WITH unemployment high it’s right that Job Centre staff should be doing all they can to encourage people to work.
Guidelines are set by the government and staff have to stick to the rules.
But a Brockholes man who suffers from a form of chronic fatigue syndrome has highlighted the pitfalls of a box ticking exercise – it doesn’t take into account genuine medical disability.
Oliver Schofield’s ME causes him to have disturbed sleep patterns and he has been ruled medically unfit to work three times.
People with ME find it difficult to find employers willing to hire, so people like Oliver are told that self-employment is the best option.
It’s the option Oliver wants, but needs help re-training and advice on how to set up his own business.
And despite there being such a scheme available via the Job Centre, he’s told to claim Job Seekers Allowance each week, knowing he’s not medically fit to work.
It’s right that rules exist, but if someone shows a desire to work and needs help re-training, and that help exists, what sense is there in keeping someone on Job Seekers Allowance?
This case highlights the frustrations unemployed people experience in their quest to find suitable work.