCentres - Our Tactics

DWP - Continued on Page 2

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