A Channel 4 documentary on Jobcentre Plus is being filmed at Southern House Jobcentre in Leeds. DWP have stated that it will be a six-part series based at Southern House Jobcentre in Leeds, following the journeys of customers, the relationships between customers and Work Coaches, and showcasing the breadth of support we offer.
There has been no consultation with PCS at a national level on this. However, PCS has been consulted at a local level and were involved in the risk assessment which was carried out. Management have assured PCS that anyone participating in the filming will do so voluntarily, and colleagues and claimants will give their consent in advance of any filming. Filming is expected to last until March 2020.
Guidance for Members
PCS has real concerns about this documentary mainly around staff who agree to be filmed and the potential penalties if they are critical of the DWP. Sharing the information known to our members has in the past defeated targets for sanctions. Getting information about the real challenges faced by our staff and claimants is not a bad thing. However, members at Southern House Jobcentre should please note that any participation is still covered by the Standards of Behaviour, and so any concerns about potential disciplinary offences are legitimate. Staff can participate but they should be careful about what they say as civil servants.
The group executive committee would recommend that any member who is concerned about this should not volunteer as there is no guarantee that they won’t be disciplined. Anyone with concerns around any aspect of the Channel 4 filming at Southern House Jobcentre should email firstname.lastname@example.org