Minister to tackle JobCentre Plus About Volunteering

I spotted this very welcome news item in a Third Sector Magazine ebulletin:

Communities minister Andrew Stunell wants Jobcentre Plus staff to stop telling claimants they will lose benefits if they volunteer.

 Communities minister Andrew Stunell has pledged to stop Jobcentre Plus staff from deterring unemployed people from volunteering by incorrectly saying they will lose their Jobseeker’s Allowance if they do. Speaking at a fringe event at the Liberal Democrat party conference, Stunell said some staff at Jobcentre Plus mistakenly believed jobseekers would not be entitled to benefits if they did voluntary work. “One of the first things I discovered when I looked into this issue was that the Department for Work and Pensions provides Jobcentre Plus staff with a workbook full of information about jobseekers and volunteering,” he said. “But almost none of the people behind the counter have seen this book. “We need to make sure the people giving advice understand the rules. This could be as simple as asking managers to make sure staff read the workbooks.” There is no limit on the number of hours jobseekers can spend doing voluntary work, as long as they are also actively seeking work and are available for job interviews.

If you hear that JobCentre Plus are telling your volunteers that they are either not allowed to volunteer or that there is a limit to the amount of volunteering they can do, please let us know at the Volunteer Centre and we’ll take this up with the minister.

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About Volunteer Centre South Derbyshire

We are the Volunteer Centre serving South Derbyshire, supporting volunteers, volunteer managers and volunteering organsiations
This entry was posted in Volunteer Centre South Derbyshire, Volunteering and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Minister to tackle JobCentre Plus About Volunteering

  1. I’ve been at my local jobcentre today for a course, and we were told that they are no longer limiting how many hours you want to spend volunteering. As long as you can provide a accurate, and full jobsearch that matches the contract you signed they will encourage you to volunteer. So it does seem as though they have all got their policies sorted now. Volunteering will give me a huge boost to my confidence which I’ve lost because I’ve been unemployed for a while. I can’t wait to get stuck in.

  2. We are testing a new job search website that is improved when compared to jobcentre plus LMS system.

    http://jobsearch.workprogramme.org.uk/

    You might be interested in testing the site. We appreciate any links to the website and shared job adverts too.

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