13 September 2021

Jobcentre Managers' Update

Feedback shows that Jobcentre members of all grades are united in their plea for DWP to pull back from the decision to bring as many claimants into offices as is physically possible within the Jobcentre Customer Facing Risk Assessment (JCFRA).

This has resulted in intolerable pressure being put on Jobcentre Mangers, who against the better judgement of many of them, have been forced by senior DWP management to deliver this demand. 

This has meant that in order to achieve 15 face-to-face appointments per day by Work Coaches and increase Jobcentre activity, perverse decisions have been made as Managers feel that they have no alternative but to deliver the central demand. The knock on effect is that many Work Coaches feel that they are being micromanaged and that they have no control of their diaries. However, it is clear from the feedback that the Group Executive Committee (GEC) has received from Work Coach members that there is a clear understanding that this is not the fault of Work Coach Team Leaders, but the unacceptable demands being placed on them by senior DWP managers. 

PCS defend our Jobcentre manager members

Group negotiators will continue to fight and campaign for all Jobcentre members no matter their grade. We have been raising the situation Jobcentre managers are facing on a daily basis with senior DWP management at all of our meetings on front of house. It is crucial that Jobcentre managers continue to raise their concerns with PCS in order that we can continue to take them forward with the employer. PCS appreciates that managers may be reluctant to come forward, as many have reported that they have felt bullied into making perverse decisions against their will. PCS can assure those members that anything reported will be taken forward with management anonymously. 

PCS believes that some demands placed on managers are unreasonable. We will continue to support members in management grades who are doing the best to support their staff in Jobcentres.

Guidance for Jobcentre manager members

The pressure currently being placed on Jobcentre managers is unacceptable and has to stop immediately. Many have reported increased stress levels and as a result they feel they will have to go off sick. PCS understands the pressures that Jobcentre members currently face. Many have expressed their feelings at the members’ meetings currently taking place and a large number have emailed the GEC. DWP cannot continue to ignore the concerns of their staff and our members as stress levels are on the rise and many are at breaking point. PCS branches have been encouraged by the GEC to hold members’ meetings to discuss the situation in Jobcentres and the safety dispute. Please make every effort to attend one of those meetings. PCS Jobcentre members of all grades should be united in pushing back on the unacceptable demands and working conditions that are currently in place up and down the country. PCS will continue to support you and take your issues forward with DWP.

In addition to members’ meetings, PCS is currently running a members’ SAFETY SURVEY in an attempt to ascertain how colleagues feel about issues such as returning to the office, safety in the office, travelling to the office and pay. Please make every effort to complete this important survey as the findings will formulate our ongoing discussions with DWP. The closing date for submitting this survey is 30 September 2021. The survey cannot be completed using DWP systems. An email will be sent to your personal email address.

Any Jobcentre manager member who is experiencing problems should contact their local PCS representative or email leeds@pcs.org.uk

Strength in numbers

PCS is the union for all staff working in Jobcentres including those in management grades. The more members PCS has in management grades the better we can represent your interests. If your colleagues are not PCS members please ask them to join.